News

Apr 13, 2017

KDE Ltd are proud to announce a major growth plan and expansion of its service offering thanks to the acquisition of a leading North West provider of industrial electrical and hazardous area services.

The acquisition of Electrical Project Installations Limited (EPI Ltd) will boost staff numbers significantly, and bring a new suite of services within KDE’s remit to complement the electrical, fire alarm, plumbing and heating services already delivered by the team at KDE.

KDE has been in discussions with EPI for some time to identify how each company can improve services for clients and generate opportunities for employees across the board. It has been established that the services are a good fit and KDE will acquire an impressive group of individuals to bolster its already experienced, talented and knowledgeable team.

Both companies will work towards a seamless integration and guarantee no employees will be adversely affected by the acquisition.

Keith Darlington, Managing Director at KDE Ltd, said: “The acquisition brings together the best talent and experience from both businesses to create a regional electrical contracting company with increased market reach, expertise and a broader base of services providing the best in class service to our clients.”

The acquisition of EPI will increase the headcount at KDE to 92 employees with a fleet of 46 vehicles and a further expansion plan will see staff numbers exceed 100 during 2017.

Gary Partington, Managing Director at EPI, said: “This is a very exciting opportunity for our own team to grow and develop their skills and we will ensure a smooth transition into the KDE ltd organisation, that in turn, will offer a beneficial and seamless synergy for both companies.”

KDE has ambitious plans for ongoing growth and intends to action this through building relationships with new and existing clients while looking for additional acquisition opportunities in the future.

Matthew Darlington, Company Director at KDE Ltd, said: “Given this is the first acquisition for KDE, we consider this to be an extremely exciting opportunity for all concerned. All the directors believe now is the time to build on the momentum and reputation of both companies, which in turn is a significant opportunity to accelerate KDE’s growth and increase the value we bring to our team and ultimately clients.”

KDE are experts in Electrical, Fire Alarm, Plumbing & Heating Installation, Maintenance and Servicing for clients across the North of England and North Wales. 

May 18, 2016

We are a leading regional Electrical and Fire Alarm contractor who are regionally recognised for our continual exceptional customer care, reliability, competitive prices and all round quality.

Our projects span across residential and commercial clients including academies, universities, housing associations, fire services and councils.

In order to meet our growth plans, and so we are able to continue to provide to our clients we are looking for a number of key hires. Among them a Fire Alarm Engineer.

All the work we carry out is certified to comply with the most recent building regulations. We continually excel with Health and Safety standards and operate an internal system which quality assures all of our work along with a Health and Safety policy and management framework to ensure all our team and customers remain safe and satisfied.

Responsibilities

Maintaining excellent and effective working relationships with the customer and their representative.

Being proactive in the identification and resolution of faults.

Ensuring that the project works comply with the requirements of the contract specification and drawings etc. and maintaining appropriate records to confirm such compliance

Skills and knowledge

Appropriate technical knowledge in Fire Alarm Systems

Complete paperwork to high standards

Ability to provide remote support over the phone directly with customers and work colleagues

MUST have minimum 5 years’ experience in all disciplines

Required experience

High level of knowledge in: Installation, Maintenance and Servicing of Fire Alarms: 5 years

Required licence or certification

Driving License and CSCS Card

For the right engineer there is an excellent opportunity to join an extremely supportive/friendly company, working on modern technology and varied jobs and a great variety of fire alarm systems.

All our team are Police and Criminal Record Bureau vetted to support the nature of work carried out.

This is an excellent opportunity with an organisation that is committed to promoting from within and helping develop dynamic individuals that are looking to progress their career. There will be numerous opportunities within a forward thinking organisation.

Please forward CV's to enquiries@kde-ltd.co.uk

Apr 22, 2016

KDE are proud to announce that Matthew Darlington; one of our Directors has won a highly coveted Young Professionals Business Award. KDE are a trusted regional firm that provides Electrical, Fire Alarm and Plumbing & Heating Services.

Matthew beat off stiff competition from other entrants working in “Blue Chip” companies to win the title of Young Business Development Professional in the prestigious Insider's Young Professionals Awards 2016.  His win was announced at a black tie event on the evening of 21st April 2016 at the Lowry Hotel in Manchester.

KDE Managing Director; Keith Darlington said, “We are delighted that Matthew has won such a hotly contested award. This award recognises the talent within our company and our commitment to exceed customer expectations. When the judges announced that Matthew had won we were overjoyed”.

Miri Thomas, the Insider's editorial director, praised the award winners for "standing out from the crowd" because of their hard work, endeavour and talent. She went onto say that "All of you are here because others recognise that you have something special", she also commented that “all the winners were at the top of their game".

Matthew's entry, which outlined his rise from apprentice to director, struck a chord with the judges. They said, “His entry showed an enthusiasm for business and a maturity beyond his years” They also recognised his dedication and determination commenting “He may have joined the family business, but he didn't choose the easy way in, he grafted and proved himself by identifying, creating and establishing new business opportunities”.

Matthew aged 24 years old said “Winning this award is fantastic, I am especially pleased that the judges recognised my hard work and dedication to the business. To be chosen as the winner from all the other high profile applicants makes me feel very honoured”. He went onto say that “winning this accolade will spur me onto even higher levels of achievement”.

