Electrical Contracting News (ECN) May 2017 - Page 53

WIRING ACCESSORIES SPECIAL FEATURE contractors and specifiers to added- value features such as these that wholesalers can help them identify the most functional, cost effective and fit for purpose solutions. Nuisance tripping IP rating Whatever the IP rating, the importance of considering the actual features and benefits of individual products cannot be overstressed. For example, it’s important to note whether the product still protects from ingress of dust and water to the required standard even when plugged in. It is also important to ensure the lids close when using a moulded plug. Only a product that has a lid designed to close securely around the flex will provide this level of protection. And, if the outdoor socket does have such a lid, it is then worth noting whether the lid is clear enough to allow the user to see whether a plug is in place or whether an indication light is switched on. It’s worth remembering too that performance and safety are not the only key selling points of outdoor power products; durability is also crucial; after all, they will be constantly An increase in the number of outdoor power applications has led consumers to look for better outdoor power solutions. Today people want to make their gardens a part of their living space. subjected to all kinds of weather conditions and wear and tear. All PowerBreaker ProteKt products are IP66-rated and have been tested under multi-directional power hosing conditions and are therefore suitable for the most demanding conditions, including pressure washers and these products should offer safe and reliable performance in even the most challenging environments, such as commercial car washes. IP66 also protects from the ingress of dust and dirt particles – all present in both commercial and domestic situations. While the focus is on waterproofing and resistance to dust it is easy to forget that heat and sunlight can also cause the unit to deteriorate over time, which is why the PowerBreaker ProteKt range has been designed with UV protection to increase durability. It’s by signposting With safety so high on the agenda, IP-rated sockets with integral RCDs are a popular choice as these remove the need for an RCD adaptor and avoid the risk of nuisance tripping. For commercial applications, the safest option is often to opt for an IP rated spur unit to avoid any possibility that electrical cables could be unplugged by mistake or due to vandalism. Meanwhile, if energy efficiency is part of the brief, an IP rated digital timer could be the most appropriate choice as this would allow devices such as outdoor lights – in either domestic or commercial settings – to be switched off automatically when not required. Finally, it is sensible to think ahead as domestic and commercial demand for outdoor power grows it may be prudent to install a double socket even if there is only a requirement for a single socket at the present time, as this will help to future proof the installation. Ultimately, outdoor power is an upselling opportunity for contractors and wholesalers alike. Any domestic or commercial building can benefit from the availability of outdoor power; a professionally installed socket, spur, switch or timer enhances both the flexibility and the safety of outdoor power usage when compared to the old fashioned extension lead approach. It pays, therefore, to know what is out there and to maximise the opportunity outdoor power can provide. May 2017 | 53