Incorrectly installed Ring Circuit

How can a circuit still be energised when it is clearly switched off? ….Answer ? when it is an incorrectly installed Ring Circuit! This week we have had the not so unusual occurrence of a ring circuit that when installed or modified the conductors have been mixed up with another Ring Circuit. For the circuit to be fully isolated two MCB’s* would be required to be switched off making the protective device ineffective for its purpose.

The Ring Circuit was introduced in the early 1940’s due to its efficient use of copper and its flexibility for installation. It is still the most common circuit used for sockets in the UK to this day! Installed correctly the circuit makes use of two conductors running in parallel for the Line, Neutral and Earth conductors. In the instance of our fault of the week, one single conductor from one leg of the circuit had been mixed up with another leg of a completely different circuit.

A Ring Circuit that has been incorrectly wired in this manner poses a number of hazards. Firstly in the event of a fault to an appliance the circuit protection (MCB) would not operate therefore leading to a possible overload. Also, during maintenance, should **Safe Isolation not be correctly undertaken the circuit would remain live even though appearing switched off to the maintenance personnel.

Veriserv recommend that only competent electricians undertake maintenance work on electrical circuits.

 

Photograph(s)

MCB for the fuseboard that is clearly switched off and the microwave oven that is plugged into the circuit that remains switched on & energised.

FOTW 25.06.2015 FOTW 25.06.2015 2

Our mission is to provide every single customer with an outstanding service that is fit for purpose and delivered by experts to reduce risk. As you can see from our other faults of the week, regular visits from a professional can cut down the risk of electrical faults, fire and disrupted security, to you and your workplace.

So if you know you are due a service, or have some concerns about your premises, please call 01543 225306, or fill out one of our contact forms to arrange a free assessment of your premises, with one of our fully trained engineers.

References

*MCB- Miniature Circuit Breaker (as shown in the photograph) also referred to as “over-current protective device”

**Safe Isolation- proving dead (not energised) in accordance with Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 regulation 12

Veriserv extends its services to testing in Compex Explosive Atmospheres

Veriserv would like to congratulate their engineers on the successful completion of the competence validation tests in relation to CompEx. Meaning Veriserv can now test in explosive atmospheres

explosive atmospheres compex

Veriserv’s Senior Electrical Inspection & Testing engineers have extended their qualifications by completing and passing the new modules in Compex environments. The extension to Veriservs’ range of services is specifically for clients who work in areas that contain explosive atmospheres, for example; Gas refineries, petro-chemical, distilleries, pharmaceutical and a wide range of other gas industries.

Our engineers have successfully passed the following units:

EX01  Preparation & Installation of Ex’d’, ‘n’, ‘e’ and ‘p’ electrical equipment

EX02  Maintenance & Inspection of Ex’d’, ‘n’, ‘e’ and ‘p’ electrical equipment

EX03  Preparation & Installation of Ex’i’ equipment and systems

EX04  Maintenance & Inspection of Ex’i’ equipment and systems

All units are based on the IEC Standards 60079: Parts 14 & 17 and the APEA/IP Guide as appropriate 

explosive atmospheres engineer testing

The CompEx Scheme is now the global solution for validating core competency of employees and contract staff of major users in the gas, oil and chemical sectors.

Veriserv are delighted with their engineers achievements and through CompEx, look forward to extending our range of services for clients who operate in environments with explosive atmospheres.

As more companies are required to comply with the ATEX Directive to meet European legislation, Veriserv are perfectly positioned to offer ATEX advice, assessment and certification of your electrical installations.

Our services also include electrical inspections of work carried out by your contractor ensuring compliance to current requirements and regulations.

For more information or a quotation please click here   

The high risk of using a damaged socket extension lead

Badly smashed sockets still in use

You may have heard the old adage of “if it works then there’s no need to fix it” but when an item of portable electrical equipment becomes damaged it should be switched off, disconnected from the supply and taken out of service. Unfortunately, in this instance this damaged socket extension lead was found by a Veriserv engineer to be still in use despite its obvious dangerous condition.

This piece of equipment obviously poses a number of hazards such as electrical shock and the risk of causing a fire. This would pose a high risk to any company and its employees.

All users of portable electrical equipment in the work place should undertake ‘User Checks’ however in this case it seems this piece of equipment has gone unnoticed. Ideally, in this situation as soon as the damage occurred the piece of equipment should have been switched off. It should not be acceptable for a significant defect of this nature to go unnoticed, therefore the IET recommend that formal visual inspections are undertaken periodically by a competent person to identify these hazardous items.

A Veriserv engineer would isolate the equipment at time of the inspection and advise the client of his findings, and assist where possible to get equipment that was connected to the extension lead back on.

Our mission is to provide every single customer with an outstanding service that is fit for purpose and delivered by experts to reduce risk. As you can see from our other faults of the week, regular visits from a professional can cut down the risk of electrical faults, fire and disrupted security, to you and your workplace.

So if you know you are due a service, or have some concerns about your premises, please call 01543 225306, or fill out one of our contact forms to arrange a free assessment of your premises, with one of our fully trained engineers.

 

Information for Reference

IET- Institution for Engineering Technology

Code of Practice for In-service Inspection and Testing of Electrical Equipment Chapter 15.8

Regulations

Provision & Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 Regulation 5

The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989, Regulation 4(1)

Fuse replaced with steel rod – Portable Appliance Testing

This fault of the week underlines the importance of carrying out Portable Appliance Testing.

portable appliance testing

When a fuse blows you often find yourself hunting around for a suitable replacement. Unfortunately, in this instance, a fuse was not available so an enterprising individual prepared one from a steal rod. It may have even been turned down on a lathe such is the perfect fit!

For the purpose of protecting the appliance and the user in the event of an electrical fault, this item is obviously unsuitable, meaning not only your electrical appliance breaking, but there is a huge potential of a fire risk. Is it really worth it?

All users of portable electrical equipment in the work place should undertake ‘User Checks’. However for non-trained personnel it is recommended that the plug top is not removed.

Unfortunately, this limited inspection may lead to a significant defect of this nature going unnoticed. Therefore the IET recommend that formal visual inspections are undertaken periodically by a competent person to identify these hazardous items.

A Veriserv engineer would replace the fuse during the Portable Appliance Testing and advise the client of his findings. Keeping both the client, and all those around the electrical item, safe and sound.

Our mission is to provide every single customer with an outstanding service that is fit for purpose and delivered by experts to reduce risk. As you can see from our other faults of the week, regular visits from a professional can cut down the risk of electrical faults, fire and disrupted security, to you and your workplace.

So if you know you are due a service, or have some concerns about your premises, please call 01543 225306, or fill out one of our contact forms to arrange a free assessment of your premises, with one of our fully trained engineers.

Information for Reference

IET- Institution for Engineering Technology

Regulations

Provision & Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998

Electricity at Work Regulations 1989