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VC Electrical Contractors Ltd
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15 Muirfield Station
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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

Ian Burnett

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

Ian Burnett

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

Ian Burnett

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?

Ian Burnett

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?

Ian Burnett

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

Ian Burnett

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

Ian Burnett

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.

Benefits of Electric Heating

Ian Burnett

Today we’re talking about the benefits of electric heating. You may have been put off in the past because of the expense, or that you could never match the versatility of gas central heating. Well, you’re going to be surprised today, because we’re here to tell you that electric heating can be everything you want it to be and more. It could also put the heating back under your control.

Firstly, How Does It Work?

Electrical heating works in a similar way to gas, in that it operates from a boiler, in this case an electrical boiler. With electric heating you can have the heated towel rail, the radiators and panel heaters. There’s a really versatile range of heating products you can choose for your home that matches your budget and your lifestyle.

Cheap Installation

Another great advantage of electric heating is that it’s cheap to install. There’s no need for pipes, so there’s minimal disruption when you have it fitted. Each radiator works independently, so you can add as many or as little radiators to your home as your budget allows. Electric heating allows you more control over things such as energy usage and room temperatures

It’s Also Energy Efficient

A central heating system delivers more heat through the pipes and thus wastes energy, whereas with electric heating you only use what you need, so if you need to use only one radiator you won’t have to activate the entire system to do it. You can heat each module independently so you can heat single rooms. Your heaters will simply plug into a socket so they’ll be efficient at the point of delivery.

Electric Heating is Durable and Cost Efficient, Lasting Up To and Over 15 Years

Gas boilers require yearly maintenance and have a lifetime of 10 years, unlike electric heating systems. No energy is wasted in the flue and all fuel is turned into heat, so there’s no waste. There’s also no maintenance and no yearly inspection necessary, which adds cost to the running of a system. Electric heating needs none of this.

With Electric Heating You’re in Control

With electrical heating there are accurate thermostatic controls, this means on-the-money, spot-on room temperatures, thus ensuring the kind of optimum comfort that no only keeps you warm instead of hot, comfortable instead of freezing, but using only the exact amount of energy it needs.

VC Electrical, Reliable and Experienced Electricians in Edinburgh

As responsible electricians in West Lothian we know how important it is to work safely with electricity, so if we come and install electric heating in your home, you’re guaranteed that it’ll be installed safely. We also know, from having worked with previous customers that electric heating is easier to control, cost efficient and comes without the worrying safety and maintenance aspects of gas central heating. If you’d like to discuss the possibility of having electrical heating installed in your property, get in touch with us here at VC Electrical.

The Importance of Smoke Alarms

Ian Burnett

Today’s post we’re going to be discussing the importance of smoke alarms. Smoke alarms can save lives, and because we’ve worked with electrics and the dangers of fire for so many years as electricians in Edinburgh we know what we’re talking about. We’re hoping that by the time you’ve read this you’ll be more knowledgeable and more aware of how important it is to have a smoke alarm installed in your home.

Being without a smoke alarm can cost lives

Firstly, we’re going to give you a few statistics so you’re aware of how dangerous it is to be without an alarm. Each year 500 lives are lost to house fires with most occurring in the middle of the night between midnight and six in the morning. This is when most people are asleep and most likely to be slower in reacting to suspicious smells or sounds. In fact, according to First Alert UK, your sense of smell will decrease to the point of non-existence, so having an alarm in place will give you a significantly greater chance of escape.

Faulty electrical appliances are often the culprit in home fires

There are just under 60,000 house fires a year here in the UK and most of them are caused by electrical faults, mostly misuse of equipment, and these are mostly cooking appliances. So, you will begin to see why making sure your appliances are safe to use and that you use them properly plays a part here too.

Misuse of smoke alarms can be hazardous

You would think that once someone buys a smoke alarm for their home they were safe, but you’d be surprised at how once installed, smoke alarms are largely neglected in some homes. This can be lethal. It’s estimated that at least 30% of alarms in the UK don’t work because their batteries are flat, or someone’s disconnected the batteries.

So why is it important to have a smoke alarm?

Its importance lies in its ability to give you fair warning of imminent fire giving you plenty of time to react. There are lower rates of casualty as a result of having a smoke alarm installed. First Alert UK tells us that a smoke alarm will give you 4 times the chance of surviving a fire.

