We use cookies to deliver the best experience possible. By using our website, you agree to the use of cookies as described in our Cookie Policy.

Courses For Adults, Contractors & Companies

Call 0800 856 4448 or 03330 123 123

Course FinderNew EntrantsDomesticCommercialRenewablesContractor
Back

Search

BackAll Electrical Courses

If you want a career in the electrical industry then you're going to need to access high quality training - delivered by professionals in an intensive, structured and focused way.                                                   Unsure where to start? Use our course advisor to help point you in the right direction.  

Course finder
Pay now

Warrington Wolves Say Farewell to Chloe

Posted by Carl Bennett on 28th April 2016

Chloe Bennett  was a former employee of Trade Skills 4U until she left us to join the Rugby League World Cup marketing team almost 4 years ago. You will find on this blog numerous articles written by her and she was a crucial member of the Trade Skills 4U team for a number of years. For the last 2 ½ years she has worked as Marketing Head at Warrington Wolves  where she has dedicated herself to leading the amazing changes off the pitch under the administration of the more publicly known Roger Draper.

Many of you wouldn’t have heard of her, but she’s been integral to the recent impressive changes under tough and challenging conditions, especially entering the organisation as a young woman from London and has done her job with modesty, a smile and a big heart, as anyone who knows her will testify.

The Wigan game today will be her last home game as part of the Wolves family, after which she takes up her new role with none other than Manchester Utd Football Club.

She’ll be missed both personally and professionally, but hopefully all the things she has put into place, particularly the Membership Scheme and Fan & Community engagement initiatives will continue to improve and develop.

Rugby league’s loss is football’s gain but I’ve no doubt as a third generation Wolves supporter and of Rugby league, she will return to our game and with her knowledge and experience gained at the global company that is Man U, will ensure our great game will continue to be the ‘best sport in the world’.

Well Done Chloe X

 

Categories: warrington wolves

A Handy Guide to Gate Safe Training

Posted by Christos Panayiotou on 13th April 2016

Electric Gate Safety is something which doesn’t feature highly on most spakies lists. They may be aware that there is a risk when installing electric gates but probably don’t realise quite how serious a threat electric gates can pose to customers. It can also mean if the installer hasn’t installed the gates correctly that they could be liable should an accident occur. With have spoken with Gate Safe an organisation dedicated to raising awareness of the dangers of electric gates to clarify some key points on the training they offer.

Is there a legal requirement for an installer / electrician to undertake the training?

No there is no legal requirement however if an accident were to happen and the installer/installation company had no record of having undertaken any specialist training, the court a would take a very dim view of it and this could influence the overall judgment

Will taking the training protect me from litigation in the event of an accident?

Taking the course on it’s is no guarantee. It is the knowledge gained from the course that you must put into practice that will protect you and the homeowner. It’s a bit like the 17th edition regs. If you have the qualification but ignore the regs you will find yourself in trouble.

Is there on going technical support if I take the course?

Technical help is always available and if Gate Safe does not readily know the answer we will make it our business to seek out the relevant information

If I can still install a gate without a legal requirement to do any training why should I bother? 

There are many examples of people who have been taken to court, found guilty and received substantial fines. In addition to this, as the installer the law would expect you to be a competent person and taking the training would be a sign of that competence. Aside from the financial penalties, such cases cause considerable disruption to any business and often irreparable damage to their reputation.  In addition to this, as the installer the law would expect  / require you to be a ‘competent person’ and taking the Gate Safe Aware training would signify your commitment to demonstrating competence.

What support do I get if I become a Gate Safe Aware Installer?

When you become a Gate Safe Aware installer, you will receive a comprehensive reference manual (which is regularly updated); access to a dedicated Gate Safe help line / email support; an entry on the Gate Safe Aware installer register (which is published on the Gate Safe web site); discounted membership to Checkatrade and advice on how to market your Gate Safe Aware status

How much awareness is there of the Gate Safe Aware register?