Matthew’s entry was supported by independent client testimonials, which acknowledged his commitment and determination to “be the best in their industry and to deliver outstanding customer service”.
Apr 5, 2016

KDE are proud to announce that one of our Directors has been shortlisted for a prestigious Young Professionals Business Award. KDE are a trusted regional firm covering Electrical, Fire Alarm and Plumbing & Heating works.

Our Company Director Matthew Darlington has
been selected as a finalist for Young Business Development Professional part of Insider's Young Professionals Awards 2016. Matthew was shortlisted from various applicants and faced strong competition from applicants across a range of sectors including accountancy, law and property.

The winners of the 2016 awards will be revealed at a black tie event on the evening of 21st April 2016 at the Lowry Hotel in Manchester.

KDE Managing Director; Keith Darlington said, “We are proud that one of our Directors has made the shortlist for such a prestigious and hotly contested award. We are proud of the talent within our team and to be shortlisted for such a coveted award is recognition of the way in which we do business”.

One of the judges; Sam Jones, managing director at Tunafish Media said of this years entries that the judges were looking for individuals who went "above and beyond their day job".

Matthews entry was supported by two independent testimonials which paid tribute to his ability demonstrating he was focussed on “exceeding customer expectations and delivering outstanding customer service and value for money in service delivery”.

Matthew aged 24 years old said “I am honoured to be shortlisted for this award. It recognises the service we provide at KDE sets us apart from the competition and that this has been recognised by clients who have independently verified that my inputs have allowed them to meet and exceed their business goals by working with us. To be chosen in the face of such high profile competition makes me feel very proud and is a payoff for all determination and hard work that I put into my role as Company Director.” 

Jun 24, 2015

Are you thinking about doing up your bathroom? It's certainly a tried and tested way of adding some extra value to your home. How much have you put aside for the refurbishment? £1,500? £5,000? How about £2.4 million? That's the sort of budget you'll need to re-create the world's most expensive bathroom. Although there have been extravagant bathrooms installed all over the world, from Eastern palaces to five star hotels, the official holder of the title, according to the Guiness Book of Records, is Hong Kong jewellery magnate Lam Sai-wing.  

In 2001, he built a bathroom made entirely from gold and precious stones in his showroom, at a cost of 27 million Hong Kong dollars (then worth around £2.4 million).  The whole construction took a staggering 380 kg of pure gold, and over 6,000 precious stones.  All the fixtures, including the lavatory bowl, cleaning brushes, paper holder, mirror frames, wall tiles and even doors were all made out of 24-carat gold, and a security guard stood watch night and day. The toilet was fully functional and flushable, with a gemstone-encrusted flush handle.

The bathroom took several years to complete, and became an instant tourist attraction as as many as 100 tour groups a day flocked to see it. It was also a solid advertisement for Mr Lam's business, Hong Fung Gold Technology. The idea worked so well that Mr Lam added more rooms to his golden hall including a bedroom, and embellished the decor with golden statues of Chinese gods and goddesses. The finished display area covered 2,100 square metres, and was named the Swisshorn Gold Palace.

In 2008, as gold prices crept towards a thousand dollars an ounce, Hong Fung liquidated the golden palace and sent the fixtures and fittings to be melted down. The only surviving piece of the world's most expensive bathroom is the golden toilet - but history doesn't relate if it was ever used or not!

Your budget may not stretch to a golden toilet, but we'd be happy to help you design, plan and build your own dream bathroom. Call us today on 01928 711444.
Jun 10, 2015

Top tips to save energy and money in your home

Saving energy is good for the environment, and good for your pocket too. While some of these tips need a little investment, many won't cost you a penny. Here's what to do:

  1. Turn off all electrical appliances properly when you're not using them, rather than leaving them on standby. If there's a light showing or the appliance is hot when you touch it, there's power being wasted.
  2. Replace all lamps with LED lamps instead. See our guide to LED lighting to find out how.
  3. Consider installing solar panels. These can be expensive to put in, but over time will help you cut your electricity bills.
  4. If you have an old boiler, it won't be running efficiently. Installing a new one will save you money over time, and the house will be warmer into the bargain. Remember to service your boiler regularly for the best performance.
  5. Wash clothes at the lowest temperature you can get away with. Modern detergents mean that a 30 degree wash is sufficient for most everyday washes.
  6. The best way to regulate the heat in the house is to install room thermostats. This is more efficient than turning the heat up and down on the boiler.
  7. Be heat savvy - programme your boiler to come on 15 minutes before you get up, and go off half an hour before you go to bed. If your heater can't be programmed, it's time to look at replacing it.
  8. Look at the energy labels of all your household appliances such as fridges and freezers. Inefficient products or those without an energy label are due for replacement.
  9. Block draughts and make sure windows fit securely for a cosier home.

10. In the kitchen, don't leave the hot water running while you wash up or rinse dishes, but use a bowl instead.

For more advice on energy savings or to discuss a replacement boiler or boiler service, call our office today on 01928 711444.

Jun 5, 2015

All about LED lighting

Everyone's heard of LED lighting, but do you know exactly what it is and why you should be using it in your home or business? We take a look at the benefits and disadvantages.

What is LED lighting?

Traditional domestic incandescent light bulbs produced light by passing electricity through a filament. They were very energy inefficient as they only converted around 5 to 10 per cent of the energy that passed through them into light, with the rest being converted into heat, and in the UK the process of phasing them out began in 2009. A common replacement for incandescent bulbs is halogen globes, which use low pressure halogen gas to burn the filament. These are far more energy efficient and longer lasting, but take a while to warm up when switched on.

