06 December 2014

Electrical inspection

Buildings insurance requires an electrical inspection every now and then. If you don't have the certificate, you might not get recompense in case of a fire that might have been caused by faulty electrics. 

The electrician has been, and tested all the plugs and all the lights. Finding the plugs in the studio took me quite a while, and required the moving of several drawers - fortunately some are on wheels - and of things like a bookbinding press (very heavy) and a metal sewing machine (also very heavy). 

Apart from the embarrassment of not knowing where the sockets/plugs are, there's the embarrassment of discovering that those sockets you never need to access (because you plug into the extensions that run off them) are reposing amid a welter of dust bunnies. Ah well, it's a chance for a good clean-up!

The studio is now in complete turmoil -
Thanks to the brightness outside, and the darkness of the photo, you are spared most of the chaos, but it's all sitting there waiting to be put back.

The elusive socket was in the furthest corner, the junction of the worktop and the table-under-the-window -
This will be the last thing to be set to rights. Pulling furniture away from walls in the other rooms has revealed too much dust, too much shoddy housework. One room is cleaned and restored to sanity ... only one so far ... and despite infusions of chocolate, I'm exhausted by the effort!

But these things need doing - at worst, faulty electrics lead to fires or electrocution - you don't want to risk it. Here are some FAQs about electrical testing, and here is a list of what people around the UK have been charging for doing it.

The commonest fault, the electrician said, was that there was a break in the earthing. And we have this. How to find out where it is, so it can be fixed? Floors might have to come up, he said. Which we had done for the new boiler, four years ago, that needed a new pipe from the street to (of course) the furthest point away from the street. Nor was this done thoroughly - the cable that should earth the gas pipe hadn't been included in the installation. 

All rather depressing, but at least the sun was shining today. I shall have another piece of chocolate, set the timer for 15 minutes, and carry on with rounding up those dust bunnies.

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