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Finally Connected to Mains Electricity after a 30 year wait!

Posted by Christos Panayiotou on 27th February 2013

A pensioner from County Derry has mains electricity in his home after finally being connected to the National Grid.

The pensioner cannot believe how amazing just flicking a switch can be! Anyone would think this would be a news archive dated from many years previously but no, this was a brand new news item in December 2012!

Having his electricity cables installed at his home last year marked the end of a 30 year wait to connect to the National Grid. The pensioner described the experience as 'a miracle'.

Although his home is in a beautiful setting, his living conditions have been the exact opposite with living standards reminiscent of a war time home, using candles as means of light.

With temperatures dropping to as low as -4C, The pensioner had relied on primitive heat sources up until last year by lighting 2 coal fires wearing layers to bed and humping a large gas bottle around to obtain his only forms of heat.  He also sat in the car to catch up with essential reading after dark fell.

His home was finally connected to the grid after a long campaign fraught with legalities.

Talking from his home in Northern Ireland he cheerfully tells news reporters that Christmas will finally mean something other than another sun rise and sunset.

This takes Energy Efficiency to a whole new level!

Paul Wood Reaches 300 Games for Wolves!

Posted by Christos Panayiotou on 22nd February 2013

We will be cheering on Warrington Wolves this Saturday as they take on Hull at the KC stadium. The game will be Paul Wood’s 300th game for the club which is an amazing achievement and shows his consistency and dedication to the club. The game will be the first of two trips to Hull for rounds 4 and 5 of the super league.

Last season the Wolves played Hull FC in the opening round of the competition securing one point from a 20-20 draw. Wolves travel to Hull unbeaten in their last 3 games and although Hull represent strong opposition we believe Wolves will just edge it this year. We are predicting an action packed but very close game.

Wolves' head of coaching and rugby Tony Smith said: "It will be a tough game no doubt. Last year was unique; I think we got off a plane five days before our first round against Hull and we had a real tough game over there. We are in a different shape this year as are they. They've recruited some new players and will have gained some confidence from their last couple of outings. We are starting to build some of ours as well. While there are still some aspects of our game that we need to continue to improve on we feel we are improving in some areas as well."

Just in case you didn’t know we proudly sponsor Paul Wood and as always are very impressed with his contribution to the club. 300 is a particularly notable milestone as it is a number synonymous with the legendry Spartan army who so famously fought the Persians in ancient Greek history. We believe this is a very fitting anology for Paul who probably would have fitted in perfectly in ancient Sparta!

We hope he agrees and likes our picture of him!


Categories: paul wood

New Qualified Supervisor Course Launched – EAL 7695

Posted by Christos Panayiotou on 20th February 2013

We have said it before and will say again 2013 is going to be a year of much change in the electrical industry. In line with a number of changes taking place on the 6th April a new qualification has been launched by EAL designed specifically for those looking to register is a Qualified Supervisor for Domestic Installations.

As the leading electrical training company in the UK, Trade Skills 4U are again at the forefront of bringing this qualification to market. We have been working hard to get ready for the new course building rigs, planning how we will deliver lessons and assessments and also assisting with the development of the course itself.

We are proud to announce that we will be the first centre in the UK to deliver the new EAL 7695 qualification officially titled the “EAL Level 3 Certificate in Installing, Testing and Ensuring Compliance of Electrical Installations in Dwellings (QCF)”. Now that is a bit of a mouthful to say the least so we prefer to refer to it as the EAL 7695 Qualified Supervisor Course.

This course is specifically designed for anyone looking to register as a qualified supervisor for domestic installation who have previous experience of domestic.

What is a qualified Supervisor?

Any business that registers on a Competent Persons scheme from the 6th April 2013 must have a Qualified Supervisor who meets the new minimum requirements. The qualified supervisor is essentially responsible for the safety, technical standards and quality of all electrical installation work within a business. For self employed sparkies the qualified supervisor and installer are the one and the same person. As such if you are looking to be self employed you must fulfil the minimum requirements.

The new minimum requirements represent a very clear statement that the domestic electrical installer route is now clearly recognised and is here to stay.

EAL & NICEIC Leading the way

EAL is the specialist, employer recognised awarding organisation for the engineering, manufacturing, building services and related sectors. NICEIC is the UK’s leading voluntary regulatory body for the electrical contracting industry. It has been assessing the electrical competence of electricians for over fifty years and currently maintains a roll of over 26,000 registered contractors. They have also developed the Electrical Safety Register, ensuring the industry is in safe hands for the electrician and the customer.

Their new partnership not only means they will be developing some of the best qualifications for the electrical industry, it also enables them to provide an exceptional level of on-going support and assessment.

