As I am sure many of you have figued out ... I have been working hands on in this industry for a long time ... from as far back to when we still used a hickey to bend pipes and thread the ends ... I have watched this industry deteriorate into what it has become ... many people will blame something ... just for the record ... I learnt a lot of what I know today from labourers who were in the industry for a long time ... that is a topic for another day.

However compared to the time it took to rewire a house back in the day ... like 6 appies a couple days ... to the time it takes now to slap twin +E on the wall .. .throw the wires across the roof and connect.

My concern is the products being sold in SA today ... the illegal rubbish being sold through legit wholesalers ... the lack of control and the damage it is doing in the industry.

Time is money ... so they say ... yet contractors are happy to save a few bucks to loose hundreds of hours in wasted time.

For example surfix ... something I have used a lot of in my time as an electrician ... you get the real stuff ... you score with a blade twist once and pull ... it slides off ... then you get the rubbish ... you score with the blade ... you twist and twist and twist ... until eventually it either breaks or creates a really weak point ... if it doesnt break it looses its current rating ... generally speaking the chances that it will ever be loaded more the 30 % ... is unlikely ... so it is not a big deal ... otherwise we would have seen a lot more fires.

Armoured cable is another example ... you can waste a lot of time trying to strip and fit a gland if you use cheap crap ... the cable is difficult to strip ... which can turn a 45 minute job into an hour plus job ... no big deal if you only have one cable ... but in many of my installations I could have as many as 50 plus ranging from 1.5 mm - 185 mm ... it starts getting expensive ... one of the reasons I now check the material being delivered ... if I battle to strip a piece of cable or the gland does fit properly ... it gets sent back.

Even twin+E ... the branded products strip a lot easier ... if you are wiring up a commercial DB with 100 plus circuits ... it money down the drain.

Then we move onto pvc sprag ... you get crap which collapses when you glue or bend it ... then you get a better quality.

PVC couplings adaptors ... boxes etc are even becoming a problem ... the other day I have to my asssitant to sit with a blade and clean up the excess plastic around the gland.

Even insulation tape ... you get rubbish plastic tape ... or you a better products like nitto and then the real thing 3M

Even the so called copper wire ... is either tinned copper or not the right gauge ( a little thinner) ... I use a lighter to test the wires ... if it melts ... its tinned ... if it glows red its solid.

Plug tops ... with hollow pins rated at 3 amps instead of 15 amps like in the old days.

It has become so easy to do an electrical installation ... if you find a supplier who knows which products to deliver ... they learn quickly when you keep returning stuff.

By the way I have been using the PVC glue the wholesaler supply for as long as I can remember ... last week I had to replace a pool pump and all the piping ... I have always known tangit to be a good PVC glue ... good for pipes installed in a deck or under ground ... if you dont want water in the pipe after a week ... the catch is it has a longish curing time ... I found a decent PVC glue with a quick curing time which is strong "oatey" ... if you dont want to find your pipes full of water after the first rain ... this stuff is a little expensive (around R80 a tin) but works well.

Generally companies drop off teams ... so the material quality doesnt really matter ... but if you are like me and still on the tools ... I am sure you will agree.