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Thread: May plumbers change a geyser element?

  1. #11
    Diamond Member AndyD's Avatar
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    I wouldn't see bonding as part of the issue because it's connected to the surrounding pipes and wouldn't be disturbed usually.

    Quote Originally Posted by Leecatt View Post
    I agree exactly with this statement that a electrician must disconnect and reconnect the electrical connections on the geyser......
    Many geyser elements don't actually have any wiring as such, the thermostat is wired and it pushes into the element with spade terminals basically like a plug and socket. Are you saying a plumber shouldn't be able to pull out the thermostat to allow the element to be replaced?

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    What about an interior designer who wants to install different coloured steel fascia plates on the switches or sockets in a room? The fascias are electrically speaking a part of the circuit because they're connected to the CPC via the chassis of the switch. Would they need to call an electrician?
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  2. #12
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    Good day Andy

    Bonding would be an issue as this a crucial part of an electrical installation and is required to be done properly. Most plumbers don't even bother with bonding especially when they replace geysers. So yes usually it is disturbed. Not saying you are like most plumbers, but that is the norm in the industry as I have noticed.

    Ps : Earth bonding also refered to as electrically continious means that the earth bonding be done properly with an earth strap between the hot water pipe and the cold water pipe connected to the earthing terminal of the geyser with the incomming supply earth with a lug. Just for incase you where wondering.

    In regards to your push in spade elements, if that is the case and no electrical connection are disconnected and reconnected then I do not forsee any problems in regards to that. If you would like to put your worries at rest then I can supply you with the AIA for Gauteng's number and you can give him a call to get clarity on what you are allowed to do as a plumber and what not.

    As for changing the steel plates to a different colour on the switches I a pretty sure the interior designer would not have to call an electrician to do so as this would not change the characteristics of the circuit and I am pretty sure that no electrical connection will be disconnected and reconnected in the process.

    I hope that this gives you clarity on all your questions, but again should you feel you need more clearer answers from someone that might be concidered as a more releable source I suggest getting in contact with the AIA. After all he is the person who would be your prosecutor in court, who better to advise you.

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

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    Hi Dieter, would that AIA be Mark Palmer by any chance?
    Andy, in most cases the wires connected to the element are short and do not allow for the complete withdrawal of the thermostat without being disconnected from the thermostat. There are also other types which are not push in which require a while different approach. Then there is also the question of the cover which in many cases never gets replaced by the plumber leaving the wires exposed.

  4. #14
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    Hi Leecatt

    The AIA is Nico van den Berg. I think Mark Palmer lost his AIA registration about 5years ago if I remember correctly.

    Ow yes, lets not forget the covers that is MIA at almost every installation. Sometimes, just rarely, sometimes the cover is laying in another part of the ceiling... I wonder what these guys do in the ceiling, probably smoke weed or inhaling to much of the solder fumes...
    At a few installations I had to go and buy a cover in order to complete my CoC. Such unnecessary difficulties.

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    Complicating things again. My question would be simple, if a plumber cannot replace a geyser element, then how can an aircon tech work on an aircon electrics (230v), gate installer work on the electrics of a gate motor (230 v) or a door technician work on a 230 v door motor, machine tech a machine, the list is so long we will just leave it at...etc etc etc.

    Personally i dont do geyser unless they are the pull out ceramic type were no plumbing is involved. I call the plumber and they do the works. If there is an issue with the wiring or the terminals are damaged or the wire breaks because it is brittle, then they call me and i fix the electrical parts.

    There is generally a geyser isolator right next to the geyser and an isolator next to the stove which breaks both live and neutral so that the "stove technician or appliance repair man" who is normally not an electrician can replace the stove element or the plumber can replace the geyser element. OR the lockable isolator located in the DB which 99 % of electricians dont carry the locks to isolate CB so that whole reg just makes no sense, because i know someone is going to say but the plumber doesnt carry a lockout system, well nor do electricians. A bit of insulation tape works great for locking out circuit breakers. Unless of course we are talking factory environments but i am assuming we are talking a domestic geyser replacement in this thread.