VC Electrical qualified and experienced electricians, Edinburgh – for all your electrical faults, wiring and smoke alarms

If you’re having smoke alarms fitted in your home and you’ve decided on electrical ones, then please have them fitted by professionals, preferably by us here at VC Electrical. We have plenty of experience, and we’re all fully qualified and trained to carry out electrical work and install electrical smoke alarms. Remember, if you have any appliances you’re not sure of get in touch and we can repair, better to be safe and sorry.

Electrical Safety Advice for The Whole Family

Ian Burnett

What can you do to keep yourself safe at home with electrics? Accidents can happen quickly and can result in a hospital visit or worse, so with this in mind we’ve come up with some electrical safety advice for all the family and we hope you find it of use.

As responsible electricians in Edinburgh we care about our customers, and because we’ve been doing this for over 20 years we know and understand the dangers of electricity. When you’ve been working with it for as long as we have, we know that while it’s useful and we’d be lost without it, it can also be extremely dangerous if you’re careless.

Appliances

Naturally, appliances are extremely useful and necessary and they can be anything from a clock to an iron, from a microwave oven to a food mixer.

When you’re not using your appliances always keep them out of the way, not left around with the socket on. Keep them out of the way of children especially, and of course any pets if you have them. Anything that can generate heat, like TVs, laptops or clocks should be given several inches to sit without being left in a cluttered area. This helps them to stay cool and for the heat to circulate. Whatever you do, don’t drape items on them. Follow instructions that come with your appliance to the letter if you can and don’t try any repairs yourself unless you know exactly what you’re doing. Keep all appliances away from water.

Cords

From appliances we come to cords, because all appliances come with its own cord. Always be vigilant with your electrical cords. Make sure you check each one for cracks and frays, any damage at all. Do this each time you use them and always make sure you only use cords for their intended use, they’re not for any other use, so never allow your children to play with them and especially when they’re switched into a socket. Always make sure you plug them in firmly so they’re all the way in and never nail your cords into a fixed position.

If you use an extension cord, remember that it is only ever as a temporary measure, don’t use them all the time. When you reach to unplug an appliance from the wall, don’t tug on the cord itself but pull at the socket, from the plug.

VC Electrical

Reliable, dependable and experienced electricians in Edinburgh. With 20 years’ experience under our belt and a team of professional qualified and trained electricians, we know electricity inside, and out and we would always encourage our customers to treat electricity with respect and never play with it, or you could be literally playing with fire. If you have any questions about what we’ve discussed today, please get in touch with us here at VC Electrical, and one of our friendly team will be more than happy to help.

Best time to replace heating systems

Ian Burnett

When it’s time to replace your heating system, when is the best time to do it? If you’re planning on changing it and you’re not entirely sure when to do this, then today’s post should help.

You may find this surprising, but summer is the best time of year to change your heating system. The reason for this is because, as you can imagine, there’s a lot of disruption involved so summer is better. During the winter, you’re not going to want disruption in your heating supply. You’ll want it to be warm and cosy exactly when you need it, and changing from one system to another is going to mean switching your heating off for a time.

You’ll find an available engineer quicker

In summer from a practical standpoint, your boiler engineer is going to be less busy in the warmer months. There’s going to be less demand on his/her time, and this means you’ll be able to get someone in quickly. This will also give you time to shop around a bit and find an engineer who is just right for you and your home. Take three final quotes from those you like the look of and then decide which is the right one.

Frozen house, frozen pipes – not a good mixture

As you can imagine you’re going to be without a boiler for a few days while you’re getting the new one fitted. This isn’t going to be exactly ideal if it’s in the middle of winter when the weather is at its coldest. If your boiler is out of action for a few days then you could get frozen pipes and that’s not good. If you have it all done in this summer these are things you can avoid, so you’ll have a stress-free winter.

Plan ahead

By planning ahead you’re giving yourself time to choose the right heating system for you and also giving yourself that extra time to understand how it works and how to operate it, especially if you’re transferring over to something you’ve not used before.

Reduced energy bills, kinder to the environment

By sorting your heating system out in advance you’ll save money in the long-run too. You can reduce your utility bills by changing over to a more efficient heating system, a system that has a better energy rating so you’ll save money and the environment. By giving yourself extra time, you’re going to gain advantages in terms of adjustment to a new system, saving on energy bills and reducing the disruption by having it done in winter, when you’re going to need your heating to be working efficiently to counteract the cold.

