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#138658 - 09/20/03 09:43 AM Are your customers aware?
Trumpy Offline

Member

Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8540
Loc: SI,New Zealand
Just as a note.
When you go and do a job for a particular client, are they aware of the actual safety level that you hold thier home or business or so forth at?.
Also, do you constantly try and "up-sell" your work, to give your customer a better class of protection against voltage transients, surges, etc.
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#138659 - 09/21/03 06:33 AM Re: Are your customers aware?
pauluk Offline
Member

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
I think it's important to draw a distinction between something which must be done to remove immediate danger versus something which would be an improvement but is not a necessity.

The 7.2kW shower on 2.5 T&E cable in another recent thread is the former category of course. Disconnect, and tell the customer it's dangerous, and that it must be rewired correctly for safety.

But I try not to use scare tactics over small matters, as I think if one tries to be adamant that something "must be upgraded to meet current rules" then the customer can get the impression that you're just trying to create work for yourself.

More importantly, if you don't adopt this attitude over the trivial matters, the customer is more likely to take your warnings over the important things more seriously.

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#138660 - 09/21/03 12:33 PM Re: Are your customers aware?
sparky Offline
Member

Registered: 10/18/00
Posts: 5545
coming across is actually an aquired skill, as many times an electrical safety issue is not apparent or visual.

i've been asked many times 'is it safe' , reminds me of the flick....

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#138661 - 09/22/03 03:48 PM Re: Are your customers aware?
pauluk Offline
Member

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
Ah yes, the universal question: "Is it safe?"

Some things are clear-cut, but there's a big gray area.

How do we define safe? Some would say that to be called safe an installation has to meet the requirements of the current code. Personally, I don't subscribe to that theory.

If it was safe when it was installed X years ago, and there has been no damage or deterioration in materials, then it is just as safe today.

That's not to say that some current techniques might not make it safer, but that doesn't imply that the existing system is unsafe.

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#138662 - 09/27/03 12:49 AM Re: Are your customers aware?
Pinemarten Offline
Member

Registered: 08/23/03
Posts: 122
Loc: Edmonton, AB, Canada
When I someone asks me to look at the wiring in their house or shop, and I come across older original standards I recommend they budget for an upgrade over the next few years.
It will improve the safety, convenience and value of the house.
I usually recommend good smoke detectors and batteries as an initial first step. I stress that the odds of an electrical fire happening are very rare, but it is a good way to protect themselves until they can get any upgrades done.

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#138663 - 11/29/03 06:13 PM Re: Are your customers aware?
Trumpy Offline

Member

Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8540
Loc: SI,New Zealand
Guys,
Just want to change the subject here a moment.
There is a really annoying trend, over here with respect to customers of the company that I work for and also those of fellow Electricians around town here.
What I mean is, some people will not allow an Electrician into thier home, until after they are home at 5pm.
Now I'm not afraid of doing a bit of overtime, but when you get around to such a person's house, the list of jobs comes out.
I'm not a great fan of working into the night, but I think that this is just a tad unfair.
Sure these people have already done thier 7 hours of (predominantly Office)work and expect us Electricians to do another 4 or 5 hours.
I blame TV programmes like Target and those of that ilk (showing nasty Tradespeople), for all this.
I've worked in peoples houses since I was an Electrical Apprentice.
I don't see why we should all be tarred with the same brush as a few dirty wannabe Tradesmen.
Is there a fear of having an un-supervised Tradesman, in houses where you come from?.
I don't know about you guys, but in my Vocabulary, Tradesman means "a Professional worker, trained in thier field and having civilised work habits".
Am I missing the point somewhere?.
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#138664 - 11/30/03 06:21 AM Re: Are your customers aware?
djk Offline
Member

Registered: 12/26/02
Posts: 1269
Loc: Ireland
I must say that I have never really come across any problems here with electricians, plumbers, plasterers, carpenters etc.

But, on the other hand if someone's working in the house I do prefer to just put anything i would be worried about .. e.g. cash, credit cards, car keys into my office and lock the door.

Most trades people trade on their reputation so i don't think they could afford to damage this by doing something completely stupid in someone's house!

I think a lot of the TV programmes highlighting "cowboys" are damaging real trades people but it's up to the real trades people to do something about making sure that they are recognisable as different from these guys. Organisations need to start squeezing these guys out thru registration, ID cards etc etc... whatever it takes.

I mean can you imagine what would happen if you had a lot of cowboys posing as dentists ... you'd suddenly have consumers taking all sorts of precautions.

I wouldn't blame the media coverage I would blame the trades organisations for failing to establish sufficient barriers to entry!

(and by barriers to entry I don't mean the anti-compeditive trade barrier stuff ...)

[This message has been edited by djk (edited 11-30-2003).]

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#138665 - 11/30/03 06:52 AM Re: Are your customers aware?
:andy: Offline
Member

Registered: 10/18/03
Posts: 272
Loc: Germany
 Quote:
If it was safe when it was installed X years ago, and there has been no damage or deterioration in materials, then it is just as safe today.

That's not to say that some current techniques might not make it safer, but that doesn't imply that the existing system is unsafe.


well, i think that depends on how you personal see it. the definition of "safe" changes over the years. As we had a RCD with 500mA trip current installed 30 years ago, it was called safe. now I would consider it as totally unsafe...

the better to say: if its old but not damaged, it has still the safety level it had when installed. this however does not guarantee it is "safe" in current criteria.

didnt want to criticize you, just my 0.02€




[This message has been edited by :andy: (edited 11-30-2003).]

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#138666 - 12/02/03 04:11 AM Re: Are your customers aware?
pauluk Offline
Member

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
I see the point you're making Andy, but I just feel that it is taken too far sometimes. Safety advanced fairly quickly at one time, but I think we're well and truly into the realm of diminishing returns now.

Look at the new rules and techniques: How much has safety really been improved in, say, the last 20 years?

On the RCD issue, I wouldn't consider an old 500mA type to be unsafe in itsself, so long as everything else is still functioning properly (e.g. ground connections still good).

A modern 30mA type provides an increased level of safety, but I would still consider the 500mA type safe.

 Quote:
What I mean is, some people will not allow an Electrician into thier home, until after they are home at 5pm.


I can't say that's been a problem for me in this area. I guess living out in the sticks where there's a low crime rate and people still mostly have greater faith in each other's honesty than in the cities plays a big part.

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