Page 1

Competent Person the

Number 1 2009

Twelve easy steps to safe isolation See centre pages

Port talk Simon’s sweetest commercial contract Battle of the sexes A woman’s viewpoint ELECTRICAL

Blooming lovely Guide to the garden VENTILATION

PLUMBING

Disposing of waste The law and you HEATING

ENERGY


Cutthecost ofpromoting yourbusiness NAPIT has joined forces with Yell, the home of Yellow Pages, and Thomson Directories to cut the cost of promoting your business. As a member of NAPIT, you can benefit from an exceptional advertising programme with Yellow Pages and Thomson Local. Both are offering the opportunity to appear within a specialist display advertisement, as illustrated right, endorsed by NAPIT at significantly reduced rates. Research shows that 86 per cent of Yellow Pages’ directory users say confidence in a business is increased if it advertises within a trade association display advertisement.* While 69 per cent of Thomson Directory users say they are more likely to call a company that includes a trade association or brand name.** With Yellow Pages referred to a massive 3.3 million times a day on average – and Thomson Directories used 15 million times a week, can you afford to ignore these markets? For more information on the benefits of corporate advertising with Yell call free on 0800 371 755 or visit www.yellgroup.com For more information on Thomson Directories contact Sacha Levey on 01252 390 447 or email sacha.levey@thomsonlocal.com

* Source: Abacus Research 2002 and Saville Rossiter – Base 2003, ** NRS RSGB, RSGB Omnibus Local Directories Awareness Study


Inside News

Special features

5 Free seminars Details on new seminars on testing and electrical safety involving a NAPIT link-up with Seaward and Megger.

9 Showtime The spotlight falls on the NAPIT team at Elex 2008, a busy exhibition at Sandown Racecourse.

6 Rogue electrician jailed How NAPIT played a leading role in the conviction of an unqualified electrician. 7 Inspections boost Latest on the NAPIT initiative to link up with building control. 8 Industry focus A round-up of the stories making the news from other publications.

10 Beating late payment Top ten tips on improving your cash flow in the face of the recession. 30 Waste disposal Jason Mohr with a guide to the current waste legislation and how it applies to electrical and other contractors. 35 Van review Roger Ryan meets up with an old friend on the way to picking up something special.

Technical

Members

All technical articles are derived from NAPIT Trade Association meetings, the Technical Helpline and Ask Eddie questions.

23 NAPIT Trade Association Dennis Denholm with a round-up of news across the country and guidance on how to dispose of waste.

11 Isolating the neutral Over three pages Bill Allan sets out the regulations and looks at the issues concerning you and your work. 15 Future of ventilation Derek Guy of Itho Ventilation looks at mechanical ventilation systems and how they reduce energy costs. 20 Twelve steps to safe isolation Donald Holmes with a simple, step by step guide to safe isolation and making your job easier. 26 Blooming marvellous Frank Bertie with a helpful guide on how to get it right in the garden on the electrical side. 33 Ask Eddie Is it necessary to earth flush metal back boxes?

The Competent Person is the official publication of the National Association of Professional Inspectors and Testers Volume 6 Number 1

NAPIT NAPIT Administration Centre 4th Floor, Mill 3 Pleasley Vale Business Park Mansfield Nottinghamshire NG19 8RL Tel: 0870 444 1392 www.napit.org.uk

24 That Venus and Mars thing Sally Brand takes a sideways view on working as a woman in the building services’ industry. 28 Sweet taste of success We meet the lads from Eurotech in Birkenhead on a job involving Tate & Lyle. 32 Bodger Watch Another selection of your pictures featuring how not to carry out electrical work. 38 Spot the Difference Your chance to win a superb portable tablet style DVD player and locking devices for distribution boards and consumer units.

Editor: Roger Ryan 5 Media, Norwich Tel: 01603 452448 Email: magazine.editor@napit.org.uk Specialist writers: Don Holmes MIET Bill Allan C. Eng. MIET

Marketing, PR & Advertising: Jenny Gaunt Tel: 0870 444 1392 Email: jenny.gaunt@napit.org.uk Design: Tattersall, Hammarling & Silk, London Printed: Printability 2000, Chesterfield

The publishers or their agents cannot accept responsibility for the quality of goods or services advertised in this magazine. Advertisements are included in good faith. The contents and opinions expressed in the Competent Person are not necessarily accepted or endorsed by NAPIT.

FRONT COVER: NAPIT member Simon Harding down by the docks in Birkenhead. See Pages 28 and 29.

NAPIT 0870 444 1392 www.napit.org.uk 3


FreeLawLineservice forNAPITMembers Legal cover of up to £25,000 NAPIT in conjunction with Law Line UK offers free legal advice and legal cover of up to £25,000. The legal cover is helpful where there is disagreement over a contractual matter between a member and customer. In Law Line UK’s experience, small to medium sized businesses are the most likely to be involved in a legal dispute but the least likely to be able to afford to pay lawyers to assist in the resolution of such disputes. Law Line UK offers access to legal advice from a panel of carefully chosen solicitors on a full range of legal issues including all aspects of company/commercial law, tax, property, employment and dispute resolution – including court action.

Advice line on hand to support In the case of a dispute, NAPIT members should initially contact the NAPIT helpline number. Generally, issues in connection with defective work will be dealt with by NAPIT. If an issue cannot be resolved by NAPIT personnel, members will be advised to contact the Law Line UK helpline number. Law Line UK personnel will provide initial telephone advice to members on any legal problem they may have providing a written contract exists with the customer.

Legal action through the courts If further legal action through the courts is required, Law Line UK will appoint one of its panel solicitors to represent a member up to and including the initial trial. The first £50 of any costs incurred in court action in a case will be paid by the member. All other costs will be covered by the agreement between NAPIT and Law Line UK. To take advantage of this service, NAPIT members’ must have a written contract in all transactions. NAPIT members can obtain a sample written contract for use in their business from NAPIT by visiting the members section of their website or by purchasing an NCR pack from the NAPIT Customer Services section. The Law Line UK service is free to all members but is subject to certain terms and conditions. Please visit NAPIT’s new website for details www.napit.org.uk. Should a dispute arise in the future just ring 0870 933 0241.


NEWS

FREERegstoRichesseminars NAPIT has joined forces with Seaward to host two free Regs to Riches seminars aimed at bringing members up to date with the latest developments on testing. Seaward’s approach to electrical test instrumentation is to develop highly innovative products offering added value features for contractors enabling them to maximise efficiency. The first seminar is at the Leicester Tigers’ rugby stadium at Welford Road in Leicester, on Thursday February 19, from 5pm to 7pm. It will focus on in-service electrical safety and portable appliance testing. You may or may not be aware that major changes have been made to the code of practice of PAT testing. The new regulations will be discussed at this seminar. Speed of testing and enhanced customer service levels are critical and Seaward will demonstrate how integrated PAT test systems can be used to the best effects. To meet the needs of all PAT testing

applications, a wide range of advanced Bluetooth enabled testers through to simple pass/fail checkers can be linked with appropriate software and accessory options in the form of self-contained PAT Solutions kits. The second seminar takes place on Thursday April 16, 5pm to 7pm, at the Vauxhall Recreation Club, Luton. This will look at working solutions to the 17th Edition Wiring Regulations and Seaward’s new 17th Edition PowerSolutions concept.

Morehelponthewiringregulations Megger and NAPIT are linking up to stage another series of free nationwide seminars on the 17th Edition Wiring Regulations. Head of Inspections at NAPIT, Richard Gould, will be explaining how meeting the requirements of the wiring regulations, and finding practical working solutions, can have a positive effect on profitability. He will be supported by a speaker from Megger who will explain how you can increase your productivity when certifying installations. Doors open at 4.30 pm, so you can have a cup of tea before the start at 5pm. These Regs to Riches seminars will finish at 7pm but may continue afterwards until all your questions are answered. The seminars will take place at venues across the country. Dates already planned: February 25, Cottesmore Golf & Country Club, Crawley; March 5,

Newguideon domesticwork NAPIT is publishing a new guide on electrical installations for domestic premises. The guide will look at the legal requirements and standards for work in and outside domestic premises. It will also focus on electrical supply, distribution network operators, inspection and testing, completing test certificates and reports – and notification via Part P. Further information about the guide will be available in the next issue of The Competent Person.

Seaward Prime Test equipment.

Freemantle Club, Southampton; March 25, Moseley Rugby Club, Birmingham. To book your place at these special events involving Seaward and Megger please contact the NAPIT sales team on 0870 444 1392 or email info@napit.org.uk Further dates will be available soon and posted on our website www.napit.org.uk

Notifyingjobs theNAPITway Inside this issue of The Competent Person is the NAPIT Notifications Guide. This provides stepby-step advice on the NAPIT system, answering questions on notification handled by our Customer Services Helpline. Please note: notifications must be completed via the NAPIT website or sent in by post only. We no longer accept faxes as many were illegible.

NAPIT 0870 444 1392 www.napit.org.uk 5


NEWS

NAPIThelpstojailrogueelectrician NAPIT played a leading role in the conviction of an unqualified electrician sent to prison for two years for carrying out “dangerous and fraudulent work”. Trading Standards were alerted by NAPIT to the illegal activities of Lee Naughton of Wolverhampton. NAPIT sales director Andy Sharp was asked to provide Trading Standards with a witness statement proving that Naughton was not part of a Competent Person scheme and not qualified to tackle the work. A court was told that Naughton had been sent to prison previously for committing similar offences. Trading Standards are now seeking an enforcement order permanently banning Naughton from carrying out electrical work once he is released from prison. Naughton undertook a full re-wire of a property leading to a complaint that revealed further misdescribed work and the issue of an invalid compliance certificate. At Wolverhampton Crown Court, he pleaded guilty to one count of fraud and 12 counts under the Trade NAPIT’s Andy Sharp: Description Act witness statement

1968. These charges relate to properties in Wolverhampton, Sandwell, Dudley and in Staffordshire. Local councillor Barry Findlay said after the case: “Lee Naughton by his repeated disregard for the law has put householders and families across the Black Country at risk of potential serious injury. Having your house rewired is a major domestic outlay and you are entitled to believe that someone who claims to be an electrician is competent. “Lee Naughton compounded offences by issuing safety certificates that were invalid and worthless and further misled consumers. “I am pleased that co-operative working by Trading Standards Services across the North Midlands has brought Lee Naughton to justice and facing the prospect of imprisonment. “Where consumers are spending thousands of pounds on work on their property they should get the trader to prove they are competent and should ask for details of previous satisfied customers who could confirm the trader’s competence.” There is further evidence that Trading Standards are getting tough with rogue electricians. A Mid Wales a man was fined £1500 after electrical work at a barn conversion gave people an electric shock. While a Derbyshire man was fined more than £2230 for carrying unsafe electrical work. Trading Standards are urging NAPIT

Lee Naughton: in a previous role as a security guard. members to let them know about shoddy workmanship in the electrical sector. For more information on Trading Standards visit www.tradingstandards.gov.uk or contact your local council.

