Your Fusebox – the fusebox also known as consumer unit should be easy to find. You should make sure you know where it is in case you ever need to turn the electricity off in an emergency. It usually contains three things, and they are used to control and distribute electricity around your home. They are: The main switch; Fuses and/or circuit breakers; and Residual Current Devices.
A) MainSwitch – this allows you to turn off the electricity supply to your home. You might have more than one mains switch, for example if your home has electric storage heaters. In this case you may have a separate fusebox.
B) Residual Current Devices (RCD) these are switches that trip a circuit under dangerous conditions, and instantly disconnect the electricity.
If your home has one or more RCD, test them regularly. Just follow the instruction label, which you should find near to the RCD. It should read as follows:
“This installation, or part of it, is protected by a device which automatically switches off the supply if an earth fault develops. Test every three months by pressing the button marked ‘T’ or ‘Test’.”
Testing the button every three months is important. The device should switch off the electricity. You should then switch it back on to restore the electricity. Do not hold the test button for a long period if the RCD does not trip. If it doesn’t switch off the electricity when you press the button, contact a registered electrician.
C) Circuit Breakers – these are automatic protection devices in the fusebox that switch off a circuit if they detect a fault. They are similar in size to fuses, but give more precise protection. When they ‘trip’, you can simply reset the switch. But make sure you correct the fault first.
Fuses (not on the image, may be found in place of circuit breakers) –rewirable fuses have a piece of special fuse wire running between two screws. When a fault or overload current flows through the fuse wire, it will become hot and melt. The melted fuse breaks the circuit, disconnecting the faulty circuit and keeping you safe.
If your fusebox has a wooden back, cast iron switches, or a mixture of fuses it is likely that it dates back to before the 1960s and will need to be replaced.
Periodic Inspection Report (PIR) & Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK - WES ELECTRICAL An Electrical Installation Condition Report (E.I.C.R.) previously known as a Periodic Inspection Report (P.I.R) is like a M.O.T for the mains power electrical installation and wiring of your property. Some properties are required by law to conduct an E.I.C.R. at set intervals, depending on the type of use and if the public have access. There is no obligation for private domestic properties which are not rented out to have a valid E.I.C.R . but many property owners employ the services of a qualified electrician to conduct an E.I.C.R. to be aware in what condition the installation is. A report is only issued once all the circuits have been visually inspected and electrically tested. If the installation is considered to be in a good condition and complies with the regulations a ‘Satisfactory’ certificate is applied which gives the
I’ve just enrolled on a three-year course to become an electrician . It’s a complete career change, but after being made redundant four times from the engineering sector, I want a job that is “recession-proof”. However, because I now attend college during the week, I’m only available to work part-time. I’m worried this could put recruiters off from hiring me. Am I doing the right thing? Steven, 58, via email You’ve certainly taken a bold step, Steven. Throwing your own money and time into a three-year course is not easy and demonstrates your commitment to changing careers. To some extent, your reasons for wanting to become an electrician are sound: businesses and home owners will always need electricians . A word of caution though. The industry is far from “recession proof”. As construction and manufacturing projects have been scaled back over the last few years, so too has the need for all the trades associated with them – and electricians have suffered. David Marshall, of