• Welcome to the new forum. We're now hosted on ElectriciansForums.net rather than ElectriciansForums.co.uk - Chat about the forum upgrade by CLICKING HERE

Welcome to our Electrical Forum - We started out providing electrical advice just for the UK - But now we have specific advice for the USA too! - Register for free and share American Electrical Advice.

Domestic Confused with Forum Position on DIY

Discuss Confused with Forum Position on DIY in the Electrical Wiring, Theories and Regulations area at ElectriciansForums.net

45140

Regular EF Member
Maybe someone can enlighten me, as I am surely missing something here.
I regularly read posts by people who are clearly really not competent to undertake work - yet members on here will give them what in effect is encouragement and part knowledge. No knowledge is dangerous but a little knowledge is highly dangerous.


The Wiring Regulations and other industry documentation is clear in that a person working on electrical systems should be competent and have relevant training, knowledge and skills. You may have noticed that from time to time I appear, and ask all the sorts of questions that DIYers don't like, e.g. how will you test before work, who will test and issue Certificates, why do you think you are competent, what design training do you have, insurance implications., etc. etc. Answer comes there none in every case.

Many members of the forum make it clear that they are opposed to DIYers working on electrical work and I regularly read posts with forum members moaning about the poor and unsafe work carried out by DIYers, and cowboys, even as recently as today concerning a cowboy who wired up a licenced premises incorrectly. I can understand the gripe, and I agree with it.

DIYers in the vast majority of cases have simply NO idea about the complexities involved nor have any form of competence to determine cable sizing, routing requirements, etc, etc.

Now where I become confused is when I compare the responses made to DIYers set against requests for advice from people who are in training or going through training and who are insulted and vilified because they have not spent years as an Apprentice.

So tell me, why is it that DIYers are treated with kid gloves and told what to do, yet those new to the Industry who are brave (or silly enough maybe) to come on here to ask for advice are treated with contempt and disdain - yet in many cases these people have spent a lot of money and time doing what is perfectly legal - which is gaining training and knowledge. And don't get me started on Apprenticeships, with the number of bloody awful installations I have come across from so call Apprentice trained electricians - Sorry but that has to be said that a major failing of the Apprenticeship scheme is that the Apprentice can be given the bad habits of the Mentor.


This is completely hypocritical surely ? What is the position this forum adopts ?
 

spinlondon

Forum Mentor
Personally I just give advice.
On other forums I have given step by step instructions on how to determine which wire does what at a ceiling rose.

Back when the question was asked, I would have given the same advice here.
Since the rules changed, I’ve given advice via PM, mentioned the other forum or just ignored them.

Occasionally, I’ll come out with outlandish but plausible advice, then let the rest of the members chip in with the real McCoy.
 

AlmondSauce

Active EF Member
So tell me, why is it that DIYers are treated with kid gloves and told what to do, yet those new to the Industry who are brave (or silly enough maybe) to come on here to ask for advice are treated with contempt and disdain?
Are we reading the same forum? I usually see the opposite.

DIY-ers and those that clearly don't know what they're doing tend to be the ones told to "just get a spark in", and rightly so in many cases. Those that do show more knowledge tend to get treated pretty fairly in my experience.
 

spinlondon

Forum Mentor
My experience, is that if you give a step by step account of what is required to do something.
The DIYer is very likely to get someone in to do the work.

Of course, if you just fob off the DIYer, telling them to get someone in.
They’re quite likely to go away thinking that you’re just trying to protect your income.
I mean just how hard can it be to change a light fitting?
 

Midwest

Electrician's Arms
I think its fairly balanced, because there's a DIY section and a trainee section.

I don't have access to the trainee section, and do not really look in the DIY section.

I think its fair to give advice on simple tasks, more than that I wouldn't give detail instructions to DIY'ers.

As regards, giving advice to other electricians, that should be judged on each occasion.
 
  • Like
Reactions: DPG

Spoon

Forum Mentor
So tell me, why is it that DIYers are treated with kid gloves and told what to do, yet those new to the Industry who are brave (or silly enough maybe) to come on here to ask for advice are treated with contempt and disdain
As @AlmondSauce has said, "are we reading the same forum?" I think not.
Are you a reporter in your spare time as you seem good at twisting the truth?
I give DIYers advice depends on what info they are after. If they sound like the job is beyond their abilities then I tell them to get an electrician in.
 
