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VC Electrical Contractors Ltd
15 Muirfield Station 
Gullane
EH31 2HY

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15 Muirfield Station
Gullane, EH31
United Kingdom

01620 843 804

Blog

Read our range of topical monthly blogs providing you with top tips and best practice from our professional and experienced electrical team.

Are you thinking of replacing your old storage heaters?

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Now we’re in the thick of summer, you may be thinking about replacing your storage heaters, so they’re ready for when the colder weather arrives. We know how inconvenient this can be when customers have tried doing this during the cold weather, and found they’ve had to sit out the cold temperatures while we replace the current heating system with new storage heaters. Don’t be caught out and do it now, while the weather is warm enough and without the need for additional heating.

Energy efficiency and a quickly heated room

At VC Electrical we provide electric heaters and we know they provide energy efficiency for all our customers. Electric heaters aren’t any more expensive than gas central heating and can be placed anywhere in the room and moved around – unlike gas radiators.

Save money and you get a 20-year guarantee

There are cost savings with electric heaters as they only take a short amount of time before the room warms up and you can then switch them off again. They also come with a 20-year guarantee and are very safe to use, with no risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Additionally, you won’t need someone to check them annually for gas leakage, although it’s always important to check sockets and wires on storage heaters.

Control the temperature and the heating bills

Most electric heaters are now equipped with the latest technology and allow customers to easily control their spend when it comes to utility bills. By being able to easily control the room temperature, you’ll have more control over how much you spend on your heating.

Less energy waste – good for the environment

As you can imagine this is good for the environment as there’s no energy waste. Energy tends to escape through the flue with boiler based central heating but not with storage heaters. All the energy used to power an electric storage heater is converted directly into heat. This means you require less energy to run it which will save you money in the long-term.

VC Electrical – for quality electric storage heaters and radiator installation

If you’d like to invest in storage heaters, then why not get in touch with us here at VC Electrical. We’re a trained team of knowledgeable experts who’re on hand to answer all your questions and help you choose the right heaters for you. Once you have them in your home, you’ll never look back.

Get in touch today and give us a call and have your electric storage heaters in time for winter.

It’s Summer - take care outdoors!

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Now the summer’s here you’ll hopefully be out in the garden carrying out general maintenance and keeping your lawn in check. There’s obviously going to be some emphasis on the use of electricity to power some of the things you’ll be using. This also means there’ll be certain safety issues you want to take into consideration when you’re outside. We’re going to be going over electrical safety with you today, so forewarned is indeed forearmed!

Electrical safety is important indoors as well as outdoors

Keep in mind that although we’re talking about outdoor safety, we also need to point out the importance of keeping yourself safe indoors too. For instance, if you’re plugging a cable into a socket so you can use a lawn mower outside, then you need to think about your safety. Always make sure you are using an appropriate length of electrical cable extension and that the plug is firmly in the socket before starting. Also, make sure the grass is dry enough to mow it, wet grass can cause an electrical shock. You must also make sure you know where the cable is at all times and that you’re not liable to cut it with the mower itself.

Check all electrical appliances before use

Before you start doing anything always check your electrical appliances before using them, if they’ve been stored away over the winter, you don’t know what might be amiss. Always check the sockets and wiring as well as the apparatus itself.

Always switch off at the socket before you clean them

Before you clean them after use or adjust them always make sure they’re switched off at the socket first. Store all your equipment in a dry safe place where water and damp won’t reach them, that way when you do use them for the first time, there’s less likelihood they’ll pose a danger to safety.

VC Electrical for all your electrical requirements

Here at VC Electrical can help with your electrical outdoor needs by installing additional sockets near front, back doors or near conservatories. This should help make the area safer when using electrical power anywhere near or actually in the outdoors. Contact us today to find out more. No job is considered too big or too small!

Are You Confident About Carrying Out Electrical DIY Jobs Around The Home?

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Are you someone who does all the DIY at home, takes on all of the little jobs that need doing? That’s great, but do you stick to the little jobs and call in the professionals when there’s a bigger more complex electrical job to be done?

You should, because statistically there are enough people who’ve been hurt or suffered worse when carrying out electrical DIY. Our advice on this is quite simple – don’t attempt any electrical job you’re not sure about – being over-confident could cost you your life.

Electric shocks and fires can kill as well as cause permanent injury

If you don’t know what you’re doing with domestic electricals then you could interfere with wiring that you simply don’t understand. Cutting the wrong wires could prove fatal. As well as this, common accidents include, cutting through a lead by mistake, mistakenly drilling into wiring, and accidentally forgetting to switch the power off before attempting to repair electrical items. Aside from the dangers from suffering an electric shock and causing an electrical fire - which could prove fatal - you’re also potentially looking at a really expensive repair job.

If you’re still confident about carrying out your own electrical DIY repairs read on to find out what can you do to avoid a dangerous accident? Here are our five top tips:

  • Make sure you have a Residual Current Device (RCD), it could save your life. What it does is cut the power off if there’s any fault, such as a fuse blowing, or if you make an error, such as cutting the wrong wire. The RCD cut offs the entire electric circuit until you’ve found the problem and repaired it. That way you don’t get a shock. There should be one fitted in all modern fuseboxes. If you don’t have one, then you should get one before you start carrying out any repairs that include the use of electrics.

  • Whether or not you have an RCD, you should always shut your electrical power off before you start any electrical. Use tools which are battery powered rather than an electrical appliance. Always check to see whether or not the electrics have been switched off just before you start work just to be sure.

  • If you use electrical tools to carry out repairs that are not electrical, for example you’re repairing a bookcase or hinges in the door, make sure that the power tools you do use are safe. Are the wires frayed? Can you identify any signs of damage, is the socket maybe loose?

