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Trade Skills 4U Open New Training Centre In Coventry

Posted by Elaine Hammond on 30th July 2019

We are proud to announce that on Monday 29th July 2019, TS4U officially opened a brand-new centre of excellence at Westwood Business Park in Covenrtry.

Opening a state-of-the-art centre in the Midlands, just west of Coventry, situated between the M1, M6 and M40 means customers based in Birmingham, Leicester, Peterborough, Northampton, Milton Keynes and the surrounding areas can easily access the centre. Students are now able book onto a range of courses being delivered at the centre including; City & Guilds Diploma’s, Domestic Installer Packages, Inspection & Testing plus many more.  

Carl Bennett, Chairman & Founder of Trade Skills 4U said: “I am extremely excited with the opening of the new centre. We have conducted a lot of research in the area to ensure that this is the perfect location to run our courses from. We can see from the people attending our centres in Gatwick, Leeds and Warrington that there is customer demand from around the region, so it makes sense for us to expand to this area.”

The new facility will offer brand new state-of-the-art classrooms and workshops that have been built to the highest specifications with the latest technology. The announcement comes as a result of significant growth and investment over the last 18 months. The new centre takes the total to four, with training facilities in Gatwick, Leeds and Warrington, as well as satellite centres offering short courses in London, Tyne & Wear, Cardiff, Hatfield and Maidenhead.

“I am very proud that we have opened our latest centre in Coventry” said TS4U’s new CEO Neil Johnson. “This new centre follows the industry leading standards of electrical training provision we have set at our other centres across the UK, offering the latest techniques and innovation in learning for our customers across the region.”

As part of the launch, TS4U will be exhibiting at the Elex Show on the 19th and 20th September 2019 at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry. If you’re there make sure you pop along to Stand C31 to say hello and to find out more about the brand new centre and the courses we offer.

If you would like to visit the centre for a tour or to and speak to a tutor please contact us on 0800 856 4448 alternatively, if you are interested in booking a course, please click here for a full list of courses on offer at the new midlands facility.

Categories: training, electrician, midlands, coventry

Electricians Guide To A Domestic Rewire

Posted by Elaine Hammond on 25th July 2019

Electricians are called upon to carry out many aspects of electrical work, from repairing or replacing a socket or light fitting to modifications and new circuits, as well as new build and commercial installations. However, probably the least favourite of all is the rewire and potentially worse still is the rewire of an inhabited home!

We would like to share with you our guide to the rewire. Find out when a rewire is necessary and the building regulations that need to be adhered to.

The Rewire!

Old or faulty electrics can be a serious fire hazard, which at worst could lead to injury or electrocution. Not only is old wiring dangerous but it also isn’t capable of coping with the demands of modern living.

If you have been asked to quote for a full house rewire or perform significant alterations to a home, then the Building Regulations under Part P come into force.

When is a rewire necessary?

Firstly, you should always meet the client at the place the work is to be carried out to get a clear understanding of what is required prior to completing your estimate of work/costs. You can also at this stage asses the feasibility of the project and how much to charge.

A full rewire should be considered if a property is more than 25 years old and hasn’t been upgraded to bring it up to the current requirements

If major remodelling work is required that constitutes a material alteration, as defined by the Building Regulations, it is likely that a part or full rewire of the property will be required. This would include upgrading the consumer unit

If a property is being extended, or a garage or attic is being converted, this could constitute new work. Therefore, all new wiring will have to conform to Part P: Electrical Safety. Existing wiring will have to be improved to ensure it can carry the additional loads safely

If during a periodic test it is discovered that the cable insulation reading are below acceptable levels

How to tell if a property needs a rewire

A good starting point is to check the type of electricity meter and fuse box (consumer unit). Modern consumer units will have circuit breakers and residual current devices (RCDs). Old fuse boxes will have old fashioned rewireable fuses.

You can also tell by inspecting exposed parts of the wiring as modern electrical installations are wired using grey or white PVC insulated cable.

An indication that a partial rewire has been undertaken is if there is a mix of different switch and socket styles and if there is surface-mounted wiring running up walls or along skirting boards. You may also find examples of old dolly switches or round pin sockets, a sure sign that a rewire is needed.

What’s involved in a rewire?

Rewires are messy and are best achieved in two stages, usually before any plastering has been done and at the same time as any plumbing or central heating work. This is also best achieved without any furniture or carpets in place, as ceilings and walls will need to be cut into and floorboards lifted to allow for installation of cables and wiring. The real difficulty will occur if carrying out a rewire in an inhabited dwelling, where apart from the moving of furniture and lifting of carpet you must ensure that the first and second fix of each circuit needs to be carried out at the same. This is to ensure that the power is reconnected every evening for the occupants to have electricity, which can add significant time and expense to any project.

