Friday, 24 July 2015

Let there be Light

Electrical wiring

You may have often wondered about the abundance or lack of electricity points in hotel bathrooms/ bedrooms or in any holiday accommodation. I surely have, which is why I wanted to make sure we got it right.

the omni-present low-hanging electricity cable
Here in Indonesia the majority of houses are not conventionally wired. When the electrician comes over to wire your property, you kind of play it by ear. You also need to be aware of the amount of electricity available to you. This depends on the local set up, which tends to be quite limited on these islands. Therefore, you would need to find out how much energy each of your appliances uses, such as a washing machine, water-heater, fridge/freezer and air-conditioner, and prioritise accordingly. Moreover, due to the inconsistency of the power transmitted to households, it is advisable to use a stabiliser to ensure that appliances and computers are not negatively impacted by electricity surges.

I have never built a house before…actually I have never built anything! So when I am asked to point out the exact location of all the switches and electricity points I require, I freeze. It is not a straightforward exercise. I don’t want to make any mistakes. Once the wiring is passed through the walls, there is no going back. (You could have a change of heart later and decide to locate electricity points in other areas, but this would mean cutting chases in walls after all the plastering has already been done!

electricity points in bathroom
Before committing to the electricity points, I want to have time to walk through the house and experience it, but this is not an easy feat when you are surrounded by half finished walls, no furniture, apertures with no windows, no roof on the bathroom and kitchen. I close my eyes and try to imagine what the house would be like when it is completed. Will it have sufficient daylight? How much artificial light will we require at night?

electricity points in kitchen

For example, just sitting on the upstairs verandah right now, I realized I needed to charge my laptop and the nearest socket is miles away!

Tip: Plan ahead, visualise your space and figure out where you want your light fittings as well as sockets for appliances, etc.

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