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Pete999

Forum Mentor
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21,833
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Northampton
Probably a well thought and commonly discussed subject. I know the Forum has a DIY section, and has a policy of not offering step by step advice on how to do various electrical work, a good policy in my book, and I think many, if not all Electricians would agree with.

However this policy does not deter many DIYers and people who think they are Electricians from asking questions in very suspicious ways on "how do I do this that or the other, or I have been to B&Q and bought this and that, how would you do so and so.

It's difficult at times to explain to these people, that it's a dangerous thing to try and help without being off hand, and sometimes, when they won't or can't understand why you are reluctant to help, why won't you help the Guy in B&Q sold me this stuff and said it was easy as he was an Electrician because he had done a meaningless course, and he is now qualified as an Electrician.

With all the hype of Part P etc, do you not think the problem lies with the Government, the CPSchemes or who, I do realist that the likes of B&Q, Srewfix etc are a Godsend on a weekend or Bank Holiday when someone calls you up with a problem, and these are just a couple of outlets whereby you can get materials at short notice.

Where do you think the answer lies? should there be a ban on outlets like the two I have mentioned from selling electrical installation products to the public, should these outlets Police the selling of these products to qualified people, restrict selling this gear to the Trade areas, it would be interesting to share your thoughts, without prejudice, and I do realise this subject has been through the mill many times, the main reason I posted is that I was at B&Q the other day getting my tool fix, and happened to pass through the Electrical bit, and being a nosy git, I got speaking to this Bloke who was after some cable and sockets to wire his new extension, and found the price the Sparky was quoting far to high and as it was only a couple sockets he would do it himself, so why was he asking advice? where or who dose the problem lie with? Sorry for the long winded ramble.
 

Spoon

Forum Mentor
Messages
7,176
Location
Lancashire
IMO:
Should the likes of B&Q stop selling electrical goods? No, but they should be more informative about the goods they sell and what is needed from an electrical view. E.g. Certs and the likes.
How would they class a 'qualified person'? Am I one in their eyes?
Where would you stop? OK, don't cell CU's or breakers/RCD's. Should DIYers be messing with these? In most cases not.
The problem is that these shores just care about money. They would sell a CU to a 10 year old if they could. They have no morals or consideration for safety. Just profit....
Gas has always been classed as dangerous, but electricity..... well that's just red to red & black to black.....
 
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Murdoch

Regular EF Member
Messages
25,126
Location
Woking
The problem is made bigger by the fact that the manufacturers sell a lot of their products at the same prices to the big sheds as they do to the "wholesalers" - this means our "margin" makes the pricing look higher than it may well be......

Big sheds are only interested in making a profit ......

Nothing is going to change and I won't change my attitude towards have a go hero's on here or matey whose electrician "is on holiday", or wants to "check" the size of cable he needs.

Part P is irrelevant IMHO
 

Dillb

Electrician's Arms
Messages
719
Location
Nottingham
I have used the DIY stores for materials sometimes when the wholesalers have closed or arent open at weekends so taking that away would make life a lot more difficult for myself and I am sure many others who would be affected.

The main problem is bad workmanship and people leaving dangerous situations etc, and with the lack of underfunding for those that "police" that sort of thing nothing is going to change, it was almost as though those that held the budget strings were hoping that Part p would sort the problem out itself, but as we all know it has done nothing of the sort.
 

Midwest

Electrician's Arms
Messages
11,195
Location
Oxfordshire
The problem is that these shores just care about money. They would sell a CU to a 10 year old if they could. They have no morals or consideration for safety. Just profit....
Gas has always been classed as dangerous, but electricity..... well that's just red to red & black to black.....
It can be done with a bit of public persuasion.

Like you can't buy Evo stick etc, unless your over 18, or sharp knives etc. Yet can still buy gas stuff over the counter.

I think the concept of the schemes was a good idea, except it was not applied appropriately, and there are too few prosecutions are people flouting the law, Part P Building Regs that is. There's the recent thread on 'DIY lighting in a garage' as an example.

The DIY sheds have done a good thing by bringing down prices of materials, but have done a bad thing, by suggestion that 'you can do the odd job'. I mean what DIY'er needs a 50m drum of cable?
 

FatAlan

Trainee
Trainee Access
Messages
1,464
Location
Surrey
Pete, key word you used is ‘Police’. That ain’t going to happen due to cost. It’s like the big phone and internet based companies, I believe that they should be made more accountable for facilitating the crime that takes place via their systems.. but that’s going OT. :D
 

CableTies

EF Member
Messages
7
Location
London
If John Doe wants to do a like-for-like replacement on a light switch or a socket outlet then let him fill his boots. CU's and entire new ccts is another matter entirely but since you can order basically anything you want online now with no system of checking who's buying what, I don't think theres ever going to be a way to prevent the weekend warriors from having a go at wiring their extension because they watched a video on youtube and dont understand the risks involved.