We have thousands of visits to our website every year and are constantly working to promote the issue both to the industry and to consumers. You will regularly see stories from us in the press and trade magazines.

What are the benefits to the customer of having a gate installation undertaken by a Gate Safe Aware installer?

A customer that elects to seek out a Gate Safe Aware installer has the comfort of knowing that they have been trained to understand the risks associated with automated gates and most importantly, is aware of the actions that should be taken to deliver protection against those risks

How will taking this training benefit my business?

As well as demonstrating your competence to your customers you and your trained engineers will be able to install gates safely thereby protecting the business from litigation and acting as a responsible company

How many people does a company need to train to secure access to the Gate Safe Aware installer logo?

One trained person will give access to the Gate Safe Aware installer logo but to secure Premier Installer status you would need to train 80% of your installer work force

If I as an installer take the training and then move companies, can the new company claim Gate Safe Aware installer status?

Yes, one trained person will give access to the Gate Safe Aware installer logo and can move companies.

Once you have passed the training, is there a need to refresh / renew your knowledge?

Currently Gate Safe does not require delegates to take a refresher course but a number of people have attended a further training session a couple of years after they passed their original training, to refresh their understanding of the key issues that must be considered to deliver a safe and compliant installation. In the future there will be a formal refresher course

The training was first launched in 2012, is it still the same format as when it was originally rolled out?

The format is the same but there have been a number of tweaks and minor changes as new information and guidance pertaining to automated gates is developed. The training also evolves in response to the feedback we receive from delegates who have taken the course

How is the training vetted to ensure it represents / remains a credible qualification?

The training is accredited by IOSH (Institution of Safety and Health) the biggest professional health and safety membership organisation in the world

What is the HSE view of the Gate Safe Aware training?

The HSE and Gate Safe have worked closely together since 2010.  Most recently Gate Safe met with the HSE to run through the training presentation so that the HSE had an improved understanding of the established Gate Safe training offering

If you do want to learn more about electric gate installation make sure you book onto one of the upcoming course dates. You can find course content here on our website but to book you should contact Gate Safe directly.

 

Categories: gate safe

To leave or not to leave. What the EU referendum could mean for electricians?

Posted by Christos Panayiotou on 29th March 2016

So unless you have been living in a cave for the last year you should know by now that there will be a referendum on the 23rd of June. On this date the nation will decide whether they wish to stay in the union or leave. As with most elections it is likely people will vote for the scenario they feel will benefit them the most both in terms of their financial and general wellbeing.

So the big question you will want to answer is will the UK construction industry be better off in or out of the EU?

Well unfortunately we cannot answer that question here at Trade Skills 4U. If we could then we would probably be teaching economics rather than electrics! However we can present to you some of the key arguments for both sides of the equation:

Skills Shortage

One of the biggest issues facing the construction sector is skills shortages. Across the whole of construction industry skilled labour from the continent has helped lubricate the cogs of our recent economic growth and we still have a huge demand for electricians, plumbers, bricklayers, carpenters and a whole host of skilled trades.

Yes I know there are lots of people who believe that foreign labour is taking your job but the reality is that without skilled labour from the continent many projects simply would not have got off the ground. In fact recent reports show that many companies are still turning down projects because they simply can not get the skilled labour they need to deliver the project.

Yes you may think that less competition for jobs means higher pay, however if the wheels come off the wagon of growth then the whole market will suffer. One argument to leave is that if we are out of the EU we can then choose which trades and which skilled labour can come and work where. But how much will that cost and what impact will that really have on the workforce? No one really knows.

Workers’ rights

Two of the main regulations that impact on workers’ rights are The Working Time Directive and The Temporary Agency Workers Directive. Depending on where you sit this can be seen as a reason to stay or to leave.

Employers are probably fed up of EU red tape meaning they have to limit workers hours and pay out holiday pay and other benefits to temporary staff.  As an employee you may well welcome these regulations as they mean you could be better off especially as a contractor.

