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Does your electrical system at home need updating

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If you’re in any doubt that the electrical system in your home is outdated, you’re running the risk of overheating wires and sparking a fire.

Most of us take our electricity supply for granted or simply don’t give a second thought to what powers our lights, appliances and devices. It’s good to know then how to avoid a dangerous situation by understanding your electric power system.

In simple terms, your system is analogous to our body’s circulatory system. The heart is the electrical panel from which the circuits carry the electric current throughout the home to the lights, appliances and devices. The circuits therefore are like the arteries and veins.

The electric panel determines the amount of power that is available to the circuits. Each circuit distributes the power to different parts of the home, the circuit’s on-off mechanism controlled by a circuit breaker. The size and number of circuit breakers determine how the power is used in the home.

Often a problem occurs in an older property in which the system has become outdated. A large proportion of such homes were built for purpose with only 30 to 60 amps powering the whole, utilising only a few circuits.
So what are the symptoms of a home in need of an electrical system upgrade? Do any of these things apply?:
• Your circuit breakers trips (i.e. switches off) frequently;
• Your lights dim when you switch on other appliances;
• You’re using adapters or extension cords to create more electric outlets in the home.

If you answered yes to any or all of the above, you need your system checked out. In the case of the breakers, these should trip and cut the flow of power to the circuits. The circuits are a single wire connecting a series of outlets that can otherwise overload and overheat.

What will need addressing?
• Your panel will need upgrading to bring more power to your home. Or the panel or circuit breakers replaced if they are obsolete, damaged or dangerous;
• The existing meter and circuit breaker box replaced so the panel can handle more power;
• Additional circuits installed to distribute the power to your rooms and appliances and new electrical outlets provided, replacing the old receptacles.

Be extremely cautious about upgrading your system unless you’re qualified to do so. If you’re local, do call us for a professional consultation. We are Swindon electricians ready to help you.

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Look after your commercial property

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You will want to rest assured that the electrics in your commercial premise – your office, school, restaurant, hotel – are working safely. To have peace of mind knowing the inconvenience and disruption to your business from electrical breakdowns and repairs can be limited and that you’re not losing money through an outdated and inefficient electrical system.

If you’re local, you might like to know about the range of services that we as Swindon electricians provide.

Did you know that 70-80% of businesses never reopen after a major disaster such as a fire? We can install fire alarms – mandatory for any business – compliant with fire regulations. Non-compliance of Fire regulations can incur hefty fines for businesses, so it’s important that you have this in place. We can offer you a consultation on fire protection at the design stage or advise on effective ways to upgrade your existing system.

EJS can install emergency lighting. The system will when correctly designed, installed and maintained, reduce the possibility of an accident or loss of life in the event of an electrical power loss. Again, this is a safety system required by law.

We of course do the basics – providing maintenance. Wiring needs to be checked and if necessary a partial or full rewiring implemented. Then there’s the Electrical Reports. We will check cables for wear and tear, hidden inside walls or in consumer units tucked away in cupboards. Our electricians will test all electrical items you have – including kettles, computers – plugging them into specialist PAT testing equipment. This records the status of those items, whether safe or faulty. If the former, the item is tagged with a green label, signed as ‘Passed’ and with the date of the check. These are important records for any insurance claims or Health and Safety compliance issues. If a defect is detected, electrical equipment can be replaced before it becomes a major problem and save you money down the line. An electrical mishap could well disrupt operations while you’re waiting to get it fixed.

Old or faulty wiring is potentially hazardous, one of the main causes of fire in the workplace. We will compile a full report of cables, switches and sockets on a regular basis. The Report will save you a lot of money and perhaps even lives.

We can offer you everything from simple checks to installing a fully rigged-up computer room and guarantee that we will be there for you in case of an emergency.

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Does your home need to Smart?

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If Smart Devices are not what you need, they could well be what you want. Smart devices are definitely the future. Here’s a round-up of gadgets you might need/want to install.

