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Electrical Warehouse Blog

  • Essential Tools That Every Amateur Electrician Should Have


    Any seasoned electrician will be aware that there are certain tools and equipment that you should always carry with you to work. If you’re undertaking a DIY job or you’re just starting out in the industry, then you’ll need to know which primary tools should be taken to your first job as an apprentice or amateur electrician. This article will discuss the essential tools that you’ll be required to invest in, so that you can be sure you’re fully prepared for your next job.

    Electrical meters and testers

    Every electrician needs to include meter and tester tools in their tool bags. A multimeter is essential and comes in handy when reading currents. It is capable of reading currents of up to 600 volts. You will also need a variety of testers if you’re starting out. Some of these testers include a tick tester, a plug tester, and a specialized voltage tester.

    Screwdrivers and nut drivers

    Screwdrivers and nut drivers are a must-have practical tool for every electrician. Nut drivers are also very important in driving nuts in and out of objects. If you want to purchase a set of nut drivers, then many brands provide ready-made sets, helping you to cut down the cost of purchasing individual pieces.

    Pliers

    Pliers are one of the single most essential tools or amateur electricians. There are several types of pliers, each with their own use. Side-cutting pliers mainly used for gripping, cutting wires and strip insulation, making them an essential tool for your kit. There are also long nosed pliers which are used to grip small objects and holding and attaching wires. You may also need to invest in a pair of utility pliers, which are used to grip round, square, flat and hexagonal objects.

    Measuring tape

    You’ll need to purchase a tape measure for measuring purposes on the majority of your jobs. A good quality measuring tape should be at least 25 inches long. Get a tape measure that’s at least one inch in width. Narrower tape measures should be avoided as they’re weaker and cannot extend far without bending.

    Tool belt

    A tool belt is essential for easy access to your equipment, whilst also preventing you from losing smaller items. An electrician tool belt should have several pockets where you can keep small tools on one side and hand tools on the other. Go for a tool belt with pockets to hang electrical tapes and loops to hang a hammer. Avoid tool belts with many pockets as it will lead to confusion and also can be bulky and become a hindrance when working.

    Toolbag

    You will also need a tool bag or box to store your equipment going to and from jobs. This will keep your tools intact and prevent you from misplacing them, whilst also reducing the chances of theft. You should avoid using a bucket as a tool bag and instead go for nylon tool bags which has side pockets to keep smaller tools.

  • Best Power Drills on the Market


    If you’re thinking of investing in a new power drill, then you should have a clear idea of the type of model you want and what you want to use if for before heading to the hardware store. It’s also important to note how often you’ll be using the drill as this will help in determining the amount of money that should be spent on purchasing one. We tried out all of the best power drills on the market at the moment, in order to help you to make an informed decision when it comes to picking out your new power drill.

    Corded Hammer Drills

    Corded hammers are used for working on all types of surfaces such as drilling holes in concrete, wood, and bricks. Some of these hammer drills are even strong enough to break up concrete. Hammer drills come with different speeds and power voltages, and therefore, clearly knowing what you want to use the drill for is the best way to decide between each model. For the powerful hammer drills, a rotary action can be turned off to allow it to perform less vigorous actions for smaller jobs. With the rotary action turned off the hammer only breaks concretes.

    Hammer Drills for Beginners

    If you don't have the necessary experience to handle larger types of drill, then the Einhell TC-ID 650E Impact Drill is a better option. It operates at 650 watts, making it very easy to handle. The driller has an action chuck which can be pulled if the drill gets out of control. The drill has a depth stop which shows the user the depth to drill. Furthermore, it has an adjacent switch which you can manoeuvre during the drilling process to ensure that the drill does not go out of control. The impact drill can penetrate up to 25mm in wood and 14mm in concrete.

    Cordless Drill Driver

    Cordless drills work well in areas with no access to electricity. The drill is operated using a rechargeable battery and performs the tasks of drilling holes in wood and metal. The drills have settings which can help you in adjusting the amount of power needed for a specific function. This prevents the surface of the material from being damaged during the drilling process. There are also some impact drivers which are used to drill holes in specific surfaces. You should take care when purchasing a cordless drill, as the cost will vary greatly from model to model. In general, cordless drills are cheaper than corded models.

