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Why You Need To Action Remedial Repairs After Electrical Inspections

If you’ve had an electric inspection carried out on your home, office or commercial property, how long did you spend looking over the results? In many cases, people simply skim the information and do nothing with it unless there are big bold letters screaming at them. But most electric reports on older buildings will include some form of remedial repair work that should be carried out to bring the electrics up to code, and it’s your job to ensure those take place. For business owners, this falls under the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 (EAWR), which imposes duties on employers, employees and the self-employed in order to prevent danger arising from electrical systems. While there is no explicit mention of inspection and testing, the act does state that it is the employer’s duty to take all necessary steps to prevent danger arising from electric systems and work activities on or near them. That means taking action on those remedial repairs as soon as possible. Here, we bring you the reasoning behind essential remedial repair work and details of how long you have to act upon them.

IET Regulations

 

C1: Danger Present: Immediate Action Is Required

This is the result you may get from an electrical report. This result means that the person who is designated as responsible needs to take immediate action to resolve the problem, or take action to remove the immediate danger (such as switching or isolating the installation). Some examples of a C1 problem include:

 

  • An accessory with exposed live parts.
  • Conductive parts that have become live as the result of a fault.
  • Live conductors with no (or damaged) insulation.
  • Terminations or connections have no (or damages) barriers or enclosures.

 

C2: Potentially Dangerous: Action Should Be Taken Within 30 Days

This result means that while the installation might not pose any immediate danger or risk to those using it, there are still urgent repairs that need to be carried out to make it safe. Some examples are:

  • Absence of reliable and effective means of earthing for the installation.
  • Absence of earthing at a socket outlet.
  • Circuits with ineffective overcurrent protection (for example, due to oversized fuse wires in a rewireable fuse).

 

C3: Improvements Needed: No Time Limit Provided

One of the lowest results, C3 means that the reporter has found evidence of non-compliance with safety standards. This non-compliance might not pose an immediate danger, but remedial repairs would significantly improve the safety standard. You should ensure you careful to read the report thoroughly and consider the safety benefits before you have the repairs done. Some examples of C3 issues could be:

 

  • Absence of RCD protection for a socket-outlet that is likely to supply portable or mobile equipment for use outdoors.
  • Absence of RCD protection for cables installed at a depth of less than 50m from a surface of a wall or partition where the cables do not incorporator an earthed metallic covering, are not enclosed in earthed metalwork, or are not mechanically protected against penetration by nails and the like.
  • Absence of RCD protection for circuits of a location containing a bath or shower, where satisfactory supplementary bonding is present.

 

FI: For Further Investigation: The Issue Should Be Investigates As Soon As Possible

Aside from a clear pass, this is the best result you can hope for. With an FI result, a potential safety issue has been found, but the cause couldn’t be properly defined due to limitations on the scope of the inspections. Here, the electrician will recommend a further investigation to discover the root of the problem. For example:

  • Characteristics of electricity supply (such as voltage or external earth fault loop impedance) do not conform to supply industry norms.
  • Presence of circuits that cannot be readily identified or traced.

 

A Final Note… 

Guidance regarding IET regulations is only advisory, but it does state that companies need to demonstrate compliance and effective monitoring of their electrical installations. This means that you should not only be ensuring your installations are inspected and tested regularly, but that documentation is provided as proof. Testing providers should be able to provide instant reports for C1 and C2 defects so that you can carry out remedial work right away. Whatever the work, you will need to ensure any remedial repairs are done as soon as possible.

 

At Smartway Electrical Services, we can not only carry out the inspections and tests you need for your electrics, but we can undertake any remedial repairs necessary too. That means you don’t have to do anything yourself, instead being able to trust us to carry out the work and repair the faults. We understand because we diagnosed them. For more information on remedial repair work and inspections, just get in touch with us today.

 

Wiring Regulations Are You Up To Code?