However leaving does not guarantee that these regulations will disappear but David Cameron has already made it clear he would like to be able to ignore most of the employment rules imposed on the UK by Brussels.

I think generally speaking on this front a stay vote will benefit the most electricians and contractors. Protecting them from working excessive hours and giving them some added benefits even if on a temporary contract.

Environment

Of the top 5 most costly EU regulations 2 are listed above relating to workers’ rights and two others are the UK renewable energy strategy and the EU Climate and Energy package. Yes getting rid of these could save billions for consumers and companies, however probably not in the long run. If we can become more energy independent then long term these will be extremely beneficial policies.

And let’s not forget that forget that renewable energy tends to be the an electricians friend. There is a whole host of renewable energy technologies which rely on converting the energy they collect into electricity. Who can forget the solar PV boom just a few years ago. And now with the growth of electric cars which have zero emissions we can see the opportunities for electricians to branch out and grow continue to present themselves.

Generally speaking for electricians we believe that staying in the EU will have a positive impact from the environmental perspective.

Working abroad

Let’s not forget that labour can move in both directions. Here at Trade Skills 4U we have lots of students who intend to spend time working abroad. And why not? If you have a trade you can generally work anywhere in the world. However because electricians are highly regulated all over the world and EU it is harder for most to simply turn up and start working in any country without further training. Here in the UK we have one of the highest levels of regulation meaning it is usually easier for us to go abroad to work than for foreign electricians to come to the UK.

Cost of Materials & Tools

Where materials and tools are imported from inside the EU we may find that the cost of delivering projects will increase making them less viable. If the cost of delivering projects increases then you could find that the projects themselves do not get off the ground.

Uncertainty

The biggest issue that we think will impact upon people’s minds as we approach the referendum will be the impact of the referendum on our economy. Uncertainty in the run up to the referendum itself will impact on consumer and business confidence. The effects of this can already be felt which is one reason why the referendum has been announced and will take place in such a short space of time. Should we vote to leave the EU we will be entering completely new territory. Yes we have been outside before but we have never left it before. If we do vote the leave the shockwaves will be global. There will be enough of a shockwave to disturb an already fragile European and Global economy and who will be willing to take the risk of the unknown when we appear to be doing pretty well with the status quo.

As with the Scottish referendum we think that ultimately people will choose to stay despite some misgivings about the EU simply because it is the safest option.

Just 15% of construction companies support leaving

And that is probably the main reason why in a recent survey only 15% of construction executives supported an exit from the EU. This is a pretty clear indicator that the industry sees leaving as a huge risk and if this is their view now we can only assume that an exit would create havoc with our economy. This can only be a negative thing in the short term, however with time it is possible that the UK could bounce back stronger.

You will need to make your own mind up as to what you think is right or wrong, however remember, no one really knows what will happen if we leave and the impact it will have on jobs and construction. If we stay we know that things will stay the same and at present things seem to be going in the right direction. We think that the UK will vote to stay, but it is going to be a very close fought thing.

A simple way to decide in my view is think about how it actually affects you and your family directly, don't be influenced by politician spin or other talking heads with biased opinions, just drill down into your own life, you will then have your answer.

 

20 Funny Warning Signs To Make You Chuckle

Posted by Christos Panayiotou on 8th March 2016

So about a year ago we put up a couple of funny health and safety signs in the office to make the students chuckle from time to time. However what is clear is that our students are clearly not reading the content and simply blocking it out as they expect to see another bog standard warning sign. Over the past year we can count on one hand the number of times someone has commented on these signs which are in our break out areas. So we thought it would be a great idea to research a list of the funniest ones on the web and publish them here for your amusement.

