Win a FREE home boiler service

Help us mark over 100 boiler services carried out this year. Like our Facebook page, copy and paste ‘GA celebrate 100th boiler service’ and Share it and you’ll be entered into a prize draw to win a free home boiler service.

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We say a fond farewell (for now) to Shelly.

A year ago we were congratulating our Office Manager Shelly Tricker and four of her stalwart GA colleagues for completing the Wallingford Thames Run.

What a difference a year makes; no running for Shelly this time around as she has just given birth to her daughter – Jessica Leigh. We say ‘bye for now’ to her and give her our best wishes as she continues her maternity leave.

Left to right: Michael Plested, Nathan Wright, Shelly Tricker, Kelly Maccormick and Leigh Vink.

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Fantastic Facts. Did you know?

How many boiler services we’ve done so far this year?

Since we launched our new Heating and Plumbing Division in January this year our engineers have successfully completed over 100 boiler services. The summer months are the ideal time to have your boiler serviced, heating system Power Flushed, or to invest in a new installation. Please email steve.hogarth@gaelectricalandmechanical.couk or phone him on 01491 835875 to discuss your needs.

 

How many EICR tests we completed?

It’s important that every building has an up to date EICR Test certificate. Do you know when your test is next due? To date this year, our electrical testers have tested 1,724 circuits for homeowners, schools, universities, churches, offices, industrial premises and retail outlets. Please email reception@gaelectricalandmechanical.co.uk to book your next test.

 

 

How many LED lights we’ve fitted?

More and more companies, schools and universities are appreciating both the cost saving benefits and the improvement in working conditions. We’ve fitted 914 LED lights since the beginning of the year saving our clients £17,214.76 on their electricity bills. If you’re interested in upgrading your lights to energy efficient LEDs, please email reception@gaelectricalandmechanical.co.uk

 

 How many metres of copper pipe we’ve installed?

In just the last eight months, we’ve used 2.3km of copper pipe and 63km of electrical cable on a wide variety of projects. Whatever your next project is, be it mechanical electrical or plumbing, we’d love to quote it for you. Contact reception@gaelectricalandmechanical.co.uk and we’ll have one of our experts get back to you.

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It Pays To be Smart When You’re away From Home

GA can provide you with a cost effective smart home solution to control your heating, monitor your CCTV and activate your security lights.

When you’re not home, nagging little doubts can start to crowd your mind. Did I turn the coffee maker off? Did I set the security alarm? Are the kids doing their homework or watching television?

With a smart home, you could quiet all of these worries with a quick glance at your smartphone or tablet. You could connect the devices and appliances in your home so they can communicate with each other and with you. Any device in your home that uses electricity can be put on your home network and at your command. Whether you give that command by voice, remote control, tablet or smartphone, the home reacts. Most applications relate to lighting, home security, home theatre and entertainment, and thermostat regulation.

The idea of a smart home might make you think of George Jetson and his futuristic abode or maybe Bill Gates, who spent more than $100 million building his smart home. Once a draw for the tech-savvy or the wealthy, smart homes and home automation are becoming more common.

What used to be a quirky industry that churned out hard-to-use and frilly products is finally maturing into a full-blown consumer trend. Instead of start-up companies, more established tech organizations are launching new smart home products.

Much of this is due to the jaw-dropping success of smartphones and tablet computers. These ultra-portable computers are everywhere, and their constant Internet connections means they can be configured to control myriad other online devices. It’s all about the Internet of Things.

The Internet of Things is a phrase that refers to the objects and products that are interconnected and identifiable through digital networks. This web-like sprawl of products is getting bigger and better every day. All of the electronics in your home are fair game for this tech revolution, from your fridge to your furnace. So, wherever you may be in the world, you could access and control your CCTV, security and fire alarm systems, heating and hot water all for under £2,500. If you’re interested in finding out more, drop us an email reception@gaelectricalandmechanical.co.uk or call us on 01491 835875.

 

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We raise a glass and toast a worthy winner.