    Combination drill

    The combination drill includes some of the features of a rotary hammer and some of the functions of a drill driver. It is also operated using a battery. A combination drill can be best used for tasks such as putting up shelves with use of the hammer action. Holes can be drilled as usual in to the walls by turning off the hammer function. Lastly, the combination drill can be used to fix brackets both to the shelf and wall.

    Conclusion

    These are the best and most advanced drilling tools on the market, and they each come with different functions. To avoid confusion, its essential to first understand the specific purpose of your drill before purchasing it. Whether you’re a beginner or a qualified construction worker, this knowledge is essential.

  • 8 Reasons Why You Should Go For a Cordless Drill


    Whether you’re a seasoned construction worker or you’re just learning the basics of simple DIY tasks, a good drill is essential. Anyone who ventures in to the tool department of their local hardware store is bound to come across a multitude of both corded and cordless drill models, all within a fairly wide price range.

    While corded drills have typically been associated with higher power output, cordless drills are now being made with higher voltages and quickly catching up with corded models in terms of their drilling power. As well as offering practicality, cordless drills come with a whole host of benefits that you may not know about. Here are some of the reasons why you should consider going for cordless drill.

    Convenience

    Cordless drills allow for practicality and freedom of movement as users are able to conduct their work in remote locations without having to worry about finding a nearby outlet. You won’t have to keep on pulling several meters of cables as you do your work, making them a lot more convenient than traditional corded models.

    Safety

    Cordless power tools are safer in general because there is no wire to get tangled, trip over or drill through. As well as this, the voltage required is quite low compared to the 220v - 240v needed for corded drills. Since cordless drills are lighter and don’t have a trailing mains lead, they’re safer to use if you’re doing work that involves climbing up a ladder. However, it goes without saying that all the usual safety measures should be taken when using any drill.

    Built-in work light

    Cordless drills are flexible since they can be used in all conditions. They’ll usually come with an LED work light which helps to illuminate dimly lit areas at close range while you’re working on them. Again, this eliminates the need for trailing wires around your work area as all of your tools are battery powered.

    Extended battery life

    With the help of technological advancement, several cordless drill models have been designed that use lithium-ion technology which is commonly used in mobile phones. The lithium-ion battery is lightweight and of better capacity compared to older battery types.

    Hammer action

    Cordless drills are hammer action enabled. This plays a vital role in that it manipulates the chuck severally to boost the momentum to its drilling ability. This helps most when working on rough surfaces such as concrete.

    Gears for increased torque

    Gears help ease driving in screws. They can be optimised to produce faster speed with both low torque and high torque. Most of the cordless drills come with two to three gears. A single gear can still be more effective but for professional work, three gears are better.

    Speed Control

    Cordless drills have the ability to change speed. This is possible by varying the power input when working on different surfaces. The drill works better with those people who lack the experience operating the power drills. It ensures accuracy during the drilling process.

    Greater Versatility

    Cordless drills have enhanced functions compared to the preexisting ones. Most of them come with drilling kits which give one more option when carrying out multiple jobs. Some cordless drills have more advanced features such as keyless SDS chucks. They help improve drilling in metals and concrete.

  • How to Replace a Fuse in Fuse Box

    fuse-box

    It’s important to learn how to replace a fuse in your home, to ensure that electrical systems don’t become faulty and dangerous. If a fuse blows, then it’s an indication that the electrical systems in your house are currently faulty. You should, therefore, make a hasty point of rectifying the situation before it gets any worse or poses any additional danger. The good news is that there is clear information on how you can go about correcting it. Here are the steps you should consider in order to correctly replace a fuse in a fuse box.

    Turn off the Main Power Switch

    Once you notice that a fuse has blown in your house, the first thing you need to do is switch off the main power supply. You should start off by turning off the main power switch at the switchboard to prevent any dangers of being electrocuted. You can try to identify which fuse has blown by looking carefully inside the switchboard for the equipment the fuse controls. If one of the pieces of metal inside has melted a little, or the glass window near the top of fuse now has discolouration, it is a clear sign the fuse has blown. Once you identify it clearly you can get started, having done this, the next thing is to do is switching all the lights then unplug all the appliances that are in the faulty circuit.