Second fix is when switches, lights and front faceplates of sockets are fitted, connected up and then tested before being made live.

Things to consider during first fix – which includes all of the wiring for:

circuits and back boxes

internal lighting and external security lights

garden RCD safety sockets

central heating controls

doorbells

smoke detectors and heat alarms

shaving points

television aerial sockets

hard-wired burglar alarms

telephone points

data

speaker cabling

any hidden cabling

Second fix involves:

connecting up the consumer unit

connecting up the boiler, immersion heater and central heating controls

faceplates for sockets and switches

light fittings

wiring any electric fans

cookers and extractor hoods

electric showers

We have put together a handy Domestic Rewire Check List which you are welcome to download here.

How long will it take?

Assuming there are no hidden surprises, a typical kitchen rewire should take two days to complete. A three-bed semi should take two days to first fix and two days to second fix. Larger properties will take much longer.

Moving a consumer meter

The customer will need to contact their electricity utility company and UK Power Networks if the mains connection and meter need to be moved. This will need to be booked in, in advance, as it can take several weeks for the works to start as new cabling, meter and reconnection needs to happen simultaneously. Utility companies and UK Power will charge for this work.

The importance of earthing

Earthing is a vital part of any electrical work to ensure that all circuits are protected and a clear path to earth is in place in the event of a fault within the installation. All new electrical  installations are classed as notifiable work, this means that the work must be carried out and/or signed off by a competent person and Building Control must be informed. If correct earthing is not in place and the test readings do not match those laid out in BS 7671 the installation will not meet regulations and cannot be signed off and energised.

Rewires along with all electrical installations or modification should be carried out by a competent electrician.

Categories: rewire, consumer unit, fuse box, electricity meter

'The Current War' Film review for Electricians

Posted by Carl Davenport on 24th July 2019

the-current-war-movie

Here at TS4U, we were lucky enough to receive tickets to the premiere of The Current War ahead of it’s UK release on Friday.

The film depicts the intense rivalry between the great American inventor Thomas Edison and entrepreneur George Westinghouse in their race to light up America and ultimately power the world. This epic period piece features Benedict Cumberbatch, Michael Shannon and Nicholas Hoult as Thomas Edison, George Westinghouse and Nikola Tesla, respectively, with Tom Holland supporting as Samuel Insull, Edison’s ever loyal secretary.

Opening in 1879, immediately after Edison has perfected the 13-hour incandescent lightbulb, we are treated to a beautifully staged concentric circle of bulbs bursting into life thanks to Chung-Hoon Chung’s outstanding cinematography. We are presented with Edison standing at the centre of it all, a contented grin upon his face, awaiting the inevitable clamour of investment which ultimately comes from renowned financier J. P. Morgan.

DC vs. AC: The limitations

Financial backing in place, Edison manages to light up five Manhattan blocks, but Pittsburgh-based businessman George Westinghouse sees the limitations in Edison's direct current (DC) technology. Edison proposed a system of small, local power plants that would power individual neighbourhoods or city sections. Power was distributed using three wires from the power plant; +110 volts, 0 volts, and -110 volts. Lights and motors could be connected between either the +110V or 110V socket and 0V (neutral). 110V allowed for some voltage drop between the plant and the load, but even though the voltage drop across the power lines was accounted for, power plants needed to be located within 1 mile of the end user. This limitation made power distribution in rural areas extremely difficult, if not impossible.

Switching from gas and co-opting some of Edison's discoveries, Westinghouse began working successfully with alternating current (AC). Despite several setbacks, such as Edison suing over for the use of screw fittings on his Sawyer-Man incandescent bulbs (ultimately leading to the invention of what we now know as the bayonet fitting), Westinghouse persisted in trying to perfect the AC system. The one problem that eluded him was the construction of adequate motors and transformers capable of producing alternating current and stepping the voltage up or down as required.

Nikola Tesla and the bid to power the Chicago World's Fair

Enter visionary engineer Nikola Tesla whose utter conviction in alternating current as a power source for the future put him in direct opposition to Edison’s belief in direct current. Having worked briefly with Edison, solving problems with both generators and the incompatibility of Edisons DC with the wildly popular Arc Lighting in streetlamps, Tesla struck out on his own, filing patents for revolutionary new polyphase AC motors and transformers. This serendipitous matching of minds, the shrewd industrialist and the genius visionary, led to one of the greatest partnerships of the industrial revolution. By acquiring Tesla’s patent rights, Westinghouse now had everything he needed to directly rival Edison’s Direct Current – Just in time to bid for the contract to light the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair.

