Maintenance Update: Spring 2021

As we have done since the pandemic started back in March, Waterside Mooring has committed to providing support to help us through this difficult period, whilst we continue to deliver the vital work we need to do. 

 

Despite many challenges, we have managed complete some small projects in the North, midlands and the South in relation to access to our moorings and to berths; more generally it has delayed larger projects and slowed planning of new works. We hope to continue this work in 2021.

 

Alongside this, we are committed to continuing our work to manage, inspect and maintain our moorings and because of this some key works will continue. Many colleagues within Waterside Moorings will continue to be active, keeping things safe, supporting customers and responding to issues and incidents as needed. 

 

We will be operating by phone & email and we can respond to calls, emails and enquiries.  We can do this by using several techniques to assess, document and record where issues may be faced and agreeing control measures for those actions using a Dynamic Covid risk assessment. This is undertaken at each visit and asks key questions of the user in relation to the site conditions prompting the user at each step and ensuring we are Covid safe.

 

When problems arise, we will assess each event on a case by case basis to determine whether it is appropriate to attend site or seek to find a different way to proceed. This may mean solutions cannot be reached quickly or potentially immediately.

 

A key area of concern for us is the supply of electric on sites and we ask for your co-operation to safeguard our system as well as we can.  An article we posted in 2018, Meter Macs electricity bollards gives some basic guidance on amps, consumption and equipment.  A small excerpt from that article is shown below; 

 

Do you know how many watts general appliances use?

If you are an experienced boater, we are sure you will be aware of the limits for the power that can be drawn at any one time via the bollard, but as a reminder to all this is how it works out.

Most of our bollards have a 16-amp socket and MCB. As most appliances are rated in watts, if we convert this amp’s figure to watts it may help, 16 amps is 3,680 watts. (watts = amps X volts) 

As the voltage can fluctuate the supply may sometimes be less than 230, so a safe maximum figure to work to is 3,500 watts maximum at any one time.

To put this into perspective, an average domestic kettle is rated at 3000 watts, a microwave could be 1,300 watts and a toaster could be 1,500 watts.

So, careful management of appliance use is needed to avoid tripping the MCB in the bollard, excessive tripping over a period can lead to premature failure of the MCB, so it is important not to rely on the MCB to regulate electricity usage. If a system is tripping it is a safety feature as something is wrong or potentially unsafe.

 

 

Using the correct cable?

Concerning the condition of the connecting cables used from the bollard to the boat, these really have a hard life, subject to the sun, rain, wind and constant movement, they can deteriorate over a period of time, we would recommend that any cable over 3 years old is replaced to ensure a safe and consistent electrical connection.  The cables that should be used are to BS 6004 - BS EN/IEC 60332-1-2 which is blue low temperature “artic” cable and maximum 25 meters

These cables must never be jointed, and the use of “splitters” from a bollard is not allowed as they can create shorts, leading to trips in the system.  

 

With that in mind, please can we respectfully ask you to be mindful of how you are using the electrical system and to consider what devices you are turning on, what they consume and how they are being used.  Lockdown means we are at our homes more than ever and so it is likely more devices, equipment and utensils are going to be required, these may overload or trip a system if too many are used at the same time.

Check all your cables and plugs to ensure everything is working as it should, and they are in good order with no water ingress such as rainwater. Check any lighting on board for defects, damage or water which might trip a circuit, replacing as required.

These simple measures will help keep the system working and will give us more chance of attending sites where power is lost.

 

How We're Working Now

At the current time all our contracting partners are at work and carrying out works, following all safety information and Covid-secure guidance. In addition, all statutory compliance works i.e. RCD checks, are continuing with the same safety measures employed.

The pandemic has been impacting on operations nationwide across all sectors.  Construction works can continue within the current lockdown and at the current time we can still respond to reactive events working with our term contractors to continue services as effectively as possible.


Contractors now follow strict protocols which includes Covid risk assessment, maintaining hygiene and strict social distancing measures within all current Covid-secure guidance, however, there may be periods of delay or disruption if Covid impacts upon resource, site or wider travel restrictions. 

If contractors do come to your site, there should be no risk to you provided you stay on your boat while they pass; please do not put yourself or others at risk by confronting them. We are monitoring the situation and should the advice change, then our methodology will change to reflect that new advice. If you or anyone you know develops symptoms on a site, then please do let us know as this will trigger other responses in line with the Trust guidance and Covid protocols. These can be found at the Trust Covid protocols pages, on the Canal & River trust website. This could be increased cleaning frequencies within a Customer Service Facility, or other restrictions may be needed.

Please follow all advice from Gov.uk Covid pages and the Trusts own Coronavirus FAQ sheet.

Alongside that with the new, more infectious variant of the virus, it’s more important than ever that we all remember to follow all Covid protocols and safety guidance keeping our distance from each other, washing hands regularly, wearing face-coverings whenever required and considering every journey and every trip.  

These are very challenging and uncertain times for all, and we thank you in anticipation of your co-operation and assistance during this difficult time. Please stay safe and follow guidance from the Government and the Trust where issued.

If you have questions about the mooring you are on, please contact your Mooring Sales manager for further advice.