Electrics - Rewiring for the Internet right down to your appliance light bulbs
The Internet and other information technology systems have a lot to answer for -
especially where household electrics are concerned. Most new houses being built today are purposely wired for this new technology so if your home is due for rewiring then you should be seriously considering the implications.
For instance, you should be thinking of at least four double sockets in each room and you will want to provide dedicated lines for the Internet. The latest are asynchronous digital subscriber lines (ADSL) which means there is no dialling up to the Internet because you are on-line continuously. It costs from as little as £10 a month and accesses information up to 100 times faster than down an ordinary telephone line.
You may also want to consider multi-room stereo in your rewiring plans that combine a range of sound and video sources into an integrated system which is controlled from user-friendly display "pads" similar to light switches, around the house.
Electricity is a vital ingredient of all our lives and a truly flexible power source. But it has to be respected! A high proportion of electricity-related accidents is due to faulty wiring and sockets, particularly in older properties.
So if you're worried about a wiring problem it's vitally important to call in a qualified electrician and a good starting point is to talk to the Electrical Contractors Association, which has over 2000 members nation-wide.
It's also vitally important these days to install safety equipment called Residual Current Devices or RCDs. These are always fitted in new homes and in those being rewired, They work by cutting off the power immediately a fault is detected. Portable versions are available in the shops in the form of plugs or adaptors to use in any 13 amp socket around the home.
The old fuse wire system has long been replaced by throwaway cartridges and, in new installations, by circuit breakers which trip in the case of an overload and can be reset at the flick of a switch. But if it carries on tripping then you need a professional to isolate the problem.
Besides the safety equipment on a switchboard, all 13 amp plugs are fitted with a replaceable cartridge fuse. It's important to make sure you have the correct fuse rating for the appliance otherwise damage may occur. To find out the right fuse to use check out the current rating of the appliance.
Conservation is the buzz word wherever energy is concerned and whilst most modern electrical appliances are manufactured to operate on a shoestring you must heed what the device's energy label tells you. It's a strange irony but more often than not the greater the initial cost of the appliance the more economical it is to run and, of course, it will be more environmentally friendly, too.
Lighting, also, is an integral part of our daily lives and can make or break a home's interior decoration. And modern lighting systems are going through a major transition.
The familiar Edison screw and bayonet type fittings, which most of us have in our homes, are being superseded by special square pin ones that will only accept low-energy compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs). These are cheaper to run than traditional light bulbs and last ten times longer.
But what's more, there are also LEDs (light emitting diodes) coming on stream in the not too distant future that are likely to revolutionise lighting. They are expected to make mega-savings on electricity bills and have a life expectancy of 100,000 hours - that's over 11 years of continuous operation!
Mark Harris contributes and publishes news editorial to http://www.discount-light-bulbs.com.
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