  1. Smart speakers. Systems like the Amazon Echo use an in-built microphone to listen to your voice commands. Ask ‘Alexa’ the Echo’s virtual assistant and ‘she’ will forecast the weather, relate the latest sports scores, convert pounds to kilograms, but more tellingly serve as a voice-controlled hub for your other smart gear. Other smart speakers exist, but the Amazon Echo Dot is a really good cheap start-off system. None of the smart speakers on the market are hi-fi quality, but the Dot can communicate with your superior hi-fi system.
  2. Smart thermostats talk to your boiler and can control radiators and water heating so that they can switch to an Away mode when you leave the house, saving you money. Or they can be controlled remotely via your smartphone. The thermostat can suggest when to turn the heating down and will email you a monthly energy summary. A great environment and energy bill-slasher.
  3. Smart tech offers a real benefit in security, giving you access to live feeds from cameras, cloud storage of footage, and even the potential for smart locks to govern who gets in and out. Netatmo and Netgear make great smart security cameras, but the Y-Cam Evo stands out as the best all-round indoor home security camera on sale due to a combination of hardware, software and free seven-day cloud recording.
  4. Smart lights are cool and fun. Most modern systems let you set brightness, tone and colour, and control your bulbs with voice commands. The Philips Hue Ambiance Starter Kit gives you a choice of 16 million colours. Schedule the lights to turn on and off at certain times of day or when you enter or leave the house.
  5. Vacuum cleaners. Not quite as effective as traditional cleaners, but they can work methodically around your home, capable of negotiating the slightest obstacles. Dyson comes up with an App which allows you to schedule when you want your robot to start cleaning. It will in turn let you know where it’s cleaned and where it hasn’t.

There are countless other devices out there to discover too, from smart plugs, to coffee machines and smart toothbrushes.

If you need professional help installing your devices and you’re local, we are EJS Electricals, Swindon Electricians. Give us a call.

 

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What can you do at home?

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Carrying out your own electrical work at home can cut corners, but at what cost? Safety is an obvious issue. Electricity is extremely dangerous. It can kill. But there can often be a greater financial cost later on in rectifying a bodged DIY job that could have been avoided if a professional electrician had been hired in the first instance.

Be reassured that if you’re looking for professional electricians in Swindon, we are always on hand.

A lot of people are happy replacing a faulty fuse in a plug. It’s a straightforward job, but you should never interfere with the actual plug socket. If your sockets have experienced some form of damage, you need to call a professional.

The more ambitious might try their hand at smaller projects such as installing light switches and light fittings, wall lights etc.; jobs that you might think too expensive to have done by an electrician. But often it’s the case that an electrician is called out to fix a simple job turned into a nightmare. To rectify faulty wiring that has been caused by the homeowner attempting to carry out the job themselves, damaged light fittings, damaged cables and switches. And in some cases electrical accessories have been known to catch on fire.

If you are working on home improvements, you may want to look at replacing the electrics in your house. This needs to be carried out safely and you should seek advice from an electrician. If you’re seeking it from electricians in Swindon, do give us a call.

We are often called by homeowners who have carried out repairs asking for us to certificate their own electrical work. Unfortunately we can’t do it. The work needs to be carried out by a professional from the outset.

As a homeowner you are entitled to carry out any electrical works in your home. But, be advised that you will be asked to present all the certification for the electrical work carried out if you ever move or rent your property. You cannot obtain the appropriate certification following your own installation of electrical work at a later stage.  If someone is injured or a property is damaged your insurance will be invalid if you do not have the appropriate certification to prove the system is safe.

If you want the job done quickly and properly, look no further than EJS for professional electricians in Swindon.

 

When should you call an electrician?

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Carrying out your own electrical work at home can cut corners, but at what cost? Safety is an obvious issue. Electricity is extremely dangerous. It can kill. But there can often be a greater financial cost later on in rectifying a bodged DIY job that could have been avoided if a professional electrician had been hired in the first instance.

Be reassured that if you’re looking for professional electricians in Swindon, we are always on hand.

A lot of people are happy replacing a faulty fuse in a plug. It’s a straightforward job, but you should never interfere with the actual plug socket. If your sockets have experienced some form of damage, you need to call a professional.

The more ambitious might try their hand at smaller projects such as installing light switches and light fittings, wall lights etc.; jobs that you might think too expensive to have done by an electrician. But often it’s the case that an electrician is called out to fix a simple job turned into a nightmare. To rectify faulty wiring that has been caused by the homeowner attempting to carry out the job themselves, damaged light fittings, damaged cables and switches. And in some cases electrical accessories have been known to catch on fire.

If you are working on home improvements, you may want to look at replacing the electrics in your house. This needs to be carried out safely and you should seek advice from an electrician. If you’re seeking it from electricians in Swindon, do give us a call.

We are often called by homeowners who have carried out repairs asking for us to certificate their own electrical work. Unfortunately we can’t do it. The work needs to be carried out by a professional from the outset.