  • Use a cable detector to find out whether there are any hidden cables in the wall before you start anything, especially if you’re going to be drilling into that wall. If there are hidden cables, you could easily drill into a live one and cause an injury to yourself or someone else.

  • Seek the advice of a registered electrician if you’re ever unsure about anything. Also, if there’s a job that is too big for you and you’re unsure of yourself, and it involves electrics, it could be that your fusebox needs repairing, a fuse has blown or it’s something bigger and more serious – then always consult a qualified and registered electrician.

We can help with big jobs such as a complete rewiring or the rewiring of one room. We can also fit new fuseboards safely, and if you’re making alterations to your kitchen for instance, you may need electrics rearranging and new appliances safely fitted.

VC Electrical – reliable quality electricians in Edinburgh.

If you’re looking for advice on DIY or any electrical repairs please don’t hesitate to call us. We always have full consultations with clients at every stage when we carry out a job, so you’re never without information on what’s going on. There’s no job that’s too big or too small, we place a large emphasis on customer service, because we love to provide customer satisfaction. We often rely on word-of-mouth referrals, so doing a good job is in our best interests.

Call us and one of our team will be more than happy to discuss your electrical needs.






Could Your Home or Business Benefit from Increased Security?

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Depending on where you live, you may feel you’d benefit from increased security. This can be for a variety of different reasons, the most obvious being that you live in an area with a high crime rate. Other reasons for stepping up on security might be that you run a business and have valuable equipment you need to secure. Perhaps you manage or own a building you rent out to tenants, or you’re a nursing home or rehab facility with a large-scale team of staff and patients you’d like to keep safe from harm.

Sophisticated technology could help keep your property secure

By securing your home or business premises with sophisticated technology, such as a burglar alarm or CCTV camera system you’ll give yourself peace of mind. You’ll also be providing a safe and secure place to work and live, for whoever you are responsible for, whether it’s a small group of people, or a large-scale organisation.

We’re here to advise and guide you on what’s right for your property

VC Electrical can review your premises and then advise on the type of security measures that are right for your business or domestic property. We want to make sure you get the right system, as not all security measures are appropriate. We can help with professional and trusted recommendations on the extent of the security you may need, and whether you should have both CCTV and a burglar alarm system. Both come with their own advantages and disadvantages, again depending on the type of property you have. We can discuss this with you, and help you decide which is the right one, it may be that you benefit from both.

We’re always on the pulse of what’s new and effective in security systems

There are lots of different types and brands of security systems, and we can help by discussing your budget, your location, and what is going to be the most suitable for you and your particular needs. The details behind each installation is worth discussing too – so we’ll go through that with you and that way you’ll know exactly what to expect if you hire us to install it.

VC Electrical - for reliable burglar alarm installation, CCTV installation and flawless customer service.

If you think you’d like to invest in a security system for your property, get in touch. What you initially invest you’ll get back in peace of mind, and the security of knowing that your property, any valuables and the people you are responsible for are taken care of. Even if you’re in a domestic property with a family, they’re worth protecting and even a simple strategically placed CCTV camera or burglar alarm could act as the perfect deterrent. Give us a call today to find out more..




Does your business need (PAT) Portable Appliance Testing?

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We’re talking about why your business may need PAT testing or what is more formally known as Portable Appliance Testing. If you’re unsure as to what it is, then we’ll give a brief explanation to help you, that way you’ll have all the relevant information you need at your disposal.

Only have your PAT testing carried out by qualified professionals

PAT testing is a process used by qualified and trained electricians to ensure all electrical appliances are working as they should. It’s carried out at a place of work,or in a flat or house that’s rented out, by a landlord. If it’s a commercial property, then it’s the responsibility of the person in charge, the boss, or office manager to ensure these tests are carried out. If you’re a landlord then it is up to you to make sure that all appliances are working as they should, because if you don’t and an accident occurs, you could face a fine or even a prison sentence. Depending on what’s happened, and the severity of the accident caused by the appliance, the penalty could be more than a hefty fine, and could be anything up to 2 years in prison.

Make sure all your appliances are safe to use

We are focusing on businesses and if you’re in charge or responsible for the day to day running of the office/shop floor, then it is up to you to make sure each appliance is safe to use by your employees. This also applies if your business is renting out part or all of it’s property to tenants. It isn’t okay to just forget about it and hope the problem goes away. Dodgy appliances can lead to serious accidents, and in some cases even death.

What type of appliances are we talking about?

When we say appliances, we’re referring to thing such as computers, printers, anything that plugs into the wall and uses electricity. If you have an office kitchen then kettles, microwave ovens and anything else you’re likely to use in a kitchen will need to be tested as well. The need for the safety and security of all employees and tenants (depending on the type of business you run) is imperative.

Have the right approach and keep your staff or tenants safe

You will need a documented Health & Safety risk-based approach, and you can read more about this here http://www.hse.gov.uk/risk/, as well as using a hefty dose of common-sense. It’s obvious that any appliance your team or tenants use that is owned by you, and uses electricity to work, will need to be tested in order to check that it’s safe.

Be responsible and keep up with the law

It’s vitally important that all appliances are regularly updated and replaced when required, this is especially important if they’ve failed a PAT test. As a responsible business owner, it’s up to you to make sure you keep up to date with all legal requirements and regulatory updates, so you’re always abreast of what is required by law. If you’re a landlord running a suite of rented properties, then you are required by law to annually PAT test all of your appliances.

VC Electrical for all your PAT Testing needs

If you need to have your appliances tested, then get in touch with us here at VC Electrical and we can attend to all of your PAT testing needs with the minimum amount of disruption. We’ve a team of reliable, qualified, trained and experienced electricians who are accustomed to PAT testing and all that it entails including writing up a report after and informing you of anything that’s failed. Give us a call today, and we can answer any further questions and arrange a visit to your business premises.






