Here’s an example of how a typical day suddenly changed for one of our engineers. He describes how the day started normally before getting a call,,,
Got a call today at 2pm, just as I was entering a customer’s site to carry out some PAT testing. Call from the office tells me that a customer right on the edge of our coverage area has only got power to the top half of their building and could I help. My first priority is always to ensure that people are safe, so an electrical fault may represent a major safety issue for the customer.
Firstly, I phone the customer and try to get to the bottom of their problem. Seems that they have checked all the fuseboards and cannot see anything wrong. As far as I’m concerned this now needs my attendance as a priority.
Secondly, I discuss with the PAT test customer the need for me to leave their site and attend to an urgent breakdown. I apologise and re-book their test date. I’m lucky, they are understanding and readily agree to my request.
Jump into the van and 90 miles to site, arriving just before it gets dark. The customer shows me around the site, I check fuseboard downstairs, then the one upstairs, no visible problems. Issues like this are nearly always major faults so visible checks first before we look deeper. I can’t find the main incoming supply ! Old building, probably has a cellar, start to move stock around in the shop, finding a small hatch under a rack of clothes. Lead lights rigged up and down I go. I’m 6ft 2 and it’s very cramped with very low ceiling. 30 feet along I see the main incoming board.
Swift job for the ‘light sabre’ my pencil type device for testing for current. I run it across each incoming tail, all show power. Then I repeat across each 100amp fuse, 1 is dead. Simple, fuse blown supplying the upstairs of the building, but the 100amp stuff is the domain of the electricity board so I can only tell the customer to phone the electricity board who will deal with the issue.
90 miles back home……25 miles from home I get a high speed tyre blow out. The recovery company are very busy and cannot give me a time. Fortunately I have a mechanic for a son-in-law, he arrives in an hour and changes wheel (My jack is ‘buried’ at the bottom of my boot, under about a ton of tools). I arrive home, tired and very hungry, just after 9pm.
So we didn’t exactly carry out the whole repair, but we made sure the customer was safe and pointed them in the right direction. It’s responsive repairs, we can’t carry out every one, but we’ll try our damnest to ensure you come to no harm and give you details as to how you need to proceed to ensure an effective repair.
My next priority is to update the original customer and get their PAT testing sorted.