Well, it’s finally here. The drafts of the IET Wiring Regulations (18th edition) have finally been released, and now electricians across the county can get a feeling for the new changes. While there is some time yet before any changes come into effect (the full regulation change won’t be published until July 2018), the drafts mean that we can see what changes are being discussed at a committee level, and take an educated guess at what that would mean for us and our clients. But first, what on earth are the IET Wiring Regulations, and why should you care?

  

What Are IET Wiring Regulations?

The IET Wiring Regulations have been around for many years now, and are part of the British Standard BS 7671 requirements for electricians. They dictate the national standard in the UK for electrical installation and the safety of electrical wiring in domestic, commercial, industrial and other buildings. The regulations also contain wiring guidelines for specific locations, such as docks, caravan parks and entertainment venues. These regulations only became a recognised British Standard when their 16th edition was published in 1992.

 

Now here comes the technical bit. In general BS 7671 applies to circuits supplied at nominal voltages up to 1000 volts AC, or 1500 volts DC. So, within this are the 230 volts 50 Hz AC mains supplies commonly used in the UK for houses, offices and commercial buildings. Every electrician in the UK needs to know and abide by these regulations. It’s these wiring regulations that ensure the circuits in your home are installed to a certain standard, with adequate protection for you and your family. Without them, electricians would be free to operate using outdated methods that could leave your family at risk of harm and your home at risk of electrical fire.

  

So What Will Be Difference In Edition 18?

 

Now that we’ve covered what the regulations are for, let’s look at some of the changes for Edition 18:

 

Protection Against Overvoltages: Because of new regulation changes elsewhere (particularly the IEC and CENELEC standards), edition 18 is likely to include complex revisions to the section on overvoltage protection (section 443, if you want to look it up). These changes will probably bring it in line with these standards and implement proper protections against transient overvoltage.

  

Fire Protection: Electrical issues are one of the biggest causes of fire within buildings, so fire protection measures are an important part of electrical installations. Current prevention methods include using RCD’s, which are great at detecting earth faults, but can’t detect other electrical faults that could cause fire. The plans for edition 18 include the installation of arc fault detection devices (AFDD’s), which are designed to reduce the risk of fire caused by arc fault currents in finished circuits.

  

Section 753: Section 753 has not been chopped or changed in any way – it’s just been added to. The section now applies to embedded electric heating systems for surface heating and the materials used for them.

 

Energy Efficiency: As well as the changes to section 753, Edition 18 will be introducing a completely new section on energy efficiency. Due to increasing environmental concerns, many professional bodies have been experimenting with how to provide the highest level of service with the lowest possible electrical consumption. The new proposal outlines a scenario where a client can identify the level of energy efficiency measures applied to an installation – with each measure earning points for the installation. These points are then added to those awarded for energy performance levels on completion and earn the installation an efficiency class, ranging from EIEC0 to EIEC4.

 

At Smartway Electrical Services we pride ourselves on being fully compliant with all regulations, and we’re already planning some changes based on these upcoming amendments. Safety is paramount when working with electricity, which is why we regularly undertake training to ensure all of our electrical installations are completed correctly and safely. For more information about our safety standards, or to book your consultation, get in touch with us today. 

Your Rental Checklist – What You Need To Know As A New Landlord

So you want to be a landlord? Congratulations! This is the first step into a new world of adventure and challenges. Ok we might be hamming that up a bit, but becoming a professional landlord is an incredibly rewarding experience. But it’s also a lot of work, and there are many things to remember. You will find many checklists out there for landlords, all focussing on slightly different aspects of the process.  Our guide is designed to help you right from the very beginning before you so much as look at an estate agent or check tenants’ references. So, if you’ve settled on your first property and are ready to hit the ground running, the team at Smartway have put together this handy checklist to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything.