Zerocarbonhomespushwillboostretrofitting The Government’s plans for zero carbon homes have been unveiled and they could provide a boost for retro fitting existing properties. The announcement by Housing Minister Margaret Beckett said "allowable" measures

to help builders achieve zero carbon status could include retrofitting nearby properties to balance out the expected emissions from new developments. The Government will now consult on the detailed requirements of homes covered by

the zero carbon homes definition which all new homes will have to meet from 2016. Zero carbon status will be measured against the annual emissions from heating, ventilation, hot water, fixed lighting, and the expected use of appliances.

Lawgetstoughonthosewhoignorehealthandsafety Tougher penalties for those who break health and safety laws have been introduced by the Government. The Health and Safety (Offences) Act 2008 makes changes to past laws. The upper limits of penalties for most safety offences tried in the magistrates' court will increase from £5000 to £20,000. Prison sentences are also more likely for

serious offences. Safety minister Lord McKenzie said: "These changes will ensure that sentences can now be more easily set at a level to deter businesses that do not take their health and safety management responsibilities seriously – and further encourage employers and others to comply with the law. "Furthermore, by extending the £20,000

6 NAPIT 0870 444 1392 www.napit.org.uk

maximum fine to the lower courts and making imprisonment an option, more cases will be resolved in the lower courts and justice will be faster, less costly and more efficient." More on this story in future issues of The Competent Person


COMMENT Inspection list will boost work A list of NAPIT electrical inspectors qualified to carry out work on behalf of local authorities should be in the hands of Local Authority Building Control Association by the spring.This means that approved NAPIT members from across the country will be able to act as independent inspectors as part of the push to enforce Part P. The initiative coincides with the programme of NAPIT-inspired training courses on electrical inspection for building control officers. NAPIT chief executive John Andrews said: “This is good news for NAPIT members and should provide a new stream of work for them as well as helping to raise standards in the industry. Once this list is up and running our members will be able to act as independent electrical inspectors on behalf of local authorities who may be unable to do the work themselves. “This is supported by the training programme to make building control officers aware of the difficulties that may arise on site and also bring them up to speed with the demands of the 17th Edition Wiring Regulations to underpin Part P.”

Black belt Darren in karate success NAPIT member Darren Webster has been promoted in black belt karate. Darren who runs Webster Electrical of Dereham in Norfolk said: “I was promoted from Shodan (first Dan) to Nidan (second Dan). I am associated to the National Association of Karate and Martial Art Schools which is the equivalent of NAPIT in the world of martial arts.

Different styles “Black belts are referred to as Dan grades. The coloured belts are Kyu grades. The name of our club is TSKR, Traditional Shotokan Karate Ryu. Shotokan Karate is the style of karate we practice. Ryu is Japanese for school. There are many different styles, too many to name in fact. “Our main Dojo (training hall) is at the new Dereham Leisure centre. We meet there four times a week but we have other clubs in Norwich, Watton, Fakenham, Swaffham and Stamford.”

Without doubt 2009 will be a tough year but change generates opportunity – if only you can spot it. If you do so and we can help, please tell us. It is more important than ever to ensure that you have written contracts in place before starting work. This will ensure that in the event of a problem over payment, the legal support team at Lawline can help you recover any debt with little or no cost to you. At NAPIT we are constantly looking for ways in which we can bring benefits to members. The bigger we are, the more political and commercial power we have on your behalf. That’s why we have launched a new recruitment drive – led by you and why we are paying you to help. So come on let’s get recruiting. Don’t forget that many of the ideas that we pursue result from comments on the online Members’ Forum or from Trade Association regional meetings. On Pages 30–31 you will see an article by a firm with the fine name of anyjunk.co.uk. They will assist you in removing any waste material from your site, without having to have a Waste Disposal Licence or having to use a skip. As a NAPIT member, you will have the benefit of a five per cent discount on their fees. This is another example of being able to attract better deals for our membership with our buying power. They have seen an opportunity, taken action, gained contracts and over the next year will have full mainland UK coverage available for all NAPIT members. The new member benefit with the Direct Debit Scheme is there to help if money is tight. Even when it is not, why pay in one lump sum when there is a scheme where you can chose to pay your annual renewal fees over a three-month period. Every little helps with the cash flow – so make sure that you sign up in good time. We are running two new series of seminars with Seaward and Megger, entitled Regs to Riches on working solutions to the 17th Edition Wiring Regulations. Details on the first dates can be found on Page 5. So come along and meet NAPIT staff, see some great deals and have a night out. The Department of Communities and Local Government in their consultation document, The Future of Building Regulations, raised the idea of risk-based assessments and what we thought about them. All the electrical Competent Person Schemes supported the idea and have been pushing for a risk-based on-site assessment model ever since. This would reduce the financial burden on members without compromising safety – so watch this space. As soon as we can all agree a common model across all schemes that the CLG is happy with, then NAPIT will be running with it. Kind regards

John Andrews B.Sc. MIoD Chief Executive – The NAPIT Group

NAPIT 0870 444 1392 www.napit.org.uk 7


INDUSTRY NEWS

A round-up of the stories making the news in other publications from the building services industry

Richardscoops trainingaward Richard Sagar of Langholm, Dumfrieshire, was the winner of the 2008 Skillselectric Competition. Richard works for Eden Electrics and was trained by SECTT. In second place was Neil Frew of Ballymena, Northern Ireland, who works for Braid Electrical. Third was Jack Silito of Burton on Trent who works for WT Parker. The finals took place at Interbuild at the NEC.

Balfour Beatty boost Balfour Beatty WorkPlace has bought building services controls firm Colledge Trundle and Hall for £2.85 million. Formerly known as Haden Building Management, Balfour Beatty WorkPlace has bought the design and installation specialist of energy control systems, to expand its service offering in energy management. CTH, based in Worcester Park, Surrey, operates in several markets that complement Balfour Beatty WorkPlace's business. Its customers include DEFRA, Sainsbury's and the University of Cambridge and it is working on a number of PFI schools projects. Heating and Ventilation Review

Advice army A new scheme to train hundreds of workers from Citizens Advice Bureaux, Housing Associations, and other organisations, to help low income households get the best deal on their energy bills has been launched by Energy and Climate Change Minister Joan Ruddock in Hammersmith. The Energy Best Deal campaign is funded by the Department of Energy and Climate Change and is being rolled out nationally by Ofgem following a successful pilot. Electrical Times

Asbestos warning Health and Safety inspectors in North Wales

Ten top UK finalists took part in two and a half days of practical skills tests based on real-life work situations, competing in purpose-built bays before thousands of spectators. Skillelectric promotes standards and skills across the electrotechnical industries. Pictured right is Skillelectric semi-finalist and NAPIT student member Pavendeep Jandoo in action. Summitskills

are alarmed by the number of projects where asbestos has been disturbed during refurbishment work. A warning has been issued to site owners planning refurbishment work to remind them that they have a legal responsibility to identify the location of asbestos before work starts. They must also arrange for its removal by properly licensed companies if the work runs the risk of disturbing the asbestos. Heating and Ventilation News

Emissions concern The UK must reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 34 per cent by 2020, according to a report by the Committee on Climate Change. The Committee on Climate Change, a new advisory body to government established under the terms of the Climate Change Act, has called on government to commit to reducing emissions of all greenhouse gases by at least 34 per cent by 2020. According to the report, Building a Lowcarbon Economy, the committee said that moving away from fossil fuels, improving energy efficiency, reducing transport emissions and purchasing offset credits would all contribute to reducing the nation's emission levels. The committee also stated that this amount should be increased to 42 per cent once a global deal to reduce emissions is achieved. Building Services Journal

8 NAPIT 0870 444 1392 www.napit.org.uk

Heights initiative Speedy Hire has joined forces with the Health and Safety Executive to urge companies to avoid using faulty ladders and unsuitable equipment when working at height. The initiative has been launched in a bid to cut the high number of deaths and injuries caused by falls from height. According to the HSE, falls from ladders caused 12 deaths in 2007. (See also our story on Pages 30-31). Electrical Contracting News

Tyres advice With petrol prices reaching record levels last year, Tyresafe, the UK’s leading tyre safety organisation, is advising van drivers that they can make a significant reduction to their costs by keeping their tyres correctly inflated. According to research, driving on tyres which are just ten psi under the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended pressure, can increase fuel consumption by 2.5 per cent. Professional Electrician and Installer If you spot an interesting industry story in the media, email the Editor magazine.editor@napit.org.uk


SPECIAL FEATURE

SHOWTIME! NAPIT lanyards featuring exhibition ID were also prominent. On the stand, new recruits were signed up and answers were found to questions on Part P and other relevant building regulations. There was also time for a chat about all manner of things electrical and meet the NAPIT team.

The spotlight falls on the busy NAPIT exhibition stand at Elex 2008 held at Sandown Racecourse. Existing members, potential members and visitors to the show kept the NAPIT team on their toes during the event. NAPIT carrier bags were to be seen everywhere across the exhibition floor.

On show – visitors with their NAPIT lanyards.

It’s all in the bag – no wonder this visitor is happy.

Look here – two visitors at the NAPIT stand.

In detail – NAPIT’s Darren Gilman (left) helps with the paperwork.

Out & About NAPIT is planning a busy year in 2009 for its exhibition and seminar team. NAPIT will have stands at a series of Elex Toolfair exhibitions. Don’t miss also the new seminars on testing and the 17th Edition Wiring Regulations involving NAPIT link-ups with equipment manufacturers Seaward and Megger.

Three’s company – NAPIT’s Frank Bertie (left) with some sound advice.

Listening to you – NAPIT’s Martin Bruno (centre) finds answers to your questions.