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    Good day Ians

    I on the other hand think the answer is quite simple. All of those technicians can do all of that work if authorized by a registered electrician practicing general control.
    You see the problem with this industry is that a lot of things got left unnoticed and unregulated. Now years later everyone assumes that this is the case, that a plumber may change the element or thermostat and does not require an registered person, same for stoves, same for gate/garage motors etc etc etc

    Something interesting mentioned to me by the AIA is that our industry does not have regulations for DYI, no where in the OHSA does it mention DYI.
    Funny thing is that most 1st world countries has DYI regulations. See : http://www.ewrb.govt.nz/for-consumer...trical-worker/

    The isolator on a aircon/geyser/stove/gate/garage motor was never intended for the layman. It has always been a form of safely cutting out the supply for the registered person or the person whom the registered person has authorized to disconnect and reconnect or do electrical maintenance on the appliance whilst practicing general control.

    You see with larger companies where there are more than 20 employees you have a appointed health and safety officer and I think 100 and more employees a health and safety committee with meetings every now and then + readily available health and safety file etc. Plus they are more regulated in the sense of NOSA knocking on your door doing a health and safety inspection red or yellow card your company which in turn forces you to comply.

    My one client is super NOSA over-regulated. Each DB room is locked with keys available at the facilities manager's office signed out and at each panel is a lockout key box with each lockout key having its own key and lock. Plus then a roster that needs to be filled in when lockout commenced and lockout ended with reason for lockout signed by registered person and facilities manager. Overkill you think?! lol that is only the start of it, wait until working at heights and in hazardous locations. Hour job turns into a full day job.

    What does one do in a country where people cannot think for themselves? you over regulate them. Unfortunately in South Africa we don't have the money to over regulated, but we have a country full of people who cannot think for themselves. Imagine a DIY regulation to be implemented in this country... and then our president would just say
    Residential will always be as it is, self regulated. This not being the reason of carelessness, just why would health and safety bother their valuable resources on a home owner which in anyways has little or no money and does not required a health and safety committee? + should his house burn down or someone die, it will never reach the news paper as what would happen if a factory burns down or a group of people dies (that is seen as bad for economy and investors)

    That is why the nice little clause exists of user / owner or lessor/lessee being the person responsible thus not the sparky, nor the plumber, nor the gate technician. It is the responsibility of such person to make sure the person he issues to do the work is qualified to do given work.

  7. #17
    Diamond Member AndyD's Avatar
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    A couple of points that spring to mind immediately.

    I think sloppy workmanship will always be what it is and it will always be an issue across all trades. I don't think there's a valid case to tar any trade as being worse than any other and I don't think it's a valid argument on its own to exclude plumbers as a trade from undertaking work of a certain scope. There's plenty of sparkies around that can't be bothered to replace covers and lids if they think nobody will notice.

    Regarding equipotential bonding, the regs specifically provide for an earth bar in an accessible place for use by other trades therefore basically inviting electrically unskilled people to connect and install equipotential bonding on anything they please and whenever the mood may take them (and also remove and disconnect as well).

    This extraneous earth bar does also raise the possibility that a geyser could in theory have its bonding connected to somewhere other than the cpc of its supply final circuit. There may not actually be a wire directly for the cylinder itself to the surrounding pipework, the extension of the equipotential zone to the surrounding pipework may be from the DB.

    I'll get back to this thread when I have more time, I've got 3 customers with blocked toilets and one with a leaking drain all screaming for attention
    Last edited by AndyD; 09-Apr-15 at 10:19 PM.
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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndyD View Post
    What about an interior designer who wants to install different coloured steel fascia plates on the switches or sockets in a room? The fascias are electrically speaking a part of the circuit because they're connected to the CPC via the chassis of the switch. Would they need to call an electrician?
    I suggest absolutely, yes - especially if the existing fascia plates and screws being replaced are plastic.

    The continuity and resistance of the exposed metal components to the main earthing point would definitely need to be properly tested.

  9. #19
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    I suggest the plastic fascia plates would create the external part of the switch or plug to become non conductive.

    The internal part of the socket or switch have an earth terminal on the cradle which the fascia plates gets fastenend too. Should the cradle be disconnected or changed then I could see how your suggestion could be of relevance.

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

  10. #20
    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DieterT View Post
    I suggest the plastic fascia plates would create the external part of the switch or plug to become non conductive.
    Exactly. And quite a popular method of solving exposed metal part earthing challenges at light switches (in particular) when doing CoCs, I believe.

    You'd be shocked at how often there isn't an earth at a light switch.

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