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Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 155
D
Member
GA76Apprentice,
Who would your customers be? I know from my perspective I would have to consider the added cost of the service that you propose to provide and would had to convince me of the "value added" that you could provide.
What it all boils down to is that you have to be compensated for your time and we must justify what your service would cost us with respect to its benefits.
Dave T

Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,770
Likes: 13
G
Member
I thought about something similar, basically advising homeowners on their own work but you have to be very careful not to actually touch anything or you have become a contractor. The real show stopper is the fact that they are doing their own work because they don't want to pay anyone so they wouldn't be willing to pay much for advice either. You can't start your car for much less than $100 and your time is worth something. "Homey" is going to expect you to hold his hand for days and he will want to give you $20.


Greg Fretwell
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 193
G
GA76JW Offline OP
Member
To all:

I am really surprised at the # of people who came out to give their opinions on this. I feel special, in a sort of way.

I do feel I have a good knowledcge of what can and should be done in a residential setting. I really don't think anyone would hire me to work in a Hospital setting on a MRI machine or anwhere in the general vacinity. But if so the proper information would be found in Article 517 of the NEC. Possibly 517.13 (B)?

Anyway.
I know I have alot to learn, but at the same time I feel I have something to give to others as well.

I appreciate all the comments so far and welcome many more.

BTW: As an apprentice I am not responsible to pay dues until I a) get ready to join or b) Turn out after the final test of my apprenticeship at which point membership is required.


Thanks

Philip


"If common sense was common, everyone would have it"-not sure, someone here

Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 209
H
Member
GA76,
I think you are letting yourself open for a huge liability problem. Anyone hiring you would be led to assume that you are a professional in your trade. As such any recommendations you give must be accurate. If you give someone advice and they do the work like you say and someones house burns down, there won't bw a corner of the world small enough to hide in where a lawyer won't be able to hunt you down. That said, if you are going to give advice like a lighting layout or some harmless electrical ideas like a decorator would give, I see no harm. But it never stops there. I'd love to give electrical advice, but I've only got 31 years in as a General Contractor, not an Electrical Contractor. So I don't! I only give advice like I'm giving now.

Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 193
G
GA76JW Offline OP
Member
Quote
Anyone hiring you would be led to assume that you are a professional in your trade.


But I am a professional in my trade and as such I would only give proper advice that I KNOW is right.

I can see where a liability issue may come into play, but if I tell you to hook the green or bare wire to the green screw, the white wire to the silver screw and the black (or other color) wire to the brass screw then what is wrong with that. Or if I tell you your circuit is overloaded and needs to be upgraded or a new dedicated circuit ran. Where is the problem with that?

General knowledge for everyone here, but there may be a need for it in my local market place.


The Big box stores have guys that work in the Electrical dept. and give terrible info. Last year, I'm walking around one of these stores and overhear a conversation between a clerk and a lady customer. She was doing some "footwork" for her husband and evidently he was a DIY. She wanted to know if she could add any more circuits to their panel. They were re-doing their basement. She had a detailed list of the breakers in her panel and what was placed on each one. (Impressive to say the least}
Well the clerk looks at it right quick and adds them all up and says "You can't add anything else because you already have 385 amps and it's only a 200 amp panel" He then proceeded to tell her more garbage.
Anyway after he was done and she started to walk away I stopped her and explained that everything does not pull a constant load at all times and that her house is perfectly fine. I then told her it would probably be fine to add things to the open spaces, but to have someone check her panel with an ammeter before and after they were done.

Now this was FREE info I gave her. Nothing was received in return, but she had also just learned what she needed to know. Now if she had listened to the clerk, they would all still be confused.

I am going to see if there is a market for this type of information. If not, then so be it, but at least I can say I tried.


"If common sense was common, everyone would have it"-not sure, someone here

Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 99
T
Member
Quote:

"BTW: As an apprentice I am not responsible to pay dues until I a) get ready to join or b) Turn out after the final test of my apprenticeship at which point membership required."

As best as i remember, here in Montana if you are enrolling in a union apprenticeship, then you join the union right off the bat - there was an initiation fee and then regular payment of dues began - how else to fund five years of training?

Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 193
G
GA76JW Offline OP
Member
Quote
how else to fund five years of training?

My cheap 55% of JW wages do a pretty good bit, plus I am already paying assessment fees and the such.

For some reason though it is not required here in Atlanta. I would gladly join if it wasn't for the "voluntary" death benefits that need to be paid. Most of the time you never know how many members will pass on.

I also don't want to join and then get in a financial bind and not be able to pay. They say they work with you, but only for so long. I plan on joining somewhere near the middle of my 4th year.

International benefits don't start until fifth year.

[This message has been edited by GA76Apprentice (edited 10-04-2005).]


"If common sense was common, everyone would have it"-not sure, someone here

Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 65
G
Member
GA.76, One quick question. How will you know that my circuit is over loaded or that I need a service up-grade. The minute that you start to pull receptacles and check out the circuit, you are doing electrical work. I can't see the benefit of advice from someone that is not allowed to check out the system. On a normal service call your tools are out in the first 5 to 10 minutes. You will not be allowed tools because you are a consultant. You could ask the home or business owner to do the test or device removal and installation. If you stay in school and log your time at your job you can test for your license in two years. Why not just wait. I'm sure there are a couple of things that you can still learn before becoming an EC. Learn as much about business as you can to include sales. The technical part is only half the job. Good Luck.

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