Opinions and advice please on the electrician I used work

Discussion in 'Electrics UK' started by Nex, 16 Jul 2011.

  1. Nex

    Nex

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    Hi

    Well after going the usual route of asking around for one people can recommend I did manage to find one but it seems he cant be bothered to get back to me with a quote so that's his loss.

    So now im having to venture into the unknown and put my trust in someone I know nothing about.

    What sort of things should I be asking when I speak to them for a quote in terms of qualifications and certificates.

    I found a website that lists lots of local electricians around me quoting things like napit, niceic and elecsa which im guessing means there approved but which one of those is best?

    Thanks in advance
     
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  3. sparkticus

    sparkticus

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    Assuming this is a domestic dwelling? Your house?

    If so then first: www.competentperson.co.uk

    Enter your postcode. Get at least two quotes if possible three. Do not just rely on the registration. Ask for at least two references and speak to the references.

    There is no best in regard to the registration scheme. NICEIC, ELECSA, NAPIT etc.
     
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  4. Nex

    Nex

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    Thanks for the reply.

    Yes sorry I should of said its are house.

    Need a new consumer unit and electric going to our new garage.

    That is the website I was looking on actually and as you say always best to get a few quotes.

    Thanks for the tips I shall make some calls and hopefully get this sorted.
     
  5. sparkticus

    sparkticus

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    Good, I would encourage you to have an inspection of your electrical wiring done first before the consumer unit is changed. This is called a Periodic Inspection report (PIR) In fact any responsible, professional electrician will insist upon it before fitting a new consumer unit. This will highlight any potential issues such as nuisance RCD tripping and any lack of earthing compliances such as missing main earth conductors to water, gas/oil services etc. Also expect an electrical certificate on completion and a building control compliance document sent to you within about 4 weeks after completion.
     
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  6. Nex

    Nex

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    A PIR sounds like a very good idea.

    The electrician that came round but never bothered to quote us recons are consumer unit is at least 40 years old and I can only assume the wiring is around the same age despite the previous home owners saying it was rewired just before we moved in about 26 years ago although they did anything they could as cheap as possible.

    From what he found he said the earthing on the consumer unit is not up to current spec and will require replacing, the gas does not seem to be earthed at all and I did eventually find some earthing on the mains water although no doubt again this will not be up to current spec.

    Looking at are current consumer unit we only seem to be using 2 trips. 1 for the lights and one for the sockets.

    From what he was saying the earthing is a big issue and he wont touch the consumer unit until that is sorted although our biggest problem is that the mains, gas and water are in 3 different corners of the house.

    It all seems to be a bit a mess and I think its going to be pretty expensive to sort out which makes me wonder if that's why the electrician never bothered to get back to me.
     
  7. sparkticus

    sparkticus

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    He is probably referring to the main earth conductor from your incoming electrical service OR from a local earth rod to the consumer unit.
    Do you know if you have an earth rod or whether the earthing arrangement is supplied by your main incoming cable?

    Yes not uncommon but equally not a good situation.


    Well, that sounds like a lot of work but it is only two (or one depending upon routing) 10mm earth cable that needs to interconnect them. The cable can be run internally under floors/above ceilings or externally with adequate protection.


    It does not need to be that expensive. Best to get a few quotes.
     
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  8. Nex

    Nex

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    I do believe it is from the incoming cable as I cannot find an earth rod.

    And yes it is a lot of work as there's no easy way to wire it internally and hiding the cable but I have a few ideas.

    If the earthing on the water is adequate then that would be a big help.

    I just cant help but think there's going to be a few problems along the way and the PIR report is going to throw a big spanner into the works.
     
  9. PrenticeBoyofDerry

    PrenticeBoyofDerry

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    If the earthing conductor is either connected to the sheath of your incoming supply or tapped in to the neutral again at the incoming supply. You have either TNS or TN-C-S earthing arrangement.
    If the earth conductor is not connected as above it could well be TT (earth electrode). Do you have an RCD on the fuse box/consumer unit, if so what does it say on it?

    By rule of thumb you would be looking at 10mm but calculations can be made.
    Quite possibly, A PIR on your house with fuse box of 40 yrs of age and wiring of 26 yrs. Are likely to throw up problems.
    It could be time to think of a total upgrade.
    If you are looking at additions or alterations to your circuits, the requirements may rule that you need additional protection via RCDs. These can be added external to the fuse box/CU but are quite costly and if your system is not as it should, could cause additional problems via nuisance trips.
    So you may need to think things over a little.
    It may be possible to have a distress change, but only if your fuse box/ consumer unit is unsafe to use, this would allow the use of RCDs to be waived, if RCDs are not already present.