A new build winery, the Hundred Hills Vineyard, based in the Stonor Valley near Henley-on-Thames is the overall winner in the 2017 Chilterns Building Design Awards. It was chosen from a shortlist of eight properties because it was felt that the build significantly enhances the site and locality, completely harmonises with its setting, uses high quality local materials, displays great attention to detail and above all relates to the special character of the Chilterns.

It was designed by Nichols Brown Webber of Henley and Kingerlee of Kidlington were the builders who contracted Team GA to undertake both extensive mechanical and electrical works.

On the mechanical front, our engineers installed hot and cold water services, the ventilation system, the Barrel Room cooling system that guarantees a constant temperature of 14°C 24/7, the above ground drainage, a BMS energy monitoring system and several irrigation watering points.

Our electrical team installed the mains distribution, all the internal and external lighting, the emergency lighting, small power provision, plus the fire alarm and data systems.

We also worked with three incumbent suppliers on providing CCTV, security, access controls, a surge suppression system, earthing and bonding along with an extensive AV package.

GA would like to congratulate all those involved, evidently a winning combination, and of course we wish the owners every success in their new wine making venture. We’re looking forward to sampling their wines, which in time we trust will also become award winners.

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A very enlightening story

GA electricians recently upgraded Our Lady’s Abingdon coeducational day school to LED lighting. As demonstrated in the ‘before’ and ‘after’ photos below, the LED conversion gave a crisper fresh white colour that illuminates the hall so much better.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The old fittings shed a much warmer and duller white light which does not illuminate the hall as well as the LEDs with much of the light lost in the ceiling and not thrown downwards enough. This is markedly evident when looking at the walls and the balcony area.

 

 

 

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Going Underground…

A prestigious basement extension and whole house refurbishment in Kensington

Shape Architecture obtained planning permission to return this building from four flats to a substantial family home with subterranean accommodation. The various levels within the building will be linked through a feature stair set against a full height glazed wall to flood the interior with light. The subterranean accommodation will also be filled with light through various roof-lights and double height spaces.

Green roofs are introduced at various levels of the project. Generous hallways set against external glazing ensure that the interior is always flooded with light and that there is a great sense of space. As Kensington Architects with a vast experience of basement conversions in Kensington and throughout London, Shape Architecture has been able to bring a creative and technical expertise to this project.

Work is progressing well on this major high-end refurbishment being undertaken by Rackham Construction, but currently the building is somewhat hidden from view. ‘Behind the scenes’, GA are involved with the substantial mechanical and electrical works including installing a Heatmiser heating control system, wet Under Floor Heating, extract ventilation and heat recovery systems and air conditioning in every room.

You can check out more of our case studies here.

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Once more to the rescue…

Since launching our new heating and plumbing division, our GA engineers have been kept very busy… which is nice!

I’d like to highlight two emergency jobs in particular that required fast turnarounds. The first occurred just after Christmas when temperatures were at their lowest. A gentleman in his 90s (a nonogenerian) contacted us to report his boiler was on the blink. In fact on investigation, the boiler had given up the ghost completely and needed to be replaced. Our Works Mechanical Manager, Stephen Hogarth, quoted for a budget and a ’top of the range’ boiler solution, the latter being a Worcester Green Star which comes with a five year guarantee; which is what our client opted to go with. His boiler was located in a very difficult location, very high up in a kitchen cupboard. Our engineer had to do some control changes as well and it was a time when we had heavy frost and very low temperatures so a speedy installation was a priority.

The second job was within a Grade 1 listed property in Nettlebed. The owner lives with their father, also a nonogenerian, and in this instance their very old LPG boiler had stopped working. On surveying the job, it was discovered the boiler controls had a faulty pressure switch. Stephen went out himself the next day (even though he was officially on holiday) to replace the faulty part to at least get the heat back on. Although warmth was restored, the decision was made to replace the boiler (again for a new Worcester) because they didn’t want to risk being left in the cold again. We arranged a quick turn around on the boiler replacement, which turned out to be another difficult change. It involved finding a roofing company to help with getting the new flue through the roof, but all went smoothly and now we have two more sets of happy customers. Oh, and if you’re wondering why we recommended Worcester boilers in both instances, it’s because they are ultra-efficient and can save up to £340 a year on energy bills which means they can pay for themselves in just a few years.

