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Thread: When to DIY and when not to DIY

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    When to DIY and when not to DIY

    This thread is specifically aimed at being informative to the layman and professional on the how to's and legal implications around such.

    In recent couple of threads that came up in regards to CoCs, registered person's responsibilities and different forms of installation worx it came to be apparel that there is a lot of contravercy around this topic of when to do it yourself and when not to do it yourself.

    I urge everyone to leave their comments here in regards to topics being discussed. Rather than hijacking a sound informative thread as to help everyone improve their knowledge.

    Please leave the threads at what they have been made for and come here to discuss any and all argumentive and informative information to help the layman and professional to understand their place in the industry and eachother.

    After all we aren't here because we don't care. I am sure there is no one that is bored and dumb enough to come here and waste their time and stir the pot.

    "I used to have a lot of anger issues, now I just have a passion for justice"

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    Intersting topic in regards to domestic installations brought up again.

    Plumbers, what are they allowed to change / install and maintain on a geyser and when is it required for a qualified electrician to be called and to issue a CoC for geyser / water heater.

    Everyone's opinions and hard facts are appreciated on this topic.

    PS : Not only for sparkies...

    Regards

    "I used to have a lot of anger issues, now I just have a passion for justice"

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    Plumbers are not allowed to disconnect and reconnect the element or thermostat. This shall only be done by a registered electrician.

    Once the element and/or thermostat has been disconnected and made safe by the registered electrician, then only the plumber can change the thermostat and/or element and once completed the registered electrician shall then reconnect the connections.

    If any change to the characteristics of the circuit have been made the registered electrician needs to supply an Certifiace of Complaince for such change.

    EIR (Electrical Installation Regulations) Regulation 6 "No person may do electrical installation work as an electrical
    contractor unless that person has been registered as an electrical contractor in terms of these Regulations"

    "I used to have a lot of anger issues, now I just have a passion for justice"

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    Hi DieterT

    I agree with you with what you are saying regarding what a plumber can do and what he cannot do but the problem faced by the user is that if you get two specialists then you have to pay double. Luckily nowadays, you find people doing plumbing work and electrical work but the problem is that are they competent in both fields. A plumber is not really an electrician unless he is a registered one or working under the supervision of a registered electrician. I believe an electrician can easily become a plumber and the requirements are not really as strict as it is for electrical ie N2, experience and trade test. Unfortunately the geyser story will continue to cause problem with changing of geysers without even informing the electricians and also compromising the COC issued on an electrical installation.

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    Hi Linkenmk22

    Yes unfortunately due to the incompetence of installers it becomes an expensive outing.
    If the plumbing company was professional they would have had an registered electrician single phase as this would have cost them less and they would have most probably not been dealing with 3phase.
    Then they could have trained the staff as both plumbers and electricians. The registered single phase electrician could then have practiced general control over the single phase electrical work (in other words mostly domestic) and the registered plumber in accordance with their requirements administered the required control over their installations / repairs.

    It's because these guys firstly do a quick course at their local geyser supplier which teaches them how to disconnect and reconnect and the focuses on the rest, but protect themselves to paste a sticker on the geyser to say it must be done by a registered electrician. Then this company looks at the fastest best way to make money without spending to much and therefor basic training for his staff (which he does, not the geyser supplier) and also teaches them to disconnect and reconnect.

    At the end it's not supposed to cost the client 2 call outs and 2 separate hours of labor, but the installers become selfish and milks as much as possible money from the job and as least possible expenses (just like the insurance company that are most of the time the ones that appoint them)

    In my opinion, plumbers should have single phase testers in their companies. They should be the ones doing plumbing and electrical on single phase installations (mostly domestic) they are the ones that has to get dirty most of the time, crawl around in roof spaces, do piping etc.
    The bigger more professional plumbing companies become specialized like the same with electricians and move away from domestic installations, which are mostly single phase.
    This would eliminate the fly by nights unregistered sparkies and give more work to the plumber which will also be the ones who would not mind getting dirty and down on it...

    Long time ago I worked for a plumber as his electrician. This guy was rolling in work. He would get a plumbing job which I find is more common, then sort out some electrical work at the same premises. Double the work, same job. Guess that could go both ways with a single phase tester then, he could get a qualified plumber to come work with him or partnership with a qualified plumber. Opportunities is endless.
    Why I don't do it (nobody asks, but thinketh ) well lets just say I am that guy that aims for the more professional opportunities. Not better in any way, just preference differs and now with my back-opp roofs-paces is a lil bit difficult to crawl around in. Yes I know (not that anybody said anything else) you ask why not let my workers do that, but then I ask, who is doing general control and making sure everything is as per requirements.

    Everyone is bred for different opportunities. As I am for professional, the plumber / single phase tester aims for residential. He's happy, I am happy, we are all happy

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    For a while now I've been contemplating doing a blog post on the fact that the S.A. homeowner is no longer "king/queen of his/her own castle".

    It used to be a principle that regulators had to go to pains to work their way around, but the boundaries have been steadily whittled away.