For the best electricians in Edinburgh, it has to be VC Electrical

We are a team of busy and successful electricians in West Lothian, we’re fully trained, qualified and reliable. Our work is mostly by word of mouth and we love what we do. We consider customer service to be of great value and we won’t leave any job if it’s less than satisfactory. Want to change your heating system? Why not get in touch and let us do it, let’s talk about what you want from your heating system.

How to prepare for a house rewire

Ian Burnett

As successful electricians in Edinburgh we know how stressful rewiring is for many customers. We know that it can be quite chaotic and a little messy. We really empathise, and we always make sure we create as minimal a mess as possible, always clearing up after we’re done. Because we know from experience how daunting customers find house rewiring, we’ve dedicated a post to this very topic, so we can help you prepare as much as you can before you go through it yourself.

What needs doing where and where do you want everything?

Before anyone starts work make sure you know which areas are in need of rewiring and what you want to go where. Rewiring is usually a requirement if you’ve moved into a property which is quite old, this is great for renovations and refurbishments as it can really add value to the property. However, for yourself, while you are living in it, you will need to have some if not all the house rewired so it’s safe to live in.

Why do you need your house rewiring?

Anything that was installed in the 1950s, 1960s will need rewiring no matter how quaint it might look. You will need a modern fuse box that has the ability to cut out the entire system should anything happen so you don’t get an electric shock. This cut out system or circuit breakers as they’re sometimes known can save lives. Look out for any fuse boxes that have wooden containers with a mixed-bag selection of fuses, they will need to be replaced.

Prepare your house in readiness

Now you know which areas of your house need rewiring and why, you’ll need to get your house prepared. Carefully plan everything you need to do. Remove all you can, such as any carpets or old furniture from the previous owner, because wires will run underneath floors, walls, across ceiling. Electricians will need to lift floorboard and cut into ceilings to get the wires in safely. Plaster will need to be cut into in order to install new switches and sockets. The reason why it’s a good idea to know what’s going to go where in any particular room is so you’ll have a better idea of where you’re going to need sockets, plug points and lights.

Plan ahead

If you plan ahead properly you should know pretty much where everything will go and it’s a good idea if you stick to it. Don’t add things like extra lights or sockets later as you go as it could be costly. It’s more cost effective to plan ahead and know what you want and stick to it.

Tech gadgets and future plans

Also consider all the tech gadgets you’re going to want and in the future. Make your home tech friendly by making sure you have electrical circuits that are good enough for the job. Plan ahead and make sure whether you want speakers in every room or a security system, perhaps you have particular wi-fi needs and you’d like phone sockets in each room. Whatever it is you think you might like in the future, plan for it now.

It might be a good idea to move out till it’s over

If you’re currently living in the property, move out. It’s really hard to carry on living in the property while there’s electrical wiring going on at the same time. You’ll need to cover any furniture you have lying around to protect it from dust and move any electrical equipment into another room. It may be far easier to move in with friends or stay with family until it’s finished. There’ll be periods when the electricity has to be off, so it’ll be difficult to cook, wash or use TV etc.

VC Electrical, the best Electricians in West Lothian – for professional rewiring done to exceptional standards

If you’re looking to rewire your property you won’t do better than VC Electrical, we’re successful because we’re good and because customers recommend us. We always strive to see things from the customers point of view, so we can empathise and treat your home as if it was our own. Get in touch and fire any questions at us about what we’ve discussed today, or any other electric related topic.

Why Choose LED Lighting for Your Outdoor Space?

Ian Burnett

Why would you choose to use LED lighting instead of conventional lighting? We’re going to be discussing this in today’s post, because we believe that LED lighting is by far the better option, and we’re going to spend some time explaining why.

What are the benefits and advantages of using energy efficient LED lighting?

Basically, LED lighting provides an intelligent solution to conventional lighting, in that it saves energy, and in turn saves you money. Rather than constantly replacing your outdoor lighting, with the use of LED you’ll be using them for much longer before they run out.

Digital benefits and less energy consumption

LED lighting has many other benefits too. LED is digital, and through being digital rather than analog, the earth benefits as well as your wallet. As well as being kind to your wallet and the planet, LED lighting lasts a long time, it works even in bad weather, it’s low maintenance and it uses at least 90% less energy than conventional lighting.

