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D-Line – The Real Alternative to Channelling Walls

   

Since launch in 2006 D-Line have certainly come a long way – far enough to reach from our UK base to our distributor in New Zealand, 18 million meters away!

Such growth has confirmed D-Line’s core proposition that the market was missing a decorative style of mini-trunking for use in areas where appearance matters, but where channelling walls or lifting floors is not practical.

As Paul Ruddick, founder of D-Line, commented “We know if a surface is solid or has been recently decorated - or if time and budget are issues - that often clients don’t want the hassle and expense of trying to recess cables. Using D-Line lengths can hide cables discretely. With its tapered ½ circle design and no sharp edges it blends with décor to give an outstanding quality of finish for a very modest cost!”

The neat semi-circle profiles incorporate a patented hinge that is specifically tensioned to keep cables in place during an installation, before users simply click-lock the lid. Clip-over bends and tees snap-over lengths to forgive poor cuts and save the need for precise measuring, while smooth-fit connectors and end caps make for a perfect finish.

Paul continued: “The one-piece design and clip-over Accessories for Mini D-Line combine to make probably the quickest system available. Feedback from electricians is excellent. We supplied 125 miles recently for 20,000 hotel rooms where, compared to channelling walls, D-Line saved the noise, mess and cost of putting rooms out-of-service. We take pride from contractors telling us they’re winning new work by offering Mini D-Line as a preferred option”.

The Newcastle-based company has successfully launched a full range of unique Cable Management solutions, with more in development, all stemming from the offer to electricians of a fall back solution when channelling is not the answer.

Lessons Learned?

The deaths of a number of firefighters in recent years has highlighted the increasing need to have all cables secured by fire resistant cable supports, not just fire alarm cables.

Currently, BS5839 pt1 states (fire performance) cables should be secured by supports that can withstand a similar temperature and duration to that of the cable.  In effect, plastic trunkings must not be the sole means of cable support for FP cables. At least one recent death was attributed to the firefighter becoming entangled in cables that had dropped in the doorway after the plastic trunking had melted in heat.  Melted plastic from cables that were not fire retardant, including popular flex and twin & earth, can stick to skin and clothing.  The fallen cables made rescue efforts impossible. The dangers of inadequately secured cables in trunking were highlighted, after the investigation by Hertfordshire Fire & Rescue Service.

Coming out of this investigation was a recommendation that the Building Regulations should be amended to ensure that all cables, not just fire alarm cables, in domestic buildings are supported by fire-resistant cable supports. The Coroner said that this could be achieved by an amendment to BS7671 ("Requirements for electrical installations"). 

The FCLIP by D-Line is an easy-to-fit and specifically designed solution which has been fully tested and certified as conforming to the requirements of BS5839 part 1, showing it’s suitability as an integral support that will keep cables secured to surfaces even if trunking has melted. Specifiers use the F-Clip for peace-of-mind, knowing installations are then compliant too. In light of recent fatalities caused by dropped and molten twin & earth cables it is our view all surface mains cabling should be securely fixed. 

Cables Showing? Don't Be Fobbed Off!

 

I live in a traditional house built in 1930’s that would not suit having cables stapled to walls.  That was my main reservation when the salesman from a well known telecommunications company cold-called.  Told me if I didn’t have 155 channels I’d be depriving my children, that we’d not be in the ‘real world’.  Then he quoted special deals and other offers – ‘So what about the cables?’ I asked.  ‘Don’t worry, you’ll never see them' he answered, and so I went ahead.  How naive I felt to find cord right across the room – the white cord was very conspicuous against the black hearth and wooden floor! 

  

When I contacted the salesman I was told that the alternative route to the TV was even longer, and would have required cables up and around the door frame – ‘Our guys took the shortest path, that showed the least cable!’ I was supposed to be grateful, and was then assured ‘such a complaint happens regularly’. 

When I asked why they didn’t cover the cable. I was told no such product exists!  Well don’t be fobbed off...  Get these companies told to D-Line-it!

Hotel Warms to D-Line

When 20,000 hotel rooms needed to hide cabling for new heating controllers, Mini D-Line proved the perfect choice.

Using D-Line enabled dramatic budget savings to be made compared to the cost of channeling the walls then re-plastering and re-decorating.  Aside the noise and disruption, the traditional way would have put rooms out-of-service. On the other hand traditional trunking did not look suitable for a hotel chain with a reputation for comfort and style.

  

Cables fed from wall mounted heaters to wall mounted controllers were concealed in Mini D-Line which blended with skirting and when necessary up-and-around bedheads.

A cut-length rose up to the heater via a clip-over accessory, while clip-over corner accessories made internal corner connections quick and easy.  Other more exposed joins used smooth-fit accessories, as the secure internal tabs were favoured to eliminate future maintenance concerns, given that this part was most likely to be bumped by guests’ baggage.

The ½ circle shape on the length rising up to the wall-mounted controller was again preferred for its impact resistance, the lack of a sharp edge a distinct benefit (compared to traditional sharp edged trunking).

The D-Line Cutting Tool was used throughout, being quick, easy and leaving no dust.

The self-adhesive tape was used to attach the 3m lengths to the walls, with a screw-fixing and plug then inserted 30cm from each end. 

The result was 20,000 installations using 125 miles of D-Line Mini Trunking, all easy to fit, quick to install, that blended with decor to look great. Completed on time, with dramatic budget savings and no room downtime, D-Line again proved to be the ideal choice where time and appearance matters!

Truly Wireless?

There is an increasing movement towards homes and offices’ being wireless throughout and technology is certainly playing its part in making this a reality.

With everything from mobile phones, gaming, printers, PCs, tablets, and music systems all having wireless options, it is a fair question to ask “When will the time come when there will no longer be wires in my house or office?”

The question is a difficult one to answer. It’s true that there are a myriad of “wireless” products widely available for both home and office that offers wireless functionality. However, these products still need to be wired into routers, power supplies, and, as some experts state, “there will always be a need for some hard wiring within offices and homes”.

As technology moves forward, there can undoubtedly be less wires in our houses and offices. But for the wires that are left, what is the neatest and safest way of hiding these cables? D-Line produces a range of patented products that will not only hide your cables to ensure safety, but will do so in a stylish way that blends in with your skirting and hides your extension leads. Decorative Trunking is easy to fit and hides wires in such a way that it blends with and adds style to skirting. It can also be used to hide cable drops from TVs and desks to ensure that the clean, tidy look is maintained. See how it looks by clicking here.

There will also extension leads to hide. The D-Line Cable Tidy Unit can hide extension cables and associated power packs up to 6 plug extensions. The unit can also be integrated with the trunking for a seamless, “wireless” effect.

 So, despite the seemingly reduced need for wires, there will be demand for products like decorative trunking and cable tidy units for some time to come.

Having bought one D-Line unit, we now have four dotted around the house - and the office too" L.K.

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