Maybe if buildings or contents insurance required up to date EICR?
 

TJ Anderson

Forum Mentor
Messages
1,523
Location
Derby
I may be going against the grain here but I am genuinely not worried about what other people do including doing their own electrical work to whatever extent they chose to.

They are adults that operate cars, have candles in their homes and many other things that have risk and are frankly responsible for thier own actions.

There have always been people who have had a go at fixing their own stuff. It's just part of life. With internet forums they just have more people to ask. Never worth getting worked up about. Just my opinion though.
 

TonyMitchell

Electrician's Arms
Messages
592
Location
Berkshire, UK
Perhaps the big DIY sheds should address this in the packaging, by placing a warning notice on certain products. This could be good from their own diligence viewpoint too. Online is a different matter - at the end of the day anyone can source anything if they are sufficiently determined. But where do you stop? This is a few years old, but still interesting nonetheless - DIY accidents:
Top tools for causing accidents:
1 Knives and scalpels (20,000 accidents in the UK each year);
2 Saws (15,000);
3 Grinders (6,500);
4 Hammers (6,000);
5 Chisels (4,000);
6 Screwdrivers (3,500);
7 Power drills (3,000);
8, 9 &10 Axes, planes and welding equipment (2,000 each).
 

littlespark

Electrician's Arms
Messages
2,404
Location
Scottish Borders
I went to a large warehouse type DIY store last week, for my own DIY. (not the orange shed, the green one)
I came away with a tube of the silicon eater stuff... to clean off silicon.... a little plastic scraper to remove the now squidgy silicon, and a packet of assorted blades for my multitool.

Now..... which one of these products flagged up the "is the customer over 18?" for the till jockey?

The very sharp teethed blades for the power tool? um.. .no

The solvent based substance that I guess doesn't taste too good? Uhuh nope.

Yes it was the little plastic scraper that cost me 59p

That's the sense of the big shed management.
 

Murdoch

Regular EF Member
Messages
25,126
Location
Woking
Now..... which one of these products flagged up the "is the customer over 18?" for the till jockey?

That's the sense of the big shed management.
Isn't it the law to restrict these sales to people over 18?
 

solarsavings

Electrician's Arms
Messages
1,217
Location
Cambridgeshire
No Pete, It's because in a few years I'm going to be retired and as was pointed out by TWC, I already spend too long on forums as it is.
Anyway, I should be tucked up in bed with the day I've just had.
 

Vortigern

Regular EF Member
Messages
4,770
Location
England
With online outlets for electrical accessories it would be impossible to ban sale of them just at the two big outlets and would be unfair trading restrictions. I think the statutes and such are sufficient but the will to prosecute is not there. It is almost impossible to find such infractions of the law. Maybe they should have a notice to the building control when people are buying stuff that could infringe the law if they are buying/fitting it?
 

markc123

Forum Mentor
Messages
3,605
Location
Yorkshire.
Don’t have a problem with have-ago-hero’s myself. If they want to tinker with electrical work and potentially cause injury / extensive damage to persons or property - let them. Common sense tells you when you’re out of your depth, and if you’re still going to tinker you deserve a belt.

And, when they do cause stuff the proper electricians get the dosh for sorting situations out.

What I don’t agree with is how quick and easily
It is to become and electrician these days, so many people call themselves electricians and don’t even know how to lift a floor board. The scams have ALOT to answer for allowing such people into the industry.
 

Murdoch

Regular EF Member
Messages
25,126
Location
Woking

Murdoch

Regular EF Member
Messages
25,126
Location
Woking
It is to become and electrician these days, so many people call themselves electricians and don’t even know how to lift a floor board. The scams have ALOT to answer for allowing such people into the industry.
Very true ............ a broad knowledge of all types of construction methods plus a broad understanding of all the other trades and all the building regs is required ........... not things you can learn overnight

I was in a builders "team" meeting today and he asked who had read any of the building regs in the last 12 months - I was the only 1 to put up my hand - the most recent one I read was about the changes to heating systems ..........
 

telectrix

Scouser and Proud.
Respected Member
Messages
60,336
Location
cheshire/staffordshire
Very true ............ a broad knowledge of all types of construction methods plus a broad understanding of all the other trades and all the building regs is required ........... not things you can learn overnight

I was in a builders "team" meeting today and he asked who had read any of the building regs in the last 12 months - I was the only 1 to put up my hand - the most recent one I read was about the changes to heating systems ..........
SWOT !.
 

Marvo

Admin and gender confused
Staff member
Admin
Messages
15,419
Location
South Africa
From the forum side of things it's a damned if you do and damned if you don't thing. Allowing DIY'ers to use the forum keeps the place interesting and diverse; it can get a bit stagnent when it's only acomplished professionals posting on a forum. We try to strike a happy medium by not allowing step by step guides and closing threads that are reported as people attempting things that are sounding unsafe. Assisting DIY'ers is also entirely voluntary and not incentivised as such by the forum.

