about

After gaining a Physics and Astronomy degree from the university of Sheffield I entered the world of education and remained in Sheffield to complete my PGCE specialising in Physics. After spending five years working in secondary schools around the uk I worked from 2012-2019 at the Sheffield college teaching Maths and Phyiscs to A level and B-tech level 3 standard. I do still tutor on a personal basis. If you require tutoring in Physics, Maths or any of the electrical exams I have taken please contact: www.stemsheffield.co.uk

When renovating my house in 2018, a builder chopped through some of the wiring. Rather than consulting an electrician he chose to fix it himself resulting in the whole lighting circuit melting.
With only a basic understanding at the time and the company electrician non the wiser I guessed he’d perhaps created a short circuit to the line conductor wired from switch to switch. The electrician proceeded to walk around confidently with what I now know to be a multifunction tester and state that he couldnt find continuity in any of the remaining circuits.

That fact the whole house was only on three re-wirable BS3036 style fuses, one of which had already failed and melted the lighting circuit, meant he had two circuits to test. A ring final and a radial that fed an old emersion heater no longer there. He eventually condemned the electrical system stating, ‘I cant find continuity in your line or protective conductors’ asking for further explanation as to how they are still working or why led to him uttering that he wasnt exactly sure… I was shown no test results to confirm what he was saying.

I was then given a series of quotes for a new consumer unit and re-wire, adding thousands to the cost of my loft extension.

This was in the middle of the loft conversion, where they left me with no lighting, rushed the works and left. I naively paid. With works not completed to standard and an electrical fault I was pretty sure created by them, I had to consistently call and argue my point. They returned to complete flashing, replace a staircase and look at the electrics. A considerable amount of building materials had been left too. I was also in fear of my electrical system being a safety hazard.

For the electrics they surface mounted a new lighting circuit running through door ways and up and back down walls. They then simply wired it all back into the old fuse box. No testing results were issued and no external RCD protecting the ‘new’ lighting circuit was installed. Having been in the dark in the middle of winter for nearly two months I was perhaps a little too grateful at the time.

After such a poor experience with plumbers, builders and electricians so far I decided to take control of my situation.
I enrolled at a local training provider and whilst working as a teacher attended night school to become clued up about domestic electrcial installations. At the same time I was becoming disillusioned about my work environment at college and felt I could provide others with a much better experience than the one had by me.

My background teaching physics and the deeper understanding gained from a physics degree had me well suited to understanding the processes involved in electrical work. A history of helping others pass exams and the standard required being approximately higher level GCSE meant I sailed through all the exams and practical tests required to become a domestic installer.

Going back to my condemned circuits? The work was all still under the building control permit, so with my new certificates I was free to start gaining some control and understanding of the system I had. I ripped out their ‘new’ lighting circuit and tested the other two. To not much surprise good readings were recorded for continuity and insulation resistance and so the ring final and radial circuit were in fact recomissioned. Two new lighting circuits were tested and installed, along with an interlinked smoke alarm circuit and a new cooker circuit. All supplied by a new consumer unit.

Looking to embrace a new chapter in my life, my experiences led me to feel I could offer a much better service than the one I recieved. I want people to feel that their project or renovation is an exciting one and if problems arise a logical efficient solution found. Not smoke and mirrors. By collecting data and understanding what this means, guess work can often be eliminated to find a much better solution to problems. This is true in particular with electrical work were accurate results can be recorded to build a picture of your system. You should have installation certificates or condition reports for your system. See the http://rayselectrics.co.uk/?page_id=1582 page on this site for examples of these.

TL;DR

Qualifications:

  • Bsc Physics and Astronomy (University of Sheffield)
  • PGCE Secondary Science (Sheffield Hallam University)
  • Requirements for Electrical installations BS 7671:2018 (City and Guilds). A requirement for all electricians.
  • Part-P 2393-101 (Arena training, City and Guilds). A requirement for all electricians in a domestic environment.
  • Initial Verification of Electrical Installations 2391-50 (City and Guilds). A requirment for signing off newly installed work.
  • Periodic Inspection and Testing of Electrical Installations 2391-51 (City and Guilds). A requirment for periodic inpections (EICR).