Light Emitting Diode or LED lighting produces light by using a semi-conductor and an electrical current. It's relatively new for the domestic market, but it's an area that's growing fast with new innovations being launched all the time.

Benefits of LED lighting

  • it's very long lasting – lamps can last for many years
  • it's energy efficient, and uses at least 85 per cent less energy than other forms of lighting
  • it reaches full brightness instantly and doesn't need to warm up
  • it doesn't heat up in use
  • it's environmentally friendly

Many homes, companies and organisations are reporting massive savings in energy costs after changing to LED lighting.

If you'd like to know more about LED lighting for your home or business, call our office today on 01928 711444.

May 29, 2015

Electrical Installation Condition Reports

We all have electricity in our homes and commercial building, and it's easy to forget how dangerous it can be. After all, electricity itself is invisible, and the cables and units that supply it are usually hidden. Old or faulty wiring is one of the most common causes of domestic electrical fires, so it's vital to keep checking the condition of your electrical installation. The easiest and safest way to do this is to have a qualified electrician carry out regular Electrical Installation Condition Reports (EICR).

What is an EICR?

As the name suggests, an EICR is a report into the condition of your electrical installation. It aims to highlight any areas for concern, including faulty wiring and non-standard installations. It records the state of the installation at the time of inspection; any damage or wear and tear; anything that doesn't meet current regulations and also highlights any issues that may cause electric shocks or dangerously high temperatures.

Who needs an EICR?

Although it's not a statutory requirement to have an EICR carried out in your own home, we'd strongly recommend that you do so when you move into a new property and at ten yearly intervals. If you're a private landlord, it's essential to have the report carried out as otherwise you could be held liable for problems caused by an unsafe electrical installation. For Houses of Multiple Occupancy and commercial buildings, it's a statutory requirement to have the report carried out at regular intervals.

What happens during the test?

When carrying out an EICR, your electrician will need to disconnect the electricity at the mains for safety reasons. Then, he'll carry out a visual inspection to identify anything that's broken or damaged. Next, there'll be a series of tests with an electrical test meter, including continuity testing, insulation resistance testing, testing of RCDs, earthing testing and polarity testing.

Finally, your electrician will write up your EICR using a series of codes to identify any danger areas or remedial work.

If you'd like to know more about Electrical Installation Condition Reports or book one of our electricians, call us today on 01928 711444.

May 22, 2015

How to stay gas safe

Like electricity, gas is something many of us use every day - whenever we turn the cooker on, fire up the central heating or flip the switch on the gas fire. Just like electricity, though, gas has the potential to cause fatal accidents if it's not respected. Gas appliances that haven't been correctly installed or looked after can put you at risk of fires, explosions and poisoning, so it's vital to use an expert for installation and maintenance.

What are the risks?

could cause an explosion if it's accidentally ignited. If you smell gas, call a Gas Safe Registered engineer immediately to investigate. Potentially Gas that leaks from corroded pipes and faulty appliances is inflammable, and more dangerous than a gas leak is carbon monoxide, a highly poisonous gas which can also leak from faulty appliances. It can cause severe long-term health problems such as brain damage, and it can also be fatal. To make sure you're safe, get all gas appliances serviced once a year by a Gas Safe Registered engineer, and install a carbon monoxide detector near boilers, fires or cookers.

Why choose a Gas Safe Registered engineer?

It's illegal for anyone to carry out any form of installation or maintenance work on domestic gas appliances if they're not on the Gas Safe Register, the official list of gas engineers qualified to work safely in the UK. To prove they're registered, any engineer you choose will carry an identity card giving their personal details and the categories of work they're qualified to undertake. The Gas Safe Register have their own team of inspectors who periodically check that gas work is being carried out correctly, and that your engineer is conforming to the correct standards.

The scheme was introduced in 2009 to help raise awareness of domestic gas safety risks such as leaks and carbon monoxide poisoning, and to keep problems to a minimum by making sure that engineers are competent and qualified.

Our Gas Safe Registered engineers can carry out safety checks, installation and servicing of gas appliances around your home for full peace of mind. For more information or advice, call our team today on 01928 711444.
May 12, 2015

May of us have a tendency to treat electricity with a lack of respect. After all, every day we're switching on kettles, plugging in hair dryers, using the iron and making use of a dozen electrical household appliances, so it's easy to forget just how powerful and dangerous electricity can be. In 2010 alone, 22 people died at home by electrocution, while a staggering 2.5 million received a mains voltage electrical shock, of which 350,000 suffered serious injuries. That's without counting the 

hundreds of people who die each year in house fires caused by electrical faults, as well.

With all that in mind, conducting regular safety checks is the smart thing to do. Here's how:

Safety first

Walk round your house with a notebook, and make a note of all electrical appliances.Check each one visually, and make sure it looks like it's in good condition. Make a note of any problems, as well - you're looking for damaged or worn plugs or frayed cables, cracked casing, pulled wires or any other sign of damage. If you uncover several problems, it's worth asking a qualified electrician for advice; otherwise, repair or replace the appliance. In addition to making regular checks, following some simple guidelines will help keep your home a safe place.

Don't repair electrical appliances while they're plugged in.

Don't leave electrical cables trailing near hot surfaces such as cookers.

Check appliances you don't use often or that have been in long- term storage before use

If you smell burning from any appliance, switch it off immediately and have it checked.

