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#140936 - 05/23/04 09:43 AM Death By DIY
PaulCornwall Offline
Member

Registered: 06/02/03
Posts: 112
Loc: England
Hello Guys

Just 2 weeks ago a came across the worst diy job i have encountered in 26 years..

I was workin away and got a call from a women who said i had been recommened to her..brownie points,, she had just moved in to her new house and the cooker wasnt working, so i sent my apprentice to call and see her, he rang me after an hour to say he had pulled the fuse on the cooker because he couldnt get it to work also it had no earth connection, and said we would call later in the week to sort it out.

We had to rewire the cooker circuit because in the old lathe and plaster wall there were 15amp connectors (chocolate blocks)extending the cable to the cooker isolator presumabley the live was broken or loose.

From the back of the cooker isolator it fed in 2.5, a socket that was under the worktop that the washing machine was plugged in to, also a 6.0 mm feeding the cooker.

I said to my mate i think i had better check behind the built in oven to see whats what, and there was some more 15 amp connectors and then a piece of 2.5 cable connected to a piece of 6.0mm cable then back to 6.0mm again feeding the oven and the hob.both electric.. also the cover plate on the terminals on the oven was missing, also the earth was not connected on the oven.

Now i know you have probably seen worse but apart from overloading the 2.5 and getting a shock from a fault, the house had a TT system with an old voltage trip, which fortunatley worked..

Now what brought things home, was when we turned up to sort things out the plumber was there fixing the waste on the washing machine (that was bodged as well)it had leaked on to the kitchen carpet, it was soaking.. you can guess the worst that could have happened.

She only bought the house because it had a new kitchen..

Now until the goverment put in place some sort of system that ensure only qualified people carry out electrical works this is never going to end, or maybe it should be law all house sales have to have an electrical test.

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#140937 - 05/23/04 12:07 PM Re: Death By DIY
pauluk Offline
Member

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
That's certainly bad, and puts me in mind of my recent experience at a nearby house where I found such horrors as a 7kW shower on 2.5 cable, 1.5 mm socket spurs off a broken ring on a 30A semi-enclosed fuse, etc.

As for government regulation of people carrying out wiring though, I see two problems.

First, how would it be enforced? It is already illegal to make changes to gas appliances or fittings unless qualified, but that doesn't stop people doing it. If it's inside the house, nobody is likely to notice, unless you're going to give local council officials powers to enter and inspect premises at will. I don't think anyone would tolerate that.

Second, however bad some wiring is, and however much I would like to see people do things the right way, I do not believe that the government has any right to tell people that they cannot carry out work on their own house.

Inspections when a house changes hands would be the way to reassure the new owner that everything is safe, but he can arrange his own inspection if he so wishes anyway.

Aren't there already plans to legislate for mandatory inspections when a house is sold? I've not heard anything more about that for a while. I wonder whether wiring would be specifically excluded from such an inspection though, along with central-heating systems and other "specialized" items.

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#140938 - 05/23/04 02:32 PM Re: Death By DIY
PaulCornwall Offline
Member

Registered: 06/02/03
Posts: 112
Loc: England
Hi Paul

must say you have a very balanced opinion..

yes you are right, things would be difficult, but things will have to change in the future i think..

Oh and you are probaly aware you can buy gas fires and boilers from diy shops anyway..


Just had to let you know of one job i have come across..
Cheers.

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#140939 - 05/23/04 03:29 PM Re: Death By DIY
FWL_Engineer Offline
Member

Registered: 05/15/04
Posts: 53
Loc: Barnet, Hertfordshire, UK
PaulUK, firstly you are incorrect about the Gas regulations. ANYONE can install or repair any Gas appliance in their home, so long as they do not rent any part of it out to anyone who is not a member of their immediate family.

However as most people do not realise this is the case, better to let sleeping dogs lay I believe.

I think that DIY electrical work should be totally illegal. It kills more in one year that gas ever did, and they certainly bit on that cherry.

You say the Government have no right to say what a person can and cannot do in their own home..so why do you get done for murder for killing your wife/mother/father/son/daughter?

Please dont' say it is different, it is not, playing with a loaded sidearm in your home is EXACTLY the same as ballsing up your electrical work..when it goes wrong people often get injured or die.

People need to be protected from themselves as much as anything else.

Further, when I get on a Bus to have a pint, I do not demand to go DIY and drive the bus, so why should the bus driver be able to do my job?
_________________________
Click me if you dare \:\)

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#140940 - 05/24/04 10:43 AM Re: Death By DIY
PaulCornwall Offline
Member

Registered: 06/02/03
Posts: 112
Loc: England
Wow....... go frank.... bet thats got a load off your chest..

i hate DIYers.. anything with wood is good.. but gas,electric,water,etc.. they should leave alone..

Is it not illegal in Aus to do electrics.

Oh the funny thing is that if you want to carry out new building electrics you have to be registered to conform with part P..but ok to do your own electrics at home,, mr taxi driver or bus driver etc..

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#140941 - 05/24/04 12:52 PM Re: Death By DIY
aland Offline
Member

Registered: 05/20/04
Posts: 187
Loc: United Kingdom
I'm with you on this one FWL.I aint to keen on getting medicine from the butchers shop.
And as far as part P goes I think it will just create another tier of burocracy that only a few will partake in. The few being registered contractors.