Such a good read – the Competent Person magazine is hard to put down.

Dates for you diary

February 19

February 25

March 25

Seaward Seminar Leicester RUFC.

Megger Seminar Cottesmore Golf & Country Club, Crawley.

Megger Seminar Moseley Rugby Club, Birmingham.

March 5

April 16

Megger Seminar Freemantle Club, Southampton.

Seaward Seminar Vauxhall Recreation Club, Luton.

March 12-13

April 30 to May 1

Elex Toolfair Harrogate.

Elex Toolfair Exeter.

February 24-26 H&V 09 Birmingham NEC.

February 24-26 RAC 09 Birmingham NEC.

NAPIT 0870 444 1392 www.napit.org.uk 9


SPECIAL FEATURE

Toptentipsonhowtoavoidlatepayment

Advice on improving your cash flow from financial expert Tom Collins

With the recession beginning to bite and work coming to a standstill in some parts of the construction industry, it’s a time to tighten your belts and look closely at making the most of your cash flow. Small businesses are among the hardest hit in times of financial crisis but there are simple measures you can take to cushion some of the hardest blows. Ensuring that your invoices are paid on time is one of the most effective means of making the most of your working capital and lightening the load on your borrowing. Knowing your customer is a key route to avoiding slow payment. New customers should of course be welcomed with open arms but if you are concerned about their ability to pay bear this in mind when you plan for the job. Following are ten top tips to ensure you are managing your debtors efficiently.

immediately. You don’t have to wait for a cheque to clear. 6 Know your customer – avoid risks with customers by running a credit check. If you knew a business had in the past experienced financial problems, would you still give them 30 days credit? The Internet can advise you on where to look for help here. 7 Get the money early – having agreed in writing on the nuts and bolts of the job, encourage customers to pay some part of the bill in advance. Offer a small discount if you are able. This does depend on the need for payment. Price reductions should be viewed carefully within the restraints of your cash flow.

1 Be quick to invoice – raise invoices as soon as a job is completed. Don’t wait until the end of the month.

8 Demand interest on late payments – you are legally entitled to do so. For more information on this, search the Internet for late payment legislation.

2 Be proactive – always chase outstanding invoices early. A polite call or email can often pre-empt a payment problem.

9 Don’t panic – if you run into financial problems, don’t ignore them. Talk to your financial advisers early on. They can often nip a problem in the bud and give straightforward advice on how to protect your business and its assets.

3 Issue contracts to customers – get it down in writing before the job begins. This avoids misunderstandings and encourages customers to think about payment early on. The NAPIT Small Works Contract is very helpful. The Small Works Contract is on the NAPIT website in the Downloads’ section. Visit www.napit.org.uk 4 Do your homework – if you have reason to believe it could be up to three months before you see any money, work out beforehand how you are going to manage this through your business. 5 Get paid electronically – the funds go straight into your bank account and are cleared and available for use on the day they’re received. BACS’ direct payments mean the money can earn interest 10 NAPIT 0870 444 1392 www.napit.org.uk

10 New business – the best way to combat the problems of late payment is to continue to look for new business. Boosting your cash flow is vital when times are hard. Know your business strengths and don’t hesitate to sell yourself and your services when given the opportunity. In conclusion, it makes sense from the word go to explain to your customers that you encourage prompt payment. It’s an important plank in building a healthy business relationship. The onus is on you to resolve any payment dispute you find yourself in. Taking legal action is a last resort for any business and that’s something we’ll look at in the next edition of The Competent Person.


TECHNICAL

Yourguidetoisolatingthe neutralconductor Under what circumstances must the neutral conductor be capable of being isolated? Or to put it another way, when is it permissible to have a solid neutral; for example, a neutral link? This question in one form or another arises frequently in connection with the arrangement for isolation at the origin and at other locations in electrical installations. The question is asked of different types of installation – domestic, industrial, commercial – single-phase and three-phase installations. I will try to answer such questions and in doing so I will consider only TN-S, TN-C-S and TT systems. It is beyond the scope of this article to consider alternative supplies. This I may look at in the future. The general requirements for isolation and switching are found in Section 537 of BS 7671:2008, with Regulation Group 537.2 concerning isolation in particular. The main linked switch or linked circuit-breaker required by Regulation 537.1.4 is a means of isolation. Isolation for the whole installation must be located as near as practicable to the origin of the installation.

exception is made for the origin of domestic or similar installations. In TT systems, the neutral conductor must be capable of being isolated or switched at the origin and throughout the installation. The reason that the neutral conductor need not be isolated or switched in TN-S or TN-C-S systems is that, in normal operating conditions, the potential of the neutral conductor will be close to that of exposed and extraneous-conductive-parts within the equipotential zone. This is because they are connected to Earth and the risk of any hazard occurring due to a solid neutral is minimal. That being said, a small potential between the neutral conductor and Earth is likely to be present and may be capable of giving a perceived electric shock. Where the neutral conductor has not been included in the means of isolation or switching in TN-S and TN-C-S systems, provision must be made for disconnecting the neutral conductor. This could be a bolted link, accessible to skilled persons only and incapable of being removed except by means of a tool. This gives skilled persons the option of disconnecting the neutral if they deem it advisable due to the nature of the work. During this process it is advisable to install a warning label to ensure reconnection of the removed neutral link.

In accordance with Regulation 537.1.2, in TN-S or TNC-S systems, the neutral conductor need not be isolated or switched where it can be regarded as being reliably connected to Earth by a suitably low impedance. This is the case where electricity supplies are provided in accordance with the Electricity Safety, Quality and Continuity Regulations 2002. This applies generally to single-phase and three-phase supplies at the origin and throughout the installation. However, an

Restricted access

Following issues raised by NAPIT Trade Association members, Bill Allan sets out the regulations and looks at some of issues surrounding this work Isolation arrangements at the origin

Fig 1

Continued on Page 12

Arrangement of single-phase TN-S and TN-C-S systems where access is restricted to skilled and instructed personel only

(a)

(b)

(c) L

L N

In single-phase TN-S and TN-C-S systems where access is restricted to skilled and instructed persons only, such as some commercial or industrial locations, the arrangement for isolation at the origin of the installation is shown in Fig 1.

neutral link

PEN

L N

N

PE

PE TN-S

PE TN-C-S

TT

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TECHNICAL

Yourguidetoisolatingtheneutral conductor CONTINUED Single-phase and three-phase TT systems In TT systems, the neutral conductor must be capable of being isolated or switched at the origin and throughout the installation. In single-phase and threephase TT systems, there is no difference in arrangement at the origin where access is restricted to skilled or instructed persons only or where the main switch is intended for operation by ordinary persons. Figs 4 shows this arrangement.

Domestic premises An exception to the above has been made where a main switch is intended for operation by ordinary persons; that is, persons who are not electrically competent. This can be found in Regulation 537.1.4. This exception is the case in domestic premises. The

main switch must interrupt the live conductors; e.g. the line and neutral conductors of a single-phase supply, regardless of the type of supply system. This regulation specifically requires a double-pole main switch in consumer units. While the regulations don’t encourage unskilled people to carry out electrical work, it is generally accepted that unskilled people may carry out work on the electrical installation unaware of the potential which can exist between neutral and Earth. This requirement to interrupt the line and neutral conductors applies only to the main switch in domestic premises. See Fig 2.

Isolation arrangements at the origin of three-phase systems In three-phase systems there is no difference in arrangement at the origin where access is restricted

Arrangement at the origin where main switch is intended for operation by ordinary persons (e.g. in domestic premises)

Fig 2

(b)

(a)

(c)

L

L

N

PEN

L N

N PE

PE

PE TN-S

TT

TN-C-S

Arrangement at the origin of the installation – three-phase systems

Fig 3

(a)

(b)

(c)

L1

L1

L1

L2

L2

L2

L3

L3

L3 PEN

N

N PE

PE TN-S

12 NAPIT 0870 444 1392 www.napit.org.uk

PE TN-C-S

TT


TECHNICAL

to skilled or instructed people only or where the main switch is intended for operation by ordinary persons. The arrangements are shown in Fig 3.

Isolation of circuits within an installation Suitable isolation arrangements are shown for circuits within an installation for single-phase systems in Fig 4 and three-phase systems in Fig 5.

Conclusion Irrespective of the above requirements, the designer may decide to provide for the neutral conductor to be isolated at a particular point, or points, regardless of the type of supply system. Under the regulations this is acceptable. Where appliance manufacturers

provide instructions requiring local double-pole isolation then this must be provided. Adequate isolation is a requirement of Regulation 12 of the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989. Further guidance on isolation and switching is contained in IEE Guidance Note 2, Isolation and Switching although it should be pointed out that this publication has not yet been updated to the 17th Edition.

Definitions Instructed person A person adequately advised or supervised by skilled persons to enable him/her to avoid dangers which electricity may create. Ordinary person A person who is neither a skilled person nor an instructed person.

Isolation of circuits within an installation – single-phase systems

Fig 4

(a)

(b) L

L

N

N

CPC

CPC TN-S and TN-C-S

Fig 5

TT

Isolation of circuits within an installation – three-phase systems

(a)

(b) L1

L1

L2

L2

L3

L3

N

N

CPC

CPC TN-S and TN-C-S

TT

NAPIT 0870 444 1392 www.napit.org.uk 13


INDUSTRY SHOCKER! 50% of electricians are still not trained to 17th Edition The 1st July 2008 deadline to upgrade from 16th to17th Edition IEE Wiring Regulations has passed. Are your qualifications up-to-date? Why book your training course with NAPIT? Because the benefits you will receive include: • • • • •

FREE lunch and light refreshments throughout the day Experienced instructors to guide you through the course NEW on-line exams High pass rates guaranteed Receive a FREE Handbook on each course!

New dates for 2009 Venues

Courses

MARCH

APRIL

MAY

Surrey

3 day course 1 day course

– 12th

21st–23rd 14th

Manchester

3 day course 1 day course

2nd – 4th 5th

6th – 8th, 27th – 29th 9th, 30th

18th – 20th 21st

Skipton

3 day course 1 day update

17th–19th 10th & 12th

South West

3 day course 1 day update

14th–16th 7th & 9th

Please note to be eligible for the 17th Edition update course you must have completed the 16th Edition full course after June 2001. Course dates may be subject to change

Book now on 0845 20 20 148 or email info@napit.org.uk We would like to visit a town near you. Get a group together to suggest your area and receive discounted training courses.

