This FAQ section has been added to answer some of the questions we get regularly. You can either read it all, or jump to the relevant topic by click on it from the services links below (a few lines down).
If you have any questions, send them to me at [email protected]
ALSO Check out our DOWNLOADS (All free, no sign-up)
What are our main Services?
Here’s the main list of Services we do. Click any link to get more information on that service:
Do we do Domestic, Commercial or Industrial work?
We do a mix. The short story is this …
Simon worked for many years since 1988 in the Industrial sector (Car Industry, Semiconductors and more … High production)
BUT when starting this company (In August 2007), switched to Domestic and Commercial, but still doing some Industrial work too.
Here’s the quick summary:
– PAT Testing
– New Installs
– Rewires (On unoccupied and empty properties only)
Commercial and Industrial Work:
– PAT Testing
– Smaller Installations only
(No Rewires – These need a bigger team)
Where can I see the Prices? (Price … We want the Price!)
Make sure you read the “How can I pay less?” section below too!
Many of the Prices can be seen by selecting the relevant service here.
OR Check out the Price List in the Downloads Area.
If you have ALREADY requested a Quote, then please look out for the Text or Email with your price.
Some of the more complex services don’t show a price because they will vary, however ALL our quotes are free, so this service will offer you a Quote appointment if that is that case.
How Soon Can We Come Out?
This varies depending on the tasks being carried out (and the time of year!).
But our Online Booking tool can be used to get a price and check availability, without the need to commit to an appointment. By that I mean you can use the tool just to view our calendar 🙂
So this means you can check at a glance in REAL TIME!
(State of the art or what?)
What Areas do we cover?
Not as simple as just producing a map or list of postcode areas. But it’s kind of like this …
We cover most areas of Leeds other than the far reaches (out in the sticks) and don’t often cross the motorway. But we also do some of the BD postcodes too, but “this side” of Leeds.
HOWEVER for smaller jobs the distance might be a bit shorter, as the time taken to travel can often swallow up the profit. BUT see the next question as there is a solution to this.
How can I Pay LESS?
Oh dear this one is always a bit of a bugger! HOWEVER let me try and answer a few things in one question here.
First off … A minimum charge applies. It’s NOT a callout charge (we do not have a callout charge). It’s simply the minimum job value for a visit if only a small job needs doing (to make it worth out while, but also to allow us to offer that service, as many of our competitors don’t do small jobs). So it makes us both happy. We get our worth (as there’s travel too) and you get the small job done.
SO an obvious tip is to get more done in one go. That way the minimum charge will be surpassed and that will no longer be an issue.
Secondly make sure you take advantage of a Bundle Deal. For example, if you get PAT Testing at the same time as an EICR, you get £40+VAT discount.
Now I want to clear something up here. This whole talk of “cheap” ahhh it makes me laugh! (Or sometimes cry!)
PLEASE know that there is no such thing as cheap!
– When someone is just starting out, they charge a lot less as they are gaining experience. However that’s the issue … They are gaining experience! Do you want that on your house from someone with their own business? Often Electricians start their own business too early when they are not experienced enough (And I mean VERY often in Leeds sadly!). In my case I had 19 years experience before starting my own company!
– So you get a better experience AND someone who is more used to dealing nicely with customers (used to being organised etc) but it costs you more
– Here’s the big thing … If you get issues with the cheap job often you can’t get hold of them and then you have to pay someone else the rate that you didn’t want to pay in the first place. So adding any additional decorative costs, it often costs 3 to 5 times more than the origional “cheap” price if it needs to re-done, when all is considered. So it’s not really cheap, is it?
– Then there’s all the missing paperwork and certificates. You know, the one that’s “in the post”!
Anyway, let’s move onto a nice, happy question next 🙂 …
What is Fault Finding?
Fault Finding is where either:
– Something has stopped working completely
– Something is working but a smell is coming from it (please note this is normal in Air Fresheners 😉 )
– Something is working but keeps flickering
– Something is only working now and then (intermittently)
That someone might be an individual item (such as a socket, a light, a shower or an Oven).
Or it might be one or more circuit (Such as all the Upstairs Lights, All the Garage power, or everything in the whole house).
EICRs (Electrical Installation Condition Reports)
What is an EICR?
The confusion is that this has many names (although EICR is the “official” name):
– A Landlord Safety Check
– A Periodic Inspection Report (This is the “old” official term)
– A (Safety) Certificate
– An Inspection Report
If you have heard it called something else, then do let me know and I will add it to the list!
What is a Distribution Board or Consumer Unit?
These terms are often interchanged, and while Distribution Board is more common for Commercial and Industrial clients, all terms are used for Domestic properties.
Being more general in the use, Fuseboard tends to be the name for the old rewireable type of board, whereas Distribution Board or Consumer Unit tend to be the modern equivalent with resettable breakers (or MCBs).
The purpose of this is to supply the electric power around then house from one starting point. But more crucially it is an easily accessible place to be able to isolate the power in an emergency. So if yours is not easy to reach, it should be modified to gain fast access.
