Following our plumbing glossary yesterday, Access Training have also put together a brief post covering common electrical terms that will be handy for all the aspiring electricians out there - whether they're DIY enthusiasts or aiming for a professional career.
Bonding: The process by which all metal parts in a circuit are electrically connected together and then linked to a real earth. This is done to prevent any metal component within a building becoming dangerous should it become live due to an electrical fault or damage. Any fault should cause the circuit protection device to operate and isolate the incoming mains.
BS 7671: Currently in its 17th Edition, this is the UK national safety standard for electrical installation work.
Consumer Unit: These are used to control and distribute electricity around the home. They usually contain a mains switch, fuses/circuit breakers and one or more residual current devices.
Earthing: In the event that there is a fault in the circuit, this will minimise the risk of an electric shock. It provides a path for the faulty current to flow safely to earth, causing the protective device (such as a fuse) to disconnect the circuit and stop the danger. An electrician should check that the earthing and bonding is satisfactory before starting any work.
Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR): A report on the condition of your electrical wiring, containing an overall assessment of the safety of the wiring, observations on its condition, and a number of recommendations (in order of priority) for action (if any is required) to restore the wiring to a satisfactory condition for continued safe use. These were formerly known as Periodic Inspection Reports (PIRs).
Flush-fitted: These are electrical switched or sockets that have been installed so that their back boxes are contained within the wall or ceiling, making only the front plates visible. This often looks nicer than surface mounted connections but usually requires chasing to complete.
Miniature Circuit Breaker (MCB): These are automatic protective devices fitted into fuse boxes. They will disconnect a circuit should there be a fault or overload.
Part P: The specific section of the Building Regulations for England and Wales, which relates to electrical installations in domestic properties.
Surface-mounted: This is when switches and sockets are installed on top of a surface rather than behind it. While it is less seamless than flush-fitted installations, it causes less disruption to any decoration that surface may have.
Two Way Switch: Switches which can be used in pairs so that either can turn a light on or off. Each switch has terminals allowing them to be linked using Three Core and Earth cable.
Of course once again this is only a very brief look at some of the things electricians come across on a daily basis, and is no substitute for proper comprehensive electrical training. If you would like to find out more about what it takes to become an electrician, earn valuable skills and the qualifications to go professional - Access Training have exactly what you need. With courses suitable for both trainees and homeowners looking to do a spot of DIY on their property, now has never been a better time to gain a better understanding of the electrical trade. Please visit the courses section of our website or alternatively get in touch with our team on 0800 345 7492.