Name Address

I Three day course I One day update

I I would like a course in my town / city (Please state your area)

Postcode Telephone number



To register your interest send this tear off slip to NAPIT, 4th Floor, Mill 3, Pleasley Vale Business Park, Mansfield, Nottinghamshire NG19 8RL. Tel: 0870 444 1392 Alternatively, email these details to info@napit.org.uk


TECHNICAL

The future of ventilation systems Derek Guy of Itho Ventilation explains how and why mechanical ventilation systems are a cost-effective way of reducing energy consumption in the home

How a heat recovery system works within a home.

As the Building Regulations continue to tighten in keeping with UK Government targets, the pressure on the building industry to provide environmentally sound housing is increasing almost daily. In order to keep energy consumption levels at a minimum in our homes, simple tasks such as turning off unnecessary lights and not overfilling the kettle can only conserve a certain amount of energy.

Stringent regulations In order to make a real difference to the onset of climate change, significant changes must be made right from the very beginning. April 2006 saw the Government review Part L of the Building Regulations for England and Wales. These laws have been introduced to encourage better insulation and more efficient heating systems. Air pressure leakage testing became mandatory and homes are now striving to achieve increasing levels of air tightness. In 2006, 27 per cent of the UK’s total CO2 emissions came from the energy used to heat, light and power homes1. This makes it easy to understand why such a critical eye has been laid upon the building industry and why such stringent regulations are now in place.

While a sealed home can boast excellent energy saving ratings, there is a very real drawback that cannot be ignored. Increased levels of insulation combined with double glazed windows and higher quality doors, all enable heat to remain within the walls of the dwelling. However, when taking into consideration that the average family produces approximately 15 litres of water per day2 through general household activities, you can see that without anywhere for these contaminants to escape, the indoor air quality can quickly deteriorate. Without a continuous flow of fresh air into the property, the internal atmosphere will become stale and full of contaminants which, if not removed, will cause annoyances such as condensation and mould growth as well as aggravated health problems for the occupants.

Zero carbon homes Moving ahead from Part L, on May 1 2008 it became mandatory for all new homes to be rated against the Code for Sustainable Homes. Each is measured Continued on Page 16 NAPIT 0870 444 1392 www.napit.org.uk 15


TECHNICAL

The future of ventilation system against a 1 to 6 star rating which communicates the overall sustainability performance of the building. The code sets minimum standards for energy and water usage at each level; the higher the rating, the more energy efficient the home. When referring to ventilation and the recommended methods to help improve the air quality levels for these more air-tight homes, the code refers to the Energy Saving Trust – Best Practice Guide (2006 edition). This recommends using MVHR (Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery) or MEV (Mechanical Extract Ventilation) continuous running systems. In the publicly-funded home building sector, achieving Level 3 is compulsory. This is driving an inevitable period of change and product development across all sectors within the construction industry – and not least of all in ventilation. Between now and 2016, everyone involved in the construction industry will be working toward building zero carbon homes when level 6 is expected to be incorporated into the national building regulations in England. The Code for Sustainable Homes – Setting the Standard in Sustainability for New Homes, published by the Department for Communities and Local Government, sets out a series of incremental targets between now and then, gradually reducing to nil the CO2 emitted by new dwellings.

Maintenance-free This means that homes will become increasingly, airtight. So in turn, the ventilation industry has had to respond with innovative systems to combat the potential disadvantages of condensation, mould growth, dust mites and external pollutants – and thus maintain a healthy and pleasant environment in which people can live. A heat recovery unit.

16 NAPIT 0870 444 1392 www.napit.org.uk

As well as providing effective ventilation, these systems must also be as energy efficient, quiet, unobtrusive and as maintenancefree as possible. Designers and manufacturers of such systems have had to take all of these aims into consideration. MVHR units are most often put forward as part of a low-energy design strategy for homes and are a great way for builders to improve their score. The principle is that you build your house air-tight to minimise air infiltration and then mechanically supply fresh air via a heat exchanger. As a ventilation system is necessary within the build anyway, it becomes common sense to use the most efficient available.

Drastic cuts This particular form of ventilation reduces heat loss from a property by allowing a percentage of the heat from the extracted air to transfer over to the incoming fresh air, potentially making drastic cuts to your heating load while maintaining high internal air quality. In order to comply with the Code for Sustainable Homes along with the Energy Saving Trust, all MVHR systems must have a Specific Fan Power of 1 watt per litre or less, and a Heat Recovery Efficiency of 85 per cent or more. This is the case regardless of what level of the code you are aiming to reach, from level 3 to level 6. As advised, the MVHR unit must also be tested to the SAP Appendix Q test methodology where the results are placed on their website www.sap-appendixq.org.uk. Here you can search the entire database listing each ventilation unit in order of its efficiency ratings. Specifically designed to calculate the overall energy performance of dwellings, SAP demonstrates a units’ compliance with building regulations within each of the following areas: Part L (England and Wales), Section 6 (Scotland) and Part F (Northern Ireland), and also provides energy ratings for homes


TECHNICAL

ms

CONTINUED

that can be compared nationally. The Appendix Q procedure allows the more efficient MEV and MVHR units to be used to help reduce the total CO2 load on the dwelling design.

Heat loss Traditionally, ventilation systems have been criticised for inadvertently extracting heat when removing contaminants from a home, resulting in the occupants commonly raising the temperature on their heating units to compensate for the loss. This is clearly counterproductive and undermines the purpose of building an airtight home. In response to this, MVHR units have been designed to help overcome or at least heavily reduce the heat loss aspect associated with ventilation. One such MVHR unit featuring highly on the SAP Appendix Q website is the HRU ECO 4 from Itho Ventilation Limited. This particular product can give a Heat Recovery Efficiency of up to 91 per cent which along with a Specific Fan Power as low as 0.50 w/l/s, helps you to meet the call for renewable energy in the requirements set by the code.

Quiet energy Transferring heat from the extracted contaminated air into the incoming fresh air through its sophisticated high impact “polystyrene 2710” heat exchanger, the unit offers maximum surface area for heat to be transferred and enables the dwelling to retain a high proportion of its heat reserves and remain largely unaffected by the unit’s extraction process in the case of traditional extract fans. In the case of the Itho HRU ECO 4, the addition of quiet energy saving DC motors, offers a further energy saving opportunity as the unit is able to function at a much lower consumption level than those fitted with a standard AC motors for maximum efficiency. A whole house MVHR system, the unit extracts from all of the wet rooms (currently tested by BRE on one kitchen plus up to seven additional wet rooms) and once the heat from the extracted air is infused into the incoming fresh air, this warm clean air is then circulated into the habitable rooms, making the HRU ECO 4 the ideal complement to environmentally friendly airtight homes.

The Code for Sustainable Homes Route Map Private sector (Energy) >

Voluntary

Assessment mandatory

Level 3 mandatory

Level 4 mandatory

Level 4 mandatory

Level 6 mandatory

Level 6 mandatory

Time-line Public sector land/funds >

Level 3 mandatory

Due to the unique design of these systems as a whole, the implications of re-using heat which would have originally been expelled from the property, lends MVHR units to the idea of renewable energy as mentioned above. The system is able to re-use the heat currently built up in the home and input it back into the habitable rooms – in turn reducing the gas or electricity consumption levels that would have needed to be used to replace the lost heat. Compliant with the relevant Building Regulations (England and Wales) – System 4 of Part F (Means of Ventilation) and Part L (Conservation of Energy in Homes, Offices and other Buildings) along with the improved standards set by the Code for Sustainable Homes, the HRU ECO 4 can help any developer, builder or specifier to meet the increased standards set by the UK Government. Originating within the heart of the Netherlands, the home of clean living, Itho has established a reputation for supplying reliable and efficient climate systems. Following continued investment into energy saving technologies, it continues to research new ways to improve its products in order to remain one step ahead of government legislation. Recently crossing on to UK soil, Itho Ventilation Limited is not just in the business of selling boxes, it offers the full service from free design to a comprehensive after-sales service.

Above: The code for sustainable home route map.

Latest campaign Its latest initiative offers every customer that purchases a HRU ECO 4 their first set of replacement G4 or F7 filters absolutely free when registering their product online at www.itho.co.uk. Understanding the importance of regularly maintaining ventilation units in order to experience best results, Itho is trying to convey this message though to its customers. energysavingtrust.org.uk How to Contribute to Climate Change. 2 BS5925:1991 1

To find out more about Itho, its background and its environmentally friendly products visit www.itho.co.uk.

NAPIT 0870 444 1392 www.napit.org.uk 17


MEMBERS

Council ‘not interested’ in Part P work Dear Sir It is my first year with NAPIT and I am extremely happy with the service provided. I will be renewing my subscription when the time comes. This is because the level of support is second to none, certainly streets ahead of another organisation I tried to join that says it has similar aims but spectacularly fails to deliver. I have been a JIB-approved electrician for a number of years and in the past had used the fact that I was not Part P qualified as a get out to say that I couldn’t do work in domestic properties. But now that we are in the middle of the biggest downturn since the 1930s I find myself having to do domestic work. I completely reject the reply to the letter on Part P (The Competent Person, Issue 6, 2008) by the spokesman for the Department of Communities and Local Government. I would suggest to him that the only person who believes what he says is himself. I would refer him to the saying that went around at the time of the downfall of President Nixon: “You can fool all of the people some of the time but you can’t fool some of the people all of the time.” The spokesperson for the DCLG should hang his head in shame. Taking his reply line by line, when I told the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in London that they had a duty to certify work completed by a householder, they simply weren’t interested in doing so. They just said the householder should get a self-

certifying company to do the work. When I informed the council that they were failing in their duties, the council spokesperson seemed perplexed. The DCLG spokesperson said that the Competent Person scheme holders have agreed a reporting system of illegal working with local authorities. So now you’re asking me to grass up my friends who do this work. It’s just not going to happen. In the final paragraph of his reply, the DCLG spokesperson said: “We hope that the measures will act as a greater deterrent to non-compliance.” Well they won’t. Until the Government takes a more proactive stance on making sure that compliance has been reached, nothing will happen. Some people judge themselves by their intentions, while others judge themselves by their actions. Our Government has done nothing to help the situation – just aggravated it by adding a layer of toothless legislation contributing to the costs of the law-abiding. This gives the green light to the cowboys to steal business from the Competent Person – by presenting the customer with a cheaper, albeit illegal solution, to his problem. Rob Keeling Abrahams and Keeling Colmer Road London