 

Safety First

When you’re providing the roof over a stranger’s head, it is vital that the property is safe. It’s also your legal responsibility to ensure the property is in good order and free from hazards. Failure to comply with this golden rule could result in some hefty fines and even a prison sentence, so it’s better to over prepare here. Among other things, you are required to install smoke alarms on each floor, provide a valid gas safety certificate and ensure all electrical installation wiring is safe when installed and maintained in a safe condition throughout its duration. The regulations which came in at October 2015 also require private sector landlords to install a carbon monoxide alarm in any room containing a solid fuel burning appliance. Carbon monoxide alarms should be fitted at head height, on a wall or shelf, about one to three metres from the fuel-burning appliance.

 

Arrange an EPC

In line with government legislation, all landlords are required to be able to provide tenants with an Energy Performance Certificate, better known as an EPC. You need to have this ready for the day your tenants move in, and on the first day of every subsequent tenancy. In fact, in 2008, it became law that all property rental and purchase advertisements must include the properties EPC, so it’s important to make sure you get this done early. You should have been provided with one when you purchased the property, but as there are plenty of agencies who can provide these for you, so it’s worth getting fresh copies done.

 

Get the Right Insurance

One thing that many landlords forget is to amend the insurance they have on the property from standard home and contents insurance to landlord specific insurance. Whilst landlord insurance isn’t a legal requirement, it is good practice for all landlords because it offers so much extra protection. The cover will largely include the same type of protection as your usual home insurance.  You should cover the building itself plus any contents you have provided.  This will obviously depend on whether you are renting out furnished or not.  It can also cover:

 

  • Non -payment of rent
  • Damage to your property by the tenant
  • Loss of earnings or rehousing costs if the tenants have to move out following an insured event
  • Liability for accidents in your property causing injury

 

It is also worth noting that if you have a specific buy-to-let mortgage for your property, it may be a condition of your mortgage that you take out landlord insurance.

 

Choose a Tenancy Deposit Scheme

Yet another legal requirement of being a landlord in the UK is keeping the deposit of your tenants safe. This does not mean in your bank account, but instead it has to be placed into a government-backed tenancy deposit scheme within 30 days of receipt. There are plenty of different schemes out there, including the Deposit Protection Service, MyDeposits and the Tenancy Deposit Scheme. So do your research, and choose one that works for you.

 

HMRC Regulations

Of course, it’s not just safety regulations you need to adhere to. There are also rules around income declaration and tax that you need to be aware of. For years, landlords who weren’t running their rentals ‘as a business’, often didn’t declare their rental income to HMRC, which just won’t fly now. As soon as you start letting a property – regardless of whether it is through a business or not – you have to declare all profits to HMRC. This is so that you can pay any tax you might be liable for on the rental profits. If you don’t, you could be hit with a fine on top of any tax owed. Consult an accountant about what expenses are tax deductible or check these out on the HMRC website.

 

At Smartway Electrical Services, we work with a huge variety of landlords to help them make sure their properties are safe and electrically sound. We can provide you with an initial survey of your electrics on a new purchase, carry out refurbishment/upgrade work, and do routine maintenance to keep your electrics in perfect condition throughout your time as a landlord. For more information, get in touch with us today.

4 Electrical Issues To Bear In Mind When Building An Extension

Extending is a very popular way to add space to your home without having to move. In Britain, 46% of people will extend one of their homes at some point, with many extensions being about delivering ‘wow’ factor as much as adding extra space. But every extension is different, and there are a lot of different things to consider before, during and after an extension, and missing some of them out can cause chaos. Luckily the advent of the ‘DIY extender’ seems to have passed, and people are happy bringing in experts to build their extensions. At Smartway, we work with several builders to manage the electrical side of the extension building process, and here are the 4 most common electrical issues we come across.

 

Compliance With Building Regulations

The majority of projects that get delayed or even cancelled are usually the result of problems with building control. No matter what type of extension you are building, you need to submit either a building notice or a full building plan for approval. Not an electrical issue so far but that plan has to detail all manner of areas, like fire, safety, insulation, drainage and, you guessed it, electricals. If you haven’t planned out your electrical connections and created an electrical map before you start the build, you can run into problems later on and maybe even be forced to abandon the project. So, before you take a hammer to a brick, make sure you have a full electrical plan for your extension.