This is where it all started with this sign which has been seen all over the web:

There may be trouble ahead funny sign

We then made this sign which again has gone almost completely un-noticed

Site safety funny sign

And then we have found some more online. There are a few great ones here:

This machine has no brain

 

Funny danger sign

 

This sign has sharp edges

 

Squirrels attack exposed nuts

 

This sign is only a distraction

 

There also appears to be a whole movement of tube based signs which have been tweaked and amended to brighten up commuter's days:

For more efficient service tube sign

 

Danger, rudeness attracts mice

 

Train apologies are shallow and meaningless

 

No eye contact

 

Naughty passengers will be crushed

 

There also appears a whole host of interpretations of the slippery floor warning signs some of which have been very simply defaced but still extremely funny:

This is sparta warning sign

 

Adam west floor sign

 

Jazz hands floor sign

And then there is a whole section of poorly defaced signs which are again quite amusing:

Darth Vader Heimlich maneuver sign

 

Mountain lion sign

 

Pie no smoking sign

 

Stop sign hammer time

 

Baby changing funny sign

We need to make it very clear that whilst these signs are very funny we do not condone defacing of any health and safety or warning sign in any way. That could be very, very dangerous! If you find any more funny signs like these please be sure to share with us and we can add them to this post. 

 

 

Come See Us At The Elex Show Manchester

Posted by Christos Panayiotou on 1st March 2016

It's been a while since we have exhibited at any trade shows. However with the new centre opening up in Warrington we couldn't pass up the chance to turn up at the Elex Show at Event City on the 3rd and 4th March 2016 (This Thursday and Friday)

If you do come and see us on the day you will have the chance to discuss any training needs you may have in person with me and other members of staff. We will also be offering a fantastic 5% discount on any courses booked at the show (up to the value of £2500) on the day so it could be a great opportunity to save money on the right course for you.

Other reasons to attend at the Elex Show are:

Free Parking

Free T-Shirt

Free Bacon Sandwich

Loads of Free Seminars

Great Networking opportunities

Great discounts from many tool suppliers

If you want to come and pay us a visit you can find us at stand P20 just next to the IET stand, seminar room and the restaurant so why not grab a bacon sarnie and pop over to say hi. We will also have some freebies on offer which you can grab and take home with you.

If you can't make it to the show, don't worry we run an open door policy at both of our Warrington and Gatwick training centres so you are free to pop in and say hi during normal working hours 9am to 4pm Monday to Friday. It is best to avoid lunchtimes (12.30pm - 1.15pm) as there may not be anyone free to give you a tour, however generally speaking we can show you around and discuss your needs.

 

Categories: elex show

Thinking of training as an electrician? Ask yourself these 5 questions

Posted by Christos Panayiotou on 12th February 2016

So you have decided to retrain as an electrician. Some initial research will reveal that before you embark on a change of career there are some decisions you will have to make that may affect the rest of your working life or at least the next few years. Here at Trade Skills 4U we are experts not only in teaching electrical subjects but also in ensuring you choose the right course for you. We are Matrix accredited due to the excellent information advice and guidance that we can provide. So if you do call to speak with a course advisor we may ask you to answer some of the following questions. This will help us identify which course is right for you:

1. Why do you want to work as an electrician? What is your goal? 

This sounds obvious but really this is the first question you must ask yourself. As a career, being an electrician means that you will work with your hands and your head which is one reason many people looking at the trade are drawn to it. However how you perceive your future career is key. Do you want to work for yourself on a range of smaller jobs or would you prefer to be employed on long term contracts or on a permanent basis. These will all have a bearing on the choice you make and the reason is below in question 2.

2. Do you know the difference between “domestic installer” and “fully qualified” routes? 

At present the industry is set up in such a way that new entrants have to choose between becoming a “Fully Qualified Electrician” (who can undertake all types of work domestic, commercial, industrial etc) or a “Domestic Installer” who can only work on residential properties. The key thing is that if you train as a domestic installer and then choose to go fully qualified you will find you may have to repeat some aspects of your training. As a very basic guide Domestic Installers tend to work on a wider variety of smaller jobs and tend to work on a self-employed basis or in very small teams. The commercial (fully qualified) route keeps all of your options open, however this means that you are more likely to find work with a larger contracting company and work on longer contracts or on a permanent basis. Check out our earlier blog post here.

