As a home-owner in Bourne it’s important to keep your electrical installation in a good condition for continued safe usage. Upgrades to your installation can improve the running costs, safety, functionality and convenience of using the electrical system, e.g. automatic switching.
The upgrades we’ll discuss in this blog are consumer unit upgrades, rewiring, lighting, smart homes and electric vehicle charging.
1. Consumer Unit Upgrade (Fuse Box)
The consumer unit is akin to the heart or brain in that all circuits in your Bourne area home are connected to it. The consumer unit contains the devices that protect the circuits and provides a means of isolating the entire electrical installation.
When upgrading the consumer unit all circuits are identified and tested. The consumer unit will be properly labelled as to what the circuits are or areas they supply. If upgrading from an old fuse box the safety will be much improved as modern MCBs, RCDs and RCBOs are much more sensitive than rewire-able fuses or cartridge fuses. RCDs and RCBOs will provide improved protection when using electrical appliances outside. MCBs are easier to identify when they’ve tripped. They're easier to reset than rewire-able or cartridge fuses. BS7671 requires that circuits are protected by RCDs or RCBOs and that circuits are split up to avoid nuisance tripping in the event of a fault. For this reason RCBOs are my preferred circuit protective devices to use. Surge Protection Devices (SPD) are also now required, this is housed within the consumer unit and protects the installation from over voltages from the supply and lighting strikes.
2. Rewiring Your Home
Rewiring is necessary when the cabling in your Bourne home is old e.g. VIR cables are in use, or when there have been numerous alterations with lots of junction boxes and connections. Rewiring is also a good idea when extensive renovations or building work are being carried out. It’s also necessary to rewire after a fire or flood so as to guarantee there's no faulty or damaged wiring.
The benefits of rewiring are that additional sockets and lights can be added. The cabling will be run in known safe zones and will be in excellent condition. After a rewire a electrical certificate is issued and the work is notified to Local Area Building Control. A rewire is a good opportunity to install cabling for data points, CCTV, telephone and TV. In the UK homes the cable used is ‘twin & earth’ cable, in some situations low smoke cable is used that releases fewer gases and chemicals when burnt. Steel Wire Armoured cable is used to supply garages, sheds and hot tubs. Circuits are typically radial circuits, sometimes a ring circuit may be used for a kitchen or utility area.
3. Energy-Efficient Lighting
Energy efficient lighting helps to reduce the cost of bills, light pollution and helps environmentally too.
The lower wattage of LED lighting means less power is used giving cheaper bills over time. Improved switching including the use of proximity sensors helps ensure that lighting is only used when needed, this also helps reduce light pollution. LED lights have a colour temperature measured as ‘K’. A bulb that has a temperature of 2700k is similar to a traditional incandescent bulb with a yellowish glow. Bulbs at the other end of the scale at 6000k will be a very bright white light. I recommend a temperature of 4000k for kitchens and bathrooms and 2700-3000k for lounges and bedrooms.
4. Smart Home Technology Integration
Smart home technology has advanced leaps and bounds in recent years. Smart homes used to be the preserve of those that could afford the tens of thousands of pounds for specialist cabling, equipment and programming. Now with the advent of wireless internet in the home its possible to access the smart home world with the simple addition of relatively inexpensive smart bulbs.
The major benefit of smart home technology is improved control of the electrical installation, from any where in the world with an internet connection. Smart home technology allows you to answer the door to visitors via a smart doorbell (even open the door with the right equipment), remotely view CCTV, turn lights and sockets on and off, set and unset alarm system. The lights in your Bourne home can be voice activated, with certain systems the lights and heating can be turned on, driveway gates opened via GPS when you’re close to your home.
5. Electrical Panel Upgrade for Electric Vehicles (EVs)
Electric vehicles are becoming very popular in Bourne. With sales of petrol and diesel cars being phased out electric cars are becoming more common place. Unless there is space in the consumer unit and a suitable route to the car charger for the cable, then the easiest way to install a charger is to take a supply from near the electric meter. This will necessitate a separate enclosure for the isolator and RCBO.
There are numerous manufacturers of car chargers, some are budget, others more expensive but with more features. Car chargers require power and data connection. This can be done in one cable or by running two separate cables from the consumer unit and router.
Of these upgrades the first two are probably the most significant in terms of making an improvement to the safety and functionality of your Bourne area home. The other three are useful upgrades that will add value to the installation.
Contact us here at DSJ Electrical Services in Bourne to see how your property can benefit form electrical upgrades. Our fully qualified and NAPIT registered electricians will be happy to help.