Because they’re low maintenance you won’t have to spend time constantly replacing failed lights and this is good, because if you have lights as a security or safety measure, you won’t have to worry about them constantly going off or wearing out.

Efficiency and flexibility

They’re efficient because they outperform fluorescent and incandescent light sources and the light produced by LED is so directional that it helps when deciding where to place the lights outside your home, as you know exactly where the light will fall.

Great energy savings

LED lights use very little power, and as a result give great energy savings for you as a homeowner. LED lighting is becoming increasingly popular globally as a result of this, and the more LED lighting that’s used, the better it is for the planet.

They burn just as brightly

The argument that LED lights aren’t as bright as the old lights is a bit of an old myth. The wattage system is slightly different to the old incandescent bulbs; however, they do give out as much light and are every bit as bright. The good thing about LED though is that it gives out as much light but uses less energy.

LED lighting is versatile

Another benefit of using LED lights is that they don’t produce quite the same amount or kind of heat as incandescent bulbs, and this also means there’s no IR radiation. This allows LED lights to be used in places that would otherwise be unsafe such as near or in food or textiles.

VC Electrical for all your lighting needs, indoor or outdoor.

If you’re on the lookout for outdoor lighting, and we’ve convinced you that LED lighting is a worthwhile investment, then why not get in touch with us here at VC Electrical the experts in outdoor lighting. We know enough about this area to help you with your questions, so get in touch today about what we’ve discussed, or on any other matter.

 

Landlord services: What We Offer

Val Chisolm

Today we’re going to be talking about the services we offer to landlords. It’s a bespoke service to clients who own property they rent out, and each service we provide is something we’re all trained and qualified to do. What you get with VC Electrical is a suite of landlord services that give you peace of mind so you can focus on other aspects of your property business. Read on to find out which services we can offer you as a landlord.

EICR

We’ll start with the EICR. This is the electrical inspection report for testing all electrical installations and should be carried out at least between 3 to 5 years. What the report will check is electrical circuits or equipment, potential fire hazards and any potential electric shock risks, defective electrical equipment and lack of bonding or earthing.

We will test both the wiring and any fixed electrics to check they’re safe to use. The EICR tests can only be carried out by trained professionals who are accredited and are registered electricians. All electrics in your property will be checked against BS 7671 Requirements for Electrical Installations.

PAT Testing

PAT testing is also a service we carry out and it’s similar to the EICR. It tests both electrical equipment and appliances to ensure they’re safe to use. Testing is a good way of detecting faults so you know your tenants are safe. Again, a competent person is appropriate for the PAT testing which is carried out at reasonable intervals.

Fuse Board Testing

Fuse boards are an important part of your electrical installation. Unfortunately, there are still too many old fuse boards causing accidents because they are out of date. A new more up to date fuse board can be the difference between life and death, and by getting a new one, you can protect your tenants by giving them added protection.

RCD

An RCD protected fuse board can prevent electric shocks and fire so they’re a vast improvement on previous, older ones. RCDs can save lives and works by switching off electricity when there’s a fault. If you cut through a cable in an accident for instance, the RCD will cut off the electricity so you don’t get a shock from the exposed wires.

We’re well qualified to be able to provide an excellent fuse board replacement, making sure they meet with the standards. We’ll also test your electrical installations and provide certification once completed, so you know everything is working as it should.

We have many years’ experience in the job and provide a seamless suite of electrical services that benefit our clients and help to keep their properties running smoothly. As well as EICR/PAT testing and replacing fuse boards we also provide a service installing carbon monoxide and smoke alarms, another safe way of preventing electrical fire accidents.

VC Electrical

We are premier electricians in Edinburgh providing an excellent service throughout the area for landlords and domestic customers. If you need any of the services we’ve mentioned today, or you’d like to talk to us about any of our other services, then please get in touch, we’ll be happy to help.

Electricians Tips – Energy Saving

Val Chisolm

As you may be aware, energy prices are on the rise, so what can you do to save on energy and keep your wallet healthy? Today we’re going to be talking about energy saving tips – from the experts, from electricians such as ourselves. We hope you find what we’ve put down here of use.

Bulbs

If you’re still using the old bulbs because they seem brighter, give up on these. They don’t last as long as energy saving bulbs and they’re more expensive in the long run, even if they’re costing you less per bulb right now. Think about how many times you’ve had to replace them.
On the other hand, an energy saving bulb uses much less energy, around 80% less but produces the same amount of light. And you can get them just as bright now as the more conventional ones you’ve been using. They reduce energy costs and you could save over £50 a year as a result, because they last so much longer.