3. How much time and money can you afford to spend getting qualified? 

The difference between going Fully Qualified or Domestic only is significant in terms of time and money. For the initial training with Trade Skills 4U the domestic route costs £2495 and lasts roughly 4 weeks, whereas the fully qualified route you are looking at 16 weeks (over a 30 week period) and a cost of £7490. If you simply can’t afford the time or money to go fully qualified then training as a domestic installer now is a great option to get you out there earning as soon as possible. If if at a later stage you do choose togo fully qualified then you can do this when you are in a better position financially. It does also mean you get your foot in the door and can build up a network of contacts so that when you do train you are in a much better position to complete an NVQ.

4. Do you want to be self-employed? Do you prefer working for yourself or for someone else? 

Although covered above this really is a crucial question. The thing is both routes can lead to employment and self-employment, however due to the nature of the market in the UK you will find it easier to find longer jobs and permanent roles if you train on the fully qualified route. That is because the domestic installer market is made up of micro businesses who are generally sole traders or have just a few staff.

5. Do you intend to work abroad or in Scotland?

Just as a final spanner in the works it is important to note that the domestic installer scheme covers England and Wales (And even then there may be some variations). If you want to work abroad or in Scotland then you will really want to look at going down the “Fully Qualified” route or you could be wasting your time. Likewise if you are planning on moving to slightly sunnier climes then you will probably want to check with that country which qualifications they accept. It is most likely that you will need to have completed your electrical diplomas and possibly even your NVQ too. However you may want to talk to UK NARIC who can assist in mapping the different international requirements.

As always we would recommend if you are unsure which way to go or the difference between the routes available, simply pick up a phone and speak to one of our course advisors on 01293 52977. They are very knowledgeable and provide simple, clear, honest advice.

 

What is the 17th Edition and why is it important?

Posted by Christos Panayiotou on 25th January 2016

For those of us already working in the industry this will sound like a strange question because every electrician in the UK needs to hold and work to the 17th Edition. However for those changing careers or on the fringes of the industry some initial research will reveal that a 17th Edition Qualification is certainly something you will need to hold if you are planning on working with electricity in the UK. When talking about the 17th Edition people are actually talking about the British Standard BS 7671 "Requirements for Electrical Installations. IET Wiring Regulations." You may find it referred to as:

The regs

UK wiring regulations

17th edition wiring regulations

Wiring regs

BS7671

BS7671 wiring regs

All of these terms refer to the same thing.

What is the 17th Edition?

The 17th edition wiring regulations are the latest incarnation of a long line of wiring regulations published by the IET on a regular basis. By regular we mean every few years since it was first published in 1882. Before the 17th Edition every electrician needed to hold their 16th Edition and in a few years time it is likely that they will need to attain and be working to the 18th edition whenever it is released.

These are in essence the standard set for all UK electrical installations in domestic, commercial, industrial and other buildings. The wiring regulations simply put are a set of rules by which all electrical installations must comply.

They state things like where they apply (their scope), how the work should be installed and how to comply with the electricity at work regulations and other health and safety legislation. All new electrical installations in the UK must comply with the latest version of the wiring regulations and as such if you are installing electrics on a regular basis it is an absolute must that you are up to date with the latest version. Although the Wiring Regulations are non-statutory, they are referenced in several UK statutory documents and in most cases, for practical purposes, have legal force and can be used as defence in a court of law.

Who needs to know the 17th Edition?

Absolutely anyone installing electrics should know their 17th edition wiring regulations. By “know” we should clarify that no one has memorised this rather large detailed book back to front (except maybe our tutors), but rather you need to be fully aware of it’s contents and how to refer to them as and when you come across different types of installations. If you are looking for a job in the industry or looking to register as a domestic installer then you will need this qualification, however holding a 17th edition qualification does not in itself mean you are qualified to work as an electrician or register on a domestic installer scheme.