Don't run one extension lead from another, and don't overload plug sockets.

If you have trouble remembering to turn off appliances such as irons and electric blankets after use, set an alarm on your phone.

Residual current devices (RCD's) will prevent a fatal electric shock if you touch something live like a bare wire. This works by cutting power in the event of a surge. Many homes have these fitted as standard to the mains, but otherwise fitting one could be a life saver. Don't forget to fit smoke alarms and test them regularly, too.

Our qualified KDE Ltd electricians can help find and solve any electrical problems around the home, giving you and your family peace of mind. For more information or advice, call our team today on 01928 711444.

May 6, 2015

Legislation changes for private landlords

If you own one or more properties that you rent out privately, you'll be affected by recent changes to legislation. Here's a summary of what's changed, and what you need to do.

What's the new legislation?

The government now require private landlords to install correctly working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in all their UK properties, a move which Housing Minister Brandon Lewis believes will help prevent up to 36 deaths and 1,375 injuries a year.

Landlords need to fit alarms that meet current British safety standards (currently BS 5839-6:2013 for smoke alarms and BS EN 50292:2013 for carbon monoxide alarms).

What do landlords need to do?

Smoke alarms must be fitted on each floor of the property, and tested at the beginning of each new period of tenancy. High risk areas, such as rooms with open fireplaces, will also need to be fitted with a carbon monoxide alarm. The legislation will bring older private rental properties in line with the existing building regulations that govern houses built after 1992.

The new law will be enforced by Local Authorities from 1st October 2015. They'll be able to serve a remedial notice on landlords they have reasonable grounds for believing haven't complied, and to force them to take remedial action to protect tenants. The negligent landlord could be liable for a civil penalty charge of up to £5,000 if they don't comply with the remedial notice.

The legislation may be subject to further changes, so check back on the KDE Ltd website regularly for the latest news. Although the changes only currently relate to private rentals, we'd also advise that landlords of social housing fit suitable alarms to protect their tenants.

In addition to portable battery-operated units, you could also consider fitting hard-wired alarms in your rental property for extra peace of mind. If you'd like to talk to us about fitting smoke or carbon monoxide detectors, we're always happy to offer advice on 01928 711444.
Apr 30, 2015

Here at KDE Ltd, we're always working to offer our customers the best, safest and most comprehensive service available. We like to be pro-active about making sure that our experienced team are up to date with relevant qualifications and certification, to give customers complete peace of mind.

That's why we're delighted to announce that we've just gained BAFE accreditation, which is awarded by an independent organisation.

What is BAFE accreditation?

BAFE is the third party, independent registration body for the fire protection industry. It's their job to assess and approve companies around the UK to recognised standards, and companies who meet these standards are then allowed to display the BAFE logo to prove their competence and registration.  

Companies registered with BAFE include installers, manufacturers and maintainers  of fire protection products, from small businesses to international organisations. The BAFE mark shows that all these companies have invested in quality training and systems and have achieved their registration, monitored by regular assessments. For clients, this means they can be sure that the suppliers they choose are competent and trained.

What does it mean for KDE Ltd?

The scheme consists of four modules, each of while has to be passed independently. KDE Ltd has been approved for all four modules - system design, installation, commissioning and handover/maintenance of fire detection and alarm systems.Here at KDE Ltd, we've already got years of experience in designing and installing fire alarm systems. We've now had that expertise recognised by being independently assessed and approved for the official Fire Detection and Alarm System Scheme. BAFE say that this scheme "recognises the importance of providing compliant systems while at the same time minimising false alarms".

If you'd like to talk to us about a fire detection or alarm system, we'd love to hear from you on 01928 711444.

Apr 21, 2015

What to do when you have a water leak.

Water leaks can cause real problems for home owners. Small leaks can go undetected for months or even years, while large leaks can quickly cause thousands of pounds' worth of damage. Here's our guide on how to find them and what to do.

A large water leak, caused, for example, by a failing joint or burst pipe, will be obvious. Turn off the mains water stopcock as soon as you can, and call your plumber.

When you move into a new property, it's always worth locating the stopcock immediately so that you don't waste time in an emergency - they're normally placed under the kitchen sink or where water pipes enter the property.

Small or slow water leaks can be harder to spot.

Signs of a possible slow water leak

  • The sound of running or dripping water when you know no taps are turned on
  • A water bill that's higher than expected
  • Damp patches on walls or ceilings
  • Low water pressure
  • Green plants growing near pipes, especially during hot weather

It may not always be your responsibility to repair a leak, depending on whereabouts in the water system it is. The service pipe and communication pipe are what connects your property to the mains, and leaks from these pipes are normally the responsibility of the water company. You should contact them to report any potential problems.

The section of the pipe running from the boundary of your property into the house is called the supply pipe, and leaks from this pipe will normally be the responsibility of the home owner. If you share the supply pipe with other people, they may also share the responsibility for maintaining it - again, it's best to establish this when you move into the property.

If the leak is from your section of the pipe, it's best to call in a qualified plumber to investigate. Calling in an expert will help minimise inconvenience and potential damage to your property, and you'll be up and running again as quickly as possible. Most professional companies also offer an emergency call-out service.

Our qualified plumbers are available to help with all domestic and commercial water leak problems, from dripping taps and burst pipes, to give you and your family peace of mind. For more information or advice, call us today on 01928 711444.