Would Your Home Or Office Benefit From LED Interior Lighting?

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If you wanted to change the lighting in your home or office, and you had the time and budget to make these changes, what would you opt for? Perhaps you’d like a few minimal changes or a completely new look. Whether you’re after a complete overhaul, or one or two subtle changes, either can be achieved on a reasonable budget, and changing something as relatively simple as LED lighting can work wonders.

It’s All About Knowing How To Use Space More Effectively

This can be done in a number of different ways, such as changing your lighting for instance. A lighting project on your home or office area carried out by experienced fully qualified electricians who’ve worked with this sort of thing before, could be the way to go. VC Electrical has worked on projects of all sizes over the years, both complex and simple in their execution. We’re friendly and knowledgeable, and we can explain the different LED indoor lighting options in a simple yet intelligent way, so you know exactly what your options are.

Why LED Lighting?

Well, we believe LED lighting is kinder to the environment, using less energy and saving you money. LED lighting lasts much longer than conventional light bulbs and is available in a wide range of different styles. Naturally, there will be certain practical considerations to consider when choosing the type of LED lighting for your home or office. Interior lighting can come in a variety of soft light options that offer ambience and mood. However, if you’re going to be using your office for work then there has to be some practical considerations, like will you be able to work underneath such lighting, work on your computer, or use video to communicate with clients.

You’ll Never Have To Settle For A Simple White 60-watt Bulb

There are other options that could work and allow the required light needed to read and/or study. Rather than skimp on the amount of light you use, you could try using fixtures and fittings that add style and elegance. You could try an industrial theme using metals, and you could throw in some rustic, neutral colours to match the colours of the metal on both the light fittings and/or shades. The bulbs don’t have to be dull, LED lights are much more sophisticated than they used to be, but rather than using one light, why not try using a set as part of an LED Lighting installation.

Retro Lighting Could Add A Little Nostalgia

By using Vintage Edison type bulbs, you can add a real touch of class to areas usually associated with the living room or kitchen, but there is no reason this can’t work in an office space. The LED version of an Edison type bulb will last longer and save you money as well as, using less power, so it’s definitely win-win. They work in an industrial style too, like we’ve already mentioned above, so this could really work in a home office. At the same time, they give you a soft lighting that you can work in.

Using Soft Shades Of Gold, Silver And Bronze

Softer shades in specific colours will blend in with almost any theme or décor and again you should be able to work in it. LED lighting will give you more value and last much longer than conventional light bulbs - so why not try them? For interior lighting, why not settle for a set of lights rather than one in the centre of the ceiling, if this is something you have currently, try to come away from conventional lighting and opt instead for a lighting installation that throws more light and looks more elegant and also happens to be bang on trend for 2019.

As far as office lighting is concerned, as long as you have the right level of light for your office, to see and do the more practical things that work throws up, you’ve got it covered. Practicality and functionality matched by elegance and style – and at a fraction of the price because LED lighting is so cost effective.

VC Electrical for all your interior lighting needs

Why not get in touch with the team here at VC Electrical and we’ll talk you through your choices and help you to come up with a LED light installation that works brilliantly for you.






Do You Need To Replace Your Fuseboard?

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There are a few things you need to take into account when considering whether your fuseboard needs replacing, and we’ll detail the most important aspects in this blog. Hopefully you’ll have a much better idea of what you need to do, and will be able to proceed with a routine check that can be carried out either by you or better still, a qualified professional.

You might need a fuseboard replacement

If your fuseboard is old, it’s potentially dangerous and be a fire hazard or cause electric shocks. Old fuseboards don’t have RCDs, which are life saving devices that switch off a faulty supply of electricity preventing it from escalating into something far more damaging.

A high degree of protection with an RCD

RCD stands for Residual Current Device. It’s specifically designed to stop you from getting an electric shock, if you were, for example, to touch a live wire. It helps to protect against small electrical fires too. An RCD offers a level of protection that could mean the difference between life and death.

How do you know whether or not your fuse board is healthy and fit for use?

A fuseboard should be easy to find, and from where it’s situated it provides your home’s electricity, making sure it’s distributed correctly, and the current evenly controlled. A fuseboard has circuit breakers that switch off circuits as soon as they detect any fault. The fuses themselves consist of wires running between two screws, and when overloads of current flow through the fuse wires, they can become extremely hot. Once the wires overheat, the electricity circuit is broken and automatically disconnects. It’s designed this way to keep everyone in your home or business premises safe.

Check your fuseboard now

If you’ve just bought a property, or are in new business premises, and the fuseboard/box supports cast iron switches throughout, and the box itself has a wooden back, it’s more than likely it will need replacing. It may also have a mixture of fuses that are quite old and could cause a fire. If your fuseboard does need replaced you’ll a qualified, trained electrician to replace it with one that has an RCD and a circuit breaker. You’ll ideally hire one that’s registered with a government approached scheme, that way you’ll know the electrician will carry out the job safely and accurately.

Fuseboard replacements with VC Electrical

At VC Electrical, we’re fully qualified, trained and accredited electricians, so any work we carry out on your home of business will always be done safely, with minimum disruption. We’re experts in both fuseboard replacement and installation, we can inspect existing fuseboards and all other electrical equipment, making recommendations where needed. We take pride in offering a professional and seamless service, keeping you safe and sound, so why not give us a call to find out more.

The Importance Of A Robust Fire Alarm System

Val Chisolm

Accidents within the workplace, as a result of a fire, place your employees, customers and business premises, at risk. Fires often break out in different and less occupied parts of a building leading to potential escape routes being blocked. It’s therefore of paramount importance, to be able to identify the signs of a fire quickly by installing an effective fire alarm system. This not only helps to save lives, it also minimises damage to your premises and overall disruption to your business operations.