It is also important to note that the 17th Edition Wiring Regulations are also very useful for those working on the fringes of the electrical industry such as maintenance managers, engineers, project managers, architects and so on. For them the course may be harder to pass due to some of the technical jargon but can be invaluable to complement existing skills and give them an understanding of what is needed for electrical installations in a variety of situations.

What are Amendments?

Every so often we get a new incarnation of the wiring regulations which is why we have gone from the 1st to 17th Edition, however these are not amendments these are new editions. Between editions we sometimes have changes and innovations like electric vehicle charging that warrant what is known as an Amendment. Since we have had the 17th Edition there have been 3 Amendments with the most recent coming into force on the 1st July 2015.

Whilst it is generally a requirement that electricians and domestic installers hold a valid qualification in the latest IET Wiring Regulations Edition this is not true of the Amendments. Having said that all installers are still required to install to the latest amendment. Usually when an Amendment is made a new book will be published and it is important that installers update themselves on the changes and hold the latest version of the book. Since the 17th Edition has been in force we have gone from a red to green and now to a yellow book. We have published an online tutorial for anyone looking to find the key changes between the Green and Yellow books here.

When is the 18th edition coming out?

At present we don’t know but there is speculation that it will be published in 2018. When we have a confirmed date you will probably read it here first.

Are there update courses?

Update courses are only required when a new edition is published. When the 17th Edition was first published there was a 1 day update course that helped you move from 16th to 17th Edition. However this has since been discontinued due to the number of amendments. We expect the same to be available when the 18th Edition does finally rear it head.

 

Categories: 17th edition

2016 Trades Salary Survey: Electricians Still Earn The Most

Posted by Christos Panayiotou on 5th January 2016

Every year we study the data from the Office of National Statistics to let you know what is happening in terms of salaries for electricians, plumbers, carpenters, bircklayers, tilers and a few other trades. We have published 2 blog posts on this topic before and these can be found here:

2015 Salary Survey Blog Post

2013 Electrician Salary Blog post

Average Electrician Salary (£30,444)

So the data is in and following the last 2 surveys it is no surprise that Electricians still earn the most on average of all the trades. Despite increased growth in salaries in a number of different trades electricians still earn around £1300 more than plumbers who are ranked second in this survey. Check out the interactive chart below where you can see the average salary for each trade and also see the percentage change over the last 12 months:

 

When we last ran this survey interestingly plumbers has seen one of the smallest increases in pay whilst electricians had seen one of the largest. Those roles are now reversed and it looks as if the plumbing industry has been playing catch up over the past year. The really big surprise has been a 10% increase in the average salary for tilers.

How do electricians charge for their time?

When looking at the money each trade earns it is important to note that a "salary" is only really part of the picture. Most of the electricians that work in peoples homes will usually charge a day rate or a fixed rate for particular jobs. Electricians who actually earn a salary are in the minority which the majority working on contract or as a self employed tradesperson. As such it is quite hard to gauge how much an electrician does earn as there are no national statistics for this.

Hourly Rates / Day Rates (£20-£50 Per Hour / £140-£350 Per Day)

Hourly and day rates vary drastically from location to location and electrician to electrician. An experienced electrician in London will most likely charge around £45 per hour or £300 per day, whereas a junior electrician in Newcastle is likely to earn far less in comparison. Most tradesmen tend to charge for a specific job and will include the costs of materials in any quote. As such it can be very hard to gauge how much an electrician is making. A good guide is always how much you are being charged for a new consumer unit. I am based in Brighton and was recently quoted £500 for a new consumer unit. Bearing in mind the units cost around £130 this electrician is likely to take home around £370 for a days work.

What are trainee salaries like? (Around £21K)

Many people start out as apprentices who often earn below the minimum wage. However most Trade Skills 4U customers front load their training and complete their technical certificates first (2365 Level 2&3). This then enables them to command a higher starting salary when they start working as an electricians mate.  Most should be able to start out on a trainee wage of around £21k per annum. A quick search online reveals that most jobs for electrician mates start off at around £11 per hour although we have just seen one locally offering £107 per day which comes in at over £25K which is great for a starting salary.