Apr 15, 2015

These days, most of us would struggle to live our lives without electricity. We take it for granted every day, from plugging in our mobile phone chargers to turning on the dishwasher. We're so used to using electricity, though, that we forget it's a potential killer, especially where babies and young children are concerned.

Babies are curious. They love to stick little fingers into sockets, turn switches on and yank at cables, all of which could lead to burns, injuries or even death.

To child-proof your home, start by identifying any hazards, focussing on one room at a time. Remember to think like a small child, rather than an adult.

Look for:

  • All electrical sockets, including those hidden behind furniture such as sofas or beds.
  • Any dangling power cords.
  • Any extension leads on the ground.
  • Any sockets that would really cause problems if they were unplugged, such
    as freezers or computers.

Once you've identified potential hazards, you can deal with them as follows:

For any sockets that don't have a plug in them permanently, you can use a child proof cover. They plug into the socket and 'blank' off the socket holes, removing the temptation - but you do need to remember to plug the covers back in once you've used the socket. For a more expensive but safer option, you can fit an electrical outlet socket cover which has spring-loaded shutters than spring back across once the plug is removed, closing the holes.

Extension leads are difficult to baby-proof. Remove them when not in use, or ask a qualified electrician to fit more electrical sockets so that leads are not needed.

To deal with dangling power cords such as toasters or kettles, either shorten the leads, move the appliance to the back of the worktop or coil the lead up and stick it down on the counter with duct tape.

Our qualified KDE Ltd electricians can assess your home for accident potential, and help you to put solutions in place to keep you and your family safe. For more information or advice, call us today on 01928 711444.

Apr 9, 2015

What is a consumer unit?

A modern consumer unit is the control centre of your electrical supply. It's found at the point where the supply enters the property, and it contains circuit breakers, residual current devices and a main switch to help regulate your electricity. Consumer units replaced the older-style fuseboxes.

It's important to know where your consumer unit is, in case you ever need to cut off the mains electricity or re-set a 'tripped' switch.

What's in a consumer unit?

Consumer units help control the distribution of electricity to the different circuits throughout your home. They contain the following components:

Mains Switch - this controls the mains electricity supply to your home. You might want to cut this off in an emergency, or if you're planning any kind of electrical repair.

Circuit Breakers - these are safety switches that operate automatically to protect electrical circuits from damage. When they detect a fault, they shut off the flow of electricity, which is called 'tripping'. As circuit breakers are sensitive, it's fairly common for them to trip - for example, when you plug in a faulty electrical appliance - and they can easily be reset by moving the switch once the fault has been corrected.

Residual Current Devices (RCDs) - are switches that cut off circuits under dangerous conditions, and are designed to prevent you from being electrocuted if you touch something like a bare live wire. They're fitted as standard to consumer units as they can help prevent electrical fires. They should be tested once a month to make sure they're functioning correctly and your consumer unit should have a test button and an information label explaining how to do this.

Consumer units are a vital part of electrical safety, and should be tested in line with current regulations. If your unit has a wooden back or contains old-style wired fuses, it may need to be replaced with a modern consumer unit to give you the best protection.

If you'd like to have your consumer unit checked or replaced, our qualified KDE Ltd electricians can help. For more information or advice, call us today on 01928 711444.
Mar 25, 2015

The inside of a central heating system can potentially start to corrode as water in the system reacts with the steel in the radiators, producing thick, black sludge.  When you have a new system installed, an engineer will normally carry out a flush to remove any debris or mineral oil and also add a chemical inhibitor to protect the installation, making it run more efficiently.

If you have a leak or need a new boiler installing, though, the sludge, along with iron oxide (rust) and limescale, can start to build up again and cause 

blocked pipework or damage to the boiler, pump, radiator valves or radiators. The boiler might also be very noisy, and you might find cold spots on your radiators where they're not working efficiently.

Flushing a central heating system is a good investment, as it will help prolong the life of your system and reduce fuel wastage. It's a time-consuming job that's best left to an engineer, who'll be able to carry it out with minimum mess and inconvenience.  

How does power flushing work?

The engineer will connect a high flow/low pressure pumping unit to your heating system and use chemicals to wash any debris or residue through and also treat any areas of corrosion. The process generally takes a day, but if your system is very big or the engineer finds any damage it could take slightly longer.

How can I tell if my system needs power flushing?

If your boiler is noisy, your heating system is inefficient and slow to warm up, your hot water looks cloudy or your fuel bill is abnormally high, it's well worth getting the system checked by a registered engineer, who'll be able to tell if you have any active inhibitor in the system and recommend any further actions.

If your system is fairly new then it shouldn't need flushing, but you could consider installing a magnetic filter. This will remove any floating debris and keeps the system clean in future, preventing any build up.

For more information about how our KDE Ltd registered and accredited heating engineers can help with all your heating needs, including power flushing advice, give us a call today on 01928 711444.
Power Flushing
Mar 17, 2015

Installing security lighting around your home is not only a useful deterrent for intruders, it's also practical for you as a home owner, as it's often useful to have a light coming on by the front door or shed if you need to step outside after dark.

Where to install it?

Of course, you can put a light anywhere you think it's going to be useful to you, but from a security point of view it's best to make sure that doors, windows, garden gates and any other potential access points into the house or garden are brightly lit.

Put lights up high, as this not only helps them cover a wider area but also reduces the risk of them being tampered with. Ensure that the light's not going to shine into a neighbour's window once it's positioned.

