Get in Touch

Is a contractor only as good as the equipment they install?

Lee Johnson, Managing Director of Advanced Electrical Services explains...

Here’s a bold statement for you: ‘A contractor is only as good as the equipment they install.’ I read this recently in a trade magazine article and it caught my attention because it only tells half of the story. Although we all understand the importance of using quality products, I believe the standard of the installation should take precedence.

The best quality electrical equipment

Anyone employing an electrical contractor would be horrified by some of the dangerous products that can be found in our industry, from cheap, sub-standard cable to non-compliant circuit breakers. But even if the company you hire turns up with the best quality electrical equipment, it can be dangerous if it’s not installed correctly.

To my mind, quality is not only about the equipment being installed: it also includes the method of installation and the reassurance that the work has been safely carried out. Nobody can be sure a circuit is safe without testing it first, so how come some electricians don’t test their work or issue certificates upon completion?

Electrical consultants - who polices quality?

The problem is: who polices quality and consistency within the industry? As an end user, do you use a consultant, who gets paid a percentage of the contract value of the project? If you do, you need to make sure you know what they are asking for on your behalf.

Store fit out with lighting

To give you an example, we recently carried out a small but high-end store fit out with nearly £40k of lighting. The store was approximately 20m long x 8m wide, with lights sourced mainly from Italy and South Korea. When they arrived (eight weeks from order), the lights were no different from those produced in this country, except they cost a fraction of the price. We then saw the consultant twice on site during the works: at the beginning and at the end of the job. You can see more examples of our recent work on our Case Studies page.

Electrical contractors and accreditations

Although I’d advise anyone hiring an electrical contractor to look for accreditations, historical signs of competence and the benchmarks of the industry, you can still get caught out. I’m afraid to say you can’t always rely on a contractor’s membership of the NICEIC (the UK’s voluntary regulatory body for the electrical contracting industry) as a guarantee of quality. In fact, I can’t believe the standard of work we see carried out by some NICEIC registered contractors. And what’s the sense in allowing NICEIC contractors to decide themselves where to take the inspector during the annual inspection? Would it not be better for you, the client, if the inspector chose which job to inspect? It would certainly keep the contractors on their toes.

If you want to be sure of your contractor, your best bet is to do some research yourself. If you’re not sure where to start, take a look at our blog on Six things to consider before hiring an electrical contractor.

 

image description

Heat Pumps – the lowdown

Heat pump technology isn’t new. In fact, it dates back as far as the 1800s. But, like any technology, it has advanced over time. As a result, heat pumps have become more widely used in recent decades. In the last few years, heat pumps have become even more of a talking point in the UK […]

Read more
image description

How to identify whether you need a CompEx electrician

Any qualified electrician can take care of basic electrical installations, but not every electrician is qualified to work in hazardous areas (which requires a CompEx electrician). Manufacturing facilities often require more than the basics, so it’s important you get the right electrical contractors for the job. CompEx (meaning Competency working in Explosive atmospheres) refers to […]

Read more
image description

Why smart buildings are the future

There’s no denying that technological advancements in recent decades have changed the way we all work and live. Everything is becoming smarter and more efficient – including our buildings. More and more homeowners and businesses are investing in smart tech for their properties. While the initial outlay might be significant, the long-term benefits justify the […]

Read more
image description

What is a switchgear and why are they so important?

You don’t have to be an expert in electrical systems to operate a successful factory, but it does help if you have a basic understanding of the key components and their importance. One key element of your electrical system is the switchgear. Switchgear is a broad term that typically covers several devices that work together […]

Read more
image description

Future-proofing your factory

With compliance regulations and market demand constantly changing, it can be tough for manufacturers to keep on top of emerging trends. Even the best business strategies need to be flexible to ensure they can be adapted when necessary. So how do you prepare for the unknown? How can you future-proof your factory to ensure you […]

Read more
image description

What can cause power outages (and how to protect against them)?

A reliable power supply is crucial for factories to maintain uninterrupted operations. Any power outage can lead to delays in production, resulting in significant losses in terms of productivity and revenue. Understanding the causes of power outages helps you to prepare effectively for potential disruptions. Appropriate measures can be taken to mitigate the impact of […]

Read more