JIB Wage Grades

The JIB publish wage grades on their website here. Whilst the JIB have clear guidelines for what an electrician can earn these are guidelines only and not every employer sticks to these.

As of the 4th January 2016 the JIB suggests you should earn the following hourly rates if you have your own transport:

Trainee Electrician - £11.56 - £13.68

Electrician - £14.39

Approved Electrician - £15.61

Site Technician - £17.57

And if you live in London or the south east you should expect:

Trainee Electrician - £12.94 - £15.33

Electrician - £16.13

Approved Electrician - £17.48

Site Technician - £19.68

In order to qualify for the higher pay grades most people will need to fulfil the following:

1. Trainee Electrician - Apprenticeship or electricians mate usually with C&G 2365 Diplomas

2. Electrician - Relevant qualifications, Level 3 NVQ & AM2 (These days a 2357)

3. Approved Electrician - As per number 2 plus periodic inspection and testing qualification such as the C&G 2394/2395

4. Site Technician - As per number 3 plus over 5 years experience (3 of which in a supervisory role) plus a level 4 qualification such as a HNC

With such a variety of ways to be employed and earn it is very hard to say specifically how much an electrician should earn. We have had students walk out of here straight into jobs installing smart meters earning £150 per day plus a company van and others who end up working on site at £11 per hour. As with any career if you work hard, deliver good quality work and build a solid reputation you should be able to earn a decent salary and have great job satisfaction.

 

 

 

 

Categories: salary, survey

Essential Amendment 3 Information For January 2016

Posted by Christos Panayiotou on 22nd December 2015

With the final 1st January 2016 deadline nearly upon us we revisit the 3rd amendment to BS6761 17th edition and have laid out some key information that installers must be aware of.

1. Metal Consumer Units must now be installed

The first and most crucial bit of information on this date is that from the 1st of January all consumer units designed and installed must be made from non-combustible material. This basically means that most new consumer units will be made from metal rather than plastic as they have been in the past. Although Amendment 3 came into force from the 1st July 2015, the date from which the regulations relating to metal consumer units comes into force is the 1st January 2016. Any installations designed before the 1st January 2016 can comply with the previous regulations. Any installations designed from January 2016 must now use metal consumer units. The reason for this was to give manufacturers enough time to make the switch to producing metal consumer units. Had it been implemented earlier we may have found a lack in supply of the new metal clad consumer units which in turn would have a huge impact on industry.

You should be up to date on all the other key changes to the 17th edition which came into force from the 1st July 2015, however if you are not then you really need to make sure you check out our free online seminar. We have also listed come of the other key changes below, however you should have been up to speed with these since the 1st July deadline.

2. New numbering system

A new numbering system has come into force. Regulations with a .100 number are CENELEC requirements and those with a .200 number are specific to the UK.

3. Definitions

Definitions have been tweaked and modified. There has also been the addition of some new symbols and a new list of abbreviations . One major change has been the removal of the definition of ‘competent person’. This was very surprising especially since the industry had set up http://www.electricalcompetentperson.co.uk/. This has been replaced with ‘instructed person (electrically)’ and ‘skilled person (electrically)’.

4. Protection against electric shock

It is now a required socket-outlets up to 20A for all installations have RCD protection bar a couple of exceptions:

a specific labelled or otherwise suitably identified socket-outlet provided for connection of a particular item of equipment, or

where, other than for an installation in a dwelling, a documented risk assessment determines that the RCD protection is not necessary

Maximum earth fault loop impedances tables 41.2, 41.3, 41.4 and 41.6 have been adjusted to take account of the Cmin factor.

5. Protection against thermal effects

Requires consumer units and similar switchgear to have their enclosure manufactured from non-combustible material or be enclosed in a cabinet or enclosure constructed of non-combustible material and complying with Regulation 132.12. See the introductory paragraph.

6. Common rules

Section 551 concerning compliance with standards requires all equipment to be suitable for the nominal voltage and also requires certain information to be noted on the Electrical Installation Certificate.