Fire Alarms - Protecting Colleagues and Business From Fire Damage 

Fire alarm installation not only offers your business premises robust protection, but with current fire safety regulations being increasingly stringent, you could be breaking the law if you don’t install an appropriate fire detection system that covering your building. Fire Safety Legislation in the UK already places a great duty-of-care on business owners with severe legal ramifications for non-compliance. With an increased focus on regulation, this is something which is only likely to to get more difficult.

Why Do You Need A Fire Risk Assessment?

A suitably well designed and maintained fire detection system- including the installation of a fire alarm - gives you early warning of the risks of fire and very often prevents damage from happening at all. Most UK businesses require a fire alarm and exactly what type and system can be decided after having had a fire-risk-assessment, a legal requirement for any UK business employing five people or more.  

VC Electrical can carry out an independent fire risk assessment for you, and provide you with immediate guidance on the best alarm requirements for your business premises. Particular consideration is given on where in the building the fire alarm system should be installed. Once a fire alarm system is up and running, you’ve complete peace of mind knowing that your work colleagues are safe from the destructive and often life threatening effects caused by fire.

 VC Electrical Can Install Your Fire Detection System

 VC Electrical can install an industry leading fire detection and alarm system combined with suitable service packages to ensure the safety of not only your employees, but your business assets and your property. We pride ourselves on designing, installing and maintaining market leading fire detection systems that comply with the very latest British Standards. We work with leading manufacturer CTEC who provide a range of services from conventional fire detection to the very latest analogue and digital systems.  When the alarm location and design has been completed, our expert, fully qualified fire alarm specialists, will install your fire alarm system with minimum disruption to your business. We always deliver the very highest standard of installation. Following your alarm installation, comprehensive training in the operation of the fire alarm system is also provided, including details of how to carry out regular fire alarm tests.

VC Electrical For All Your Fire Alarm Needs

Not only are we experts in helping you select and install the right fire detection system, but we’re always available to regularly service and maintain your fire alarm, giving you complete confidence that your business premises and other assets - not to mention your people - are fully protected against accidents caused by fire.

Contact us today to find out more about how we can help you with this and a range of other services.




Is your electrical equipment safe to use?

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We highly recommend PAT testing for all business premises. This could save lives and it’s the law.

All electrical equipment has to be maintained on a regular basis so it’s safe to use. How often depends on the equipment and what it’s used for. Also, the history of previous checks will play a big role.

The only way you can know if your electrical equipment is safe to use is if you have it tested.

The best person to do this is a qualified and registered electrician. If you contact anyone here at VC Electrical, you’ll find we’re the best people to make sure your electrical equipment is safe to use.

How often should I test my electrical equipment?

When thinking about how often you should have your electrical equipment tested, you will need to take into consideration certain factors. If you have equipment that’s used quite often, then naturally this may need to be tested more often and problems will get noticed swiftly. If there’s noticeable damage, there’s a good chance it won’t become a major issue because it will be pretty obvious it’s not fit to use. It’s when something hasn’t been reported, that you can expect problems as accidents can happen when everyone’s caught off guard. Hand held equipment is often likely to become damaged and cause an accident rather than something stationary. These are described by electricians as class one appliances, therefore they need to be tested regularly.

There’s a high risk of accidents, permanent injury and death when you don’t have reliable electrical appliances PAT tested

Electrical injuries can result in everything from shock leading to death, electrical fires - which not only damage buildings but pose a risk to human life - also burns, falls and electrocution. Accidents of this nature can be prevented if appliances are PAT tested regularly.

VC Electricals – for portable appliance testing – (PAT) from reliable experienced electricians, Edinburgh

As reliable, experienced and qualified electricians we’re the best people to carry out PAT testing on your appliances.

We’re commercial electricians as well as residential

We work at commercial premises as well as residential homes, so if your electrical equipment needs testing then we’re ideally suited to help out. Faulty equipment kills, so don’t leave it to chance and put your team or your clients at risk. We’re here to help with tenant’s safety, landlord services and any residential issues. Give us a call today and get your electrical appliances tested to ensure they’re safe to use.

How often should you change outdoor LED light bulbs?

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LED lights are extremely hard wearing and last a long time. This is why they’re such an attractive option, because despite the initial outlay they’re worth it. The question we’re asking today however is how often should you change them?

How long exactly?

As we’ve already mentioned LED light bulbs won’t need changing anywhere near as often as conventional lighting. And the good news is that on average they’ll last for around 5 to 10 years. However, this depends upon how often you use them and, can in some cases, last longer than you might think.

Remember they’re outside

Outdoor LED lights are susceptible to the elements, including, excessive moisture or freezing temperatures or heat. There are a few signs to look out for, so you know exactly when to change your LED lights.

Colours and temperatures

Look out for a yellow hue whenever they light up, the colour temperature will reveal itself. Authentic colours will be indistinguishable and appear differently, e.g. grass, instead of being green may show up as orange or red.

Durability

If you’ve got your LED lights on continuously, then they won’t last anywhere near as long. This also drives up energy costs and the lights themselves will feel the strain of being switched on permanently. However, since the seventies LED lights have been improving continuously, and are being constantly replaced with better efficiency and longer lifespans.

Permanent use, surface facing diodes and your LED lights:

If you think your LED lights are going to be used on a permanent basis then there are things you can do to make sure they last the course. It’s all about those lovely surface-facing diodes, and the higher the number in your LED light the better. This will give them a slightly flat appearance but there’ll be an improvement in the deposit of light. Ask at a DIY store or a professional (such as ourselves) if you’re unsure.