 

Distribution Boards

Depending on the layout of your original electrics, extending them can throw up some problems. For example, if you are adding or extending a kitchen, you are likely to have to add a circuit that goes directly from the distribution board, which will cause disruption to the rest of your home. For a lot of other work, unless it is very extensive, it’s usually possible to extend the existing ring circuit (provided it doesn’t go above 100m²), but it is something to bear in mind.

 

Future Proofing

When new clients come to us with original plans, we very rarely end up implementing those plans exactly. Instead, we help our clients understand not only what their current needs are, but what their future needs might be. In such a super-consuming society hooked on ‘tech’, getting electrical access and power correct is essential. So you need to think about mood lighting, surround sound, high-speed Wi-Fi, kitchen gadgets, security systems and TV’s all over the place. To make the most of future technologies your electrical circuits must be up to the job, yet so many people don’t plan ahead and run into problems later on.

 

Faulty Wiring 

Of course, there is no guarantee that your existing wiring is up to code and that creates a new series of problems. If we come to install new wiring in your extension, knock through a wall and find a mass of tangled, decaying or mismatched cables, your project is immediately going to be delayed. Having an electrical survey carried out before work commences is the best way to protect against this, but sometimes we just don’t know what we’re dealing with until we see inside the walls. If your home has faulty wiring, it can probably be fixed, but it will add time and money on to the cost of the project.

 

At Smartway, we encounter all of these issues, and more, fairly regularly. We have been working with builders and architects for many years now to prevent some of these issues before they happen, and have over 25 years of experience in fixing all sorts of electrical problems relating to extensions. So if you’re looking to build an extension and need to make sure your electrics are up to code, get in touch with us and book your free consultation today.

 

Choosing The Right Lighting For Your Shop Front

There are a lot of people out there who say your website is your shop window – but for many people, the shop window is actually a physical shop window. The whole idea of the ‘shop window’ is to showcase your best products and entice customers in to buy, so the way you display those items in the window is crucial. It’s not just about making sure your products can be seen – it’s about choosing the right lights for the size and shape of your window, getting the angle and temperature of the light right and even deciding whether the light should stand out or blend in. These are all key parts of making your shop window attractive to the passer by. So how do you choose the right lighting for your shop front?

 

Angles Are Everything

When your customers first walk by your window, you don’t want to blind them with direct light. So instead of having your lights facing out, you should have them angled inwards to shine on your products. Swan head fittings are fantastic for this, as they allow you to choose the exact angle the light will come from. The angle of the light source can create elegant shadows and highlight certain products that flatter your display, or they can cast the whole window into a gloomy din. Take some time to play with the angles of your lights and find the one that helps your window make a bright first impression.

 

Type Of Lighting 

Rather than saying ‘I just want lights’ (which many people do), we urge you to take some time and think about what kind of lighting you want for your shop window. This will mainly be driven by the impression you want to give and the mood you want your customers to be in. Generally, there are 3 types of lighting you can choose:

 

  • Accent Lighting – Accent lighting is used to showcase your products and help customers notice what you are trying to sell. Internal lights can be used in cabinets. Downlighters in the ceiling can highlight tables and spotlights can accentuate racks and wall displays. If you’re selling homewares or fashion, you should pay special attention to the colour temperature and hue of your lights (more on that later).

 

  • Ambient Lighting – Is the general, background lighting of the shop, and it is mainly functional. Most shops will have standard strip lights or spot lights for ambient lighting but some will experiment with creating mood with it. For example, when you walk into an Abercombie & Fitch shop, you walk into a dimly lit shop with strategically placed spotlights in order to create a certain mood.

