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Terry

CONFUSED BY MY BUILDINGS EMERGENCY LIGHTING

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Previously I worked in a building, built in 1997. The emergency 'flick' test sockets were placed at intervals along the corridor walls etc. I methodically went around and flicked each socket and could see what light did not respond in the expected way, noted it and obtained a new battery, fitted it, tested again, recorded as required.

I now work in a building, built in 2012, all of the 'flick' test sockets are in blocks housed in the cupboards alongside the light & power trip switches/rcd/rcbo boards. In my case 5 areas in total. Given the size and layout of the building; it requires 2 of us to do the tests using walkie talkies.  

I am relatively new to my current works and this system; so I did the following identification;  1L1 flick = 1L1 DLB = Ground Floor Corridor Lighting, 1L2 flick = 1L2 DLB = First Floor Corridor Lighting etc and other areas in between.

Hence my problem; this format worked for the most part.  However, the 'long corridors made me think twice.  Example 1L1 flick = 1L1 DLB = Ground Floor Corridor Lighting = 9 emergency lights not working + 3 that did.
2L1 flick = 2L1 DLB = Ground Floor Corridor Lighting = (you would expect a progression along the corridor); No, the previous Ground Floor Corridor with 9 emergency lights not working; they all came on but 2 did not!!!!!!!!!!!  The rest in the Ground Floor testing did not repeat the 'long corridor' experience, but acted in progression. But I was totally unsettled to find this outcome repeat itself on the First Floor too.

So I manually tripped the whole of the Ground Floor Corridor Lighting, all Emergency Lights came on bar one, which flashed red, and stayed red.  I did the same for the First Floor later on. all bar 2 came on  excluding an exit blade.

Trip said = yes   Flick said = No.

I have written this as simply as I could;  prior to my taking up this position, 88 batteries had been ordered at the cost of 2k and installed with further costs by a contractor.  

I would appreciate it if someone could identify if there is an issue with the emergency lighting 'flick' system, or my use of it that I should look at; for tonight I'm just comforted that given a power cut this place has more lighting than when tested.

Many thanks to those that take the time to reply. Terry

 

 

 

 

 

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I cannot help you with your problem I think you would need to have the installer to explain it or have wiring diagrams showing how it was done. I also understand you can have test switches that will operate the whole of the sub circuit, groups or individual luminaires. 

What I can say is you cannot use the trip to test them because BS 5266 part 1 is clear, that the system should be tested without interrupting the normal lights. Also the the EL  system should operate if there is an interruption to a sub circuit and all luminaires associated with that sub circuit should operate also failure of the mains supply should operate the whole system.

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Hi Tom,

Many thanks for your response, and I just wanted to assure that I didn't use the trip to test them per se, it's because I have a niggling feeling that there's something amiss with the emergency lighting test sockets, the reason for that being is records indicate that new batteries were installed (88 in total throughout the building) in June, which included the 'long corridors' on the GF and FF, and I have checked, they are wired correctly.  Using the flick test for those areas I would of expected one or two to not work, but not 9, hence I tripped the same area out of curiosity only to find that the 9 that did not work on the flick test worked on the trip.

I am now going to look into getting someone to check the system as I'm not happy with it.

 

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I think you are correct the system does appear to be not functioning as it should and any good installer should take the future testers into consideration when wiring the system.

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