Following is a response from John Jackson, head of building control at the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea: In response to Mr Keeling's letter, I draw your readers' attention to the fact that the council has no duty to certify work under Part P. I would also remind readers that it is the responsibility of those carrying out building work to ensure that the relevant provisions of Schedule 1, including Part P, of the Building Regulations are fully met. The role of building control in enforcing the regulations is to check that they do so. The Royal Borough recommends to those inquiring about Part P that they should employ a qualified electrician and if they are registered with a Competent Person Scheme then the local authority will not be involved. If the qualified electrician is not registered with a CPS then a building control application, subject to the work being notifiable, will need to be made. In the latter case, compliance will, in general, be demonstrated by the issuing of an appropriate BS 7671 electrical installation certificate by a suitable qualified electrician. If work is undertaken by an unqualified person then a building control application, subject to the work being notifiable, will need to be made and, depending on the nature and extent of the work, inspection and testing may be undertaken by the building control body. Even if the 18 NAPIT 0870 444 1392 www.napit.org.uk

work is deemed to satisfy the requirements this would not result in the issuing of a BS 7671 certificate. Should the owner subsequently require a certificate they will only be able to obtain a Periodic Inspection Report. This however will not verify that the installation is fully compliant with the relevant requirements. It is hoped that inquirers heed our advice and employ a qualified electrician, and preferably one who is registered with a CPS.

The Editor welcomes letters for publication but reserves the right to edit the content where necessary. Send your letters to: The Editor, The Competent Person magazine, NAPIT, 4th Floor, Mill 3, Pleasley Vale Business Park, Mansfield NG19 8RL Or email them to magazine.editor@napit.org.uk


Buy a Megger MFT tester and get a Megger multimeter and volt finder FREE As a member of NAPIT, Megger would like to make you a special offer. Megger will give you a fork multimeter and volt finder DCM330 – worth £95 – FREE, when you buy a Megger MFT1552 or MFT1553 all-in-one tester from NAPIT Direct or your nearest Megger stockist. The Megger MFT allin-one installation tester is the most popular in Britain. It is easy to use and does all the testing you need to issue a NAPIT certificate. The DCM330 multimeter and volt finder is also fantastic addition to your toolbox. It can: • measure 200 A a.c. in single unshielded conductors of less than 16 mm diameter in its open jaw • can resolve from 0.1 V to 1000 V a.c. and d.c.measure 0.1Ω to 20 MΩ • check continuity and diodes • and is a non-contact detector of a.c. voltage. To buy a Megger MFT tester, shop online at www.napit.org.uk or telephone NAPIT Direct on 0870 444 1392. To contact your nearest Megger stockist telephone 01304 502 101.

How to claim your FREE Megger multimeter and volt finder To claim your free Megger fork multimeter and volt finder complete the form below and attach with proof of purchase of your Megger MFT1552 or MFT1553. Send both to Megger at the following address: NAPIT Welcome Offer, Megger Limited, Archcliffe Road, Dover CT17 9EN Please note this offer is valid for purchases made after January 1 and cannot be combined with any other offer from Megger. The claim must reach Megger before November 30 2009 to be valid.

Please complete in block capitals and send together with proof of purchase to: NAPIT Welcome Offer, Megger Limited, Archcliffe Road, Dover CT17 9EN

Above: The Megger MFT 1552 tester. Left: The Megger DCM330 multimeter.

Don’t miss Regs to Riches Seminars – details on Page 5



Name: ........................................................................................ Company: ...................................................................................... Address: ................................................................................................................................................................................................ .................................................................................................... Town: .............................................................................................. Post code:.................................................................................. Tel: .................................................................................................. Email .......................................................................................... NAPIT membership number: ........................................................


TECHNICAL

Twelve easy steps to safe In response to members’ inquiries following articles in The Competent Person No 5 and 6 2008 on safe isolation procedures, highlighted here in a simple flow chart are twelve steps for the safe isolation of electrical circuits and equipment, writes Don Holmes. The chart illustrates frequently used methods. It should be remembered that the most effective way of isolating circuits and equipment is to turn off the isolating switch in the consumer unit, or three-phase distribution board, locking it off and attaching a label. This method of isolation – although very effective – presents other problems and may introduce other hazards to the working environment. One of them could be the lack of effective lighting to work safely. Therefore it can be seen that careful thought and a risk assessment is essential to determine the most suitable method of isolation to use.

Step 1

Step 2

Check with the occupier/user that it is acceptable to isolate the circuit/equipment.

Identify the type of supply system TN-S – Double-pole main switch TN-C-S – Double-pole main switch TT – DP Isolation – All circuits and equipment. ON

RCD

RCD

OFF

Step 8 Fit appropriate lock off device and locks. Person carrying out works to retain key.

Step 7 Isolate circuit / equipment by: • Switching off - Double-Pole/three-phase Isolator - Circuit-Breakers - Withdrawing fuse.

Step 9

Step 10

Fit warning label for isolation and identified work.

Verify the circuit/equipment is isolated. Use the approved voltage indicator device to verify circuit is dead. Test between all conductors Line-Line, Line-Neutral, Line-Earth, Neutral-Earth.

Process for re-energising the circuit/equipment Step 1 After completing the work inspect and test in accordance with Part 6 BS 7671 (dead tests).

20 NAPIT 0870 444 1392 www.napit.org.uk

Step 2 Remove locking off devices, locks and labels and restore electrical supply.

sa


TECHNICAL

fe isolation Step 3

Step 4

Locate and identify the circuit/equipment to be isolated.

Select an approved voltage indicator device, this must be verified • On a known supply • On a proving unit.

ON

RCD

RCD

OFF

50 100 200 400

75 150 240 560

Step 5

no

Verify the circuit/equipment is functional. Use the approved voltage indicator device to verify circuit/equipment. If the circuit is not operational, dead testing may be required to verify the circuit.

Step 6 Identify suitable means of isolation. satisfactory?

yes

Step 11 no

Step 12 no

Re-check the approved voltage indicator device is still functional • On the same known supply as Step 4 • On the same proving unit as Step 4.

satisfactory?

satisfactory?

50 100 200 400

75 150 240 560

yes

Step 3 Complete testing (live tests). Commission circuit equipment.

yes

Circuit/equipment should be safe to carry out the work. Always remain vigilant and recheck with voltage indicating device when moving away and returning to the circuit/equipment.

50 100 200 400

75 150 240 560

Step 4 Complete and issue appropriate test certificates/reports.

NAPIT 0870 444 1392 www.napit.org.uk 21


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MEMBERS

Regional council news from across the UK Chairman of the NAPIT Trade Association Dennis Denholm with a round-up of the issues making the headlines in your area and a reminder of future meetings

National news As a result of regional council meetings, members have requested more calibration days throughout 2009. Following this, Trade Association officials have met with the Calibration Centre to organise calibration days in conjunction with NAPIT at various locations around the country. The next dates available to get your equipment calibrated are shown on Page 36 – with days being held in Gloucestershire, Brighton and Poole. With each event repeated every year in the same area there’s no need to be without your testing equipment giving you a continual trusted service at a competitive price.

Burnley At a meeting at the Inn on the Warf, members discussed the implications of IEE 17th Edition Regulation 522.6 (cables concealed in walls). They said this regulation had the most impact on their daily work. Further discussion took place on the various anomalies brought about by this regulation. Next meeting: the Inn of the Warf, March 11.

Why not give the Calibration Centre a call – on 01785 600691 – to book your equipment in for a super fast turnaround and have your certificates issued while you wait within the hour. Further issues raised with the Trade Association included ways in which members can safely and legally dispose of customers’ waste once a job is completed. Having covered the WEEE directive in previous issues of the Competent Person, NAPIT have teamed up with anyjunk.co.uk Please see Pages 30/31 to see how this can benefit your company. Included in this in-depth article are ways explaining the correct processes of waste disposal.

Norwich Next meeting: Holiday Inn, Norwich, February 24.

West Midlands Next meeting: Bridge Hotel, Prestbury, February 25.

Maidstone Next meeting: Maidstone, venue and date to be confirmed.

Swansea Meeting date: Express Holiday Inn, Swansea, April 21.

Bristol Meeting date: Holiday Inn, Filton, April 22.

Southampton Meeting at the Express Holiday Inn, members requested guidance on how to report incompetent or unregistered installers of electrical installations to the authorities. Next meeting: Express Holiday Inn, March 24.

For more information about events and meetings involving the NAPIT Trade Association visit www.napit.org.uk or telephone 0870 444 1392 NAPIT 0870 444 1392 www.napit.org.uk 23


MEMBERS

That Venus and Mars thi The new phone arrived the other day and I was NAPIT reminded of my Fluke multimeter. No instruction book. They expect me to have all these qualifications, to be member able to run a business – and a social life – and deal with Sally Brand Mrs Thingumy who keeps phoning up about her radio batteries not lasting. takes a On top of that, I have to be able to download an sideways look instruction manual. I ask you? They think I’m six years old and with all the time it takes to master a download? at the So, with the phone, I am making it up as I go along and every time it presents a challenge I try to get the differences hang of it. As for the Fluke multimeter, well I had to throw between the loads of toys out of my cot before they printed me a copy of the “destructions” and posted them to me. sexes in the construction Honeywell course industry You see, the chaps at Fluke told me that men don’t read instructions, so they weren’t well positioned to help me with a set. Here we go with the man/woman thing.

So to the Editor’s message about writing this; I sat locked into a cell-hell for ages before I managed to release it, and then longer while I learned about boiler wiring on the Honeywell course and batted Mrs Thingumy’s calls around until she believed me that I don’t know about her radio, before I got back to him. “Would you like to write a piece for The Competent Person?” “You bet I would, what on?” The obvious subject, which makes me cringe, came up – being a female electrician. So this is it and I’m cringing like a goodun in case it’s not good copy. There’s more, or less, depending on where you stand on it than gender. Having persuaded Roger to give me carte blanche, I realise that there are things I might be able to say that your missus might believe if they come from me. I might be able to do you a favour here. This might be the only article in the Competent Person that you actually pass across the sofa.