 

  • Feature Lighting – Is used to draw focus to one particular product or activity happening below. For example, you might have a prominent display in the centre of your shop and want an impressive chandelier to draw attention to it, or a cluster or bright spotlights in a dimmer shop to draw focus.

 

Consider Colour Temperature

No, we don’t mean heat. The word temperature might seem misleading, but colour temperature means the warmth or coldness of the light. Lights with a cold colour temperature will tend to be a bit bluer and harsher, while those with a warmer colour temperature tend to be more yellow and orange in colour. Some people are highly sensitive to colour temperature in lights, but most will simply notice the effect and not know what it means. You can use the colour temperature of your lights to effectively influence your customers mood, or make a particular product seem more attractive to them. For example, in the run up to summer you might want to use warm lighting to bring a feeling of warmth and sunshine into the shop, but in winter a bluer shade of light might be used to imply the snow and chill of Christmas.

 

The key thing to remember here is that all of these lighting choices require planning. With everything else to think of, your lighting choices might not seem all that important – but lighting has a huge impact on how people buy and how passers-by perceive your shop. So instead of opting for the basics, it’s worth investing in something a little different, and we promise you will see long term results. For more information, or to arrange a consultation to chat about your shop front lighting, get in touch with us today.

 

Design Smart Homes The Smart Way

As a building contractor, you want to make sure you get everything right the first time. Mistakes in the building world, even small ones, can cost a small fortune in time and money, not to mention unhappy clients and missed deadlines. At Smartway Electrical Services, we partner with building contractors across the country to help them design, plan and build smarter homes from day 1. Using our advanced electrical knowledge, we can turn a standard home design into an ultra-modern, fully automated smart home without the need for retro-fitting, and without any costly mistakes. Or if that’s too far-fetched, we can just create a seamlessly integrated, technology friendly build instead. From our work with building contractors, we have come up with 3 tips to help you get your next project right the first time.

 

Design

Before you even touch an electrical wire, one of the most important things any builder needs to do is design the house. Now most builders will think of design as the bricks and mortar, but actually there are a number of other elements to take into account. If you are building an ultra-modern house with under-floor heating, automated systems like a self-running bath and remote control coffee maker (which do really exist), you will need extra, sometimes specialist, wiring built in. When designing your new builds, make sure you take the electrical needs into consideration too, otherwise you may find that your ideas can’t actually become reality until it’s too late.

 

Planning

Once you have designed the electrical layout of the house, you need to plan its implementation. There is nothing worse than realising you’ve not got enough sockets in the right places, or you forgot to run that key cable until after the plaster is laid. That’s why it’s so important to have a firm plan for exactly how and when every element of your electronics will be installed throughout the build, so nothing gets missed at a crucial stage. This isn’t just power either – you need to plan for lighting, audio visual, music, under floor heating and so much more. If you don’t, you could end up installing elements incorrectly, installing things in the wrong places or just missing them entirely. By creating a plan of your electrical needs before you start, you can curb any overspend on fixing problems and make sure your build is completed on time and up to code.

 

Integrate Home Automation

As technology moves forward, home owners are looking for ways to make their living space more low impact and technology friendly. Already we are seeing elements like heating, lights and even doorbells being controlled by apps instead of traditional thermostats and light switches, and more home automation solutions aren’t far behind. The 2001: A Space Odyssey home run entirely by machinery is no longer a far-flung future, but a reality inching closer -the first fully automated homes are already being built (thankfully without a HAL 9000). Now while you don’t have to integrate every single inch of the house with technology, it’s important to plan the build around these new advances to create future proofed homes and businesses.

 

The important thing to remember is that when planning a new house build, you should always be thinking about ways to make life easier for its future residents. That often means creating new, bespoke plans that are tailored to the way we live today, and not how we lived 30 years ago. At Smartway, we help you think less about how many sockets you need in your house, and more about how you can design a home that embraces technology right down to the foundations, creating the perfect modern home. For more information, or help on your next new build project, get in touch with Smartway today.