What to choose?

Any light that's mounted outdoors must be weather proof, so choose one that's specifically designed for exterior use. Lights are rated 'IP' (Ingress Protection) along with a two digit number - the higher the number, the more protection it offers. The minimum for an outdoor light is 4, but we'd recommend a higher level of protection.

There are many options when choosing the type of lighting to install, here are three:

  • Lights controlled from a master switch inside the property. These have the advantage that they're only on when you want them, but the disadvantage that they may not be on when you need them! You can fit these lights with a timer switch so they'll be on when you get home, and this will help give the impression of occupancy when you're out.
  • A motion-sensor light fitted with a passive infrared sensor (PIR) turns on automatically when it detects movement, and turns itself off when the movement is no longer there. These type of lights can also be fitted with an on/off master control as above.
  • Dusk until dawn security lighting. These low pressure sodium lights, turned on and off automatically by a photo-electric cell, are ideal for the rear of the house and are not as intrusive as motion-sensor lights. They can also be more cost effective to run.

Whatever type of light you choose, you should have it installed by a professional electrician who'll advise on location, what you need and also fit a circuit breaker if necessary. For more information about how our electricians can help with all your security lighting needs, give us a call today on 01928 711444.

Mar 9, 2015

As a landlord, you have certain responsibilities. It doesn't matter if you rent out one house to a friend or forty houses to students, it's up to you to make sure your rented properties are safe and free from hazards, that all gas and electrical equipment supplied with the house is correctly installed and maintained and that you comply with fire safety regulations.

Many new landlords get confused about what they need to do to comply with the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998. Basically, the regulations mean that you're responsible for the correct installation and maintenance of any 

gas fittings in the house, including any in communal areas that tenants might use. As well as the appliances themselves, such as boilers, gas fires and cookers, this also includes any pipework or flues.

What you need to do:

Twelve months after the installation of a new gas appliance and every twelve months thereafter, get a Gas Safe Registered engineer to carry out a safety check. They'll issue you with a gas safety certificate, which you need to keep for at least two years. When you change tenants, the new occupants will also need a copy of the certificate.

What the certificate covers:

To issue your certificate, the engineer will check the following areas:

  • That there are no gas leaks from appliances or pipework
  • Burner and gas pressure
  • That there's adequate ventilation
  • That any flame failure devices are working correctly
  • Physical safety of appliances, such as brackets and any uneven surfaces

Gas safe tips:

Although you only have to have the certificate issued once a year, it's a good idea to have an interim safety check carried out by a qualified engineer before new tenants move in. That way, you can be sure everything's in good working order for the new occupants. In addition to making regular safety checks, it's also a good idea to install carbon monoxide detectors for added peace of mind.

Here at KDE Ltd, our Gas Safe Registered engineers can help with installation, maintenance and safety checks. For more information about how we can help, give us a call today on 01928 711444.
Mar 2, 2015

In 1989, Cheshire-born Keith Darlington set up his own business, which he called Keith Darlington Electrical. Quickly building a good reputation among his domestic customers, Keith started to work with commercial clients such as schools and local authorities.  

Fast forward 26 years, and Keith Darlington Electrical is now KDE Ltd. We're still a family business with Matthew Darlington, Keith’s son having now been with the business for over 7 years and we've still got the same great reputation for customer

 care, reliability and quality. Over the years, we've expanded the range of services we offer to include plumbing, heating, kitchen and bathroom installation and 

maintenance and now employ circa 45 members of staff.

We're not resting on our laurels, though - we're still continuing to expand, and 

we're adding a major extension to our offices in Sutton Weaver, Cheshire. The 

projected extension will measure 139.75 square metres, which when added to the current office size of 152.23 square metres will almost double our space with a 

total of 291.98 square metres.

The new double storey building will create jobs for local office staff and tradesmen, and will enable us to store more materials so that we can offer our customers an even better, quicker service. It will also 

include a new boardroom, so that we can carry out staff training in-house with purpose built facilities. At KDE Ltd we know

 that our staff are the most important part of the business, and the new extension will also include more office space, creating a better working environment for our team.

The building is already well underway having started on Monday 2nd February 2015, and will take around 12 weeks to complete the build. Of course, every new build has the potential for teething problems along the way - but with our own skilled team completing works on site we know that at least the electrical, plumbing and heating install will go smoothly!

Once the extension is complete, we're looking forward to continuing to offer our existing clients a top quality service, and to working with lots of new clients too. For more information about how we can help with your electrical, plumbing, heating, kitchen and bathroom installations and maintenance, give us a call today on 01928 711444.

Feb 23, 2015

Did you know that gas engineers and installers must be registered to work safely and legally on gas boilers, cookers, fires and all other gas appliances?

By law, all gas engineers in the UK must be on The Gas Safe Register. This replaced the old ‘CORGI’ register in 2009.

The Gas Safe Register protects the public by:

  • Tracking down individuals working illegally using a dedicated national investigations team
  • Regular inspections of Gas Safe registered engineers
  • Educating consumers and raising awareness of gas safety
  • Investigating reports of unsafe gas work

So what should you do?

1. Find a Gas Safe engineer. Look for the logo when searching the web, and check 

it is legitimate using the Gas Safe Register website.

