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This section gives a list of points to consider when specifying your rewire. It will be helpful to the quotation process if you can give this some thought prior to our initial visit.

·         Power sockets

o   How many power sockets do you need in each room?

§    See  minimum recommendations.

o   Positioning of power sockets.

§    Consider the different uses and ways that furniture could be arranged in a room. It may be that initially some sockets will be inaccessible behind furniture. However, these may give greater flexibility later. Note that building structure may prevent or make it very difficult to fit a socket in a precise position. Please make it clear if exact positioning is vital to your requirement.

§  Part M of the building regulations states that for NEW building, all sockets and switches should be placed in a height zone 450mm to 1200mm above the floor. This makes it easier for people with restricted mobility (older people, those with physical disabilities, etc) to use the switches and sockets. While this does not apply to refurbishments you may wish to consider following these guidelines to improve general accessibility.

o   Outside sockets.

§  If you use electrical equipment outdoors, e.g. gardening tools, then one or more waterproof sockets would be of benefit.

o   Freezer socket

§  It is now a general requirement that all sockets in an installation are protected by a 30mA RCD. However, an exception is permitted for special use sockets, such as freezers, to reduce the impact of tripping. This option is not available where the installation has a TT earthing system (e.g. with an earth rod), and may require special installation methods when it is used. Alternatively the freezer circuit can be protected with its own separate RCBO. This can be a two edged sword. On the one hand, a separate RCBO prevents a fault elsewhere from defrosting the freezer if you are away for a few days when it happens. On the other hand, if a freezer fault trips the RCBO you are unlikely to notice until it is too late, as all other circuits continue to operate normally.

·         Lighting

o   What type of lighting do you want?

§  There is a plethora of light fittings and designs available. We are happy to install decorative light fittings supplied by the customer. However, we would recommend you discuss with us the suitability of any light fitting before making your purchase to ensure its suitability for the location and low energy requirements. If you wish to achieve a more complex effect we recommend you get advice from a specialist lighting designer to help specify your requirement.

o   Do you want to be able to operate a light from 2 or more switch positions?

§  If there is more than one entrance to a room you will usually what to have switches adjacent to each door. Similarly on staircases, long corridors, etc. It is possible to have any number of switches you need controlling a light.

o   Do you want dimmer switches?

§  You may wish to control the brightness of lights in some rooms with a dimmer switch. Special low energy bulbs are available that allow dimming.

o   Do you want table and standard lamps controllable from a common light switch?

§  Table and standard lamps can create a pleasing effect in a room. It often improves usability if these can all be controlled from a common switching point, along side the room’s main lighting. This can be achieved by providing dedicated lighting socket outlets.

o   Do you want outside lights?

§  Outside lighting to the front and rear of a property can improve security as well as convenience when entering or leaving the house at night. Note that low energy requirements apply.

·         Extractor fans

§  Kitchens, utility rooms, and bathrooms usually need an extractor fan to remove damp air and avoid condensation. You may be required to fit these to comply with building regulations if you are converting other rooms to these uses.

·         Telephone (and ADSL Broadband)

§  A rewire is a good opportunity to fit additional telephone points. It is also possible to arrange the telephone wiring such that only one ADSL filter is required, rather than one for each phone connected. Note that you must have a modern “master socket” to connect additional socket wiring. A master socket can only be installed by your telecom provider (e.g. BT) if you don't have one.

·         TV& Satellite points

§  A rewire is a good opportunity to distribute terrestrial TV arial and satellite signals to multiple rooms.

·         Audio equipment

§  For the hi-fi enthusiast, you may wish to hide those speaker cables under the floor.

·         Computer network cables (Cat 5E/6 Ethernet)

§  A rewire is a good opportunity to fit a wired Ethernet network. This gives better performance than wireless solutions and facilitates connecting TV set top boxes and games consoles to the internet.

·         Smoke, Heat, and Carbon monoxide alarms

§  The main objective of a fire alarm is to provide early warning of a fire before your escape route is blocked. This is especially important if you are asleep upstairs. Battery powered alarms are a simple DIY solution, but provide no protection if the battery is flat. A mains powered system (with battery backup in case of a power cut) improves reliability. These are also interlinked, such that all will sound an alarm if one is triggered.

§  Carbon monoxide (CO) gas leaking from a faulty combustion appliance is a silent and invisible killer. A CO detector provides an early warning of this threat. Again DIY battery powered, or interconnected mains powered types are available.

·         Burglar Alarm

§  A rewire is a good opportunity to install an intruder alarm. You may wish to discuss this with a specialist installer, especially if you want the system monitored. We are happy to fit complete systems, or just do the first fix wiring to your specialist company's specification.

·         Fuse box

o   Position

§  The fuse box will normally be installed adjacent to the electricity meter. However it can be moved elsewhere if necessary.

o   MCBs / RCDs / RCBOs

§  The standard solution is to fit MCBs zoned between 2 off RCDs in the fuse box.

§  An enhancement is to fit individual RCBOs to each circuit to reduce the impact of earth fault trips to just the affected circuit, rather than all circuits in the RCD zone. This increases the cost significantly.

 

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Ring & Radial, 47 Park Lane, West Grinstead, Horsham, West Sussex, RH13 8LT