 

5 Easy Ways To Save Money On Your Electricity Bill This Month

Did you know that the average British household spent over £592 on electricity in 2014? This is undoubtedly an eye-watering sum, made worse by the fact that many people aren’t sure where it’s all going. As we start to rely on technology more and more in our everyday lives, our electricity costs have been steadily going up to compensate. Add in the rising cost of electricity and you’ve got a recipe for some very expensive bills this year. Luckily, there are a few little things you can do to help bring down that monthly bill and save yourself some real money.

 

Switch Off and Unplug

We are very used to having things constantly on around us – whether it’s lights, the WiFi or the TV, there is always something electrical buzzing away in the UK home. But did you know that even if you’ve switched something off, it’s still using power? Even phone chargers continue to use electricity when they aren’t charging. So to cut down on costs, physically unplug things you aren’t using to stop them eating power. Also, make sure you aren’t leaving your appliances on standby – it might be easier but it’s also a guaranteed way to waste energy, as standby keeps appliances running just under ‘on’ power.

 

Look at Other Energy Suppliers

Contrary to popular belief, there are a lot of different energy suppliers out there, and you don’t have to stick with one. Even if you’re renting and your tenancy agreement says you must – it is legally your right to choose who you pay for your energy. So shop around, look at sites like uswitch and talk to distributors like Utility Warehouse who can find you the best deals for the energy you are actually using.  Switching energy supplier could save you up to £396 a year, so shop around and find a tariff that works for you.

 

Replace Your Lightbulbs

Installing energy-saving light bulbs is a quick way to slash your energy bills with minimal effort, especially if you have a lot of spotlights in your home. An LED light bulb costs around £1.71 per year to run, lasts twice as long and uses 90% less energy than traditional light bulbs. Simply by making the switch to Led, you could cut up t £180 from your energy bill without making any changes to your behaviour. Once you have replaced your light bulbs, make sure you also switch off the lights when they aren’t in use, as this will help cut down costs even further.

 

Choose Energy-Efficient Appliances

If you’re replacing an appliance, you can cut your electricity bills by choosing the most energy-efficient model. For example, running costs for a washing machine can vary between £20 and £100 per year, depending on what model you choose. Based on clinical research, choosing the most energy-efficient models for your appliances can result in annual savings of around £80 for a washing machine, £70 for a tumble drier and £89 for a fridge-freezer. It might not sound like much on its own, but it all adds up to real savings.

 

Get An Energy Monitor

If you’ve done all of the above and still don’t know how your bill is so high, it might be worth investing in an energy monitor. These are simple little gadgets that sit on a side in your home and monitor how much energy you’re using and where, so you know where the problem areas are. These usually cost around £25 to buy, but many electricity suppliers will give them away for free if you have a smart meter installed. Make sure you pay attention to what your energy monitor is saying and try out new techniques to cut down your energy usage in those areas.

 

At Smartway, we help our clients understand their electrical usage and install solutions to help them cut down on their electricity bills. From fixing faulty wiring that’s leaking power to replacing your lightbulbs for you, our mission is to help you save money on power. For more information, or to book a consultation with us, just get in touch today

 

New Build Basics: Electrics

 

For small buildings firms, managing a new house build is a big project with a lot of moving parts. Managing all of those elements so that everything comes together at the right time, in the right place and in the right way is an immense job, which is why you will often see small buildings firms outsourcing some of their jobs to third party contractors, like us. We work with lots of small building firms to handle all aspects of their electrical work, from design to installation and even the fitting of lightbulbs. So if you are starting out a new build project, here are a few things an electrician can do to make sure it goes off without a hitch.

Compliance: A professional electrician will be able to interpret your house design requirements into a safe electrical system that complies with regulations and follows the technical rules laid out in BS 7671.

Logistics: Your electrician will be able to factor in number of rooms, sockets, light outlet requirements, TV and telephone points, cookers, electric underfloor heating and renewable energy systems and help you adjust your build plan accordingly.

