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Frequently Asked Electrical Questions

Do I have to wait all day for your electrician?

No, we provide 2 hour time slots for our electrician to arrive. The vast majority of call-out work can be completed in less than an hour.

Do you provide free quotations?

For larger projects such as lighting design, LCD wall mounting and AV installations, house rewires etc. we will provide you with a free quotation. Obviously, it is not cost effective for us to send someone to quote for a repair. In that instance we charge per hour + VAT, with a 1 hour minimum charge.

Are your electricians qualified?

Yes, all our electricians are NAPIT or NICE qualified.

Are you insured?

Yes, we carry £2 Million worth of insurance.

Q: What is an RCD?

A: RCD stands for Residual Current Device. These are what used to be called ELCB’s (Earth Leakage Circuit Breakers). They are usually fitted as standard to most domestic consumer units in houses built after about 1980. Note that they tend to only protect certain parts of the distribution panel wiring (e.g. the kitchen or utility ring main), in a so-called “split-load” consumer unit. They are designed to quickly trip and interrupt the supply to the circuit they are protecting, when an imbalance is detected between the neutral and live in the case of an RCD, or when there is a current in the earth wire of the protected circuit, above a preset limit (usually 30mA), in the true ELCB. You can also purchase “plug-in” ones, ideal for mowers, vacuums, and hair dryers, and an RCD plug (replaces the plug), for things like shower pumps. For an excellent article on how an RCD works, see the TLC ARTICLE. Although the primary protection is the fuse in the plug, these do not blow for some fault conditions, and they are there mainly to protect the wiring and the appliance from overloads. To protect the user from shocks and earth leakage faults, the RCD is ideal for this.

Q: My RCD on the consumer unit trips out, what do I do?

A: If this is a solid fault (i.e. it won’t reset), it is most likely due to a faulty appliance that is plugged in all the time, but has developed a fault that is creating a current to earth, or a current in the live not all going though the neutral part of the protected circuit. Most likely culprits are the washing machine, dishwasher, or dryer. Try unplugging each one in turn, until the RCD holds latched in the ON state. If it is not one of those items, and your Freezer is also on that circuit, try unplugging that too. If that is NOT the problem appliance, do not open the door, get an extension lead, and plug it into another room plug as a temporary measure (on a circuit not affected), until you locate the faulty appliance. Other culprits can be a kettle, or steam iron, (usually anything that comes into contact with water!). However, don’t forget that even small things like radio alarm clocks, and plug-in timers, chargers, and mains adaptors can cause the RCD to trip out, so go around and check ALL your items. If you still cannot find the problem, call in a professional tradesman.

Q: How do I change a lamp pendant or ceiling rose?

A: Firstly ensure all power is off to the lighting circuit you are dealing with. Unscrew the ceiling rose cover, and remove the old pendant fitting. In case the wiring is different to that shown in the diagram, make a note of it. Note also that the new wiring colours may now be used in new houses, as the IEE have released an emendment to the BS7671:2001 (IEE Wiring Regulations) in March 2004. The wiring in the ceiling will be either 1.0 or 1.5mm flat twin and earth suitable for lighting. See http://www.iee.org/cablecolours for an article on this. TLC also has some excellent information about this, at: http://www.tlc-direct.co.uk/Technical/DataSheets/Cable/Index.htm The new fitting (chandelier, etc.) may not have room, or cover the existing base, so if it has to be removed, carefully rewire all the existing wiring into an appropriately sized connector block, following the correct wiring scheme. If this is a bedroom or landing fitting, you may find it easier to fit a junction-box in the loft, just near to where the fitting will be then connecting up with a single piece of twin and earth.

Q: What should I do if I'm unsure about electrical safety?

A: You should contact a fully qualified electrician, such as Shoreditch Electricians who will be happy to reassure you and visit your premises if needs be. Call us on 0208 798 3005 or contact us by e-mail.


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The Shoreditch Electricians Difference

Free Quotations Electrical services Customer satisfaction Contact us
We provide FREE quotations for house re-wiring. Our quotations are fully specified with no obligation to you. Our services include: qualified electricians, air conditioning repair, lighting installations, electrical safety certificates. We work hard to ensure that our customers receive a quality of service that continues to build our reputation. For more information on our full range of electrical services, just contact us.
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