Repair and take care of your installations:

Always have a repair kit handy, most DIY stores will have them, and this should extend the lifespan of your LED lighting installation. Also try and make sure you have the right type of wattage for your needs.

Check the wiring and buying quality LED lights

Always check the wiring if there is a problem as it could be something that’s easy to resolve rather than buying new ones. Keep in mind that a cheap LED light won’t last very long either, so always get your outdoor LED lighting installations from a reputable retailer.

VC Electrical – for all your outdoor LED Lighting installations

If you’d like to discuss any points raised in this post about LED lighting installations, then please do get in touch with us, we’re here to help. Just give us a call and one of our dedicated team members will take you through any hints and tips you need and help you resolve any problems. We can also install outdoor lighting installations for you so do please ask us about that. We look forward to hearing from you!






The importance of conducting an EICR

Val Chisolm

We’d like to talk to you today about Electrical Instillation Condition Reports (EICRs) which we believe to be one of the most important electrical checks there is. The importance of conducting one of these reports cannot be stressed enough. 

What is an EICR

An EICR is an inspection of the electrical installations in your home. It helps to identify any deficiencies or faults that could cause a serious accident. EICR reports also detect if there are any shock risks, with the recipient expected to resolve any issues. They’ll also spot any lack of bonding or earthing, tests will be carried out on circuits and the thoroughness of this type of report will leave no stone unturned. 

When should you get one?

An EICR should be carried every 10 years if you live in a domestic property, 5 in a commercial one and 3 in industrial premises. If you own a caravan, it should have a report no less than every 3 years. Landlords are also required to arrange an EICR report each time a tenant leaves a property. If you’re buying a new property you should have one before you move in as well.

Who should carry out an EICR report?

An EICR report should be carried out by a trained, qualified electrician registered by a government approved scheme. If you have an electrician who is a member of a government approved scheme it will prove he’s able and suitably qualified to carry out complex electrical work.

VC Electrical – for all your electrical needs.

Do you think you might need an EICR report carried out on your property? Whether your property is domestic or commercial, whether you rent out your property or you and your family live in it yourselves, check in with us and find out why having EICR carried out on your property is so important. We can give advice on when you will need to carry one out, and we’d be happy if you chose us to carry out the report itself. We’re all qualified, trained and registered electricians, and we’re all able to carry out an EICR on your property. Get in touch today. Make sure you put the safety of your family, tenants or co-workers first

How to Choose an Electrician in Edinburgh

Val Chisolm

We’re looking at the importance of choosing the right electrician in Edinburgh, and that’s without wasting potentially thousands on someone who clearly isn’t up to the job. It can and does happen unfortunately, but if you do your homework, you can avoid disaster. 

Carry out some preliminary research online

It can be a minefield, but if you do a careful google search, then shave off the top 10 and narrow them down to a few you like, you can make the process more reliable. They’ll be quality electricians, but there’ll still be some more homework to do. Who’s used these electricians, find out, and see how reliable their testimonials are once you find them on their website. Hopefully, they’ll have given an authentic review of their services.

Are they a member of a government approved scheme?

The next thing to do is to check whether or not they’re members of a registered government scheme and whether they’re associated with respected industry standards. All electricians should be registered with an approved government scheme, because any electrician on one of these schemes will need to be qualified and trained to a high standard and will be therefore be qualified to carry out complex work safely.

Give your electrical companies a call

Call them – yes, get the company on the phone and ask them questions, they should be happy to answer all your queries consistently and fully, and let you know their skills and qualifications without you having to dig it out of them. Any bad feelings walk away. 

Always discuss costs

Yes, they should be priced competitively and if you narrow down your list of ten, you should be able to narrow down further to a final three. With this final few, you can ask for the cost of a job, and they should be able to give you a breakdown and details of any extra costs, so you know what you’ll be paying for before you sign anything. 

VC Electrical – Expert Electricians in Edinburgh

Take a careful look through our website and then contact us. We’ll be more than happy to answer all your questions and give you sensible answers. We can also talk to you about our previous work and show you our memberships and associations. We’re here for you so give us a call today, and if you need any work carried out we’ll be more than happy to discuss costs and give you a breakdown of what you’re paying for. We’re transparent about our costs because we like to offer competitive prices for our services.

Spotting a Dodgy Electrician

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In this blog we’re going to be talking about how to spot a dodgy electrician and that way you’ll avoid any expensive mistakes and any accidents that could risk life or limb. 

It’s well known that people are often duped by dodgy electricians if all the surveys carried out on this very topic are to be believed. And the majority of them are, and their results are disturbing. Cowboys are going to have hone their skills at winning you over and the way they do this is to charm you and reel you in without you realising. 

Many surveys also reveal that people are nervous when it comes to hiring electricians and it’s easy to see why. A large percentage have also been let down by tradespeople in the past so it’s only to be expected that people are nervous when it comes to hiring an electrician. 

We’ve come up with some pointers, so you always know you’ve got someone you can trust. 

Registered Electricians

Always, always check they’re registered with an approved scheme so you’ll know they’ve been made undertake stringent qualifications, so they can carry out complex work. If they have been registered with a government approved scheme then this will protect you, because all electricians who are registered are insured, and all they’re work is guaranteed. 

Multiple Quotes

Make sure you get 3 quotations with a clear breakdown of what you’ll get, and never work with someone who cold calls you and doesn’t give you that quote in writing. There should be a breakdown of costs, so you know exactly what you’re paying for. 

Avoid the cheapest and the most expensive, just find the one who offers value for money. 

Be wary if you’re not given a contract to sign, or if they’re not VAT registered. Don’t let them ask for cash all at once because you may never see them again -  and get no work done at all. You should be able to pay with a card or bank transfer and it’ll be odd if you can’t. 