    The original electrical installation regulations (R2920 of 1992) had this -

    Construction

    4. (1) No person shall install or permit or require the installation of an electrical installation, other than in accordance with a safety standard incorporated into these regulations under section 36 of the Act: Provided that items of an electrical installation not covered by such safety standard and the conductors between the point of supply and the point of control shall be installed in accordance with the by-laws or regulations of the supplier concerned.
    (2) Except in the case of electrical installations supplied by a single phase electricity supply at the point of supply, an accredited person shall exercise general control over all electrical installation work being carried out and no person shall allow such work without such control.
    The amendment of the EIR's in 2009 saw the end of the single phase exception, and with it the end of the DIY homeowner doing their own electrical installation work without the general control of accredited person.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Never ever did it give permission to a DIY homeowner to do their own electrical work. What it did give permission to was that an electrical contractor (ambagsman) could do electrical work without the general control of a registered person. Much like it is with an electrical installation electrician in a hazardous location.

    The homeowner, king/queen of his or her own castle is still that. Nobody is stopping you from doing DIY, you will just have to pay up to have everything properly done in accordance to the regulations i.e. where an new installations have been done, bribe the registered person to certify the DIY work. Construction, design, material procurement and test + inspection. For him to sign on all 4 and take responsibility for your work.

    This has always been like this. Never where a DIY homeowner allowed to do his own installations. Imagine someone without the knowledge of regulations doing an installation. Then they didn't even have youtube to show you excatly how to do it step by step.

    I do agree with you that in the past it was alot more difficult working around regulations and the boundries having become confusing, but do understand we live in complicated times. I do believe even in law it is not as easy as it was in the past. Modern society and technololy have brough many complications.

    New regulations are being implemented for solar installations. New form of technology where glass touch light switches working on 12v DC controles a home automation relay controller, also new regulations being implemented.

    The trade preperation and trade test still works with time switches, relays and timed controllers, forward/reverse. This also being changed to be basic electrical installations 1phase & 3phase and the PLC controlers with V-drives.

    This will probably not happen soon, but yes the industry is falling behind and needs to catch up. The challenge of a modern society, not to fall behind.

    "I used to have a lot of anger issues, now I just have a passion for justice"

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    Dave if I may suggest something. You as the homeowner / user / lessor take responsibility for the electrical installation of your property or of that where you are renting if so agreed upon in writing with owner.

    So in other words, if you so wish to DIY then by all means do so. At the end of the day it is you that is taking responsibility and no one else. If you are sure your work is safe and won't cause damage to your property or shock or kill someone or yourself when using the installation then I cannot see how it would be a problem. Just remove what you have done when selling the property or changing ownership so as to avoid paying alot to have everything certified.

    Just make sure you have suffecient knowledge on how to DIY and what the requirements of the relevant regulations.

    "I used to have a lot of anger issues, now I just have a passion for justice"

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    When considering the implications of the regs change in 2009, my thinking was more along the lines of repairs (maintenance), which is included in the definition of "installation work". The area of additions and alterations has been out of the DIY* ambit since the introduction of national electrical installation regulations in 1992.

    *And outside of the ambit of the handyman too, theoretically.

    Quote Originally Posted by DieterT View Post
    So in other words, if you so wish to DIY then by all means do so. At the end of the day it is you that is taking responsibility and no one else. If you are sure your work is safe and won't cause damage to your property or shock or kill someone or yourself when using the installation then I cannot see how it would be a problem.
    Apart from it being illegal
    I have to say I'd stop well short of giving that kind of advice to homeowners, users and lessors.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Apart from it being illegal
    I am then glad to see you know it to be illegal, but surely you are the king of your castle

    I have to say I'd stop well short of giving that kind of advice to homeowners, users and lessors
    Hence the advice I have given :

    if you so wish to DIY then by all means do so. At the end of the day it is you that is taking responsibility and no one else
    Try to emphasize that fact that you are the person responsible. Had a conversation with a good friend and client today. He is a qualified plumber and does renovations. Specializes in water proofing / painting and then also does sub-contracting, hence being my client. He phoned to ask if he could plug his generator in through a wall socket as he heard this from one of his friends on a boating trip. He decided to phone me and ask for advise and what the implications will be in doing this. As a good little electrician I told him the ins and outs as per regulation requirement and also the reason for this requirements (as not everyone listens to rules...) he then decided as he has to little kids and a wife and a maid and a rental apartment attached to his property that it be better to do it right.

    I will never force or convince a client to do anything. I will always just make sure they understand the implications of what they are about to do and let them make the choice as the responsible. I will also never do anything for a client that in accordance to my knowledge of the regulatory requirements will be seen as illegal and unsafe. That is maybe where I loose alot of work, but hey different folks different strokes.

    I cannot see how it would be a problem
    Personally and not according to regulatory requirements. And this saying if the regulations have been followed and the installation is safe, I am happy.

    Just remove what you have done when selling the property or changing ownership so as to avoid paying alot to have everything certified
    This is probably a more obvious point of view. I mean you really only have one of these to choices when having done the installation yourself if you aren't a registered person right?

    Just make sure you have sufficient knowledge on how to DIY and what the requirements of the relevant regulations
    Sufficient knowledge on how to do it yourself and what the requirements of the relevant regulations are can only be approved by the chief inspector. This is not something you can decide for yourself.
    Therefor just make sure you have sufficient knowledge. Hence the reason one is required to complete the requirements as set out in the OHSA - Registration as registered (revised March 2014) person in order to be deemed a person of sufficient knowledge of relevant regulations

    So please do excuse the sarcasm of my previous post

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