As a homeowner you are entitled to carry out any electrical works in your home. But, be advised that you will be asked to present all the certification for the electrical work carried out if you ever move or rent your property. You cannot obtain the appropriate certification following your own installation of electrical work at a later stage.  If someone is injured or a property is damaged your insurance will be invalid if you do not have the appropriate certification to prove the system is safe.

If you want the job done quickly and properly, look no further than EJS for professional electricians in Swindon.

 

The basics of working with electricians

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Electrical work is the only type of work that you cannot DIY your way through. Breaking down dry wall, painting and even fixing your toilet are some fun projects you and your family can engage in without hiring a professional. Electrical work is messy, but it is something that requires qualified and registered skill. Another reason is that electrical work requires permits and approval from building inspectors. When you need to hire a professional, here are some tips to help you through it.

Types of electrical work

Electrical work involves a vast array of tasks from rewiring a home remodelling to upgrading electrical outlets. Depending on the kind of client, services fit into broad categories such as domestic, landlord or management agencies and commercial types of services. All these projects require the involvement of electricians alongside other trade professionals to achieve the desired objectives. For domestic projects, qualified electricians will perform services such as the installation of consumer units, replacement of light fixtures and sockets, installation of smoke alarms, cooker circuits and stoves and installation of external light fixtures. Electricians also perform emergency house calls and other pressing tasks such as inspections and tests. For the commercial and letting projects, electricians perform PAT testing of the portable electrical appliances and performing an electrical installation condition report.

Licensing and qualifications

All electricians should be qualified, certified and licensed in the latest safety and regulation laws. According to the building regulations covering England and Wales, Part P entails that anyone that performs electrical services must ensure that their work protects the people from fire and electrical shock. Ensure that the company you hire have staff that are compliant with safety and regulation laws and that they have acquired the relevant accreditations to work on the type of project you have. Also, ensure that they have current licensing.

For residents of Swindon, you can refer to NICEIC for a list of verified licensed electrician companies. To identify a qualified electrician in Swindon, you can find out if they are a master electrician or a journeyman electrician. The difference is that the master electrician has passed a standardised test, has at least two years of experience and is qualified to design and install an electrical system to your project. A journeyman, on the other hand, can perform mechanical installations but they are not licensed.

Always work with a professional whose work is efficient, neat and relevant job experience. The electricians should be fully insured and have a warranty that covers any damaged parts or work that was incomplete. For the most competent and compliant electricians in Swindon, contact EJS Electricals.

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3 tips for maintaining your wiring

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Most of us know how to change a light bulb and change a fuse, but when it comes to wiring and keeping the many electrical products in our homes in good condition, things can get a little tricky.

It’s not as complicated as you think and keeping tabs on the wiring in your house is going to ensure that your items keep working for years to come. Check out our three top tips below to stay connected.

Frequently blowing light bulbs

This is a widespread problem in UK homes, the wiring of your bulbs is often at fault and is very easy to fix.

Before you start always remember to switch off the power. There are a few reasons bulbs blow out more regularly. Aside from quality, you’re looking for two main issues. A loose connection in the lamp holder itself or the spring that connects the lamp and bulb is loose. Check the wire connections inside the bulb, if they have blown they will have broken apart or melted down. If the spring connection appears to be loose, you can tighten it, screwing by hand. This should help improve the lifespan of your bulbs.

Changes to cable colours

Before you can start doing wiring checks and maintenance, it’s worth noting that the colours of wires in newer fixed cable products have been changed to a similar system as flexible wiring products and all modern home circuits have the same wiring colours as listed below.

The red live wire has become brown. The neutral black wire is blue. The earth wire remains green and yellow.

Stripping wires and cables

If you’re experienced, it’s easy to strip wires and cables and make necessary cuts if you have a good pair of pliers or side cutters. While we strongly suggest you follow a guide before you attempt this kind of thing, the basics are as follows:

For cables, nick the end of the sheath, but be sure to get this as central as possible so that when you pull it apart, you can see the earth wire. Clamp the end with your pliers and with your other hand pull the wire out of the insulation. Measure the connections and leave a little extra length. Now pull back the sheath so that you can make the appropriate cuts without damaging the encased wires. Once you’ve made your cut, the ends of the live, neutral and earth wires should sit comfortably in the sheath, with moderate exposure. Be sure you’re dealing with an isolated circuit before trying to make any connections.

It’s important to remember that while you can certainly make routine checks on your own electrical set up, there will be times when you have to call in a professional. Here at EJS Electrical, we are trained to deal with any issues you may have with your electrics, and we’ve been a mainstay in the local area for years.

Get in touch today and see how we can help you.