Preparation: When building a house from the ground up, preparation is key. Your electrician will be able to put in the bare bones of your electrical system at the first stage, including a temporary consumer unit (also known as a fuse box), install the earth rod, running carcass wiring and fit backboxes, before your build gets too advanced.

Legal Cover: While some small builders might be tempted to do a lot of the wiring for their projects themselves, the reality is that not only is it impractical, it’s illegal too. Only a professional, qualified electrician is legally allowed to undertake electrical work in a domestic residence or commercial building, so you need to make sure you bring one in.

 

Important Things To Remember

Of course, there are a few key things you should remember when building a house or extension. Some of these are essential, and some are more for the finished aesthetic of the building. Either way, it’s important to bear them all in mind.

Don’t Over-Light your Interiors: Lighting each room might seem like a last-minute detail, but it’s a decision you make early on in the design process. So before you choose your lighting, think about the function of each room and what type of light to fill it with. Where are things likely to go, and how will furniture or people affect the light? And if in doubt, put a dimmer on every internal light.

Power Point Placement Matters: Opinions are a bit divided on this, but the general idea is the power points should be positioned within easy reach of each wall of the room. If certain power points are likely to be covered by furniture, a practical electrician will make sure there is another within easy reach in a practical place. Out of sight might be preferable, but practical will always beat style when it comes to power.

Integrate Your Systems: Anyone who’s decided to upgrade to under floor heating or switch to renewable energy in their home can tell you that such fundamental upgrades require a lot of invasive and disruptive work, and are often a lot more expensive because of it. So when planning out your project, decide on details like under floor heating, solar power of a segregated heating system in advance, so they can be built into the property from the beginning. This will not only increase the value of the property, but save a lot of hassle later on if it needs upgrading.

Make A Wiring Map: While this isn’t essential, any electrician or tradesman who does work on the property in the future will thank you for it. Once the structures are all in place, but before the wall is finished, take photos of all of the walls and construct a wiring map, detailing where all the cables in the walls are and what they do. Doing this means you can find the wires again easily if you have to change anything, and it avoids other trades-people damaging them.

 

If you are starting out on a new build project, or need the advice of a professional electrician for your building firm, get in touch with Smartway Electrical Services today. We provide a comprehensive partnership service for small building firms, built on many years of experience and successful projects. For a full range of electrical services on domestic and commercial projects of all sizes, we are the smart choice.

Electricians And Letting Agents – A Match Made In Heaven

You might think that an electrician just deals with domestic issues, or that the commercial ones only service office buildings and corporate premises. Well, we do do all of that, but we also work in partnership with certain types of business. You see, there is one kind of business that always needs an electrician to be on hand, at all hours, to help them out on a huge number of projects, and that’s letting agents. But why do letting agents need a reliable electrician on their books?

 

 

A Helping Hand at All Hours 

Just like everything in life, electrical problems are always most likely to hit when you really need them not to. Like when you’re halfway through a shower, or in the middle of the night or when you have a group of friends round. For tenants it’s frustrating, but they pick up the phone to their letting agent or landlord no matter what time of day it is. When those emergency calls come in, letting agents need an electrician who can drop everything to sort it out. When we work with letting agents, emergency call outs for their tenants are always our top priority, day or night. Our professional service ensures you are covered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to the highest standard possible. And after all, happy tenants means happy landlords!

  

Ongoing Maintenance Provider

Letting agents, looking after hundreds of managed properties, get dozens of calls every day from tenants, usually reporting issues of some kind or another. To manage this, a letting agent will usually have a directory of suppliers they can call to sort things out. Somewhere in that book, there will be the name of an electrician, who will help out with wiring issues, tripping power and so on. Some letting agents will try to cut their costs by sending out a handyman for electrical problems, but while it might be cheaper, it is also illegal for a non-qualified electrician to carry out work. Instead, a fully qualified and checked electrician should be on the books to handle all sorts of ongoing maintenance and quick fixes for tenants.