  • Like
Reactions: DPG

Wilko

Electrician's Arms
The only persons who can answer this are Forum Staff, surely? Why don't you PM them perhaps?

There will be a varied response from individuals on a free internet website, I'm not sure how you can have imagined it overwise?
 

Charlie_

Electrician's Arms
Also there is certain legal constraints to take into account.
A lot of the work people are enquiring about is illegal for them to do and also a lot of the time they are obviously inept of carrying out such work..
Apprentices on the other hand are supervised, instructed and also competent
 

Bob Geldoff1234

Regular EF Member
I know what the OP is getting at.I am a timed served electrician with over 30 years experience but still like to know other people's opinions on here as to how they would do a certain job.Invariably the person asking for opinions or advise will get the response that if you have to ask you shouldn't be doing it.This sort of reply really gets my goat and is the main reason why I don't post on here very much.
Take EICR's.We all know that coding them is quite often a subjective thing and the answer could be C2 or C3 depending on the person's opinion.Instead of getting constructive advise,all I seem to get is 'You should know that answer and if you don't then you shouldn't be doing EICR's'.
I ask questions for people's opinions and occasionally because I don't know the answer(even after 30 years!).
Nobody on here know's the answer to all the questions so we should be helping each other out with genuine help and not snidey retorts.
 

littlespark

Electrician's Arms
There is a DIY section in the forums, so there is already an expectation that some non electricians will give it a try.

Mostly it’s along the lines of “ I tried to change this light fitting/ switch and I don’t understand the colours”
The replies can be either:
“You’re a numpty, get a spark in”
Or
“From your photograph, there are a number of ways that this could be done. The wires need tested to determine what goes where. An electrician will have the correct equipment”

You can tell from the post how competent the person may be, and give enough advice to get them sorted.

The big sheds such as Homebase and b&q already make shiny leaflets giving step by step guides.
We don’t need to
 

happyhippydad

Member
Electrician's Arms
I haven't read the entire OP, but I get the gist. There have been a few threads along a similar theme. Some members think that the DIYer is going to do the work anyway so it would be better to give them some instruction. In most cases I completely disagree with this.

I never give advice to DIY as I think it encourages poor and dangerous work. It also takes work away from electricians.
 

Vortigern

Regular EF Member
I never give advice on procedures for diy as the legal and personal harm implications are too fraught. I think what you are missing is your view of diy getting treated with kid gloves and fast track electricians getting a bashing is not quite as black and white as you are suggesting. I have seen both types get both treatments. It is always up to the individual posting and people responding. Where your observations may be valid is where there is acrimonious or even spiteful responses is always a falcrum point where the forum tips over into a Lord of the Flies scenario. Perhaps this is related to certain trigger points like "I have been time served and you did five weeks...and you can't call yourself an electrician" Which is valid and fairly unresolved as to whether that can be used as a justification to lambast someone. I have had a share of trolling and have a thick skin and can roll with it. Some admittedly deserved! It may be more to do with how much vino was consumed and getting out of the wrong side of the bed for all we know. Or it maybe just human nature fickle and changeable. I do not quite take on board your posit that it is so black and white and polarised in conclusion.
 
  • Like
Reactions: PEG

davesparks

Forum Mentor
Individual members post as they see fit at the time, there is no structured framework to how people answer questions.

The forum is just a bunch of people saying what they think, the posts will vary with mood, time of day, personal opinion, tone of other posts etc etc.
 

happyhippydad

Member
Electrician's Arms
Individual members post as they see fit at the time, there is no structured framework to how people answer questions.

The forum is just a bunch of people saying what they think, the posts will vary with mood, time of day, personal opinion, tone of other posts etc etc.
Hence DS's post here being blunt, no nonsense and factual whereas usually he's all flowery and charming with lots of smiley's and pretty small talk :D;)
 

Official Sponsors

Electrician Talk

Top
Please enable / Bitte aktiviere JavaScript!
Veuillez activer / Por favor activa el Javascript![ ? ]