Quirks and foibles So, I am praying like a mad beast that the picture attached to this article is really small – that’s me bringing some new circuits into a new board prior to making the big switch-over of the tails and all the other household circuits. The work is at a standstill waiting for the other trades so I can’t wow you with my Zs’ readings or anything yet. Still pretty much like that as I write. As you can probably make out, I am a woman. What you can’t see is a much loved old voltage tester, carefully out of shot with rather long probes that have some melted bits on the tips – and that is most definitely not GS38. You’ve got one of those too and you hide yours from your inspector just like I do? Just another ordinary electrician with all our quirks and foibles is the way I see it. Believe me, I’m an electrician with nagging customers and faults I can’t find – they are there, every day, just like yours. I too have to haul myself up into a loft by my triceps from time to time. I know you want to put me on an age map because that’s what people do to each other. So you tell me how old you are and I’ll tell you mine. Go on, get on Google; I was born on the day Marilyn Monroe died. Scares me rigid that. Old. Send lotions and chocolate immediately. I’ve been in this game for six years. But don’t ever mention that again or I’ll be after you with some of the tools out of the back of the plumber’s van. I’ve been Part P, as they call it out there pretty much since P became a part.

Sally bringing circuits into a new board prior to making a switchover of the tails. Picture: Simon Lambert

24 NAPIT 0870 444 1392 www.napit.org.uk

Tower Bridge So that’s six years as a self-employed Sparks. Mainly domestic, but some commercial. Installation, testing and a fair bit of work for the LABC for whom I test the


MEMBERS

ing in the workplace

*

work of those amazing vanishing electricians; the ones who do a job and then vaporise as soon as payment is made and certificates are required. Funny that, my customers seem to be able to track me down for the smallest things, like radio batteries not lasting, so I wonder about that disappearing act. Ah, that’ll be unregisteds then? Or rather, those who pretend to be registered. I have no real problem with those who choose not to be registered and admit it but I’ll go out of my way to put those who pretend to be so called “competent” naked in a glass box and hang them all up over Tower Bridge with David Blaine for company. Oh, give me a soapbox and a flag to wave. I could go on for ages about that but I’ve come to understand that men are of few words compared to me, so I’ll zip. Do you see the picture of a woman electrician emerging here? It’s no different from yours really, is it? The thing about being self-employed is that the world and his dog think it’s a breeze. True, most of us would hate to have to go back on the cards with anyone but it isn’t exactly a life of sitting outside coffee shops watching the blokes – or girls in your case probably – go by is it? It’s more of a state of panic to get the work done and keep the rest of the work flowing in.

Kelly Brooke So the whole package takes up way more time than we’d like it to. Self-employed is a bit of a misnomer I reckon. We just have lots of different employers, AKA the clients, who take ownership of us from the minute we walk through their door with a volt-stick. I’ve become pretty good at screaming into the pub at the last minute before the mates all go off to eat, with hair still a bit damp and a handbag full of trunking corners and odd bits of galvanised SWA boxes. I love it though and it is really rewarding. But the point I want to make for your husband or wife is that if we are stuck on a fault find or doing something with the electricity off, then even a date with Brad Pitt or Kelly Brooke is going to have to wait until the client has some means of heat and light restored. If it is a juicy fault find, then there’s nothing we can do but put one of those silly headlamps on and get on with it. Basic heat and light is a human rights issue I reckon and we don’t have the power to walk away with the main fuse so that they don’t try to switch it back on. So we stay, and twilight on a Friday night can come and go without us knowing about it from that loft. Mrs Electrician, he doesn’t have time to be anywhere but at work and if he does he’s too tired! I see a great deal of relationship pressure going on in trade. Sad

really. We’re owned by our clients. Mine’s a Sauvignon Blanc, pal, when you get a moment, so long as you don’t mind the damp hair. Falling in with the other trades is another one of the joys of managing yourself; I’m coming to realise that the Sparks is the one who has to adapt the most. Get a supply ready for the builders, get first fixed before the plasterers, who have of course been booked for way too soon, then go back and get the muck out of the boxes – and in my case shout a great deal about plasterers being Neanderthal animals – then second fix, then go back and faff around after the tiler has gone too far over the edges of the boxes and you can’t get the screws back in.

Trade magazine You know what I’m talking about, so I’ll go quiet again. Oh, and have the whole lot think you are a complete horror (I tamed a word there) because you won’t let Mrs Client have the supply for the lathe in the shed spurred off the lounge radial socket 100 feet away. And we love it! Yes, you too. The differences between men and women in the electrical business? Hmm, I’d bet you don’t admire quite so many bums as I do. I’d say you can pull bigger SWA than I and that you can carry more reels of 2.5 at once than I. There’s a long list. But I bet you can’t do this… *Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus is a book by John Gray offering suggestions for improving relationships by understanding the communication style and emotional needs of the opposite gender.

NAPIT 0870 444 1392 www.napit.org.uk 25


TECHNICAL

Blooming marvellous NAPIT Group Technical Director Frank Bertie with a brief guide to getting it right with electrical work in the garden

Approved Document P 2006 of the Building Regulations, to give Part P it’s correct title, is the publication that details the requirements for electrical installations to meet compliance with the Building Regulations. The requirements of Approved Document P state that any electrical work carried out in gardens must be notified to the local authority. As a NAPIT member this is a simple process but if the landscaping or gardening contractor is not registered with a Competent Persons’ Scheme, as run by one of the approved scheme operators, they will not be able to self-certify their own work. This is an area where NAPIT members can develop their business by providing the installation work for landscaping contractors. This will save time and money as they will not have to inform the local authority prior to the work starting, which can result in delays or additional costs to the contract. For simplicity, I will summarise the requirements for electrical installations in gardens under the following headings:

• the location of buried cables should be identified by route markers and recorded on drawings. Cables must be at a sufficient depth to avoid being damaged by reasonably foreseeable disturbance of the ground • cables must be protected against prolonged exposure to direct sunlight. • any joints or connections should be provided with a suitable IP enclusure.

General garden areas

Detached garages and sheds

All new lighting and power circuits installed are subject to notification under the Part P requirements. Additions to lighting circuits installed on the external parts of the building are not subject to notification. All socket- outlets rated at 32 Amps or less for use outdoors must be provided with 30 mA RCD protection. All portable equipment for use outdoors, rated at 32 Amps or less must be provided with 30 mA RCD protection.

Supplies to outbuildings should be derived from their own circuit and not extended from existing power or lighting circuits. Cables can be installed overhead by means of a catenary wire – subject to minimum height requirements. For further information see Competent Person Mangazine No 5 2007.

Water features: ponds, fountains and swimming pools All new lighting and power circuits installed are subject to notification under the Part P requirements. Installations in these areas are covered by BS 7671 Section 702, which details the requirements. All circuits must be provided with 30 mA RCD protection.

Hot tubs All new lighting and power circuits installed are subject to notification under the Part P requirements. All circuits must be provided with RCD protection. Above right Live wires: the Gardeners’ World team from the BBC know the importance of safe installations in the garden. Picture – BBC.

Cable installations When cables are installed within the garden environment, there are requirements regarding the methods to be employed: • cables should be protected against mechanical damage by armouring or by a suitable enclosure

26 NAPIT 0870 444 1392 www.napit.org.uk

Survey It is important that prior to any work starting that the electrical installation is surveyed. The checks carried out are to ensure that it is safe for the additional circuits and equipment to be installed. Failure to verify the suitability of the electrical installation can result in additional costs to correct the works and possible prosecution in the event of an accident or building control inspection. Any defects within the existing installation affecting the new circuit should be reported to the person ordering the work to allow suitable repairs to be carried out.

Certification Regardless of whether the work requires notification to the local authority, the electrical installation must be inspected and tested, and a certificate issued, detailing those test results for the work undertaken. Where defects in the existing installation do not comprise the new electrical work these should be reported to the person ordering the work to allow appropriate action to be taken.


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cumbersome PDA devices, ‘look up’ tables and, of course, having to record information twice. With accompanying PowerPlus PC software, the 1557 loads 17th edition certificate information onto your PC via Bluetooth. So you can store it for record traceability and print it directly onto certificates. If you need to re-test, the data can simply be transferred back to the tester. And, because you can add templates as new certificates emerge, the 1557 is future-proof.

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MEMBERS

Sweet taste of successo Roger Ryan meets a NAPIT member from the Wirral specialising in industrial and commercial work

Outside the cold stung like a jab in the ribs. His voice was hoarse. He could hardly speak a word. Electrical contractor and NAPIT member Simon Harding had spent the previous day on a bridge in the face of a wintry blast. Working 30 feet up, he had been leading a team to fix in place a control panel at the Tate & Lyle plant in Birkenhead, by the banks of the Mersey. Sitting in his warm office, he was apologising for the roughness of his vocal chords: “We had no protection up there. It was hard work.

Merseyside humour “There was a bit of a push on the job. Automation is being introduced at the Tate & Lyle site. As part of this we designed and built an automative panel and had spent the day just getting it in place. The weather was at its worst, no snow but cold.” The job at Tate and Lyle involved installing electric motors, new remote stopstart switches, supplies, tray work and cable runs up to 500 metres. Major changes were taking place on the storage site where surprisingly for a major sugar refiner there’s nothing sweeter to be found than Merseyside humour. Down by the docks, Everton fan Simon and his team were busy ensuring that the electrical infrastructure would be ready for the big kick-off. Simon runs Eurotech Electrical Services based at Prenton in Birkenhead, on the Wirral, specialists in industrial and commercial work. They’ve been NAPIT members for the best part of two years. “Ninety five per cent is industrial and commercial. We also do domestic. We are busy at the moment. I haven’t had a weekend off in 15. Sitting here with you is making a welcome change,” he assured me. Centre: Merseyside trio: Paul Stott, Simon Harding and Marcus Fraser. Right: Simon and the sign of success. Opposite right: Marcus at work in the control room.

