Scary-Electrical Advice from HDL
21st October 2011
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Have you Looked in your Loft recently? – more Advice from HDL Audio Visual Services

Have you looked in your loft recently? You might get a shock if you did – hopefully not literally.

Until relatively recently it was normal to install electric supplies in houses and some business premises using 'twin and earth' cable. 'Twin and earth' consists of a supply wire, a return wire and an earth wire all contained in a jacket of soft insulating material. It is cheap and easy to install just by laying it across the loft space or underfloor space, bending or curving it as required. It can be squeezed through narrow gaps, and taken through relatively narrow channels in walls to switches or other fitments. The big problem with it lies with the dietary habits of rodents.

It is said that you are never far from a rat or mouse, even if you never see them, and the one thing that rodents love more than anything else is a meal of soft warm plastic. They are literally prepared to die for it. As a result, if you take a look at electric wiring which has been in for a few years, you are quite likely to see a lot of bare copper, some of it carrying live current – not a  comfortable thought.

The recommended way of installing electric wiring these days is through 'conduit', feeding individual 'cores' (service cables) through tubes of much harder plastic or even steel, which the creatures cannot get their teeth into. It is necessary to lay down a grid of conduit, serving the various parts of the building and this involves some time and expense. One advantage, however, is that once the grid is laid down, as long as there is room in the conduit, cores can be inserted and removed at will, making future repairs or changes much easier.

So it is worth taking a look in your roof or underfloor space, even if this is going to present you with the prospect of an unwanted bill and unwanted upheaval for re-wiring. It is better than someone being electrocuted or your building bursting into flames.

About the Author

Gill and Phil C

Member since: 9th July 2012

Hi, We are Phil and Gill Chappell. We own the Best of Henley-on-Thames. We live in Henley so would love to hear your views and opinions about all things Henley.

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