Corona Virus: Maintenance Update 2

As you will be aware Corona virus is impacting on operations nationwide.  At the current time we can still respond to events and we are working with our term contractors to continue service as effectively as we can within the challenges presented. 


Impacts are beginning to be felt a little more acutely now as absences and self-isolations take hold.  In our case, it may impact on electrical repairs as a large contractor has had to enact self-isolation for them and their workforce.  This may mean a slower attendance, and this could mean solutions cannot be reached quickly or potentially immediately. 


An article we posted in 2018, Meter Macs electricity bollards gives 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 is allowed to 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 I respectfully ask you to be mindful of how you are using the electrical system and to consider what devices you are turning on and how they are being used.  Checking all your cables and plugs to ensure everything is working as it should and they are in good order with no water ingress. Check any lighting 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.


In respect of our other contractors; at the current time these are not severely affected, and service is being maintained nationwide.  Some impacts are being felt through absences, but this is being managed locally using agency staff and/or redeployment. This may change as we progress and the impacts of corona virus are more widely experienced.


Moving further, in line with the government advice we are considering our actions and prioritising tasks to ensure the safety of our colleague’s, contractors and everyone’s families, clearly, we will assess each event on a case by case basis to determine whether it is appropriate to attend site, delay or seek to find a different way to proceed.


We urge you to follow all advice from Public Health England, the Trusts own Corona Virus FAQ sheet and any advice or guidance that comes from authorised sources.


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


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.


25th March 2020