Qualified and Trained, Expert Electricians

A confident electrician who’s good at his job should be able to answer all your questions without fail and show you his qualifications and any relevant documentation when asked. If they’ve worked hard to get to where they are – a qualified, trained and successful electrician, they’ll be more than happy to shout it from the rooftops. Therefore, if you find they’re a little reticent in coming forward then be suspicious. 

VC Electrical – Trustworthy Electricians in Edinburgh

If you need to hire an electrician in Edinburgh get in touch with one of us here at VC Electrical and we’ll be happy to give you a quote, show you our qualifications and discuss our registration details, and show you who we’ve worked with in the past. We’re proud of our reputation and the good work we’ve done for our past clients, and we’re more than happy to share it with whoever asks. Get in touch today and we can discuss your needs.

Electrician Jargon Explained

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We’re talking about electrical jargon as we know how hard it must all be to understand. If you have a general understanding of the terms, then it becomes easier to understand what’s going on with your electrical appliances and supply. We’re not expecting you to become electrical experts, and we certainly don’t advise carrying out repairs yourself, get in touch with our Edinburgh electricians to do that.

Electrician Jargon Explained

Amps – This is how we measure the flow of electrical currents. The more electricity there is then the stronger the current itself will be. 

Volts – This is the pressure measure, yes it sounds fun, but it isn’t, it’s just how the current is measured against the flow. Volts help the electricity flow, and by measuring it you know how powerful it is.

Watts – if you multiply volts by amps - you get watts. It’s like an equation, and it’s the measurement of the power used by an electrical circuit. More power is required for a higher wattage in an appliance, so it’s about how much electricity is released.

RCD – this is a residual current device and it’s what switches off the electricity automatically when there’s a fault. It’s important because it’s what will stop you getting an electric shock. It can and does save lives. 

An RCD will monitor the flow of electricity and if it finds that it’s flowing down the wrong path and that a human could touch that when it’s live, then the RCD switches the circuit off. This helps to reduce the risk of serious injury and more seriously - death. 

Fuseboxes – A fusebox is a the box where the fuses or circuit breakers sit within a property. They are sometimes also called a consumer unit; your electricity will be distributed from here and controlled with the aid of an RCD. It’s important you know where yours is, so you can find it in an emergency. A fusebox will contain circuit boxes, RCDs, fuses and the main switch. 

Main Switch – this important switch can turn off electricity in your home. Make sure you know where yours is. 

Circuit Breakers – protection devices that work automatically and switch off a circuit when there’s a fault. 

VC Electrical – Electricians in Edinburgh

If you need an Edinburgh electrician, then please do get in touch. We’re here to help and if you need any electrical advice as well then call us and we’ll be more than happy to help. Our website has some helpful blogs too, where you may find a lot of the answers to any questions you may have regarding electrics, hazards and common day-to-day problems.

Protect Your Home This Summer With CCTV & Burglar Alarms

Val Chisolm

Summer brings longer evenings, entertaining outside and lots of light, sunny days and of course quality time away – or so we hope. And guess what – there’s someone else out there looking forward to summer and it’s your local friendly criminal. Well, perhaps not so friendly really, they’re interested in your home for one reason only and that is to steal your belongings and invade your property.

So, with this in mind, what can you do to keep your local criminal at bay?

CCTV Cameras

Cameras can monitor your property and make sure that any adventurous criminals are deterred from even trying. A CCTV security system will give you peace of mind so that you’ll be able to enjoy the summer without worrying about your property being burgled. What’s more, if you invest in a system that has internet access you can check in while you’re away on vacation. You can also make sure you check your home is prepped for your absence before you leave. If you have a camera that records even better, and you can place signage to demonstrate just that, which is enough to put anyone off from burgling your home.

Burglar Alarms

An essential step in protecting your property from burglary. If you have an alarm system installed, you can rest assured your home is much safer than it would be without. An alarm can compliment your surveillance system that includes CCTV and they can easily work together to deter potential burglars. You can set your alarms, so they go off as soon as someone crosses a path that’s laden with motion detectors and if you go with a security company, they’ll be contacted whenever the alarm goes off. Even if your alarm isn’t connected to a security company or the police even, your alarm is still a powerful deterrent.

Timer Lighting

A great idea because you can get your lights, possibly just a couple, to go off and on while you’re away. They’ll give the distinct impression there’s someone at home even when there isn’t. What you’re aiming for is to mimic the use of lights when someone is home, so if you have one or two going off and on upstairs and the same on the ground floor, it’ll look like the house is occupied. By doing this throughout the week you’ve got a fighting chance of keeping burglars at bay. Make sure no lights go on at the exact same time, so it looks more authentic and you should have a safe and undisturbed house to come home to.

Finally, here are some tips on keeping your home safe this summer so you can enjoy the sun, wherever you are.

  • Ask neighbours to check in every once in a while, if you go away, they can check your post and if they see anything unusual they can alert you

  • Leave your car or your neighbour’s in the driveaway and it’ll act as a deterrent in blocking the pathway and making it look like someone’s still there

  • Cancel your newspapers or milk if you’re still having them delivered

  • Cut back any bushes and trees, so there are no hiding places for burglars

  • Lock away any valuable items in your shed and make sure computers, TVs, laptops, are hidden from view from any windows. Don’t give anyone a tantalising view of your most sophisticated tech, hide it.

VC Electrical – Premier Electricians in Edinburgh

If you’re looking forward to getting some summer sun, let us protect your home ensuring you have the perfect relaxing holiday. We’re here to take your call so pick up the phone or send us an email. This is a dynamic team of electricians in Edinburgh who are qualified, trained and knowledgeable enough to get the job done right, so don’t let your summer be ruined, get the experts in.