Do you really need to use a tumble dryer?

They use a lot of electricity to dry your clothes, and it’s cheaper to use a clothes horse or washing line. If do you think that a tumble dryer is an essential item in your home, then always make sure it’s full but never overload it.

Dishwashers

Could also do with being full and not half empty. The fuller it is (but obviously without overloading it), then the less times you’ll need to use it, and you’ll save on energy.

Washing Machines

Try a 30c wash instead of a 90-100c one. You’ll save energy when you wash at a lower temperature.

Kettles

These should never be over full but only boil the water you need to make a cup of coffee or tea, whether it’s for one or two.

Energy Ratings

If you’re buying new appliances, always look for the energy rating. If you’re buying second hand white goods, always check this. If it’s an old one, the appliance you think you’re saving money on could be less energy efficient and that could cost you more money in the long-run.

You can also save money on energy bills by simply switching off your appliances when not in use. Use more energy saving appliances and if you can, insulate your home properly if it isn’t, that way you’ll also save money too.

If you have any questions on what we’ve discussed today, give us a call here at VC Electrical. We’re full trained and qualified electricians and one of our team will be more than happy to help you.

Does My House Need Rewiring?

Val Chisolm

We’re going to be taking a look at whether or not your house needs rewiring to help you identify the signs so that you can avoid an accident or damage to your home.

Often before moving into a new home a full rewire is carried out as part of an upgrade. This is usually considered a safe option if you’re moving into a new home with an older system. If you’re thinking of doing this make sure you use a fully qualified electrician who is registered.

Old Electrics will probably need to be replaced

As a rule, any electrical system that’s more than 25 years old will need to be rewired, so it’s always a good idea to find out how old your electrical system is. This way you can make a sensible decision on whether it needs rewiring.

It’s a good idea to have someone qualified and registered as an electrician to come over and check the electrics in your home, and they can show up any faults or repairs that need doing, they may even recommend a full rewire.

EICR

An EICR which is a condition report, is usually carried out by a registered electrician, that is, someone who’s trained and qualified and registered with an official body. This type of report will also give you an idea of cost, especially if you’re going to be upgrading the system and possibly remodelling it so it will have additional circuits.

There will be a bit of a mess

A full rewire is quite a large job and is usually something that’s carried out before plastering or décor. As you can imagine then, there’s a lot of mess and upheaval, and if you do already have a house that’s plastered and decorated, then you’ll probably have to do all this again once the job has been completed.

The circumstances where a full rewire may be necessary is when the system is more than 25 years old, as already mentioned, but there are also other important reasons why you should have a rewiring.

These would be such things as the current system has becoming unsafe to use, or if there’s been fire or flood damage, or perhaps when the installation of several new circuits are required.

There’s some upheaval with a complete rewiring

As well as the upheaval that rewiring entails you may be wondering what else it involves. Normally, all fittings, sockets, switches and unit will be taken away and replaced by new ones. There’s two step process which is known as first and second fix. A member of our team here at VC Electrical can talk you through the finer details of what these two fixes entail.

The benefits outweigh the disadvantages

The benefits of a complete rewiring are that your house will be much safer and your home will fall in with the latest regulations. You’ll be able to have all the sockets you need for all sorts of new appliances, new light fittings and basically modernise your house so it accommodates any new mods and cons – safely.

How long does it take?

It usually takes around 5 to 10 days and there will be a little disruption which your electrician will warn you about. If you are considering a rewire, and you decide to go ahead, you’ll need to inform your local building control department as it must comply with safety standards.

Building regulations and getting a quote for rewiring

You’ll need a registered electrician to carry all this work out on your home because the work will need to comply with Part P of the building regulations safety standards, and this will require certification and notification once it’s been completed.

As you can imagine it can be expensive so it’s a good idea to look for 3 quotes and decide on the best from the 3 fully qualified ones you choose. Keep in mind that’s it’s not necessarily a good idea to go with the cheapest option, cheap isn’t always the best. The most important thing to remember is to go with the safest option.

If you have further questions about eletrical rewires then get in touch with us here at VC Electrical where a member of our team will be more than happy to help you.

What Makes a Good Electrician in Edinburgh?

