Electrical Socket in London, Kent and Essex

Trade Facilities Services can supply and fit all your external electrical sockets and garden lights, this includes socket outlets for your lawnmower or supply feeds for you swimming pool, we can help you from design all the way through to completion but when having these works done there is quite a few things that you will have to take into consideration to ensure you have the best value for money and safety measures available to you to keep the safety of the property to a high standard.

External Lights / Outside Socket and IP Rating

Garden sockets and outside lights are given an IP rating otherwise known as a ingress protection rating, two digits follow after the IP, the first digits relates to resistance to objects and particles and the second digit shows the resistance to water.

The first digit provides a measure of protection against solids – how dust or insect proof the product is:

  • Resistance to foreign bodies down to 1mm2 – this is the minimum for an exterior fitting in order to keep insects out of the areas where live parts are located – usually the lampholder and terminal block. It also tells you that your children should not be able to poke fingers or objects other than very fine wires into a light.
  • Generally proof against contact and dust
  • Completely dust proof

The second digit is measured against liquids or other wise known as splash proof resistance and is especially important in poor weather conditions, this element of the rating will guide us and let us know whether or not the outside lights are weatherproof enough for outside lights and that the lights should be a minimum rating of 4, below are some examples of what is expected at these levels.

  • Splashproof – limited ingress permitted as long as it doesn’t touch live parts
  • Hose-proof – limited ingress permitted as long as it doesn’t touch live parts
  • Pressure hose proof – limited ingress permitted as long as it doesn’t touch live parts
  • Protection against limited immersion in water
  • Continuous submersion in water, usually to 2 metres

Even though these IP ratings are set there can sometimes be a problem in regards to the integrity when it comes to outside electrical sockets or garden lights again below are some examples when this may cause a problem

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    Ingress of water can still happen to IP68 lights if:

    • Cables have been pulled loose in a sealed gland; this can happen if underwater lights have been fouled during weed removal in ponds or if lights have been carried by the cables during installation
    • The cable gland is loose – tighten the nut around the cable gland to ensure a close seal around the cable
    • The top plate is not fastened down both firmly and evenly, each screw being fastened down a turn at a time in diagonally opposite rotation (like a car wheel) with equal pressure on each screw fixing so the gasket is uniformly compressed and the top plate has not been distorted
    • The lens or gasket are dirty when fitted so that soil or debris prevents a perfect seal and acts as a path for capillary action; if in doubt clean the lens with bathroom limescale remover to clean off any film.
    • The gasket has not been fitted properly or has been damaged
    • A light without a pre-fitted cable has not been installed properly with an IP68 gland and an HO7-RNF rubber cable – PVC cables are not suitable for such installations
    • Water has been sucked along inside the cable from a joint or junction box which has not been properly waterproofed (a process called “wicking” caused by pressure fluctuations in lights as they heat up and cool down).
    • Sealant materials such as silicon have been applied in the mistaken impression that this improves the seal, when in fact most silicon sealants do not bond sufficiently to be waterproof outside
    • Lamps of an excessive wattage have been used – for example 50w underwater lights rely on water cooling and are limited to 35w lamps if not fully submerged. Lights which overheat as a result can expand and contract around the gasket area beyond their design limits and allow moisture to be sucked in

    Dusk till Dawn or Timers for external electrical sockets

    With external sockets and Garden Lights you can use a dusk till dawn sensor switches. These switches turn the power to the outside electrical socket or garden light on when it starts to get dark outside. You can also your garden electric socket or outside light on a timer so that the outside lights and garden sockets come on and go off  at a certain time of the day. These are both good features as you do not have to always remember to switch on and of the external electrical power outlets.

    Mostly all garden sockets and outside lights should be protected by an RCD and installed by a qualified and competent electrician. the RCD is there for your safety and must not be overlooked when you are having these type of works done on your property just to save a few pounds. Doing this could increase the likelyhood of your electrical test certificate failing at a later stage.

    When Looking for an electrician always make sure they are skilled and competent. Also find out if they are committed to a governing body as this will only help your installation. For more information about our electricians in Essex and London, Please look Here