Don’t Die for DIY
Did you know that DIY errors cause half of all serious electric shocks in UK homes? Almost 50% of men admit that they feel they should try and tackle household maintenance and repair jobs themselves or ask a mate before calling in a professional
But our survey discovered that nearly half of all severe electric shocks are caused by DIY attempts, with the main errors including cutting through power leads, drilling into wiring and repairing electrical items while they’re still switched on.
Many people now turn to Google or YouTube to search for DIY tips. But you need to make sure you’re getting guidance from a reputable source
tips for electrical DIY
Locate cables in your wall. A common DIY error is accidentally drilling, nailing or screwing things into cables hidden inside your walls. A quality cable detector can help you to track buried cables before you start work and avoid the risk of an electric shock.
Use an RCD (residual current device). An RCD can save your life by cutting off the power in the event of an electrical fault caused by a DIY blunder. Make sure you have one fitted in your fusebox (consumer unit), and where necessary use a plug-in RCD.
TIPS TO FIND THE RIGHT ELECTRICIAN
Check to be certain that they’re licensed, bonded, and insured
This is a key consideration when choosing an electrician. Home repairmen don’t have the proper certifications, licenses, and other qualifications necessary to ensure the job will be done right. And, if the company isn’t bonded and insured, you can be held liable for any accidents that may occur while they’re on the job. You don’t want just anyone playing around with your electrical system because fires start can start quickly
Pay attention to reviews and recommendations
Personal recommendations from family, neighbors, or other acquaintances hold a lot of weight. You can see for yourself the job that was completed, and get honest feedback from someone you trust. Online review sites can also help you determine the type of work you can expect from the company
Look for satisfaction guarantees and/or labor warranties on work performed
One of the easiest ways to find out whether a specific electrician is the right one for you to work with is to ask whether they back their work with satisfaction guarantees and/or labor warranties. These give you peace of mind that, even if the job isn’t completed to your standards or if something unexpectedly goes wrong, you’ll receive top-notch service until it’s fixed at no extra cost to you. CMC Electric guarantees all of their work for a lifetime period.
Make sure the company can perform any specialized labor you require
While electricians aren’t necessarily hard to find, knowing how to find the right electrician for your unique job can be another task altogether. Not all electricians have the skills or certifications necessary to tackle specialty projects. If your project requires complex electrical repairs, ask the contractor whether they have the specific skills needed to complete the task. A good example of this is not hiring a seasoned commercial electrician for your home electrical repairs.
Need a quick repair? Find a company that will schedule same- or next-day appointments
Electrical companies that have multiple locations and a larger workforce can usually accommodate same- or next-day appointments. This is a huge advantage to you, as a homeowner, if you have an emergency repair. A company that is willing to work with your schedule is a company that cares.
What is my electrical installation made up of?
The electrical installation starts out on the street, from where the Sibelga-operated grid delivers the electricity straight into people’s homes. The electrical power is taken into your home by a cable that goes into the first electrical cabinet, which holds the main power switch and the electricity meter(s). Depending on your rate scheme, you may have one or two meters (day rate and night rate). The main power switch or residual current breaker (300 mA) cuts off the electrical power if there is current leakage. All of these elements inside this first electrical cabinet are Sibelga property. If there is a problem, it is for the grid operator to come up with a solution.
A supply cable sets out from the meter and goes into the distribution board, also known as the fuse box. From this point onward, the electrical installation is yours. If there is a problem, the best thing to do is to call an experienced electrician.
At the distribution board, the electrical power is distributed across the various circuits around your home. Each circuit is protected by an automatic circuit breaker, popularly referred to as ‘fuses’. If the electric circuit gets overloaded or short-circuited, this circuit breaker interrupts the power supply to the circuit and the appliances connected to that circuit. Once the problem has been resolved or the defective appliance has been taken out of the socket, you can switch the circuit breaker back on.
Earth fault circuit interrupter
When the electrical circuit serves a damp room, such as the power sockets in the bathroom, the laundry room or the power socket of the washing machine, this room benefits from a supplementary safety measure, which is nothing other than an earth fault circuit interrupter (30 mA).