How hydro-electricity changed the modern world

The rest, as they say, is history. The partnership between Tesla and Westinghouse led to one of the most world-changing inventions of the time; The hydro-electric power plant at Niagara falls. Tesla’s generators produced 50,000 horsepower, a staggering amount of power for the time, and when the switch was thrown, power was sent to Buffalo, New York. Over the coming year, thousands of residents and businesses ordered electricity. The number of generators increased to 10 and power flowed throughout New York City, electrifying Broadway, railways and subways alike. By 1920, 25% of all power in the US was hydro-electric. An interesting post script to the story is that Edison’s original power station continued supplying DC right up until November 2007, 125 years after going online.

Director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon draws out stellar performances from Cumberbatch, Shannon and Hoult who brilliantly portray the trials and setbacks both sides suffered in the war of the currents. While sometimes humorous (Tesla is at one point told that nothing will ever bear his name again), the story is ultimately a touching and intriguing glimpse at what life was like at the forefront of the industrial revolution. For anyone with even a passing interest in the history of electricity, we think this is a must-see movie.

The Current War opens nationwide in cinemas on Friday 26th July.

 

EIC reaches out to electricians with mental health issues

Posted by Elaine Hammond on 2nd July 2019

Life can have its ups and downs

Mental health issues such as stress, anxiety and depression can affect all of us at some point in our lives – but it is how we manage it that controls what impact it has on us. Stress can be caused by many factors including issues at work, at home, in relationships or financial difficulties.

Unfortunately, in the electrical sector mental health issues still remain a taboo subject, making it hard for those experiencing problems to open up and feel understood. That is why it is vital that people feel comfortable discussing their mental health and know where they can go for support if needed. This is where the Electrical Industries Charity (EIC) can help.

Mental Health problems can affect anyone at any time

Working in the construction industry, where demanding workloads, long hours and short-term projects are the norm, it’s not surprising that this is a high risk area for workplace stress. Worryingly the numbers show that:

95% of people in the industry lie about how they are feeling, and because of the stigma associated with mental health won’t tell anyone that they are struggling

More than half of people working in the industry have at some time reported experiencing mental health issues

People are suffering in silence often making the situation far worse

Unfortunately, when these issues aren’t handled effectively situations can sadly turn, in some cases ending with tragic consequences.

Suicide rates for construction workers are three times higher than average

It is possible a colleague could be suffering with a mental health issue in silence, and might need your support. The shocking facts are:

In the UK every four minutes someone tries to kill themselves and every hour someone will succeed!

The risk of suicide for those working in the building and construction industry is 1.6 times higher than the national average.

Last year 6,122 deaths in the UK were attributed to suicide, of which 76% were men.

The Electrical Industries Charity (EIC) are there to help

The stigma around mental health can be a silent killer, therefore it is so important that early intervention is key to preventing mental health problems spiralling out of control.

Tessa Ogle, Managing Director of the Electrical Industries Charity, urges the industry not to turn a blind eye to mental health problems that are affecting thousands of people in the electrical sector.

The EIC offer help to anyone associated with the electrical industry such as employees, employers and their families, through a range of free confidential support services.

The wellbeing of workers in the electrical sector is extremely important to the EIC. Their Employee Assistance Program (EAP), funded by the powerLottery is there to help those in the industry access free support services during their most challenging of times. Some of the services they offer include:

confidential and emotional support

telephone counselling

careers advice and assistance

Managing Director, Tessa Ogle says: “Powerlottery is one of the best ways to help the Charity to transform the lives of our colleagues who are in need. For as little as £1 you will be able to make a huge difference in someone’s life while having a chance to win one of 40 cash prizes.”

To date over 21,000 people have signed up to the Charity’s powerLottery to show their support allowing the Charity to continue providing life-changing services to thousands of industry colleagues and their families.

Anant Savani’s story

Every £ spent can help people like Anant to get access to crucial support services in a time of need and help to turn their lives around.

Anant felt that he couldn’t share his feelings of anxiety and depression with his colleagues or his friends and family, and as a result, he became severely depressed and ultimately suicidal. Fortunately he was referred to the EIC by a former colleague, and he is now receiving counselling and ongoing support from the Charity, which will help him to get back on his feet and look forward to a brighter future.

Don’t suffer in silence!

If you or someone you know is suffering with stress, anxiety or mental health problems you may feel overwhelmed and that you have no control over what’s happening. If you need of assistance please don’t hesitate, call the Access Assistance line on 0800 652 1618.

If you would like to find out more about the charity please click here.

Categories: electrical charity, anxiety, depression