    Replacing the Fuse Wire

    When it comes to replacing the fuse wire, there are many types of fuses that work quite differently. If you are unsure of how your particular fuse works, you can examine one of the intact fuses and see the wiring as it runs. While replacing the fuse wire, it’s important to consider the correct rating for your fuse box and electrical circuit, with the current usually indicated on the front side of the fuse carrier. Depending on the equipment you’re using, you’ll have to use certain ratings as recommended.

    For instance, lighting circuits use 5 amp wires which shouldn’t ever surpass 10 amps. Socket outlets require 10 amp wires that shouldn’t go beyond 15 amps and finally, large appliances like electric stoves will require a larger amp. While replacing the fuse wire, ensure that no excess wire is left out of the fuse carrier as it may be dangerous. After successfully doing all these things, you can go ahead to replace the fuse wire.

    Precautions

    While replacing a fuse in the fuse box, you need to take into account some precautions so that you do a great deal in reducing the likelihood of the danger of being harmed. To begin with, you should never attempt to replace a fuse wire with a larger fuse wire or any other object that is not appropriate. Additionally, if you follow all these procedures after a fuse blows with no noticeable change, it's recommendable to call a qualified electrician owing to the fact that the underlying fault may be more complex and call for professional attention.

  • How to Add Extra Electrical Sockets

    electrician-installing-socket

    Electrical sockets provide interconnection with your electrical extensions. There are different ways to increase the number of electrical sockets you currently have, whether having a single socket converted to a double socket, utilising a junction box, or mounting a socket where none existed. To safely add extra sockets into a circuit, there are some key procedures that should be followed. Firstly, ensure that the proper cable is well connected to the right ring circuit. The circuit should adhere to RCD protection.

    Safety

    Before getting started with the job, it’s important to observe the following safety precautions:

    - Switch off the main power from the consumer unit.

    - Separate the circuit you want to work on by removing the fuse or flipping the circuit breaker switch. If it’s a fuse, keep the fuse in safe place to avoid misplacement

    - Pin a notice indicating you are working on the circuit.

    - Use a tester or a voltmeter to ascertain whether the circuit is dead or functioning.

    Ways of Mounting Sockets

    Electrical sockets can be surface or flush-mounted. It is easier to fit a surface socket than a flush-mount socket. The flush-mount sockets, while more complex to fit, looks sleeker and is less vulnerable to physical damage.

    - Flush-mounting sockets on solid walls: Adding extra sockets can be a dusty task. It involves cutting plaster from the masonry wall. Hence, it’s advisable to put on gloves and protective glasses. Check whether there are any pipes in the wall behind. If the wall is clear, hold your flush-mount into the hollow. Let the socket rest in position.

    Now, get your drill bit, and then fasten the socket to the wall using screws. A socket template can be used to make the task easier. Finish up by cutting off the plaster using a hammer and bolster. Brush off the debris. Hold the socket box in position and cut the cable channel before fixing the socket to the flush-mount. Make sure the holes coincide and fit well to the mount. Finally, make the connections and fix the faceplate on the flush-mount.

    - Flush-mounting a socket on a stud wall: Mounting a new socket on a stud wall is easy. This method is preferred when the socket box is curved and has springs and lugs that press against the plasterboard. Decide the appropriate position you want to fit the device. You can gently tap the wall with a hammer to identify a hollow to avoid stud frustrations. Hold the box against the wall and ensure it is horizontal using a spirit level. Make a trace around the socket. Cut off the plaster and remove the waste from the wall. Try to fix the socket box in the hole. If it fits, remove unfinished knock-outs then push the socket in the hole. Ensure the socket grips the plasterboard firmly. Connect the cables and fit the faceplate. Test whether the socket is working properly using a tester.

    - Mounting double sockets: Position the double pattress on the plaster. Using pencil draw the pattress outline on the wall. Cut away the plaster and try to fit the pattress. If it fits, fasten it using screws to the plasterboard. After the pattress is well placed, straighten the wires and connect to the appropriate terminals. The cables should be well marked to avoid short-circuit. Then put the faceplate to cover the pattress. Use a tester to verify.

  • How to Wire an Emergency Light

    emergency-exit-light-sign

    Emergency lights are designed to come on when the power goes off, designed to avoid any dangerous situations that could occur because the lights went off after a power outage. They are often used in public facilities or businesses where additional safety precautions are required by law, but you can have an emergency lighting system for your own home to avoid power outage difficulties.