The number of circuits you can have in your electrical installation is basically unlimited. You will need to set up separate circuits for the power sockets and the lighting fixtures. Do bear in mind that each circuit can have up to a maximum of 8 single or multiple power sockets. If you have several appliances in one room that all use a fair amount of electricity, it is a good idea to install different circuits.
Protection against high-voltage surges!
Having overvoltage protection as part of your electrical installation is not compulsory. It is there to protect your home against voltage peaks, in case of lightning strikes, for example. So it might be a good idea to have this type of protection built into your installation if you have expensive devices or appliances. Circuits to come to mind are the ones that computers, video systems or hi-fi equipment run on.
How To Start An Electrical Business – An Electricians Guide
There comes a time in every electrician’s life when becoming your own boss is more appealing than working for someone else. You’ve aced your apprenticeship, you’ve got bucket loads of experience under your belt, and now you’re ready to take the next step – setting up your own electrical business. Navigating the path to entrepreneurship isn’t always easy, but the payoffs are sweet. So if you’re thinking of going solo, this in-house Tradify guide is for you. Packed full of information, we’ve covered everything you need to know about turning your hands-on skills into a fully operational electrical business.
things you need in place first
First explore why you want to start your own business in the first place. Is the goal to grow your income? Maybe you crave flexible hours that free up more time with your family? It might sound a bit airy-fairy, but at the end of the day, a personal understanding of what’s motivating you to kick-start your entrepreneurial journey will create a strong foundation on which to build your business.
Training and qualifications
The essential first step is to obtain education and training from a certified trade school or apprenticeship programme. No matter how ‘gung ho’ you are at installing downlights or free wiring a house, official certification is critical – you can’t get a business off the ground without it. You’ll be hard-pressed to secure clients if you’re not qualified, and you’ll also be putting the safety of yourself, your clients and any employees you take on at risk. Programmes vary not just from country to country, but also between states, regions and provinces
The next big factor to get serious about is resources and capital. Starting up any new business doesn’t come cheap, and will almost always require an initial outlay of cash. As an independent electrician, your major costs will be investing in a vehicle and equipment. The scope of these will vary depending on what sort of niche market you intend to service. You pretty much have two options here. You either fund your own venture or seek cash from a third party like a bank, an investor or a business partner.
A clear-cut business plan
Don’t expect to get your electrical business off the ground without a polished business plan. Yes, it takes time, but it’s time well spent. That’s because a comprehensive plan gives your new business structure, purpose and a clear-cut strategy. It should include all of the key business details, such as financial projections, growth opportunities, marketing strategies, financing, short/long term goal outlines and so on. You can hire a business consultant to help you develop your business plan
How to choose an electrician
There’s a little more to choosing the right electrical contractor than just tracking someone down and throwing money at them to get the job over and done with. In fact, if you’re careless about who you hire or what you try to do yourself, it could easily end up burning your house down or really hurting someone.
When do I need an electrician?
We all know that electricians install and repair electrical systems. What you might not know, though, is just what kinds of electrical work you’ll need to call an electrician in for.
What qualifications do electricians need?
These days, all states and territories require electricians to hold an electrical license to carry out electrical work (see the pictures above for a few examples). Most states also require electricians to be ‘Registered Electrical Contractors’ (R.E.C.s) before they’re allowed to operate an electrical contracting business or perform electrical work for profit.
What’s a certificate of electrical compliance?
Electricians must issue certificates of electrical compliance for the work they do. These certificates indicate that the work that’s been done complies fully with the state or territory’s applicable electrical legislation as well as the Wiring Rules (also known as Australian Standard AS/NZS 3000:2007) – and that the work’s been properly tested and approved.
How to hire the right electrician
Find a local electrician – This will be more convenient, and should ensure that you’re not being charged for the electrician to travel to the job.
Get several quotes – Compare a few quotes, not all electricians will charge the same amount for the same work – but they should be reasonably similar. Check out reviews online, but don’t believe everything you read…
Check with other trusted contractors – If you’re having a kitchen renovated, there’s a good chance that the builder will know a good electrician who he or she’s comfortable working with. Get it all bundled in the one price, if you can.
Ask to see the electrician’s licence – Your electrician should have no problem with showing you this – or with you double-checking with the state authority to ensure that the licence is valid.
Ask whether you will get a certificate of electrical safety – You should receive safety certificates for any work that’s done.