2. Check the engineer is qualified to do the work. All registered gas engineers carry a Gas Safe Register ID card. This identifies the engineer on the front of the card and the back lists their qualifications and type of work they are able to undertake. So always ask to see an engineer’s ID card and if you are unsure about it, then the details can be checked online, or by calling the Register on 0800 408 550, or by texting Gas plus the engineer’s number to 85080.

For more information on gas safety, visit the Gas Safe website.

Of course, every gas engineer employed by KDE is Gas Safe Registered. We can provide a free no obligation quotation for all your Gas requirements. Call us today on 01928 711444 for a chat about how we can help you. 

Feb 16, 2015

Installing a new bathroom in your home is a great way to smarten up a dated décor and add some value to your house. There's a range of styles and choices on the market these days, so you can get exactly what you want. Here's what to think about:

Budget

The first thing to decide is how much you want to spend. The average UK bathroom costs around £5,000, but you may decide to spend more or less. Always choose the best quality fittings you can afford though, as they'll look better and last longer.

Planning

Take a look at your existing bathroom. Are you basically going to replace like for like, or are you going for a complete re-design? You'll need to take into account the placing of doors, windows and wiring. Don't forget to think about ventilation as 

well. If you're not sure, it's best to consult an expert who'll help you make the most of the space for a professional result.

Logistics

Once you have your plan in place, think about the logistics. For a complete new bathroom, you'll need to find a team including a plumber, electrician, tiler and flooring expert. You may also need some plastering or general building work carrying out. Ask for recommendations from friends for reliable tradesmen, or find an expert to project manage the whole thing for you. If you need your new bathroom to be up and running as soon as possible, this is normally the quickest and least stressful option.

Fittings

Now you're ready to choose your new fittings. Freestanding baths are great for making a statement, and they'll complement a range of looks from sleek and contemporary to traditional elegance. If you're tight for space, a fitted bath may be more practical. If you have space, it's always better to invest in a separate bath and shower cubicle as having a separate bath maximises the value of your house if you decide to sell. A bathroom designer will help you decide if this is a practical use of space.

Next, think about the washbasin and taps. You can add extra storage space by incorporating the sink into a cupboard or vanity unit, or make a statement with a 'vessel' sink that sits on top of a counter. If you're tight for space, a toilet fitted to the wall instead of standing on the floor may help make the room look bigger.

Here at KDE Ltd, we offer a full bathroom service, and our experts can help with the whole process from the initial idea to the final installation, all to the highest industry standards. We're proud of our attention to detail, so whether you're looking for a modern makeover or a traditional haven you'll get a result you'll love. Give us a call now on 01928 711444 for a chat about how we can help.

Feb 5, 2015

If you use any kind of electrical appliances or equipment in your everyday work, then you'll know there's always the potential for something to go wrong. PAT testing is a way of making sure that any equipment that has the potential to cause injury or damage is maintained in a safe state, as required by the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989. In addition to protecting staff and members of the public, PAT testing is required by many insurance companies to ensure continuous cover.

Here's what you need to do:

  • Carry out a survey of all the electrical equipment in your office, from printers to kettles.
  • Once you've got a list, think about the health and safety implications of each item, and decide who could be harmed and how. Equipment like printers, computers and fax machines (provided they're kept on clean, dry, stable surfaces, not moved very much and are used by staff only rather than members of the public) are relatively low risk. These items can be maintained via a simple visual check by a qualified member of staff, and a record kept of the date of the check and state of each item. Particular points to look out for include the point of connection of the mains cable to the equipment, and the plug. Any damage should be reported and made safe by a competent engineer before the equipment is used again.
  • Equipment such as office vacuum cleaners or coffee makers are likely to be subject to a lot more wear and tear, and in addition to a regular visual check should  be inspected and tested by a trained person every 12 months and labelled with the date of the test and whether the item passed or failed. These tests can be carried out in house by a member of staff with appropriate training, or outsourced to an electrical company.

For some types of electrical equipment, a more thorough test and inspection is required which should be carried out by a specialist. Tests may include insulation resistance, leakage or earth continuity. Here at KDE Ltd, our engineers use the latest technology to give you a comprehensive, professional PAT testing service, helping keep you and your customers safe. We can provide a free no obligation quotation for PAT testing your electrical equipment. Give us a call now on 01928 711444 for a chat about how we can help.

Jan 19, 2015

What is an RCD?

Do the letters 'RCD' mean anything to you? Installing one of these sensitive safety devices could be the best investment you ever make, as they could save your life or the life of a loved one.

An RCD is a residual current device, a piece of safety equipment designed to help prevent fatal electric shocks or electrical fires.

What does it do?

An RCD automatically cuts off the electrical supply when it detects an imbalance between the live conductors. For example, if you're using a plug-in electric hedge cutter in the garden and accidentally cut through the cord then touch the exposed wires, or if an electrical appliance develops a fault, an RCD will cut the current if it tries to earth itself through you. The unit provides protection against electrical faults and some protection against electrical fires. It won't provide any protection against overcurrent (where a larger than intended electric current is delivered 

through a conductor), as for that you'll need a circuit breaker (MCB). It's possible to install combined RCDs and circuit breakers, and these are called RCBOs or residual-current circuit breakers with overcurrent protection.

How does it work?

An RCD works by constantly monitoring the current flowing through the live and neutral wires of the circuit it's being used to protect. Normally, the balance of current in the two wires should be equal. If the RCD detects an abnormal flow, such as unexpected earthing through someone touching a live wire, it will automatically shut off the current very quickly before it can cause death or any serious injury.