If you’d like to talk to us about servicing or upgrading your heating system, call us on 01491 835875 or email reception@gaelectricalandmechanical.co.uk

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Buyer beware when buying chargers

Sub-standard and counterfeit electrical chargers can be deadly. We are seeing an increase in the UK of the number of incidents being reported about faulty electrical goods, particularly fake, cheap and unbranded chargers – many of which fail to meet UK safety regulations and can lead to electric shock, injury and cause fires.

With that in mind, it’s important to be aware of the risks when buying a plug-in charger. To help you know what to look out for, take note of the following safety points:

The 3-point safety check

1. Plug pins

Check that there is at least 9.5 mm between the edge of the pins and the edge of the charger (9.5 mm is about the width of a ballpoint pen). If the distance between the edge of the pins and the edge of the charger is less than 9.5 mm, there is a risk of electric shock when plugging in and unplugging the charger from a socket.

Plug the charger into a socket but don’t switch it on or connect it to your appliance.

Does it plug in easily? If the charger does not easily plug into a socket, the pins may be the wrong size or length, or the distance between the pins may be wrong. If pins do not fit properly into the socket, overheating, arcing and mechanical damage can occur to both the socket and the charger, which can be dangerous.

2. Markings

Look for a manufacturer’s brand name or logo, model and batch number.

Check for a CE mark

Check that the output voltage and current ratings marked on the charger and your electrical device are the same.

Do not rely on a CE mark alone as a guarantee of safety – it’s simply a declaration by the manufacturer that the product meets all the safety requirements of European law, but they can be easily forged.

3. Warnings and instructions

Adequate warnings and instructions must be provided. As a minimum, user instructions should provide information on conditions and limitations of use, how to operate the charger safely, basic electrical safety guidance and details of how to safely dispose of the charger when it is no longer required.

Facts and Figures

  • 1.8 million mobile phone chargers are bought online in the UK each year (30 million annual sales in the UK)
  • Unsafe devices are often made in China for as little as 3p – which means poor quality components. Sometimes these products don’t have safety features such as fuses.
  • The UK has seen a six-fold increase in the number of counterfeit electrical goods seized over the previous four years.
  • And the value of such goods seized by councils and the Border control rose from just over £2.6 million in 2009 to more than £15.7 million in 2012. The most-seized items were chargers.

Many imported chargers do not satisfy UK safety regulations and can cause serious electric shock, injury or fire. Suppliers and retailers have a legal duty to ensure that all electrical equipment they sell is safe.

GA can arrange for one of our electricians to carry out a PAT (Portable Appliance Testing) on all your electrical equipment. Call 01491 835 875 or email reception@gaelectricalandmechanical.co.uk

 

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Why Choose Heatmiser?

 

On all our wet underfloor heating (UFH) and more involved heating system installations, GA always prefer to use Heatmiser controls. Their control solutions can also take care of electric UFH, heated towel rails and even mirror demisters. As generating hot water accounts for more than 80% of your energy usage, Smart Controls can help reduce it whilst increasing comfort. Heatmiser have become one of the UK’s leading heating controls manufacturer, offering solutions for underfloor heating, conventional radiators and renewable energy systems.

Geo Location technology uses your SmartPhone GPS to accurately determine your location. Neo and SmartStat will turn your heating down when you leave home and will have it just the way you like it for when you return. Heatmiser have a wide range of smart thermostat and control products that change the way you control your heating & hot water, from anywhere in the world. Their range of products include room thermostats, underfloor heating thermostats and industrial control systems.

For more information about installation of a Heatmiser solution call us on 01941 835875 or email reception@gaelectricalandmechanical.co.uk and go to https://www.heatmiser.com to see their full range of products available.

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Whatever your electrical, mechanical,
heating or plumbing challenge, we are here to help.

Call: 01491 835875