    The type of things you should be asking your electrician is for evidence of there work and testimonies from previous customers, ideally they would be a member of a part p scheme (competent person) but just because they are not does not mean they are no good, but if they are members, they will have had their work assessed as well as their business.
     
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  11. Nex

    Nex

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    Hi thanks for the input.

    There is no RCD on the consumer unit.

    I guess ill have to see what the electricians say about the earthing.

    And yes I am expecting problems like everything else we have changed since the previous occupants have lived here nothing has been straightforward.

    Questions I forgot to ask are silly as it sounds are does a PIR cost and im assuming it does and my other one is perhaps a bit more tricky.

    I know plenty of people who are competent enough to change my consumer unit because they work in electronics and its the sort of things we do but there not a proper qualified electrician.

    If say they was to change my consumer unit for me how does that effect my insurance say if there was a fault and I dunno the house burnt down?

    I don't plan on using someone not qualified but the chap I was speaking to at work has changed a few for people but I was curious of the potential problems that may arise.
     
  12. sparkticus

    sparkticus

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    No please do not use these people. Of course they are intelligent and know about electronics but this is about knowing (intimately) the electrical regulations which is a minefield. they could change the consumer unit and it probably would be reasonably fine but they will not be able to complete an electrical certificate and then building control will not accept completion.

    There are good non registered electricians but in your position do not gamble.
     
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  13. Nex

    Nex

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    Thanks for that.

    It was the certificate bit that was bugging me as well as I wasn't sure and like you say better safe then sorry.

    I shall post back with some updates when ive had a few quotes.

    Thanks again for your help.
     
  14. Nex

    Nex

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    Ok apologies for the delay in getting back to you but we ended up getting a few quotes and did end up going with the cheapest which I may be starting to regret.

    So far he has only wired up the garage due to the fact the house wiring failed the megga test so we need a complete rewire.

    I was just after an opinion of his work as im not sure if what hes done is ok or if hes been cutting corners because its easier for him.

    What I will say though is that the garage is under warranty so you are not allowed to drill any holes in it otherwise it will invalidate it.

    I questioned why I needed such a big light switch and not a slimline one like I was expecting and he said that he has had issues in the past with the slimline ones being so cramped with all the wiring that whens he gone back round doing all his testing it has actually failed on that.

    Looking at the plug sockets it looks as if hes actually made a hole in the top of them to feed the cable through now in a garage where its damp and you get condensation surely this is not a good idea as there is nothing to stop it say dripping of the roof and getting inside and the same with the light switch I guess?

    And just in case anyone has a go at me and says im mad I haven't actually paid a penny as yet.

    Advice if required and opinions would be appreciated.

    Thanks in advance.



     
  15. ban-all-sheds

    ban-all-sheds

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    Words fail me.

    That's horrible.

    How are those bits of wood fixed to the walls if you're not allowed to drill into them?


    Every circuit had poor results?

    What were the readings?

    And does the work done in the garage look like it was done by somebody with the skills and attitude to quality that you would want in someone rewiring your house?


    All that says to be is that he's as clumsy as his work would lead you to believe. Of course architrave switches can be used successfully - why does he think they make them.


    Call a halt now and sack him.

    You'll have to pay something, but haggle and beat him down.

    He's a disgrace - you should also send photos to his scheme organiser.
     
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  16. Nex

    Nex

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    Thanks for the reply

    Apologies im struggling with the quote system so ill reply as best I can.

    The sides of the garage are made out of concrete blocks that are bolted together so you can just undo a bolt and then put a metal bracket on and replace the bolt.

    We only have 2 circuits in the house 1 for the lights and 1 for the sockets and to the best of my knowledge he tested both in front of me.

    Your have to forgive me with my ohms as im not sure which is which but he said it should read around 300 on his test but we was actually only achieving around 200 and it struggled to reach that as he had to hold the button down for a long time.

    I did think that with the light switch myself hence why I questioned it but what about going into the top of the switch and the plug sockets with the cabling is that advisable in a garage?

    I don't see why I will have to pay him anything as there wasn't a contract in place and if it gets ugly ill just strip it all out myself shove it in a box and dump it on his doorstep and start from scratch.

    And yes looking at this I am seriously questioning his work hence posting on here for advise as I didn't think all was well and that's why im asking now before he pulls the house apart!!
     
  17. flameport

    flameport

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    If that was an insulation test, then 200 is fine.
    Would only be a concern if the readings were below 10, and even then, that could still be satisfactory (although further investigations would normally be be made if the readings were that low).

    The fact that the test button had to be held down for a long time is of no consequence at all - it just means the cables are reasonably long. It's actually what you would expect to happen with cables in good condition, and certainly not an unusual event.
     
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