Landlord responsibilities for Electrical Safety

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Being a landlord and owning property you rent out to tenants carries a lot of responsibility. You already know that in the course of your duties as a landlord you are responsible for the safety of your tenants. Fire and safety are naturally a concern when considering the safety and wellbeing of your tenants. As busy electricians here in Edinburgh we know the type of problems that can arise when electrical safety is compromised.

Don’t Let Your Tenants Become a Tragic Statistic

You only have to pick up a newspaper to see, yet again, another tragedy as a result of carelessness when it comes to electrical safety in rented properties. We firmly believe in the importance of taking care of these fundamentally important details, what’s more it’s the law, and the consequences of not doing what’s required can land you with heavy fines and a prison sentence.

Electrical Equipment and Wiring

In accordance with the Electrical Equipment Safety Regulations 1994 all electrical wiring and equipment must be tested to ensure it’s safe and fit to use during the duration of the tenant’s stay and then tested again before a new one moves in. PAT tests should be carried out on all electrical appliances, and wiring should also be checked every 5 years by someone who’s qualified to do so.

Fire Safety

As a landlord you must make sure there are smoke alarms in designated areas, there have been many unnecessary deaths due to the absence of smoke alarms and it goes without saying how important they are,because  they save lives. You can see more details on smoke alarms by visiting the Scottish Government website where you’ll find out more. Don’t compromise on alarms because not only can their absence endanger life, it could land you with a prison sentence.

It doesn’t have to be overwhelming. With such a heavy responsibility it can seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be, as long as you have a clear idea of what you need to do before tenants move into your property, you should be fine. Preparation is key and making sure everything is in place before  tenants have settled down. Don’t leave it till the last minute.

VC Electrical - Reliable, Experienced and Qualified Electricians in Edinburgh

At VC Electrical we can help you with all of this. We’re experts in carrying out PAT tests and installing smoke alarms, in fact we not only have years of experience, we’re qualified and trained to do so. If we see any problems we’ll give you a report detailing what they are and what you need to do to rectify it. We’ll also explain it all in clear, easy to understand language. We are able to ensure the safety of your rental properties and make sure they’re compliant with relevant Scottish law, so get in touch with us today and speak to one of our experts about your requirements.

When is an EICR Required?

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You’ll need an EICR if you’re thinking of moving into a new property, you’re the landlord of a number of dwellings (or even just one), or if you’re in charge of a commercial residence. This in a nutshell, is when you need to have one of these reports. We’re going to go into more depth in this post, so you’ll have all the general information you need to make an educated decision about keeping your staff, family or tenants safe from harm.

An EICR is an Important Electrical Report Carried Out on Your Premises

If you have no idea what an EICR is then we can clear that up right away. An EICR is a report on the electrical installations in your home or commercial or industrial residence. Rented properties, commercial and industrial areas, and even domestic homes, will need an EICR. Not all of those listed will need an EICR, because if you’re in a domestic home, then you’ll only need one before you move into your property and then again in another 5 years. However, for the other types of residences it’s usually on an annual basis. What is important is that when you do have an EICR, you must get a qualified and experienced electrical contractor or electrician to carry it out.

An Electrician Needs to Check All Your Electrics For an EICR

But what happens when you have an EICR carried out? A report will consist of a check on all appliances, sockets, and the fuse box. It will mean switching off the electrical power supply, and it can take a whole day or just a couple of hours. The duration will largely depend on the size of your property, and as you can imagine, if it’s an industrial building or a large commercial one, it could take anything up to a few weeks to complete.

How Old Your Installation is Will Determine How Long it Takes and How Complex The Job Will Be

The age of the electrical installation is an important factor to consider, especially if you’re about to move into a new property. This would also apply to both industrial and commercial properties. If there are any faults and broken wiring, anything that looks like it could cause an accident that threatens the safety of its inhabitants, then you will be given a list of the faults, and it is then up to you to make sure they are carried out.

VC Electrical – For Qualified, Experienced and Trustworthy Electricians in Edinburgh

If you have any more questions about EICR’s you’d like to discuss, then please get in touch and one of our experts will be more than happy to allay your fears and go through the whole thing with you. We’re always here to help and as we have a wide reach as experience electricians in West Lothian we know that the advice we can give you is invaluable. We’re all qualified to carry out EICR’s too, so if you do need a report carried out on your premises then you’re in safe hands.

What Is PAT Testing and Is It Important?

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In order to ensure the safety of both commercial and residential occupiers, PAT testing is a crucial step in operating with the confines of a safe environment. PAT stands for Portable Appliance Testing and employers must provide proof that PAT testing has taken place. We’re experienced electricians in West Lothian and we understand the fundamental importance of PAT testing, so read on to see why you should consider it a high priority too.

Hire an Electrician that is fully qualified, experienced and competent

Naturally, a high level of competence is required to carry out PAT testing, this is because it requires the testing of all appliances in a building to check they’re in working order. During a formal inspection by a qualified and trained electrician any equipment defects should be picked up.

Regular inspections are important

These inspections should be carried out on a regular basis, and as well as obvious faults which can be seen by unqualified persons, any faults which can’t be seen with the naked eye should be checked by someone who is qualified and experienced. You want electricians who good at catching these kinds of faults quickly and pointing them out, so they can be repaired.

Important PAT Legislation

The Health & Safety Executive say that 25% of all accidents are caused by portable appliances, so you can imagine why PAT testing is so important – it could save a life. The legal responsibilities lie with the employer, and if you live in rented accommodation, with your landlord. For employers, they must follow the provisions made by the Health & Safety at Work Act (1974) and take steps to ensure the testing is carried out.

Other important legislation to look out for are:

  • The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989

  • The Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999

  • The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992

  • Provisions and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998.

All relevant legislation as mentioned above insist that electrical maintenance should be carried out and emphasise the importance of PAT testing.