Val Chisolm

What makes a good electrician in Edinburgh is what would make a good electrician anywhere else in the UK. We’re going to be looking at some of the things you need to look out for when hiring an electrician, that way you can avoid making the common mistakes some people often make.

What to Look For in an Electrician

As you can imagine, being an electrician is hard work and involves years of training, both in college and on the job. It’s a hands-on profession where you need good coordination skills and the ability to work under pressure. You also need to know what to do in an emergency and be able to think on your feet. Working with electricity carries a lot of danger, the wrong circuit, the wrong component, and it can result in something bad happening.

Fully Trained and Experienced

As you can imagine then, it’s important that you have a fully trained and experienced electrician working in your home. They will have had hands-on practical experience as well as qualifications in order to be good at their job. They need to be able to navigate a problem and know what to do, offer a solution and make repairs safely and to time using quality equipment, materials and tools.

Customer Service and Communication Skills

Good communication and a commitment to customer service is an essential skill and one you should look for when hiring one. They need to be articulate enough to be able to explain what the problems are and then explain to you what their chosen solution is. They should also be able to solve the problem right away or be able to recommend someone who can, with a realistic timeframe in which to complete the job.

How do you find someone with all these skills?

To begin with, ask for word of mouth recommendations from friends and work colleagues, and ask them what they were like to work with and how would they rate the work they carried out. Also check out their website, are they a member of a trade association? Do they have testimonials and pictures of the work they carried out for former customers, and can you get in touch with them to confirm they did the work?

Trade Association Membership

Being a member of a trade association is hard work and takes a lot of effort in order to become accredited. Electricians need to provide qualifications, evidence of training and continuing proof of personal development and technological improvement in their skill as an electrician. Therefore, if you do find an electrician claiming to be a member of a trade association, check they’re registered with them, and you’ll then know you’re dealing with someone who is who they say they are and that they’re qualified and trained to carry out the work.

VC Electrical – Qualified, Trained and Experienced Electricians in Edinburgh

If you’re looking for an electrician in Edinburgh to carry out work on your domestic or commercial property, get in touch with us here at VC Electrical. We’re an experienced team of professionals and we’d be happy to discuss your problem and provide a solution.

Electric Heating: The Benefits

Val Chisolm

What are the benefits of electric heating systems? This is something we are going to be exploring in today’s post. We believe that a source of electrical heating has great benefits for homeowners, but read on to discover more.

Low-cost Installation and Quick to Get Up and Runnin

Electric heating is easy to install, there’s no pipework, and it takes minutes to connect, you’ll also be pleased to know there’s minimal disruption to furnishings and fittings, so you’ll be up and running in no time. You can add to the heating as well by purchasing new heaters as and when required. All electrical heaters work as standalone units or as part of a simple electrical system, so you can always add to it if you need to.

You Never Waste Heat With Electricity

Rather than waste energy through the flue which is what happens with gas, electric heating uses up 100% of its energy for heat, it’s converted directly, and this is unique to electricity as opposed to wood and gas.

Instant Heat and Warmth

Electric heating is instant, you don’t have to wait for it heat it up. The device you use will respond right away and it’s silent too with no odour. You’ll never have to worry about contamination and you can control the heat better.

Electric Heating is Easy to Control

There’s a single thermostat which will control the temperature of each room so the heater will automatically adjust to the temperature you’ve chosen, this way you’ll save on energy rather than wasting it and you’ll never be too hot or too cold.

An electrical heating source is going to not only give you easy, instant heat, it’s also going to give you quick installation if you’re having it for the first time. Over a lifetime, it’s probably one of the most efficient and economically affordable heating system.

Little to No Maintenance and No Fluctuating Prices

You’ll find that the heaters used with electric heating require very little in the way of maintenance as they rarely break down, so you will save on repair costs. Another advantage to having electrical heating rather than any other source of heating is that the price of electricity doesn’t fluctuate in quite the same way as other forms of energy, so you do save money in the long run and you can budget sensibly with no nasty surprises.

VC Electrical For All Your Electrical Heating Needs

If you think you’d like to convert all your heating system over to electric heating, then get in touch with us here at VC Electrical. We have a team of qualified and trained professionals who are experienced in fitting electrical heating systems. We work hard to make sure our customers are satisfied with our level of service and prioritise communication and customer service very highly. Give us a call and let’s get that electrical heating system in place.