  

Stay Safe, And Legal

By partnering with a professional electrician, you are taking the first step to ensuring all of your properties are safe and legal for your tenants to inhabit. While it is the landlord’s responsibility to make sure all electrics within a property are safe and up to code, many with managed properties push this job onto the letting agent. This can often be a complicated and time consuming task, especially if you have to find a new electrician every time. But by partnering with a commercial and residential electrician like us, you have a trusted supplier who can carry out routine checks at the start and end of all tenancies. We are also able to keep you updated of new changes to electrical safety laws and regulations, so you can be confident that you are on the right side of the law.

 

So, if you’re a letting agent without an electrician on your books, you’re probably struggling every time an electrical issue comes up. But it doesn’t have to be that way. By partnering with Smartway, you can relax in the knowledge that the solution to all of your electrical problems is always just a phone call away. For more information, just get in touch with us today.

What Could Changing Your Lightbulbs Do For You?

How often do you think about the lightbulbs in your home? Don’t worry, it’s not a trick question. Most people generally don’t think about it until they blow, which triggers a mad scramble under the sink to find that spare bulb you know you had somewhere. But at Smartway, we want to make sure you really think about how much your choice in lightbulbs could be affecting you, your home and your bills. If you’re not sure what we mean, then don’t worry. Today we want to share with you just some of the advantages of switching to LED lightbulbs in your home.

Energy Efficiency

LED lighting is, hands down, the most efficient lighting method available at the moment. A single LED lightbulb has an energy efficiency of around 80%-90%. This means that 80% of the energy going into the bulb from the mains is converted into light, while only 20% is lost as heat. To put that in perspective, incandescent and florescent light bulbs operate at roughly 20% efficiency and throw the rest of that energy out as heat, leading to a shorter lifespan and a lot more heat output. So, in a real-life scenario, if your electricity bill is £100 a month, using incandescent or florescent bulbs you will be spending £80 of that money heating the room, not lighting it! But if you use LED lights, your electricity costs would go down to around £20 per month, saving you £80.

Long Life

The lifespan of LED bulbs compared to their incandescent counterparts is still their biggest benefit. LED bulbs and diodes have an amazingly long operational lifespan, sometimes lasting up to 100.000 hours. While that might not sound like a lot – it converts to 11 years of continuous operation, or 22 years of 50% operation. If you kept your LED lights on for 8 hours every single day, you wouldn’t have to replace them for 20 years. That’s because they don’t burn out and stop working light normal lights, instead emitting slightly lower levels of light over a very long period of time. You’ll know when your LED needs changing because it will look dimmer that usual.

Eco-Friendly

LED bulbs aren’t just great for your wallet, they’re good for the environment and your family health too. LED lights are completely free of toxic chemicals, unlike florescent bulbs, which often contain chemicals like mercury that can be really harmful. Because they are longer life and 100% recyclable, using LED lights can reduce your carbon footprint by half. They are also a 0 UV emissions product, so they are perfect for areas that are sensitive to heat or UV light, such as workshops, lighting pictures and books.

Durable

Unlike the fragile incandescent bulbs you find in most homes, LED lights are incredibly tough and durable. All of their internal and external components are really rugged and designed to stand even the toughest conditions. This means you can use them for your outdoor lighting, even through wind, rain and snow. It also means that if you drop one while changing them and it gets trodden on by a runaway toddler, it won’t break. No buying new bulbs, and no sore feet either!

Of course, switching to LED lighting in your home can be a bit of an investment initially, but the long-term benefits are worth it. We have worked with hundreds of domestic clients, helping them switch to LED lighting in their home. Whether that’s supplying and changing all of their lightbulbs or rewiring their fixtures, we make the switch easy and straightforward. For more information or to book your free consultation, get in touch with the team at Smartway today.