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Re: Sniveling from another forum [Re: Texas_Ranger] #191241 12/22/09 10:31 PM
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 223
aussie240 Offline
Originally Posted by Texas_Ranger
I'm not really sure I like the Austrian system where normal people aren't allowed to do anything beyond replacing a light bulb but licensed electrician are not checked upon at all unless there is a fire or someone is electrocuted.

Much the same in Australia, although to my knowledge a homeowner has never got into trouble for doing their own wiring. There has been some jumping up and down by some in the trade to ban the sale of fittings to the general public. They regurgitate the same old story of people wiring up power points with bell wire as justification.
Rather, there should be some education as how to do things correctly instead of keeping wiring standards and practices as part of some kind of secret society.
Prohibiting sale of wiring accessories will simply cause people to be more creative; and not necessarily in a safe way. Not to mention the black market and sale of second hand fittings.

Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades
Re: Sniveling from another forum [Re: aussie240] #191242 12/22/09 10:47 PM
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 947
twh Offline
I've never met a handy man who doesn't say that he does good wiring, but I've seen lots of bad wiring. The first sign that someone does bad wiring seems to be his claim that he does good wiring. The second sign is that he finds the worst electrician to compare his work to. I'd be more impressed if they found better role models.

Re: Sniveling from another forum [Re: aussie240] #191244 12/22/09 10:51 PM
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,452
gfretwell Online Content
Things used to be a lot more controlled in the US until the mega home stores opened. You could always get NM cable, boxes and devices at the hardware store but you were not going to find panels and meter sockets. You also paid full retail in these hardware stores. Now the home store has everything and is also competing on price trying to get trades in there but that makes these jobs look overpriced to the customer who thinks "Hey I can buy a panel full of breakers for $150. How hard can it be to install".
The only real control is the PoCo that wants to see a permit before they will reseal the meter but that can backfire too. You can end up with a homeowner handling live service conductors, a truly frightening thing.

Greg Fretwell
Re: Sniveling from another forum [Re: aussie240] #191245 12/22/09 10:54 PM
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 745
EV607797 Offline
In Massachusetts, they made it illegal for homeowners to perform plumbing installations of any kind. The code enforcement personnel are instructed to write citations for a property owner whenever they see old plumbing fixtures placed out for trash pickup. They even went as far as severely limiting the availability of plumbing hardware at retailers, even the big box stores.

So what is the solution? These people just go across the border to New Hampshire, Vermont or Rhode Island to buy this stuff at the very same big box stores.

Many drugs are illegal to buy, sell, possess or consume, but it has been shown for decades that this cannot be curtailed. How our governments will ever be able to address that issue is beyond me.

I'm in agreement that encouraging proper installations, permitting and inspections is the only way to go. Many people fear the inspector as someone who is their foe. If AHJs focus their energies upon fixing this image, I think that they'll find more of a willingness to be compliant.

Many community college systems offer homeowner-oriented programs to learn basic trade skills. Often, the instructors are contractors themselves. This stands the potential of being a win-win situation because for every student who IS able to do the job themselves, there will likely be one who finds they are over their head before they start their project. My former employer actually picks up quite a bit of work from his students in addition to the beer money he makes for teaching the classes.

Telling someone that they aren't allowed to do something within the confines of their own property will never fly. In this case, the proverbial "you get more flies with honey than you do with vinegar" comes to mind.


"But the guy at Home Depot said it would work."
Re: Sniveling from another forum [Re: aussie240] #191246 12/22/09 11:07 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,150
HotLine1 Offline
You said..."Rather, there should be some education as how to do things correctly instead of keeping wiring standards and practices as part of some kind of secret society."

There are numerous 'how-to' books available, most in public libraries, including the NEC, although that is not a design tool. We also have 'experts' in some big box stores, and they even do demonstrations regularly. Big box stores cater to HO's and look for 'pro trade' also. Restricting sales of materials to 'trade only' will never happen here.

I teach part time at a County Vo-tech, which offers a 'Basic Wiring' course that HO's could sign-up for, twelve weeks @ 1 nite per wk, $120 cost.

Some HO's do a neat, code compliant install that rivals the 'pro'; note I said some; others are nightmares.

And yes, the creativity of some people still amazes me to no end.

Re: Sniveling from another forum [Re: EV607797] #191247 12/22/09 11:11 PM
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 85
WireNuts29 Offline
So basically because people could potentially hurt themselves by doing stupid things we should educate them..NO WRONG. when i go to the mechanic i don't sit and watch him work on my brake lines so i can do it myself next time...and if i ever asked him to do that I'm sure it wouldn't go over well. My 4 yrs of night school and on the job training plus keeping up with three states worth of continuing education,etc, etc, etc ...i say hey go change your own panel on your aluminum ladder dummy call me when you're out of the hospital, or have your wife call after they scrape you off the front lawn. I'm tired of having to justify my costs.

Re: Sniveling from another forum [Re: HotLine1] #191248 12/22/09 11:15 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,150
HotLine1 Offline
Without looking hard, our CCO inspector turns up an average of 3 non-permitted services or panel swaps every 2 weeks. Some are by 'forgetful EC's'; some are HO specials; some are 'friends'. I like the 200 amp panel on the old #6 service riser!

Re: Sniveling from another forum [Re: HotLine1] #191249 12/22/09 11:18 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,150
HotLine1 Offline

Just how successful is the HO ban on doing plumbing?

Re: Sniveling from another forum [Re: HotLine1] #191252 12/23/09 12:33 AM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
renosteinke Offline
Cat Servant
What we're battling is a dangerous combination of ignorance and arrogance. The very idea that not only can everyone do it, they are also so damn naturally smart that they need not bother learning first, they can figure it out on the fly. These folks aren't going to be reading up on things in the library.

Which brings up another conceit: that you can 'learn' by just reading and watching. If that were true, I'd be playing for the Yankees today. As I said,we have a SKILLED trade. If everyone could do it, we wouldn't be making 3-5x minimum wage.

Do your own brakes? Drive your own ground rod? Guys, that's where our training and tool investment pays off. I WANT the customer to realize that yes, I CAN do somethig better than he.

Re: Sniveling from another forum [Re: renosteinke] #191254 12/23/09 02:56 AM
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,452
gfretwell Online Content
From what I see from talking to homeowners is they have 2 opinions of inspectors
One, they are just scouts for the tax collector
Two, they are there to make your life miserable and discourage you from doing anything yourself.

Where we are, #1 is really pretty bogus. The tax collector uses satellite photos and on site inspections. They don't really change your taxes for things that you do inside and outside things are quickly found anyway. I always say, the tax appraiser has better records of what I have done around here than I do and until recently, I never got permits.
The tax collector just took my money, they never complained about the lack of a permit.

#2 only seems true because they are really used to dealing with pros who know what to do and know what to expect. The inspector seems to be impatient with homeowners because the homeowner is usually not ready to be inspected when they call. That is why I say, if the building department wants to imporove their image with homeowners, they should spend more time with them and just charge more.
I have to honestly say, in my experience, most muni inspections are very superficial. During the go-go times when I built my pool that was somewhat expected but on my addition there were only 35 RES permits pulled by March of that year when I started. They weren't that busy. I still got 60 second inspections.

Greg Fretwell
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