I first heard about the expansion project at Cat Cuddles through Twitter in November 2011. They were in the process of winter-proofing their external suites at their 2 sites in Abbey Wood and needed a Electrician to install heating etc.
I contacted Evina at the sanctuary and went for a look around the suites to see how I could Help.
The project is split across 2 sites, in total they needed:
Power for tubular heaters t
o be installed into 6 external suites in site 1.
new feed to New nursery in site 2.
Power to 4 areas within the nursery to allow for panel heaters.
Internal lighting for communal nursery area.
PIR external lights
20 / 21 November 2011
Decided to start in the nursery in site 2 as there was no external power or lighting and extension leads were currently being used.
Having met all the residents I set to work on installing a ring circuit with 4 twin sockets, one for each partition and one in the communal area. Each one will feed a small 260w panel heater and a pheromone diffuser. All wiring is being concealed in plastic trunking.
Next was lighting. I used one 28w 2D fitting with a external switch for the communal area. To light the external area I fitted a small 10w LED flood light and a PIR sensor for convenience.
26th November 2011
Now all the final circuits are in place, I returned with some help to install the Armoured cable.
The main consumer unit was conveniently located close to the back door of the house so no major issues with access. We decided to clip the cable at low level along the perimeter fence to avoid future damage.
Having Run the feed I was ready to fit the Sub-consumer unit. A MK 4 way RCD unit was installed at high level to feed the 2 Nursery circuits and future garden lighting.
To warn of any issues with the heating I have fitted a external red strobe beacon to the front of the nursery. This is attached to a emergency lighting battery pack and inverter. under normal conditions the battery's charge, in the event of a power failing the strobe will flash as a warning, powered by the battery for up to 6 hours.
10/11th December 2011
After a bit of a begging campaign I managed to find some help for the main work at site 1, in the form of Louise, Patrick and Wes. All 3 are training to be Electricians 2 with a local collage and one in Brighton. What a difference having a few more pairs of hands makes!
We all met at 9 to make a start on the 6 external suites (after tea!). Having looked at and agreed on the best route for the armoured cable and position of heaters and sockets we started on the first 2 suites.
Louise drilling a 20mm hole for the armoured cable
Patrick fixing armoured cable cleats in the 2nd suite
Wes choosing a suitable route for the armoured cable
In each we are installing a 600w frost watcher thermostat heater with heat reflective insulation behind, connected to a metal 13a socket. A LED will provide a small amount of light when dark.
We should be looking to Finnish up on the next visit .
17th December 2011
Another day with Luise, Patrick and Wes joining me to help finish the last of the suites and it's freezing! Good Job we will be up and running by the end of today including all testing.
Hats and gloves essential!
Now we are on our 3rd day together we are really working well as a team, we are only able to move a couple of cats out of their homes at a time to minimise disruption to them. This has meant we have to carefully plan where we are working next and focus on a area each.
Patrick was proving a dab hand using the super rods to pull the armoured cable into each unit. Wes was quite happy making the final connections to each socket and Luise had the job of mounting the heaters on the wall with their insulation.
After a long and very cold day we had finally made all the connections and were ready to test.
The power was now on and the heaters thankfully all worked! After setting the thermostats to a suitable temperature we were all presently surprised at the efficiency of such a small heater!
I would like to thank the 3 volunteers Wes, Luise and Patrick who joined me over the last 2 weekends at the sanctuary. I hope the experience was enjoyable and hasn't changed your mind of chosen career! Without there help I would never have finished before the weather turned too cold for cats!