When it comes to working on site, there are many regulations and conventions which govern how we act, what tools we use and how we operate, which can make sorting the vital from the merely important difficult.
That’s none truer than in the case of 110V, with a great many of our customers asking us whether it’s actually required on larger building sites, or whether it’s merely extremely popular?
Well, the truth of the matter is that whilst there’s no specific regulation which demands the use of 110V on larger sites, it’s highly recommended that you do use it. Why? Let us explain.
What is 110V?
110v is a professional site voltage, designed specifically for high workload areas, like large sites. A transformer (typically bright yellow) is used to convert a typical ‘household’ 240V power supply to 110V, with yet more bright yellow leads running out from the transformer to your equipment.
110V site transformers are centre tapped, which means that the 110V output is actually 2 x 55V. This lower voltage and current is much safer to use, and is far less likely to cause serious harm if a wire were cut, stepped on or otherwise damaged. It’s for this reason that 110V rose to prominence as a safer standard for electricity on site following large numbers of electrical accidents.
As such, 110V is now the accepted standard for building sites, and may be enforced by insurance companies who insure the site.
Do you Need 110V?
The law in the UK states that you must take effective precautions against the risk of death and injury from electricity during construction. It doesn’t, however, state that 110V power supplies must be used. So, whilst there’s no legal reason why you can’t use an RCD and a 240V power supply, it’s not often recommended.
The reason for this is because RCD (residual current device) units can fail, and won’t detect every fault in a standard 240V system, making them more broadly unreliable than a 110V transformer for on-site usage.
On large sites where there are numerous cables, trades and companies all working in the same area then, 110V is the preferred and safest way to power tools, lighting and other vital on-site equipment.
The advice from the Health and Safety Executive is that tools, plugs and cables designed for domestic use are not suitable for on-site conditions, and that cordless or 110V tools are preferred.
How Can You Ensure 110V Power on a Site?
You’ll find that the majority of very large sites will have their own on-site generator, and that these generators have 110V sockets attached to them. However, if that isn’t the case for your site, a 110V transformer is an essential purchase.
These units come in a variety of sizes and at a number of price points, but ultimately your choice of model will come down to the number of sockets you require.
At MAD4TOOLS, we’re proud to supply a huge variety of 110v transformers, extension cables and accessories to our valued trade clients. Take a look at our range today and start working safer.