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Thread: electrical standards

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    electrical standards

    everyday i read of some new regulation which has just been released...improved electrical standards...how difficult it is to become a certified electrician...installation tester...master electrican...etc...told how i am responsible for every site i walk onto because i am a master electrician i should know better...if i install a new plug point i now become responsible for the entire circuit blah blah blah...i have never to date ever heard of a procecution...go figue.

    everyday i hear customers complaining about the shocking workmanship out there... yet they accept the chepast quote or they use the builders electrician who disappears with the builder near the end of the project...sometimes even as soon as the first draw.

    i dont see anyone putting their foot down and saying enough is enough...that is why these contractors are getting away with it and will keep getting away with it until people start putting their foot down and saying enough.

    a few things to remember when you need to contacts someone to complain :
    1 the ECB is the electrical contracting "board" litterally.. it is a merely a piece of paper with a number of names on it you cannot complain or report anyone to the board.
    2 the ECA the electrical contractors association is merly an association to protect the "electrical contractor" not the customer...if you contact them they will tell you to ask the contractor nicely to fix his problem...if he doesnt they will ask him nicely...and if he still doesnt them you are pretty much up a creak without a paddle because then you need get the people who are responsible for policing the contractors.

    the department of labour...well the only part they are missing is the labour part...they will tell you they dont have the manpower to assist you with your problem unless of course someone died then best every one beware they might scrape up some staff bless you with their presence and do an investigation.

    well at least the insurance companies havent caught on to what is happening with the COC and unskilled proffessionals yet... so if your house/factory/building burns down they will pay out for a new one...till they get wise like with your motor vehicle... if your tyres are smooth and you have an accident they dont pay out for the claim.

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    i have been reading articles posted by electrical contractors about how your insurance will not pay out if you dont have a COC for additions and alterations...well i am yet to hear of a procecution never mind an insurance claim which was not paid out...it sounds like sales pitch to me what a load of hog wash...well i suppose the public are so naive to how electrical contractors are shafting them with these COCs sometimes conning them into having to virtually rewiring their houses at a price...well a little tech talk a few big words and you can make a killing.
    Last edited by murdock; 04-Jan-08 at 05:25 PM.

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    I think insurance companies are asking for an electrical COC. The question, I'd guess, is that it can be tough to assess that it actually covers the entire installation, or any changes... Present a COC, any kind of COC, and perhaps that's about as close as the issue is examined.

    Another factor is that if the insurance company repudiated a total loss claim and there was a big bond involved, I could see some rather unhappy bankers upping the ante.

    We had one where an insurance company was reluctant to pay out on damages (mainly appliances) from a lightening strike where we had issued a COC some two years previously. The owner tried to hold us responsible. A meeting on site established that not only had there been substantial alterations to the electrical installation since our test - this was the second lightening strike claim in the year, and no less than 3 other electricians had done work on the site since our last call.

    However, we were the last to issue any kind of COC on the property.... So the owner had a go. Tried to blame us for the fact that insurance wasn't paying out.

    It took some digging to get to the bottom of that lot, I'll tell you. Because folks were only "remembering" what was convenient - until we started asking some questions...
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    so the way i do my COC when i do them is the correct way...plenty of pics...all readings are logged on my fluke 1653 saved to the pc and printed for record...back to what we discussed previously about people quick to point fingers at the person who signed over the COC and not so quick to charge the people responsible for bad workmanship and not actually issuing COCs...i dont understand how you could be held acountable for a lightning strike?

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by murdock View Post
    i dont understand how you could be held acountable for a lightning strike?
    Well, maybe not the lightning strike itself, but the damage it did

    What happened was the guy coming in after the strike recommended installing surge arrestors. From there it was a short leap in the mind of the owner that we should have insisted on surge arrestors being installed when we did the installation test two years previously.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    typical people always have to blame somene for their misfortune...why didnt "they" ask you to fit it while you were working there...i was speaking to an insurance company about this issue a couple weeks ago...to reduce or remove the excess on lightning damage claims if people take steps to protect themself against lightning damage ie: fit surge arrestors in the DB...at socket outlets... telephone points...etc.

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by murdock View Post
    i was speaking to an insurance company about this issue a couple weeks ago...to reduce or remove the excess on lightning damage claims if people take steps to protect themself against lightning damage
    Wow! That's a really good idea. Something like the incentives for having immobilisers and tracking devices installed in motor vehicles.

    Any signs that they liked the idea?
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    i will be following up on the idea in the new year... i have been so busy over december i finally stopped work on the 29/12/2007 and been cleaning out my workshop and office since then...gearing up for the new year which will start on monday...i have a whole lot of new ideas for 2008 i need to start making all the equipment i have invested in start earning its keep (fluke 435 power quality analyser...metrel mi2192 PQA...fluke 1653 multi function tester...fluke 289 and 189 dmm...ti20thermal imager)...all have recording facilities and calibration certificates...only problem i have is staff.

    i employed an electrician 2 months he worked here for 3 weeks and resigned...said i am way too fussy...the one before him wired up a factory put all the pipes in thought his job was a master piece it took me 15 minutes to pull all the piping off the wall...saddles were too far apart saging and not level...some of the couplings were not glued and the anchors were not adaquately tight... as i pulled the piping so the saddles with the anchor came out the wall...just not good enough.

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    Silver Member Graeme's Avatar
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    Testing Electrical Wiring

    I have been following the problems of certifying electrical wiring in premises, noting the way in which some property owners alter circuits and then try to blame the issuer of the clearance certificate if anything goes wrong.

    Before going any further let me make it plain that I know very little about electricity, but at the time of rendering the clearance certificate, is it not possible to measure the combined resistance (impedance) of the existing wiring network? All manner of instruments are now available which are self calibrating and marvellously accurate and give digital readings which may easily be copied down on paper. If the total resistance is measured and recorded on the clearance certificate, then any subsequent change to the wiring would produce a resistance figure different to that recorded on the clearance certificate and provide perfect proof that the circuitry has been interfered with. Game, set and match?

    Duncan, Dave, Murdock, would this be workable?

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Graeme, are yu talking about the effective resistance under load? If so, simply changing a lightbulb from 60W incandescant to a compact fluorescent would change the reading.

    If we are talking about something like the insulation resistance, that reading can be significantly affected by atmospheric conditions, particularly humidity.

    The only solutions really are in detailed documentation, number of points of all types, details of the circuit breakers, and photographs - lots of photographs. I think murdock's idea of printing out the critical readings taken and making that part of your filed documentation is also pretty sharp.

    The real challenge here is that when an "accusation" is made, the basis of attack is that the problem "must have been there" at the time of the issue of the COC. And all the pressure is on the issuer to prove, not only that the problem wasn't there at the time he issued the COC, but also how the situation changed.

    In terms of SA law (innocent until proven guilty), it is up to the accuser to prove that the problem existed at the time the COC was issued. It simply isn't good enough that this proof is "becuase it is like this now, it was definitely like this then." Further, folks who say "nothing has been done since" when in fact they know that something has been done are guilty of fraud!

    But things simply aren't happening that way.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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