Subject Material

The Electricity Board Inspector - Dialogue

Published: 03.03.2010, Updated: 03.03.2017

Have you ever had an electricity inspector come to your home? What kind of things do you think he would look at? How does an electricity supplier know how much electricity you use in your home?

Tasks and Activities

  1. In the following dialogue some words are left out. Read through the dialogue, discuss with your partner and see if you can fill in the missing words. Then check with the suggested key below the dialogue. The words are not in the correct order. You have to work out the order.
  2. When you have completed the dialogue, do the Electricity Board Inspector - Comprehension .
  3. Use the dialogue as a manuscript for a mini-play. Rehearse with your partner, and then perform it in front of the class.


Dialogue: An inspector from the
Electricity Board calls on Mrs Lee.

Electric MeterElectric MeterTrevor: Hi! My name is Trevor. I come from The Gas and Electricity Board to read your - - - - and check your wiring and connections.

Mrs. Lee: Oh, hello! I've been expecting you since I got your note in the mail. Please come in. Why do you want to check the wiring?

Trevor: Well, it's just routine, for - - - - reasons. You know, better safe than sorry. Where's your - - - -?

Mrs. Lee: Right here in the hallway, next to the staircase.

Trevor: Now let's see - we'll read your meter first. Ok, that's that. Everything looks ok in here; the fuses seem to be doing the job all right. They're not hot, which would mean that they were - - - -

Mrs. Lee: What job are they supposed to be doing?

Trevor: They are there to make sure that only the approved amount of - - - - goes out into the circuit. So if the circuit for some reason should take out more power than the system is    - - - - for, the fuse will break the circuit. I'm sure you've had that happen to you?

Mrs. Lee: Oh, yes, but I haven't really understood why, I just knew I had to change the fuse.

Trevor: Well, there you go. And remember that the fuses will have to be of the same current - - - - .

Mrs. Lee: How will I know?

Trevor: There's a little bead at the bottom that will be of different colours according to its current rating. The bead will usually pop out when the fuse is - - - - .

Mrs. Lee: Oh yes, I see. That's easy.

Trevor: Yes, you know, the fuse is an essential element for safety. If there is a - - - - in one of your kitchen appliances, for example, the fuse will blow immediately so you won't get an - - - - by accident. That's highly dangerous. And we might also have an overheating and a fire on our hands, and we don't want that, do we?

Mrs. Lee: No, of course not. Luckily it doesn't happen too often that a fuse blows, but it's always a bit of a hassle when it does and I have to make sure that there is always a - - - - one in the house.

Trevor: Well, you should perhaps consider changing this old box with a new one with automatic circuit breakers. It is a bit expensive, but you get a more up-dated system, and it's so much easier to - - - - the broken circuit.

Mrs. Lee: This is an old house; I think it was built right after the war. So the system is quite old. How does it work, compared to this one?

Trevor: The principle is much the same, but instead of these old ceramic fuses that have to be - - - - , there is just this little switch that turns itself off and has to be switched back on. You also get a digital meter, which gives a more reliable - - - -. They're usual in all new houses.

Mrs. Lee: I'll discuss it with my husband later.

Trevor: Now, shall we have a look at the wiring and - - - -?

Mrs. Lee: OK! Come right through, here is the kitchen.

Trevor: I see your electric coffee pot is - - - -, and so is your toaster.

Mrs. Lee: But they're not on, are they?

Trevor: No, but they should be - - - - when they are not in use in case there is a - - - - connection that may start a fire when the house is empty.

Mrs. Lee: I never thought of that.

Trevor: Can I have a quick look in the living room?

Mrs. Lee: Please come this way.

Trevor: I notice at once that your TV is left in stand-by position. It should be switched off completely when it's not in use, for the same reason as the toaster, and it will save - - - - as well.

Mrs. Lee: I know that, but it's such a bother. I always just use the remote, but if you say so...

Trevor: This connection here next to the armchair is not - - - - ; you have two double sockets plugged into another double which is connected to the wall outlet. That has to be disconnected immediately.

Mrs. Lee: But we need both a reading light and this extra heater, and it's where I plug in my vacuum cleaner.

Trevor: All the more reason. You take out too much power from the - - - -. Remember what I said about the fuses. I suppose the times you've had to change the fuse have been when you were doing your vacuuming.

Mrs. Lee: Yes, that's right actually, but I never understood why. I thought there was something wrong with the cleaner.

Trevor: And besides, these - - - - plugs make a very dangerous connection. An electric connection must fit tightly.

Mrs. Lee: Please explain...

Trevor: You see, a loose connection will create heat because the terminals are not physically in contact. The current will then jump between the terminals, and you get - - - - and heat, and eventually this may cause a fire. Look here, this one is already black round the plug holes.

Mrs. Lee: Wow! Look at that! It won't happen again, I promise.

Trevor: If you need an extra - - - -, you should check with an approved electrician, and not do it like this. Well, I'm glad we got that one sorted out. From what I can see, the rest seems to be ok. Then I'll just say good bye and take care.

Mrs. Lee: Thank you for coming, I'm very grateful for your advice. We may have - - - - a house fire today. Thank you, and good bye.


Suggested Key

blown     connections     reading     faulty     meter     prevented outlet     connected     safety     approved     fuse box      overloaded     power     disconnected     dimensioned     current wobbly     rating     spare     sparks     re-connect      short circuit      circuit      replaced     electric shock