28 NAPIT 0870 444 1392 www.napit.org.uk

Champion Spark Plugs, North West Water and a major hotel chain are among the names to have featured on Simon’s client list. “We’ve been fortunate,” he added. “We’ve had a good few blue chip companies to work for.” On the Tate & Lyle job, Eurotech was also employing a full-time electrician, Paul Stott, and a sub-contractor, Marcus Levick. “The lads working for me are brilliant. On this job they’ve given 110 per cent. I couldn’t fault them for their dedication.” Simon is also looking to take on a new apprentice from 12 Quays College on the Wirral. He began his career as an apprentice at Vauxhall Motors in Ellesmere Port. For 18 years he was employed as a maintenance electrician at the car plant. A change of direction in 1998 led him to opt for the world of self-employment and his own business. “I knew a manager at Champion Spark Plugs,” he recalls. “They couldn’t get hold of someone to do a job. So I took it on. It really was the spark that started it all.”


MEMBERS

on Tate & Lyle job

courses have been of much benefit: “Qualifications are important. My lads all have the City & Guilds 2400. It’s crucial when it comes to the job.” Simon has also completed a certificated course for working in hazardous environments.

Simon ranks personal service as the key to success in business. He points out that some industrial and commercial firms grow large and then fail to remember the needs of their customers. “They all seem to employ 20 or 30 and continuity goes out the window. The customer never knows who is going to turn up from one day to the next. Customer service is my driving force.”

College lecturer On the Wirral, 95 per cent of work available to electricians is in the domestic sector. By dedicating Eurotech to the commercial and industrial world, Simon has found a niche and his business has expanded. Most work comes his way via recommendation. Studying and improving his knowledge of the job is important to Simon. He left Vauxhall with an HNC on the industrial side. Attending 12 Quays College has been a revelation. College lecturer Dave Tinsley has become something of a mentor to Simon. “I consult him on many things,” he explains. “He’s been fantastically supportive – a great help.” City & Guilds 2391 Inspection and Testing and the City & Guilds 2400 Design, Erection and Verification

Tate & Lyle project engineer Stewart Wakefield said: “Eurotech, and in particular Simon Harding, display a professional and expert approach to what is a very specialist area of work. He is approachable and accommodating at all times and the standard of work is always of exceptional quality, delivered on schedule. An excellent service is backed up by an excellent knowledge base – a credit to the electrical industry.”

Value for money persuaded Simon to join NAPIT: “I like their professional approach. I was very impressed with John Andrews and what he had to say. I am in good company being part of NAPIT. Dave Tinsley is a member of NAPIT too. I get on well with my field officer Lester Bell. Very approachable – always there for advice. I like that fact NAPIT always has someone available to talk on the phone. Membership of Trustmark is important to me too. The logo is always associated with good workmanship.”

Simon believes that Part P has made a difference and is leading to rising standards in the industry. “If your workmanship is good you should never be out of a job,” he added.

Tanning studio On the few occasions when he is not at work, Simon likes a game of golf and a visit to Goodison Park, the home of Everton FC. He is married to Lindy and has seven children. There is clearly never a dull moment in the Harding household. A refurbishment at a riding school is in the pipeline for the Eurotech lads and maybe a spot of domestic work at a barn conversion. But one job they are really looking forward too is the outfitting of a hairdressers. There’s a tanning studio involved. A warm diversion in the middle of the winter. NAPIT 0870 444 1392 www.napit.org.uk 29


SPECIAL FEATURE

Waste disposal and keep Jason Mohr, managing director of waste clearance business, anyjunk.co.uk, with a guide on how the current waste legislation applies to electrical and other contractors

Getting rid of rubbish can be a legal minefield and, if the proper processes are not followed, can lead to a number of serious consequences including criminal conviction and seizure of your vehicle. You need to register as a waste carrier if you take waste away from a customer’s site. If you take away your customer’s waste (e.g. existing pipes and old appliances) or construction or demolition waste created by you at a customer’s premises (e.g. off-cuts and builders rubble), you need to register with the Environment Agency as a waste carrier. The obligation to register applies regardless of where you take waste (e.g. back to a skip at your own premises, to another contractor’s premises, or directly to a tip), whether you are self-employed, a partnership, company or other type of organisation and whether you transport waste regularly or only occasionally. Failure to register is a criminal offence for which the penalties include a fine and seizure of your vehicle. As well as the potential criminal consequences, moving waste without a valid waste carrier licence may constitute a breach of contract given that most contracts with lead contractors or large commercial organisations typically include an obligation on you, the subcontractor, to comply with current law – so failure to register may also allow your client to terminate your contract without notice.

Waste Transfer Notes

How do you register?

Each WTN should detail the date and the address that the transfer of control of waste took place, the parties involved (including registered waste carrier license number), and a description of the waste being transferred. The description of the waste should include the relevant EU waste code(s) as well as an indication of quantity and weight. The WTN should be signed by you (the waste carrier) and the customer (i.e. the transferor/original holder of the waste).

Registration as a waste carrier is relatively straightforward. Download a registration form from the Environment Agency’s website at www.environment-agency.gov.uk/ and complete and return it with a £149 fee. Registration lasts three years and can be renewed for an additional fee.

If you handle waste you have a duty of care to ensure that it is disposed of at an appropriately licensed facility. As a waste carrier, every time you collect another person’s waste, you need to provide a Waste Transfer Note (WTN) to document that this duty of care is being fulfilled.

The basics A WTN is required whenever control of waste is transferred from one person to another. It records the details of that transfer. Both parties (i.e. the person whose waste it was and the person taking it away) require a copy of the WTN. These WTNs are typically created in duplicate, although a photocopy is sufficient. Waste carriers are obliged to keep all WTNs for two years, available for inspection by the Environment Agency. A WTN is also required when the waste is passed on to a waste transfer station (in this context the WTN is commonly referred to as a “tipping receipt” or “weighbridge ticket’) or other third party (such as the lead contractor, if you drop off waste at their depot), but in that instance it is the person receiving the waste that produces the WTN.

Contents of a WTN

Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment

The anyjunk.co.uk team make waste disposal easy.

30 NAPIT 0870 444 1392 www.napit.org.uk

Despite the raft of legislation surrounding waste electrical equipment, from a contractor’s perspective disposing of non-hazardous Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) is in many ways very similar to disposing of general waste. First and foremost, just as with general waste, a WTN is required when you take control of the WEEE. The WTN should contain similar information to the one used to cover general waste but the waste codes will be different. Provided the WEEE is not hazardous


SPECIAL FEATURE

ping within the law (see below), your obligation as regards disposal is to ensure that it is disposed of at an appropriately licensed facility. Not all commercial waste transfer stations are licensed to handle WEEE and those that are, will often charge extra for that sort of waste – so check with the disposal facility before delivery. Hazardous WEEE (such as refrigeration units, airconditioning units, fluorescent lamp tubes, batteries) should not be bundled in with general waste or other WEEE and only disposed of at facilities that are licensed to handle that type of hazardous electrical equipment. Hazardous waste taken from a commercial premises requires a hazardous waste consignment note, copies of which should be kept for three years for inspection by the EA. Further guidance on handling hazardous WEEE can be found on the Environment Agency website www.environmentagency.gov.uk/wee.

Storing waste Depending on the type and quantity of waste and the manner in which it is being stored, storing waste at your own premises may require a waste management permit. Local planning consent and landlords’ consent may also be required.

The general rule Operating a commercial waste transfer station involves expensive and stringent licensing requirements, planning consents and a host of related controls such as heath and safety practises and insurances. So the general rule is that you should always be very careful about storing waste anywhere other than the site at which it was created.

Paragraph 50 exemption Provided the quantities are relatively small, the waste is not hazardous, it is only you bringing the waste back, and it is kept in a secure container (e.g. a skip with a cover), you should be OK as there is an automatic legal exemption (commonly referred to as Paragraph 50) to cover this situation. In all other instances, however, the safest cause of action is to contact the Environment Agency for guidance because the likelihood is that some sort of licence or permit is required. The fines for operating an unauthorised waste transfer station are sizeable.

Summary Register with the Environment Agency as a waste carrier or stop taking waste from your customer’s site

NAPIT members can take advantage of a special offer from anyjunk.co.uk

and use a licensed waste carrier instead. If you are a registered waste carrier, always create waste transfer notes for each collection you make and keep a copy for at least two years. Any waste electrical equipment should only be disposed of at a licensed disposal facility that is authorised to handle waste electricals and beware of collecting hazardous WEEE as special rules apply. If you are using your own premises to store waste, check with Environment Agency that your situation falls within Paragraph 50 exemption.

Special offer for NAPIT members anyjunk.co.uk is the simple alternative to getting rid of the waste from a client’s site – and NAPIT members can benefit from a five per cent discount on anyjunk’s published rates. As the UK’s largest on-demand rubbish clearance service, anyjunk.co.uk operates trucks and two-man teams that clear, load and dispose of any type of waste (from a single item to multiple truckloads) from anywhere on the property. They respond within 48 hours (Monday to Saturday) and offer two hour arrival windows to minimise the need for you to wait around at the site. Rates are based on the volume of waste cleared and are very comparable to the costs of hiring a skip but include all labour. Accounts are available for regular customers.

For more information visit www.anyjunk.co.uk, call 0207 819 9000 or email enquiries@anyjunk.co.uk. To claim your five per cent discount, quote code NAP0901 at the time of booking along with your NAPIT membership number.

NAPIT 0870 444 1392 www.napit.org.uk 31


MEMBERS

Chaos in the kitchen Another selection of your pictures featuring examples of how not to do the job

NAPIT member Bill Taylor of Birmingham supplies these latest editions to our rogue’s gallery. Bill, who describes himself as a “one man jobbing builder in South Brum”, provides the words for the pictures taken while he was working in the area. Ceiling light “In this example showing a self-fitted kitchen light, note that the Earth is connected to the neutral and the neutral is connected to Earth – it worked but wow!” Underfloor cables “In this job by kitchen fitters, note that the cooker cable connected alongside central heating pipes in notched joist is held down by zinc nail.”

Cooker connection “In this second picture featuring the work of kitchen fitters, here there is an unused cooker cable connected to run two sockets. Note two cables going out to a single double socket, so when opened the socket looked as if it were part of a ring. Also note the sheathing angled up to a socket on top of the cabinets for a cooker hood connection.” Bathroom light Bill’s last example leaves a scene of kitchen chaos for another room. “The bathroom fitters put up a light. They broke apart the ceiling plate and poked bare brass connections wrapped in tape into the light fitting.”