For more information please call 01293 529777.


Categories: qualified supervisor

The Complete Megger On Site Kit MFT1730 Review

Posted by Christos Panayiotou on 13th February 2013

The latest top of the range offering from Megger is their complete on-site testing kit known as the MFT1730 On-site kit.

Megger is the best known name in electrical test equipment.  Electricians up and down the country and beyond will recognise Megger as being the best and most innovative supplier of testing equipment.

The Megger MFT1730 contains everything you need to carry out electrical installation testing on site.  There is no additional software to purchase as this is all incorporated and the MFT1730 also includes the 3 pole earth resistance testing kit making it the best value electrical training package on the market.

One of the many great things about Megger is its ability to stand up to the job.  The multi function tester is site tough and can cope with harsh demanding environments.  This doesn’t mean it should live out its life at the top of a tool box though, it comes with a hard carry case which ensures your multi function tester will stay pristine for many years to come. Even this carry case has been rethought, there is also room for a certificate pad, wire cutters and a handful of screwdrivers too.

The MFT1730 is surprisingly small which is great news, its not at all bulky and this is reflected in the compact size box it comes in.  It is an 'all in one' testing package offering many time saving options for certificate filling.  For example, current test results can be sent to a storage device, smart phone, PDA, notebook or laptop immediately or the MFT1730 can store the results of the test to download to a computer off site. There are no additional leads needed for sending the results to another device as the MFT1730 uses Blue-tooth technology to communicate quickly and effectively.

With Megger you truly pay for what you get and the MFT1730 is certainly a tough cookie.  It won't go bang when

connected across phases

it get dropped

used in the rain or dusty environments

accidentally testing live circuits

selecting the wrong test range

The Megger MFT1730 is known as the ultimate installation testing package with everything you need in one tough easy to use kit.  Included with the multi function tester is £954 worth of accessories which gives you all you need - 2 and 3 wire non-trip loop testing, RCD testing, insulation and continuity testing with resistance measurement.  The MFT1730 adds True rms voltage measurement, frequency indication and phase rotation.  It even includes 3 pole earth testing to make the kit complete.

Due to popular demand from electricians, the multi function tester itself is a rechargeable instrument with downloading, rechargeable cells it also has an excellent enhanced viewing angle with intelligent back light.  For convenience, test buttons are located at each end of the tester or you can use the new CAT IV probe with test button if you prefer.

There has been a lot of thought put into the MFT 1730 by Megger who have really listened to what electricians want from a product.  The commitment of Megger to industry is reflected in its technical leadership and in being the first to design and introduce many key products.

Categories: reviews

What is the difference between Earthing and Bonding?

Posted by Christos Panayiotou on 6th February 2013

Earthing and bonding have often been confused as being the same thing when in fact the two are quite distinct from each other.

Many electricians hear the term 'earth bonding' this essentially is a meaningless term that has somehow found its way into everyday vocabulary for some electricians. Trainee electricians are often rightly confused when they hear this term as of course earth bonding is technically incorrect.

So why do we earth and bond?

In basic terms, the idea of earth and bonding is to prevent electric shock.  Let’s use a kitchen as an example.  If a washing machine were to develop a fault, the current would travel down the earthing path.   Without the earth connection, the metal outer casing of the washing machine could become 'live'.  The principal of earthing is to prevent this situation occurring, by limiting the duration of touch voltages.

Bonding is a connection of all metallic parts using a protective bonding conductor.  So taking our faulty washing machine above, if you were to to touch it and then touch a metal tap in your kitchen, you would be the earth path and could receive a potentially life threatening electric shock.  The lack of bonding (as well as earthing) would create a chain effect of all metallic parts becoming live in the kitchen.  This would also include all pipework too.  It’s quite a scary scenario which is why earthing and bonding are so essential and why it is important to know the difference between the two.  Bonding is intended to limit the magnitude of touch voltages.

Earthing and bonding look very similar visually with each having green and yellow sleeving as identification.  However, both earthing and bonding must be carried out on an electrical installation to meet the safety requirements of BS7671.

Earthing and bonding is an essential requirement of every electrical installation, however it is often overlooked by an unqualified person attempting electrical work themselves.  This is just another reason to only employ a qualified 17th edition electrician or domestic installer to carry out electrical work.

How do I tell if my house has the correct earthing and bonding?

Unfortunately simply checking that the earthing and bonding is not enough. Only trained electrical installer can verify if the earthing and bonding is correct. This is because they will need to ensure the followjg three things:

That the earthing and bonding is actually there

That it is of the appropriate size

And finally that it has been correctly connected

As with most things related to electrical installation never assume and guess everything is fine just because it looks normal. If in doubt, give a professional electrician a shout.