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Thread: May plumbers change a geyser element?

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave A View Post
    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.
    Dave you hit the nail on the head with that one.
    This is what I got taught from apprentice days. Earth continuity fail at the light switch or plug point, change it to pvc...
    and then they found out that you actually have to insert the earth pin into the socket outlet and have to make sure the light fittings also comply with continuity as per table 8.1
    I wonder who does this out of all of us registered electricians

    8.7.3 Resistance of earth continuity conductor
    Use a resistance meter to measure the resistance of the earth
    continuity conductors between the consumer's earth terminal and the
    earthing terminals of all points of consumption and switches. The
    values shall not exceed those given in table 8.1.
    All socket-outlets shall be tested by inserting a plug and including
    the resistance of the earth pin in the measurements.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave A View Post
    You'd be shocked at how often there isn't an earth at a light switch
    This was a big headache when I had to take over a site from another electrician back in the day working for another company (before being registered)
    The light switches only had a live in and live out. They where spec'd for Clipsal S2000, then the client decided to have Clipsal S3000 installed. You know with the locators, separate leds...jeeez that was crazy as every light switch in his glory mansion in Southdowns had no earth or neutral. We then pulled in an earth for each switch as the person doing the CoC at that time said every light switch required an earth (galvanized wallbox) and we then connected the locators between live and earth (which caused them to flicker slower than when they are connected between live and neutral...)

    Ow and good practice and also a requirement. Even thou the switch or socket is PVC, if the wallbox in the back is galvanized, stainless or any form of conductive material, earth it. I would even provide an earth if it is a PVC wallbox just because of the fact that they can install (Crabtree) steel switches or sockets in the future. As the inspector would say, rather put an extra earth for extra safety than not putting at all, who would prosecute you for adding more.

  2. #22
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    I am a plumber and sometimes I do change elements... But I feel it should be done by an electrician....WHY?.... a while back I was called out because the breaker kept on tripping indicating a burned element( according to electrician)... As a rule I change both because we had several instances that the element was replaced and a week or so later the thermostat also burns... After replacing the element and thermostat breaker was switched on and it tripped after a couple of times the owner called the electrician after testing it was found that it was the breaker that was faulty not the element..... so the owner spent money that was not needed...

  3. #23
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    I agree the element and thermostat must be changed at the same time. Back in the day when there was money in the budget to pay an electrician a call out fee to disconnect the geyser, then call the plumber to replace the element, then pay another callout fee to get the electrician to reconnect the element are long gone. I haven't done this in 15 years.

    It is very very seldom the breaker is faulty. You as the plumber working on the geyser should have a very basic understanding of electricity and how to test the power to identify it is off.

    It should be law that every single geyser should have a double pole isolator within arms reach of the geyser, the rule that a lockable isolator can be installed in another location should be scrapped, its dangerous.

    The bonding should not be done within in a meter of the geyser. the reason I say this, because it is dangerous, why because every installation I have been to where the geyser has been replaced, the bonding has not been replaced. Geysers are no longer replaced every 25 years, its more like every 5 - 10 years if you get lucky. It would be safer if the bonding was done a little further away, so that when the geyser is replaced by the insurance companies (who use the absolute cheapest crappest subbies) the bond is not removed.

    We dont do geyser elements, I tell the customer to call the plumber directly. I am yet to have the plumber call me due to a fault on a circuit breaker, your incident is the first I have heard of in 15 years.

    In fact at the rate geysers are replaced, there should be a new regulations which requires a non standard specially designed socket outlet, like the old stove socket, that must be screwed in to place to secure it.

    Geyser manufacturers must supply the geyser with a plug top attached with a 2 or 3 m cord.



    Quote Originally Posted by JanC View Post
    I am a plumber and sometimes I do change elements... But I feel it should be done by an electrician....WHY?.... a while back I was called out because the breaker kept on tripping indicating a burned element( according to electrician)... As a rule I change both because we had several instances that the element was replaced and a week or so later the thermostat also burns... After replacing the element and thermostat breaker was switched on and it tripped after a couple of times the owner called the electrician after testing it was found that it was the breaker that was faulty not the element..... so the owner spent money that was not needed...
    Comments are my opinion, unless regulations are attached to support the comment. This is social media, not a court room.

  4. #24
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    Since I am a construction plumber working mostly on Installations in new buildings, I can say that the law have already been changed that the Isolator switch should be within reach.... All the Geysers I Install the bonding strap is installed between the two vacuum breakers and the earth as well to a second earth, For that reason the bonding must be removed to replace the geyser the isolator is also put right above the element side of the geyser if installed outside its against the wall(I usually install the isolator switch and the electrician connects it ... The "Who must replace a element" will always be a grey area because 1.My understanding if there is a disconnection and re connection that is classified as an alteration, 2.The standards say that a electrician must replace a plug outlet or socket so why does it not also goes for an element..... SANS standards it seems is one big grey area...

  5. #25
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    There is no grey area, it is simple the electrician must isolate the power and disconnect the wiring and make it safe, the plumber must replace the element and thermostat, then the electrician must reconnect and test.

    However the reality is that the budget doesn't allow for an electrician and a plumber to sit on site for 3-4 to hours while the water drains and fills up. Nobody really gives a shyte anymore, so now the plumber does the whole job, saving everyone time and money, until someone is killed, then every law related person will suddenly appear out of the wood work and there will be a big whoh whoha for a day or 2 then back to the plumber doing it again
    Comments are my opinion, unless regulations are attached to support the comment. This is social media, not a court room.

  6. #26
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    Iíve had the same experience with plumbers handling the whole job. My plumber did everything from draining the tank to swapping out the element and thermostat because itís quicker and more affordable. I made sure he knew to turn off the power first, though. Itís a bit of a gray area, but as long as you trust your plumber and check safety measures, it usually works out fine.

  7. #27
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    Hey Frank,
    Iíve had similar issues before where plumbers take on electrical jobs like changing a geyser element. From my experience, thereís no strict SABS regulation that says only electricians can handle these components. However, itís always best to have a qualified electrician double-check things, especially since itís electrical work. Iíve seen too many cases where things went wrong because it wasnít done properly.

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