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Guru
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Help Needed

11/06/2013 9:21 PM

Here in the UK we're having major problems with the domestic electrical trade. The gas industry has one governing body to cover domestic work.

Electrical? There's half a dozen representative bodies. Each vying for business and each accepting lower and lower standards to bolster their business.

A resent parliamentary committee deemed the various scheme operators as "unfit for purpose" but have given no viable option.

What I'm asking is could you help me by sending the inspection standards for your locality.

We've got to do something to improve our standards. The more information the better.

To be honest, I don't know how I've got myself involved with this. I retired as an industrial engineer four years ago, I've never had anything to do with domestic installations. But it seems it's fallen on me to try to sort something out.

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#1

Re: Help needed:

11/06/2013 10:55 PM

On our side of the pond, the NFPA owns the publishing rights to the National Electrical Code (NEC). This document generally serves as the default standard for electrical work in the US. NFPA issues this document as "recommendations" which the local code officials will incorporate as "code" or law for the jurisdiction. Generally local building departments of the towns will require any significant work to be performed under a permit application, which requires a fee paid to the city, and an inspection to confirm the work is performed correctly.

I by no means will state our system is fool-proof (better and faster fools show up all the time), but generally most areas will have reasonably safe domestic wiring system. Obviously where codes are not used or enforced, the quality of workmanship will vary a lot!

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Guru
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#2

Re: Help needed:

11/07/2013 1:50 AM

Do you mean the inspection organisations? Belgium has bureaux e.g. Verbruggen, Vincotte, SGS e.g. They inspect the work of the electrical contractors before commissioning.

Or do you mean the 20 different power suppliers, that work over your one and only grid at competitive prices?

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#3

Re: Help needed:

11/07/2013 2:45 AM

This problem should be tackled at various levels. First wireman to be certified.Secondly Inspectors/Engineers who test & approve should be honest,otherwise punished for approving low quality work. Finally authorities should check randomly certified work by Inspectors & Engineers and if fire or accidents happen the wireman as well as Inspector/Engineer should be called to give evidence.

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#4

Re: Help needed:

11/07/2013 3:12 AM

Read up on self-certification under British Standard 7671 and Part P of the Building Regulations, which in particular applies to domestic stuff, and NICEIC. There's a raft of this stuff on the world-wide-wait.

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#6
In reply to #4

Re: Help needed:

11/07/2013 9:09 AM

Of all people you should know part P of the building regulations is one of the reasons standards have fallen.

It due to part P the various registration schemes have the power they have.

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#7
In reply to #6

Re: Help needed:

11/07/2013 9:21 AM

Please explain.

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#11
In reply to #6

Re: Help needed:

11/08/2013 4:28 AM

But it's the British Standard 7671, you'll ultimately by judged by in a court of law, if you're shoddy workmanship brings about legal action.

These standards have been fine tuned over the years, with the implementation of new edition and ammendments, to adapt to technical advancements and other unforseen oversights.

So regardless of what registration scheme you're affiliated with, you will be judged by British Standard 7671.

Can you give examples of these falling standards and, who's bringing the to light?

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#14
In reply to #11

Re: Help needed:

11/08/2013 5:27 AM

Exactly. It isn't the standards in themselves that are the problem, it's the application of those standards to everyday installations.

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#5

Re: Help needed:

11/07/2013 8:37 AM

The National Fire Protection Agency(NFPA) is a world wide organization. They have complied standards for the electrical trades. National Electric Code(NEC).

I would start there and contact them.

Then address it with your municipality. It will be up to them to enact the code and set up a means to ensure it's followed.

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#8

Re: Help Needed

11/07/2013 12:06 PM

It sounds like your problem is not in the specific code chosen. It sounds like your problem is in there being multiple authorities claiming jurisdiction over the electrical trade. Comparing other national code standards will not help, it will only compound your problem.

Maybe you could elaborate on how this failing "various scheme operators" and "half a dozen representative bodies" attempts to work. This will help us to answer your question how our oversight bodies integrate.

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#9

Re: Help Needed

11/07/2013 1:32 PM

Tony... are you looking for...

Comments on minimum training and certification that someone must have in order to be considered as a certified "electrician", or

Comments on minimum standards for training inspectors must have, or

Comments on inspection practices, or

The national codes in place?

Not sure what you are looking for.

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#10
In reply to #9

Re: Help Needed

11/08/2013 12:15 AM

Irrespective of knowledge and experience bribery & corruption can ruin any profession including politics.

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#12
In reply to #10

Re: Help Needed

11/08/2013 5:14 AM

Since when is politics a profession?

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Guru

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#13
In reply to #12

Re: Help Needed

11/08/2013 5:25 AM

After WW2,when UN was formed & democracy started practiced by developing countries.

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#15
In reply to #13

Re: Help Needed

11/08/2013 5:30 AM

Really?

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Guru

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#16

Re: Help Needed

11/08/2013 5:47 AM

Here in India we Indian Electricity Act 2003. It is available on Google, Wikipedia. Must be based on British Standards.

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#17

Re: Help Needed

11/08/2013 1:29 PM

The government has the ultimate authority, Their power is in they can condem the house until it's fixed. The house gets inspected every time it's sold.

We always talk about the AHJ or the Authority Having Jusrisdiction, The power company has certain rules to follow and they make them regarding service to the premisis. They make and enforce them. Easy, If it's not followed, the electricity is turned off.

The permit process is the way of getting stuff done safely. Remodeling requires that one bring stuff up to code. I don;t have a GFCI in the bathroom, but I have two outside. No GFCI's in the kitchen, either. There is even a few two prong polarazied outlets still around.

In 50+ years, 3 prong outlets have been added.

The government determines what the requirements are. if it's an incorporated town then the town is responsible, otherwise its the county. If I wanted to turn off the water at the street, I am allowed as a homeowner to put a deposit on the tools and turn it off.

A city nearby has different rules. It was a licensed plumber could turn it on/off, but now only the city employee can turn it on/off, I think.

The government could decide that a homeowner cannot do any electrical work or they could decide that they could do any or some. Replacing a light fixture is not considered something that needs a permit.

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#18

Re: Help Needed

11/09/2013 4:48 AM

Not sure what you mean by "major problems". In any trade there are those who do not perform to the best standards, and others who do the very best work, whether or not they are qualified.

The 17th Edition of the electrical wiring regulations is the standard to which all electrical contractors should work.

I can see why some individuals do not keep up with the 3-yearly renewals - the book has not changed, the exam is open-book, so why spend a week's wage when work is not easy to find at the moment?

Companies usually demand that contractors are certified - and pay a premium for that. Can the average householder afford the more expensive rates?

I have not heard of any increase in fires/electrocutions/etc due to the alleged "lower standards". Some of the work currently traceable to poor providers would fall beneath the radar if too high regulation is introduced.

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#19
In reply to #18

Re: Help Needed

11/09/2013 5:00 AM

In the BS7671,latest edition,are lightning & surge protection included to be tested before energising an installation?. They too are important as Earthing & insulation testing.

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