Also I've learned over the years that some of the most lame opening posts can surprisingly turn into some of the most informative and well debated threads.

As for stopping retailers, I think the internet makes that a moot point, in fact it maybe better to have them purchase at a local retailer that's bound by law to sell stuff that's fit for purpose rather than driving them towards the cheap tat on EBay.
 

gazdkw82

Trainee
Trainee Access
Messages
1,502
Location
leicester
I think part of the problem is the information they give on the packaging for these products. So for example, 6mm t+e, its printed on the front (suitable for shower/cooker)..,.,.any non electrician would not need this bit of information as they know how to design a circuit. A DIYer finds this information as a green pass to have a go. "Well if BnQ have listed as good enough for my shower and they also sell a MCB to suit then it's fine"

I think I Australia it's illegal to undertake electrical work if your not an electrician. I'd love that to be the case here but its not going to happen
 
OP
Pete999

Pete999

Forum Mentor
Messages
21,833
Location
Northampton
Very true ............ a broad knowledge of all types of construction methods plus a broad understanding of all the other trades and all the building regs is required ........... not things you can learn overnight

I was in a builders "team" meeting today and he asked who had read any of the building regs in the last 12 months - I was the only 1 to put up my hand - the most recent one I read was about the changes to heating systems ..........
Teachers Pet
 

littlespark

Electrician's Arms
Messages
2,404
Location
Scottish Borders
Having worked in the holiday leisure industry, there are a few gas related things that crop up.
For lpg, engineers need to be Gas Safe first, then specialise in lpg before working on the pipe work..... but anyone can buy an lpg bbq or caravan and purchase gas bottles, connect them, work on the hoses and fit regulators.

I was told by a Gas Safe engineer that I couldn’t change a gas cylinder for a customer if there was only one cylinder or if there was no gas at all. It was seen as interrupting the supply and introducing gas back into the system.
We were allowed to change cylinders if there was 2 or more in an automatic changeover valve. The gas supply wasn’t being interrupted as the spare had taken over.

I think part of it is the presumed danger. A cock up with electrics is dangerous to the family in a house..... A faulty gas installation could be dangerous to several neighbours property’s as well.
 

pirate

Regular EF Member
Messages
1,936
Location
Glasgow
Nice to see a "balanced" thread on this topic...some for, some against.
I'm DIY, as you will know, but have renovated a number of properties and it is true that you need knowledge, built up over time, of other trades' work. However, the number of bodged installations of simple electrical stuff and also plumbing stuff is incredible. Why, oh why, do wet pants not tighten things? Why do they install in an empty property then go home, leaving the water on? Why do they install gate valves (UGH!) ostensibly so you can isolate the supply to, say, a bath, but place them out of reach? So, my point is that at my age I have some experience...the most important factor of which is knowing when a job is outwith my capability. I can swap like for like, but if that unearths (no pun intended) a problem, it's time to get someone in. Thus, I consider myself a reasonably competent DIY bloke, but anything I don't know, I get someone who does. I just love learning, I guess, and the advice on here has highlighted how little I know many times, and I am happy to accept that advice.
However, apart from gas boilers, how difficult is it to join some pipes together? Not! But with push-fit, everyone's a plumber, these days. Maybe it's the same with electrics? Push-fits, Wagos, all of these are meant to make life easier, faster, cheaper...but only if the installer knows what he/she is doing. I've got little or no time for "builders" or plumbers...been stung too often...that's why I DIY...but you electricians? Well, that's a whole different class, and rightly so.
My most exciting thing this week was a text from Mrs Pirate to say my buckle-clips had arrived! Almost can't wait to get back to UK to use them...almost! But looking forward to them anyway, so how sad is that? LOL!
 

SWD

Gender neutral
Electrician's Arms
Messages
5,829
Location
London
Whow sad is that? LOL!
Very ;o))))

I do my own electrics, I do plumbing with solder joints and can clear an airlock in a gravity fed system, some chippy work, sh!te at plastering though and have errrrr dabbled with gas pipe work and have repaired my own boilers....... I also work on cars and bikes......... and I'm a lumberjack and I'm okay............
 

Michael Sands

Regular EF Member
Messages
76
Location
Scotland
Try and buy anything to do with gas and you get escorted out of the big orange stores I tried to buy a cooker hose and refused because I wasn’t gas safe how sad is that but I could buy a new consumer unit with not an eyebrow lifted
 

Santa

Regular EF Member
Messages
76
I mean what DIY'er needs a 50m drum of cable?

to allow for the 4 x 10m lengths he's cocked up.
The guy who goes to a wholesaler for a ten-metre length and discovers that 10 metres plus 'cutting' charge is only slightly less than a 50-metre reel.

Anyone want 25 metres of 6mm T&E?
 

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