Records of Tests

Naturally, it’s also important to keep records of all PAT testing so you can prove these tests have been carried out. The company who carry out your tests will also carry out relevant records of your testing, and that way you’ll know when you’re due to have one again. Should you need to claim on your insurance at some point, you’ll have to prove compliance with regulations such as the ones we’ve mentioned above, and if you have records of when you last had a PAT test this will help enormously.

PAT Test Certificates

Computer records are kept of all certificates and yours will be emailed to you for further reference. It’s important to keep your certificates in a safe place should you need them in the future such as the scenario we’ve described above.

VC Electrical - PAT Testing You Can Rely On

Whether you’re a landlord with several properties or a commercial business with a team of staff, if you need PAT testing carried out, please get in touch with us here at VC Electrical. We’re here to help and we’re all experienced, trained and qualified to carry out PAT tests.

Benefits of LED Lighting in Your Home

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Today I’m going to be talking to you about LED lighting and why it’s so beneficial for your home. You may know something about LED lighting or perhaps very little. LED lighting is energy efficient, and although they cost a little more upfront, you’ll find they save you money over time. They use a fraction of the energy needed for other bulbs, so you’ve got something that will be kind to the environment as well as to your pocket in the long-term. And as we are the most reliable and experienced electricians in West Lothian we feel we’re the best team to give you the low down on the benefits of LED lighting.

The reason why LED bulbs are so much more energy efficient is because they emit light hemispherically rather than spherically and this then helps to reduce waste in light and energy. This means they’re becoming increasingly popular in homes up and down the country because they’re so much better for the environment.

Long-Lasting

As we’ve already touched on LED lighting lasts much longer than conventional light bulbs and far exceeds the expected life expectancy of your average bulb. They can last for at least 20 years, and that’s even if you have them switched on all day long without ever switching them off. So even though you’re paying much more for them, you’ll get your investment back over time.

Durable and Tough

You’ll also be pleased to know how durable and tough LED lights are. They don’t break anywhere as easily as you’d think and the glass they’re made of is so much stronger. If you do drop them they won’t break into tiny pieces making the floor a danger zone for anyone walking through the room.

Work Well In All Temperatures

Whatever the temperature LED light bulbs will always work. It doesn’t matter whether it’s hot or cold they’ll continue to operate. They work in cold temperatures as well as hot, so they can be used outdoors as well as indoors, making them an extremely versatile source of lighting. If you do decide to have them outside, you’ll be giving your home a secure form of lighting, helping to make your home safe from potential burglars.

Recyclable, Reduced Carbon Footprint

Finally, LED lights are 100% recyclable and this, along with their long life, reduce their carbon footprint. They’re environmentally safer and use far less materials, so there’s less waste, so if you care about the environment and the mark you’re making on the planet, LED lights should be the perfect choice.

VC Electrical – For The Best Electricians in Edinburgh that Always Deliver on Customers Service

So, there you have it, all the best reasons to invest in LED lighting for your home. If you think you’d like to invest in LED lights, then get in touch because that’s what we’re here for, to help, to help keep your home safe and give value products that deliver on their promise. Get in touch today and one of our team will be more than happy to help you.

How to save on your energy bill this Winter

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With energy bills on the rise, how can you save on energy bills this winter? Here at VC Electrical we’ve come up with some great new ideas on how you can do this, so if you’re struggling with the rise in prices and you’d like to find out a bit more on how you can benefit, read on and we’ll pass on a few tips. Here at VC Electrical, our electricians in Edinburgh and the Lothians are always happy to help.

As the temperature drops you’ll naturally want to turn the heating up and while this will cost you money, there are things you can do to save in other ways at the same time.

Firstly, consider turning off any standby appliances. Even if you’re not using them, the heat they take up can add to your energy bills. It’s at least thirty pounds you can add to your kitty in a year just by simply turning things off at the plug.

What About Water?

You’ll save money on a water meter but don’t waste money by heating water you don’t use. Only boil the water you need and don’t let taps run for longer than they need to, if you are going to wash up then use a washing up bowl and fill it and use only that amount.

Insulation

Make sure your home is draught proof. Losing heat through poor insulation is a sure way to waste energy. You’re more likely to turn up a thermostat when you have a draughty room, when the solution is to simply provide your home with effective draught proof materials. You could try things like draught excluders for the doors, and there are kits you can buy that will help insulate little areas where heat can escape, like cracks in floors, letterboxes and any unused chimneys. You could also find out about insulating your walls and your roof.

Wash Clothes At A Lower Temperature

This can really help, 30 degrees should be enough to get clothes clean and most washing detergents today get stains out at 30, and you’ll use far less energy as a result.

A New Boiler May Also Help

You can also install a new boiler if you think yours is not performing adequately. If it’s old, then it probably isn’t, and boilers today must usually have an A rate to be energy efficient. They usually come with room thermostats and radiator controls. By modernising your existing boiler or replacing with a brand new one you could be saving a significant amount of money.

You’ll Be Amazed At The Difference Double Glazing Can Make

Double glazing is a must and rooms will feel much warmer as a result. You’ll be able to turn your heating down and you’ll save a lot over the course of the first year alone. You’ll see a real difference and although there’s an initial investment, you’ll get this back over time.

For More Energy Saving Heats and Tips, Speak To One Of Our Electricians in Edinburgh Here At VC Electrical.

We hope our tips on saving on your energy bills have helped today. Once you get in to the swing of things it’ll all seem easier, it’s about breaking bad habits and adopting new ones. If you’re still looking for smarter ways to save money, then get in touch with VC Electrical and we’ll be more than happy to help you. There are so many more heat saving tips that we’ve not covered in today’s post such as LED lighting and things you can do with electrical heating. So, give us a call and let us help you.