Pictures from abroad Swindon-based NAPIT member Martin Ripley describes himself as a sole trader – Be Smart Ring Mart – doing all manner of jobs, including electrics. But his submissions feature examples of bad workmanship many miles away from Wiltshire. Five-way box He takes up the story: “I was particularly impressed by this picture where a four-way box has been turned into a five-way by cutting out the side – not that it matters anyway, since the lid is not fitted.”

32 NAPIT 0870 444 1392 www.napit.org.uk

Nailed to a tree “I also liked the socket and two-gang light switch that was quite literally nailed to a tree. However, there is a catch. These pictures were taken in one of our former colonies, Tanzania, where we taught our electricians the ‘proper’ way to do things. “Are there are any plans to extend NAPIT to Tanzania?” (Not in the near future, Editor) If you have any pictures or stories of electrical nightmares for Bodger Watch, email them to the Editor, magazine.editor@napit.org.uk or post them to the Editor, The Competent Person, 13 Claremont Road, Eaton, Norwich, NR4 6SH.


TECHNICAL

Ask Eddie We continue our tribute to former Technical Director Eddie Trayner

?

Is it necessary to earth flush metal back boxes?

A

Recessed metal back boxes of flushmounted electrical accessories normally have an earthing terminal incorporated. The question is sometimes asked whether it is necessary or good practice to connect a short length of protective conductor (i.e. an earthing tail) between the earthing terminal of the metal back box and the earthing terminal of the accessory connected to it (where it has one). Such back boxes cannot be touched in normal use. They can be touched only when the accessory is removed and after suitable isolation procedures have been followed. However, the view of the Wiring Regulations National Committee (published in IEE Guidance Note 1, Selection and Erection, Pages 62 and 63) is that such recessed back boxes are considered to be exposed conductive parts and should be connected to Earth by means of the circuit protective conductor. Where the accessory which is fitted to the back box does not have an earthing terminal incorporated (some types of light switches for example), then the cpc should be connected to the earthing terminal of the back box. Where the accessory does have an earthing terminal incorporated (such as BS 1363, 13 A socketoutlets), it is not necessary to use an earthing tail. The

Competent Person the

Twelve steps to safe isolation Flow chart inside

If you have a question for Eddie email the Editor, magazine.editor@napit.org.uk

Number 1 2009

reason is that accessories which have an earthing terminal incorporated normally have an earth strap connecting the earthing terminal to one or both of the fixing holes. The back boxes usually have one fixed lug and one adjustable lug. If there is only one strap, care must be taken to ensure this is in contact with the fixed lug not the adjustable one.

Earthing tails The Wiring Regulations National Committee has agreed that these recessed metal back boxes may be earthed via the tight metal-to-metal contact of the fixing screw in the fixed lug. Often a metal back box may not have an earthing terminal. In cases like this manufactures supply these separately. The use of a fixing screw does not provide a reliable connection for earth continuity purposes. The only regulation in BS 7671:2008 which mentions such earthing tails directly is Regulation 543.2.7. It requires that a “separate protective conductor” is needed only where the protective conductor is formed by conduit, trunking, ducting or the metal sheath and/or armour of a cable.

Next issue: no shortcuts to working at heights Dr Wilf Archer of Mindskills Therapy and Competence Coaching says aim for the highest levels of safety. He looks at: • the demands of the regulations • how to comply with the law • and where to get more help. Don’t miss the next issue of The Competent Person.

NAPIT 0870 444 1392 www.napit.org.uk 33


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SPECIAL FEATURE

Beyond boundaries Roger Ryan meets up with an old friend and discovers a new way to transport another favourite

My throat was dry. The air was cold. I pulled up the collar on my coat. Plans had been agreed and I was the man to execute them – without fuss and on time. I was on a mission. Braving the wind, I strode across to my Partner. We had an understanding. We went back years. We made a great team. She had been my chosen vehicle before. The silver machine awaited me. A flick of the finger on the key followed by a deep clunk released the central locking. Without hesitating, I positioned myself in the comfort of the deep seat.

Laurel hedge

England cricketer Andrew Flintoff: a big hitter.

Swiftly I inserted the key in the ignition. The 1.6-litre diesel engine sprang to life. Glancing in my door mirror, I believed I was alone. My breathing quickened. I reversed across the gravel and into what seemed to be an ordinary suburban street, unaware of the moving net curtains, the glances exchanged and the whispers that followed my departure. Without warning, a black cat shot across the road. Hitting the brakes hard, the ABS system brought me to a complete stop. The cat survived to carry on its journey into the bowls of a laurel hedge. I resumed my mine. Without the assistance of satellite navigation, I headed for the High Street, aided by the smooth five-speed manual gear box. Within 25 minutes I was at my rendezvous – a large, well-lit red brick building. As I emerged from the van, a church bell signalled the half-hour. I was on time. My nerve had held. I made straight for the entrance and there she was waiting for me – her allure undiminished. On that journey I had carried with me a vision of her fine head and beautiful brown body. I could almost taste her. She was mine and I had arrived to claim her. For sitting on the counter, was 36 pints of finest Wherry ale from Woodforde’s Brewery secure in a beer box. Mission accomplished.

Job done. Now let’s go home and drink it. With a basic price of just under £12,400, the newlook Partner offers good value for a small to mid-size van. I drove the Partner S L2 Hdi 90. There were few frills – with no satellite navigation or air conditioning. This base model did the job nicely. For the record, two trim levels, S and SE, are available with two load volumes and three payload options. A new feature is the Multi-Flex dual passenger seat. This enables the vehicle to carry two passengers, as well as the driver. The innovative folding mechanism also allows it to increase the overall load length of the vehicle to three metres (3.25 metres in the extended version), running from the rear doors to the fascia panel. The new Partner is available with two individual front seats or the Multi-Flex dual passenger seat.

Peugeot says the load space has been designed with particular care to ensure ease of use and robustness. The manufacturer also says that the Partner is quieter inside, has a better driving position and improved visibility. It certainly seemed so on my trip to the Woodforde’s brewery.

Ample room With a maximum speed of 98mph and fuel consumption for a combined town and country run averaging 48 miles to the gallon, the 1.6 Hdi diesel engine offers a satisfactory return on wallet expenditure. Servicing intervals are 12,500 miles or two years, much as you would expect from a modern van. It’s seven years since I last drove a Partner and I was not disappointed. It’s not a big hitter like the England cricketer Andrew Flintoff but it is comfortable to drive and there’s ample room in the back for all your tools – and plenty of space for a barrel of Woodforde’s Wherry. NAPIT 0870 444 1392 www.napit.org.uk 35


Bring a mate and get FREE calibration Bring a friend to one of our new calibration sessions and you will receive your calibration free if your mate joins NAPIT on the day. This great offer is only available at our calibration days held accross the UK. A range of electrical products and accessories from leading manufacturers are available to purchase on the day. Bring your NAPIT membership number with you and you’ll receive a discount. There’s also great savings for those who pre-register or pay in advance and a great deal for those who wish to extend certification periods in advance of the deadline – just bring your existing certificate along.

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TRAINING

Stay current with NAPITtraining N

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W

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R

S

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3-Phase Distribution & Control (theory and practical) This new two day course is designed for Electricians who are already fully experienced in the Inspection and Testing of Single Phase Distribution Systems and is intended to widen their existing skills base to cover larger systems. Please see dates below.

Our full range of courses at our head office in Mansfield 3 day 17th Edition Wiring Regulations (City & Guilds 2382-10) 1 day 17th Edition Wiring Regulations (City & Guilds 2382-20)

• Use of latest tools and test equipment • FREE lunch and light refreshments throughout the day • Experienced instructors to guide you through the course • NEW on-line exams on selected courses • High pass rates guaranteed • Receive a FREE Handbook on both of our 17th Edition courses* MARCH

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23rd – 25th

14th – 16th

11th – 13th

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Please note to be eligible for the 17th Edition update course you must have completed the 16th Edition full course after June 2001.

6 day Electricians Certificate of Competence (NA-ECC-6)*

2nd – 7th

18th – 23rd

7 day Dual Course Combined (City & Guilds 2382-10) & (City & Guilds 2391)

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4 day Inspection, Testing & Certification of Electrical Installations (NA-2391)

6th – 9th

4 day Inspection, Testing & Certification of Electrical Installations (City & Guilds 2391-10)

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1 day Building Regulations for Electrical Installations in Dwellings (City & Guilds 2393)

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10 day Allied Trades Part P (NA-DCC-10)*

20th – 29th

2 day Portable Appliance Testing (City & Guilds 2377) 1 day Emergency Lighting (NA-EM-01) 1 day Completion of Certificates and Reports (NR-CR-1) 2 day Certificate of Competence Assessment (2 hour theory & 7 hour practical)

9th 16th – 17th 30th – 31st

6th – 7th 22nd – 23rd

5th – 6th 27th – 28th

2 day 3-Phase Distribution & Control (theory and practical)

10th – 11th

1st – 2nd

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1 day Using Test Instruments (NA-UTI-1)

Dates to be confirmed

Dates to be confirmed

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2 day Introduction to Fire Alarm Systems (NA-FA1-2)

Dates to be confirmed

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2 day Design, Commission & Inspect Fire Alarm Systems (NA-FA2-2)

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Dates to be confirmed

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Course Dates may be subject to change. * UKAS accredited through Blue Flame Certification.

NAPIT also run selected courses in regional training centres across the UK led by training experts.

Book now on 0845 20 20 148 or email info@napit.org.uk • Professional • Friendly • Dynamic • Hands-on • Small groups • High pass rate •


MEMBERS

The winner of our competition to win a fabulous Christmas hamper was Tony Slater of AMS Electrical. Congratulations to Tony from Burton on Trent. We have a new competition for you. For another chance to win an i-Pod all you have to do is study the two pictures. Circle the eight differences in the bottom picture and then complete the form below. Send your entry to the Editor, The Competent Person, NAPIT Administration Centre, 4th Floor, Mill 3, Pleasley Vale Business Park, Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, NG19 8RL, to arrive no later than March 16. The winner will be selected randomly from all current entries. Normal competition rules apply.

Name Company Job title Address

Postcode Tel Daytime/evening (please circle)

CLOSING DATE: MARCH 16 2009 If you don’t want to spoil your copy of the magazine you can send in a photocopy.

38 NAPIT 0870 444 1392 www.napit.org.uk


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Competent Person Magazine - Issue 1 2009  

Magazine for NAPIT members and associates covering the Electrical Industry

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