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#140942 - 05/24/04 05:19 PM Re: Death By DIY
james S Offline
Member

Registered: 05/13/03
Posts: 102
Loc: West England
Being honest i thought


It is already illegal to make changes to gas appliances or fittings unless qualified,

was also the way it was, obviously not.

for me the most dangerous findings are the 13 amp fuses in the plug tops of tv's, video recorders,desk lamps etc.

I plumbed in a second hand dishwasher for a friend, and connected its lead to a fused spare, whilst everything was or appeared to be as normal i opened the door of the washer to feel a tingling through me to the draining board i was leaning on, having wet hands offering a relatively low resistance path to earth.this was due to the plug being incorrectly wired with a neutral/earth reversal using the circuit cpc for a return path putting the circuit neutral onto the metal casing.in theory there should be no change in potential between cpc and neutral but the only thing i can think of is that the bonded draining board had a lower resistance path to the t'former than the actual circuit neutral allowing current in other parts of the circuit to try and pass through myself.
if this is correct cant have been much difference in resistance due to the tingle sensation and not an uncomfortable shock.

The fact of the matter, is if the plug was wired live/earth reversal would have been very different situation!!!

One more thing that scares me is when you see the diy's wondering what size cable,fuses,clips,etc to buy in the local BaQ electrical section!!!!!!you can even by earth rods in your diy stores these days

I would certainly like to see some kind of laws be implemented.

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#140943 - 05/25/04 03:11 AM Re: Death By DIY
pauluk Offline
Member

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
 Quote:
PaulUK, firstly you are incorrect about the Gas regulations. ANYONE can install or repair any Gas appliance in their home, so long as they do not rent any part of it out to anyone who is not a member of their immediate family.

Hmmm.... That's contrary to what I've been told and believed for many years, but I spent a while searching the net and stand corrected.

Most of the references I found state that CORGI-registration is needed for fitting gas equipment as a commercial activity, but also point out that the law states that even DIY gas work on one's own home must be done by a "competent" person. Someone suggested that "competent" implies CORGI-registered anyway, although that's not how I would read it. I guess it's another of those vague laws which keep lawyers rich.....

 Quote:
You say the Government have no right to say what a person can and cannot do in their own home..

No. What I said was that the government has no business telling somebody that he can't carry out works on his own house. Requring such works to be carried out to a certain minimum standard for safety is one thing, but banning somebody from doing those works himself is entirely another.

How far do you take the "People need to be protected from themselves" argument? Improperly prepared and cooked foods can cause severe illness, so why not make it illegal to cook one's own meals, unless a qualified, licensed chef? Where do you draw the line?

 Quote:
And as far as part P goes I think it will just create another tier of burocracy that only a few will partake in.

Definitely. Part P specifies plenty of wiring jobs which are outside its scope anyway, it's full of vague phrases open to individual interpretation, and will largely be ignored.

You might like to look back at this thread from last year where we discussed this:

New laws for U.K. Domestic wiring?

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#140944 - 05/25/04 03:52 AM Re: Death By DIY
iwire Offline
Moderator

Registered: 01/05/03
Posts: 4343
Loc: North Attleboro, MA USA
Hi guys just an American slipping in here.

Paul
 Quote:
Improperly prepared and cooked foods can cause severe illness, so why not make it illegal to cook one's own meals, unless a qualified, licensed chef? Where do you draw the line?


I really like that analogy.

In the US the rules for this are state by state, in my State the homeowner can not legally touch any plumbing be it gas, clean or waste water.

They can do their own electric work (the plumbers labor group was stronger ) however they are required to get a permit and inspections just like licensed electricians.

I think this is a good arrangement, a homeowner can work on the home they live in (no renters can live there) but they can not just do whatever they want, they must follow the rules.

That said almost no homeowners know they are required to pull permits and few get caught.

The TV shows do not make it clear that inspections are sometimes required.

Well thanks for listening, Bob
_________________________
Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician
Massachusetts

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#140945 - 05/25/04 04:35 PM Re: Death By DIY
Ever Ready Offline
Member

Registered: 03/27/04
Posts: 40
Loc: Scotland
We Europeans like to see a colonial slipping into these threads

I too like the analagy about the chef Paul, another good one is people like me who have repaired their own vehicles and then taken it on public roads without having the work we did checked by a qualified mechanic, now that really would be a real can of worms if the government tried to stop the diy car brigade

The thing that gets me about homeowners and the like doing electrical work is the standard of their work, I have no problem with people who can do a good job but some of the nightmares that I have been called out to would give a lot of people sleepless nights, one of the worse offenders are the kitchen/bathroom companies who want to do the whole job in a day and do not care how many corners they cut to meet their target, the last one I did was a kitchen that had been replaced a couple of years before and all of the kitchen sockets 7 in total had been run back to big "pudding" joint fed from a spur socket!!!

"pudding" joint for the uninitiated is just a big paralell joint with all the conductors joined up in a terminal strip (if they're lucky) covered in tape and hidden under a unit,floorboard etc

Another edit for a spelling mistake, better lay off the beer

[This message has been edited by Ever Ready (edited 05-25-2004).]

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