    It’s relatively simple to wire an emergency light, with the first choice being whether to use the centre standby source of emergency light or the self- contained emergency fittings. The central standby source emergency light may include lead, acid batteries and/or control chargers. The self-contained emergency fittings incorporate the lamp, battery, charger and control gears. Take the necessary safety precautions before installing the emergency light by ensuring the breaker your light is connected to is tripped to avoid shock and other possible risk. Here are the key stages you should follow when wiring an emergency light.

    Examining the Emergency Exit Positions

    Before installing the emergency lights ensure you examine all the available emergency exits. These routes are the most common placement for an emergency light. Each one of them should be clearly labelled and should all lead to points of safety. These routes should be used during emergency times when risks such as fire could be at play. Any time that you are replacing one emergency light is a good time to check on all of your emergency exits.

    Determining the Electrical Voltage

    You first have to identify the electrical voltage of the connection being made to the light fixture. After that ensure you examine the connections on the unit. Note that the 120v wire should be black in colour while the common wire will be white in colour. You should also have a wire of 277v which will be red in colour, so you’ll need to determine which voltage is required for the light in question.

    Wiring for the Power Systems

    Make sure you mount the unit either generally or partially before wiring. Ensure the cables and cabling system for the power systems resist the effect of fire and mechanical damage. Also install the cables in areas of low fire risk. An effective emergency light also needs test switches. Ensure that you install the test switches to enable you test and stimulate the failure of the normal supply.

    Placement of the Emergency Light

    Make sure that the lighting units in big rooms are interspersed throughout the room. The bulbs should be attached to the ceiling or columns. Don’t forget to place emergency lights close enough to each other to provide consistent visibility in a corridor should there be a power outage.

    Incorrect installation of an emergency light can lead to burn out of the transformer and circuit board, resulting in an inoperable or broken unit. Always remember to obtain relevant information and all of its exits either from diagrams, site surveys or questioning the responsible personnel.

  • How to Replace Electrical Sockets

     

    replacing-electrical-sockets

    Electrical sockets, just like any other electrical components in our homes, industries or offices become defective. Due to years of regular and in many cases constant use, wear and tear can take effect. This calls for action to replace them so that we can continue enjoying and benefiting from their safe service. It’s obviously vital to know how to replace electrical sockets before beginning the replacement procedure, so here’s an overview.

    Preparation

    The first step on how to replace electrical sockets is to ensure that the required tools are available. These include, but not limited to a screwdriver, a pair of pliers as well as the new electrical circuit you intend to replace the current socket with. The next step is to make sure that power is turned off at the mains or at the circuit breaker. This is a precautionary to prevent electrical shocks to you as well as fire that may be as a result of a short circuit. This step ensures that there is no electrical current on the circuit you are working on. Switching off at the specific socket breaker gives you the advantage of still being able to operate the lighting while replacing the socket.

    Removing the Old Socket

    The next step is to unscrew the socket from the electrical box. The socket, in most cases is secured by two screws to the electrical box on the wall. You’ll need an appropriate screwdriver, with most screws opening in an anticlockwise direction. Once you have unsecured the socket, you will need to pull it gently from the box. The next step is to note how the socket has been wired and if necessary, label the individual cable wires or take a clear digital photo to help you to remember where each wire goes.

    Most electrical wiring designs make use of colour coding so as to identify the functions of individual wires. The red/brown wire is the live, the blue wire is the neutral wire and the green/yellow wire is the earth wire. The wires at the socket are each secured by small screws. Loosen these screws using the screwdriver until you feel there is enough room to pull out the wires from the socket that needs replacement.

    Adding the New Socket

    Loosen the screws on the new socket where the individual wires will be secured until there is enough room to insert the wires. Take caution not to loosen these screws too much, to avoid the screws falling out and getting lost. If need be, straighten the socket circuit leads that you pulled out from the old socket using your pliers. Make sure that there is enough of the wire lead exposed from the insulation on the wires, as this will be necessary to make the connection. The wire leads shouldn’t be too long, to avoid short circuiting nor too short, so as to ensure connection.