7. Selection and erection of wiring systems

A new regulation has been included which requires that wiring systems within escape routes shall be supported so that they are not liable to premature collapse in the event of fire. This precludes the use of non-metallic cable clips, cable ties or cable trunking as the sole means of support, so yes we still can use plastic trunking conduit but not as the sole support.

8. Other equipment

A new section 557 Auxiliary Circuits has been added. These are defined in Part 2.

9. Luminaires and lighting installation

Requirements for outdoor lighting installations and extra low voltage lighting installations have been moved to sections 714 and 715.

10. Special Installations or Locations Section

There is now a requirement for RCD protection to be provided for:

low voltage circuits serving the location

low voltage circuits passing through zones 1 and 2 not serving the location

11. Appendix 3

Time/current characteristics of overcurrent protective devices and RCDs. This includes changes in connection with maximum earth fault loop impedance to take account of the Cmin factor given in CLC/TR50480:2011.

12. Appendix 6

Appendix 6 introduced a new Schedule of Inspections for initial verification, complete with relevant regulation numbers which is similar in layout to the one used for periodic inspection and the inclusion of the regulation numbers should make it easier to understand and complete.

The Electrical Installation Condition Report includes the requirement for inspection to be carried out in accessible roof spaces where electrical equipment is present. You can download your revised documentation here.

If you need to know more then check out our Free online 3rd amendment seminar or look into taking our full 17th edition course at one of our 3 locations.

 

Categories: amendment 3

Truly Handy Secret Santa Gifts for Sparkies

Posted by Christos Panayiotou on 14th December 2015

So the season of Christmas Parties is upon us and that only means many of us will be struggling to come up with a secret Santa idea for someone else at work. Yes there is a great temptation to get a joke gift, but you would be amazed what you can pick up for under £15 that can really make a difference to a sparky in their day to day job. So below is a list of some super handy gifts which every sparky would love to have in their toolbox this Christmas. 

1. Magnetic Telescopic Extending Light - Super hand for picking up dropped screws and all sorts of bits and pieces. This telescopic magnet light is an absolute bargain at only £6 from Amazon.

2. Super Head Torch with 3 lights - Every sparky will let you know they could not do without their head torch. This one is just £13.95, has 4 settings including a strobe setting which could be super handy on the dance floor at the Christmas party.

3. Automatic Wire Stripper - These wires strippers will save any electrician loads of time by enabling them to quickly and accurately strip a wide range of wires from 0.2mm to 6.0mm. They also automatically adjust to strip round and flat wires.

4. Safety Glasses - At just £9.90 these safety goggles are an must have piece of kit. If you have ever had a spark in your eye or a piece of metal then you will know how important it is to protect them when working in certain situations.

5. Portable Kettle - You would not believe how often you can get to a job and not have a means to make a decent brew. With this kettle in the car or van you will never get caught short as it charges from the in car cigarette lighter. A bargain at just £12.45.

6. Gel Knee Pads - If a sparky doesn't own a pair of these then they are going to be in real trouble after a few years. For just £13.99 you can crawl around in comfort. these pads are anti-slip and anti-marking too!

7. Angle Screw Driver Set - Yes there is a theme building up here. Electricians spend a huge amount of time in confined spaces with hard to read items such as screws. This adjustable angle screwdriver set is just £6.99!

8. Electricians Draw Tape - It's no easy task pulling cable through trunking without one of these. A simple but ingenious design makes this draw tape small and easy to use with a handy brake set into the handle.

9. Volt Pen - Every sparky probably has about 10 of these in various places so it will be no problem to add another to the collection. Super handy and only £9.35.

10. Cable Tie Gun - Simple and effective, pre-load this cable tie gun and fire away. It can be set to a range of tensions and has automatic flush cable tie cut off too. A snip at £10.99! 

The list could go on forever, however you won't go too wrong with any of the above tools as they really will save time or help any electrician out on a daily basis.

Categories: gifts, secret santa