Types of RCD

For maximum protection, we recommend installing a fixed RCD. These are installed to your consumer unit, and will protect all the sockets on a circuit. This is the most efficient way of protecting multiple appliances.

Alternatively, for high-risk appliances such as lawnmowers or chainsaws, you can use a socket-outlet RCD. These are sockets with the RCD built in, but they only protect the appliance plugged into that particular socket.

 Finally, there are portable RCDs available which can be plugged into any standard socket-outlet. These are ideal if you're travelling between locations with power tools and need to make sure you're protected at any site. There's always a chance of forgetting to plug it in, though, so for domestic use it's best to use a more permanent solution.

Stay safe with RCDs

Once you've chosen a type of RCD and had it installed, don't forget that fixed and socket RCDs should be tested every three months for maximum safety. Since July 2008, almost all circuits in new or rewired homes must include an RCD under current regulations, so you may already have fixed RCD protection. To check, go to your consumer unit and check for a push button marked 'Test'. The presence of this button means you have a fixed RCD which must be tested every quarter.

Here at KDE, we're approved by NICEIC, the regulatory body for the electrical contracting industry. Using an approved contractor is the best way to ensure a safe job, so if you'd like to discuss installing or testing an RCD to protect your home or workplace, give us a call now on 01928 711444 for a chat about how we can help.
 
Jan 5, 2015

Most of us don't even think about our boilers until they go wrong, and then a sudden lack of heating or hot water sends us scrambling for the phone. Keeping your boiler serviced regularly, though, can not only help avoid expensive break downs but could also save you money on heating bills as well as keeping you and your family safer. Here's why:

Boiler Service
  1. Pick up problems. A certified heating engineer will spot potential problems such as worn and stressed components during an annual service and replace them before they fail. This minimises the risk of breakdowns, which always seem to happen on the coldest days and at the most inconvenient times. An engineer can also make sure your boiler is working as smoothly as possible, and advise you when it's time to replace it with a newer, more efficient model. This will help you keep your heating bills to a minimum.
  2. Keep safe. If they're not properly installed or maintained, gas boilers can leak carbon monoxide gas, known as the 'silent killer', putting your family or tenants at risk. Having your boiler checked regularly means you can be confident it's correctly fitted and ventilated for peace of mind.
  3. Insurance. Some insurance companies require proof of servicing as a condition of providing cover, so check your policy to see what your responsibilities are.

What to expect

When choosing an engineer, remember that by law anyone who installs, repairs or services gas boilers must be Gas Safe registered. If you've got an oil boiler, look for an OFTEC registered engineer.

When carrying out your service, your engineer should check to make sure the appliance still meets current standards. They should fire it up to check the working condition, then look at all the main components including flues and seals before carrying out any necessary cleaning or replacements. The boiler should be left in a clean and tidy condition, and your engineer should give you a report detailing everything they've done.

Here at KDE, we're Gas Safe and OFTEC registered, and we've a team of experienced engineers on hand to help with your boiler servicing and maintenance. We're proud of completing a clean, reliable, professional job, so if you'd like to get your boiler into shape for the cold weather, give us a call now on 01928 711444 for a chat about how we can help. 

Dec 5, 2014

Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without the ritual of getting boxes of lights down from lofts, untangling them and balancing on ladders to put them up, but it's always better to be safe than sorry. Here's our guide to getting the most out of your illuminations.

Christmas Tree Lights

Everyone loves a sparkly Christmas tree, but those innocent-seeming coloured lights could spoil your celebrations. In 2002, an estimated 350 people visited A&E after domestic accidents involving Christmas lights*, while in 2011/12 fairy lights caused 20 house fires and Christmas trees and decorations were responsible for another 47.**

If the box of lights has spent the previous year in a damp place and smells musty when opened, or your lights are several years old, or there's evidence of mouse 

Christmas Tree

damage such as chewed cables, discard the lights and replace them. Newer ones will meet higher safety standards.

Leave lights switched off until you've finished decorating the tree, don't leave them burning when the house is empty and don't let young children play with them. A simple way to make sure lights aren't left burning overnight is to install a time clock.

Exterior Christmas Lights

Whether it's a string of white lanterns in a tree or a riot of reindeers on the roof, exterior Christmas lights need to be installed carefully.

Start by testing the lights while you're still on the ground. If your lights are a few years old, consider investing in some new LED lights which are much more energy efficient and won't over-heat. If you're running lights alone the edge of a building, attach them with specialist clips which will hold them securely. Consider fitting a time clock or a photocell sensor which will turn your lights on at dusk.

When using a ladder, always make sure it's securely placed on a firm, level surface and you have someone to help steady it or to hand you up your equipment.

Interior Christmas Lights

When choosing a location for interior lights, keep them away from candles, open fires and doorways and make sure the cables aren't a tripping hazard. Always use a stepladder to install rather than just standing on a chair, and hang them high enough that small children or pets can't grab at them.

Storing Christmas Lights

Once Christmas is over, check your lights again and replace any lamps that aren't working. Wrap the cable round a winder (you can make your own from wood) and store them in a cool, dry place until next year.

At KDE Ltd, we'll supply and fit a variety of Christmas lights to help your festivities go with a swing. Call us today on 01928 711444 for a chat about how we can help.

*Home Accident Surveillance System
** 2011/12 statistics from the Department for Communities and Local Government