    Firmly hold one lead at a time while securing it to its respective screw hole using the provided screw and the screwdriver. The screwdriver should now be rotated clockwise so as to fasten the wires. Do not secure the screws too tight, to avoid the wire leads breaking or too loose, to avoid the wire leads losing connection with the outlet.

    The next step is securing the socket to the electrical box. Since you have pulled a bit of wire length from the electrical box, push it back so as to make some room for the socket to be properly secured. Secure the socket on the electrical socket using the wall socket screws. Ensure that the socket is tightly secured such that it cannot be moved easily while attached on the electrical box.

    Testing the Replaced Socket

    The next step is testing your newly replaced socket. Switch the power on, depending on where you had switched off (at the mains or at the socket breaker). Attach a voltage tester to the socket to check it is operating safely, and then an electrical device such as a lamp, and switch on the socket switch. The lamp should light up and operate consistently, if not then you may have made a mistake during the replacement so would need to repeat the process.

  • What are the Best Value Electric Showers Currently on Offer?

    triton-t80z

    Electric showers are widely used nowadays. Before purchasing an electric shower, it is of course good to gain a little insight into design quality, level of performance and how durable they are. There are many current options for stylish and functional showers, so we thought we’d select a few which offer the best value for your money. After examining their critical features and understand how they function. A good electric shower should be aesthetically appealing and fit into your bathroom. Here are three of the  best electric showers:

    Triton T80 Series

    The white T80 series comes with a chrome riser to hold the shower in place. Its type has been used in British bathrooms for more than 30 years now. It is stylish and durable, a blend of new generation design with the same lasting quality and functionality. It has a riser rail protection with a convenient on/off push button. The power and temperature controls are separated for safety. The shower head has a five-spray pattern. It has low pressure and power-on LED indicators. The T80 series include 7.5 Kw, 9.5Kw, 8.5kW and 10.5 kW power rating. Some of its technical specifications include approval from BEAB and BSI kite mark.

    Redring Active A7 Electric Shower

    The Redring Active A7 shower is available in 7.2 KW or 8.5 KW with a colour choice of white or chrome. It comes with a raiser rail and an adjustable clamp. It has an electric solenoid on/off mechanism. In addition to the full temperature stabiliser with “smart stop” hot water purge, it also has a  cable for cold water. It has dual controls that contain on/off and power selection. The shower looks great in many bathroom settings, with its sleek white finish with chrome accessories. These accessories include a soap dish and hose retaining ring. The design blends well with different theme colours. It has three power settings and a power indicator light.

    Redring Active A8 Electric Shower

    This electric shower comes in white and chrome. It has a “smart stop” hot water purge that stabilises water temperature. The control set has three power settings and an LED Power indicator. It has rotary on/off controls and power selection, with the Redring Active A8 also coming with a high quality accessory kit. The accessory kit contains an attached soap dish, raiser rail, hose retainer and an adjustable clamp. There is an extended all-round entry access cable with cold water supply and controls for temperature and power selections. The shower also comes with over-heat protection and is available in 7.2 KW and 8.5 KW models.

    Conclusion

    A key quality for electric showers is the ability for the shower to both cater for style and pass the durability test. Each of these models has features that make them easy and safe to use, with the rail raiser and other accessories giving you added value for your money. There are a variety of power ratings you can choose from on each, offering energy efficiency and your ideal showering temperature. Each of these electric showers also has over-heat protection and is fully temperature-stabilised for safety’s sake. Any of them would make a great choice.

  • How to Safely Check for Electrical Cables in Walls


    Why is it Important to Properly Check for Electrical Cables?

    When trying to make renovations or repairs to your home it is extremely important to safely check for electrical cables in the walls. Not only will checking the placement of the electrical cables save time and money by preventing you from making unnecessary repairs, but it will also help you to avoid harming yourself. When starting a project like this, the first thing that you need to do is gather the right tools and take the time to familiarise yourself with the proper technique so that you can trace, and locate your wiring properly.

    Key Steps & Tools

    To begin safely checking electrical cables, you must start by tracing the electrical wiring within your walls. This can  sometimes be a difficult task, so to figure out where the wiring is placed, you need to begin by looking at the key sockets and appliances in your home so that you can choose the appropriate circuit breaker to switch off for the section of the house you are working on. This ensures you can work safely on your electrical cables and wiring.