Also the individual breakers or fuses protect each circuit automatically by ensuring that each circuit does not exceed a maximum rated value. However this only works if the correct design is used, and everything is in perfect working order.
But fuses and breakers only cover certain types of fault. Plus rewireable fuses are SLOW to blow, so these are not ideal these days.
The introduction of RCD devices (many years ago now!) gives a magnified level of safety, as these are much faster to respond. In addition they protect from many other types of fault that you are otherwise left to gamble with.
If you are unsure whether you have RCD devices fitted (or if they protect all or just some circuits), then send a photo and we can tell you right away.
What is PAT Testing?
PAT Testing is the testing of anything that plugs in (although there are also some other types of item that come under the definition of “portable”).
Whether it is a 240V household plug, a construction site with yellow 110V or Industrial Red/Blue 240V/415V, these should all be PAT tested.
If you look at the definition of EICRs (above) then you will see that this tests the fixed wiring. So there are really two main steps to safety:
- Check that the fixed wiring is in good condition and the protection (at the Distribution Board) is effective
- Make sure that nothing gets plugged into any circuit that will cause problems or risk shock or fire
So PAT testing is effective part of a whole, which is why we offer a Bundle deal to do both together.
What do we mean by Swaps?
A swap is where you would like to replace or exchange an item. This would be either:
– And “end point” accessory, such as a socket, light switch, light fitting, Fused Spur, Extractor, Smoke Detector
– An appliance such as an Oven, Hob, Shower, Hot Tub, Heater, Towel Rail and so on
The reason may be that it doesn’t work (and you know that is the definate fault), or just got bored of it and fancied a nice new one. This often happens during house move or improvements. Changing to nicer light fittings, PVC to chrome sockets, etc
With spotlights this is often when you are changing from a non-fire rated type (i.e. nothing but fresh air on the back of it, with a view straight to the roof space) and you want to fit fire-rated type to comply with regulations.
Isn’t it easy enough to swap things myself?
There’s different people in the world. Some will only do a task if they are super confident they can do it well. While others are scared that something will go wrong and they don’t want to put themselves at risk (especially with Electricity!). Then there’s another group who think that things look easy, they tend to often underestimate a job or some else’s skills or ability.
You see fitting something and fitting it properly are two different things!
Someone reading this will possibly think “ah, but it works ok” or “it’s only a couple of wires”.
However it’s often not what you see, it’s what you don’t see. Let me explain what I mean …
I have been an electrician since 1988 (Yes I am that age! lol) and as many of you know I also do Electrical Inspections. Some of the commons issues are this (When caused by DIY, Kitchen Fitters, Builders and so on) …
– Tightness … “My tools are better than yours, so there! 😉 ” When not using the correct high quality tools (often tungsten tips or similar) then the tightness cannot be guaranteed. It’s this that causes failures (best case) or fires (worst case)
– Messy wiring. If it hidden behind a socket, light, etc it’s easy to thing “meh, what does it matter”. But it doesn’t take much at all, a slight scrub on a metal backbox (due to cables being excessive length). Lots of issues actually happen that would have been avoided from a neat install, This includes fire and shock risk due to cable damage where the insulation gets worn the eventually exposed and shorts (often with a bang).
– Adequately secured. Often with lights they have not been hung on a joist, but on a section of plasterboard, which puts them at risk of falling (best case looks scruffy, worst case exposes live cables)
– Wiring it wrong … Socket actually still work when wired the wrong way around, BUT this means that the Live is no longer switched. I have attended sockets where these have been this way for years! Another great reason for having an EICR done!
Here’s the most common phrase I hear (usually from a woman talking about her husband):
“My husband has been on for hours trying to fit a light fitting. He says he took a photo of the wiring and is 100% certain that the wires are all in the right place. But every time he switches it on, it trips at the fuseboard”
So moral of the story, if you pay someone to do it properly it does cost you money but it saves you a lot of other issues (and also saves you hours of your time so you can do whatever you are best at).
What do you need to be careful of when adding external wiring?
The additional hazards outside come from the surrounding environment such as rain, sunlight (UV), and ingress of dust, etc.
UV is an interesting and less known issue in general. But this is the reason that outside lights done in standard “grey” cable (usually used internally, buried in the walls) hardens over time. It’s the UV that damages it. Instead a flex with a better UV and temperature range is preferred.
Obviously for rain and dust, outdoor sockets should be the type that seal completely. If you do use these with the lid open it would only be in dry weather, and they should be closed again at the end.
These outdoor sockets are designed to have a standard plug connected with the lid closed. They NOT designed for a Power Supply (Such as Christmas lights) to be left in 24/7.
The final obstacle to mention is the routing of cables from the house to a garage or shed or hot tub, etc. Because there are hazards, these should either be routed in easy sight, OR buried deep enough (and this is a while procedure itself) so that gardening equipment doesn’t reach it. The better way to achieve this is usually by using a Steel Wire Armoured cable (SWA). But I am sure you can imagine there are some not so great installations out there that really should be removed.
If you have any issues with yours, just send a photo and I can advise (or call when I am passing to check it out).