Frequently Asked Questions

Your Questions Answered


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As we go about our daily business of wiring up Wiltshire, working across Calne, Trowbridge and Westbury, we get asked all sorts of questions about everything from electrical terminology and safety to our qualifications and the best place to have a plug socket.

We thought we’d put together this list of frequently asked questions along with our answers, to salve your curiosity – and if you have any questions about electricity or electricians that you don’t see featured here, please get in touch and we’ll be happy to answer them.

When does a property need re-wiring?

If a property is 30 years old or more and still has its original electrical wiring it will more than likely need updating to comply with modern safety standards. This would probably necessitate replacing the old fuse box with a new consumer unit. It’s best to have a qualified electrician check the state of the electrics and give you a quote for a re-wire when you are considering buying an older property.

Can Re-wiring a house lead to savings on electric bills?

The main reason for re-wiring a property is to make it safer and bring it up to date, but replacing the old material can make your electrical system more efficient, so there might be some savings in the long term.

Can I connect a new electric cooker to the mains myself?

Yes, if you think you are competent to do so safely – BUT you’ll still need to get a Part P qualified electrician in to come and inspect your work and certify it, otherwise your cooker’s guarantee will not be recognised if something goes wrong. Having an uncertified electrical installation could also negatively affect your property’s insurance in the event of a claim.

How many electrical sockets are allowed in one room?

There is no limit on the number of plug points allowed in a room or a whole property, however there are regulations about where they should be positioned, with the focus on accessibility (the same goes for light switches). It’s good to have plenty of sockets available to reduce the risk of overloading, with more and more electronics being used in our homes.

What does it mean if electrical work is “notifiable”?

Notifiable Electrical work is work that is subject to compliance with Building Regulations approval, and has to be signed off by your local authority building control body. Examples would rewiring a property, providing electricity to a garage, replacing the consumer unite or fuse box, and any electrical work in a kitchen, shower room or bathroom. As NAPIT registered electricians LDM Electrical can undertake notifiable electrical work.

What’s the difference between a fuse board and a consumer unit?

They are essentially the same thing – a consumer unit is the modern version of the old-fashioned fuse board. They act as the box from which the electricity entering your home is controlled and distributed around the property, containing the main switch and Residual Current Devices (RCDs), which we used to call fuses or circuit breakers.

Do I need an electrician to fit a USB socket in my house?

USB charging points are the essential connection of modern life, being used to power up everything from our mobile phones and tablets to wearable tech and toys. Power sockets with integrated USB charging outlets are now being included as standard in new builds and refurbishments, but they can also be retro-fitted to any building simply by replacing the existing power sockets. It’s always safer to get a qualified electrician to carry out electrical work, but if you are a confident and competent DIY-er you should be able to manage to change an existing wall socket for one from a hardware store that includes USB ports. Don’t forget to switch off the mains power at the consumer unit while you work!

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