    Next, it is crucial to have the proper equipment and tools to be able to trace the wiring that is located within the wall. One of the tools that you can use to help you locate the electrical cables is a stud finder. A magnetic stud finder will detect metals and nails within the wall stud, while an electronic stud finder actually works through means of the small electrical field that it produces. When the electrical stud finder detects a change in the wall, it will alarm you by producing a light or sound, or some stud finders do both. If you’ve not already purchased a stud finder, it may help to purchase an electronic stud finder that actually has the capability of detecting wires behind walls. However, you must keep in mind that not all electronic stud finders are equipped with wire detection.

    Finding Your Wires

    Once you have used a stud finder, use a voltage detector to find your live wires. The purpose of the voltage detector is to test whether the electrical wires are live or not. If you are on a strict budget you could alternatively purchase a neon circuit tester. This tool is inexpensive and can also detect the voltage of cable wiring. Another option available to you is a tone generator, also known as a probe, probe kit or an audible alarm voltage detector.

    If you happen to come across a problem, for example a wire that you are not sure where it leads, or wires that are tangled, use a probe to locate the correct wire. If you are not comfortable with these methods, you can purchase stud finders with wire sensing modes or even all-in-one wire tracers that provide instructions. There are many approaches to safely and accurately finding the placement of electrical wires, just make sure to find the method that works best for you, so that you can safely find the wiring and complete the task at hand carefully.

  • How to Become a JIB-Approved Electrician

    jib

    Achieving professional accreditation as an electrician requires an individual to display excellent credentials and experience levels. One of the leading accreditations in the UK is becoming a JIB-approved electrician. In 1968 the Electrical Contractors Association and Unite the Union joined forces to establish the Joint Industry Board (JIB) for the approval of electrical operatives. These are the key requirements for becoming JIB-Approved:

    A Diploma Level 3 for Electrotechnical Installations

    This is one of the fundamental courses when training to becoming an electrician, a method to start developing the critical skills, roles and responsibilities in the installation and maintenance of electrical systems. All electricians in the industry must have Level 3 qualifications to perform any electrotechnical installations. It may seem obvious to say, but you must fulfil all the prerequisite qualifications of an electrician to be approved by JIB.

    At least Two Years’ Experience

    Before applying to become a JIB-approved electrician, you must have worked for two years as an electrician in your professional duties. During these two years you should have applied theoretical knowledge on-site and gained a clear practical insight of electrical installations that will serve you during your inspection.

    Competence in Testing and Inspection

    You must show that you are qualified in testing and inspection up to all satisfactory Level 3 certification. The certification should cover the full length of the duties of inspection and testing of electrical installations. These qualifications may also require either an EAL Level 3 or the City and Guilds 2394 certification for electrical installations. You may also qualify with an EAL Level 3 for periodic, inspection, testing and certification.

    ECS Installation Electrician Card

    The ESC Installation Card is for candidates who have completed their UK Electrotechnical Level 3 NVQ. This card is for electricians who work directly for customers. The card demonstrates that you have completed all of the necessary industry qualifications and are competent to handle any electrotechnical installation. It shows competence in both theory and practical assessments. You will be required to apply for the card if you are an electrician performing any installation, maintenance and commissioning of low voltage electrical and electronic appliances for customers without supervision.

    Electrical Engineering Skills

    Becoming a JIB-approved electrician requires practical and efficient electrical engineering skills. You should have worked on serious professional projects without immediate supervision, and if possible, have managed other electricians when required to do so. You must know how to set out drawings and examine clients’ specifications and the materials required for making electrical installations. You should be able to complete a full electrical installation job in a high quality manner.

    Understand Industry Requirements

    As a JIB-approved electrician you must have knowledge of the electrical contracting industry regulations and the National Working rules. You should also be proficient on the recent IEE rules for electrical installation and the 1988 Electric Supply Regulations. These are important if you are to deal with different clients and enable you to make informed decisions. In addition, you should have clear comprehension of consumer safety regulations.

     

    Conclusion

    JIB gives you an added advantage in the field over other electricians. It is important to utilise the main accreditation bodies to further your career. It is critical to recognise that there are certain compulsory requirements you need to meet to be JIB-approved. Note that it takes patience, ability and experience to be approved. You can always look for more detailed appropriate information at the JIB or ESC website.

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