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I've tried three times to write an appropriate comment but words are letting me down. You'll have to invent some colourful new vocabulary for your report... I don't think standard English is up to the job.

E2A sorry I can't stand the suspense. You have to tell us what the polarity of the 'submain' is, what with the brown wires all being connected to the case and that. Pleeeease say it's the neutral or show us the other end.
Nightmare.

Cannot find the other end (the supply) at all. Must be buried in a wall or a JB under a floor. Maybe I'll find it tomorrow. Floorboards up tomorrow.

Polarity?

The grey to the bottom of the MCB is permanent live. This then makes the neutral bar top right an....erm...ehhh...'live bar'?

Then you have the three circuits, grey live and brown neutral on each, all from 1.0mm three core with black snipped.

Oh - and one of those 3 cores feeds sockets, including a washer/drier (or at least it did).

Worse still, this 3 core supply seems to have been put 'in-line' with an older radial socket circuit on 15amp BS3036 which serves bedrooms upstairs. so when I disconnected at this new CU, the upstairs sockets went dead.

What a mess.
 
Interesting one I found the other week, nice laser cut and labelled front panel (sorry no picture), yet they couldn't think of a better solution for the earth and neutral bars other than a choc block!
 

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Lucien Nunes

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Can we actually make a list of what's wrong? It's kinda tricky because some of the errors have mistakes in them. It's non-compliant in so many ways, perhaps more interesting is to work out where the real danger lies.

If I'm reading Marcus's comments right, it's fed from a 15A BS3036. On paper the cable is not rated for that (nor for 'power' circuits of any rating) but in truth it would be very hard to overheat it badly on a 15A fuse unless it's fully embedded in thermal insulation. Seems the fuse hasn't blown, so although the Ib, Iz and In are all the wrong way about, it's probably not going to hurt anyone.

The MCB rating is irrelevant - if the incoming cable isn't going to melt, the outgoing ones won't either. There are lots of legacy circuits without RCD protection; not connecting it doesn't make it any more dangerous than those. The colour code doesn't make any difference until you start modifying or testing. The leccy doesn't care which wire is which. Grommets, bare copper, chock block, meh.

Which brings us to that earth bar, sorry, neutral bar. The one used for the neutrals because the lines are in the proper neutral bar. It's connected to the case, although the outgoing earths are connected to earth, it seems. This gets my vote as the main risk here - one loose connection and that casing goes live. (TN-C is also prohibited, FWIW).

Thankfully that is easy to solve - take the link out, job's a good'un!
 
Thanks Lucien and all.
I’ll be back there today.
I’m determined to find the origin of that feed and disconnect it. Yes it is fed from a 15A 3036, which starts at 2.5mm but somewhere steps down to 1.0mm. The old 3036 board is almost back to back with this new board, and I did manage to get a hole through the wall from one location to another ready for a new feed....
Onwards with a day of moving furniture, lifting carpets and boards etc. Their 10yr old son had a near panic attack last night when he couldn’t turn his PlayStation on.
Meanwhile an image of a socket wired in 1.0mm 3 core..
 

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Lucien Nunes

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Might be a silly question but what were you actually there to do? Was this a complete surprise for the homeowners or did they expect trouble?
 

Strima

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When was the garage conversion done? Before doing anything it might be worth speaking to building control regarding a dangerous installation. This cowboy needs stopping.
 
When was the garage conversion done? Before doing anything it might be worth speaking to building control regarding a dangerous installation. This cowboy needs stopping.
I tried to persuade the customer to go down that route, but he wasn’t interested. Just wants its fixed. Shame. I agree. This person is probably doing the same elsewhere right now.
He’s brickwork is good though..,
 

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Strima

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I tried to persuade the customer to go down that route, but he wasn’t interested. Just wants its fixed. Shame. I agree. This person is probably doing the same elsewhere right now.
He’s brickwork is good though..,
Sweet baby Jesus and all the orphans, what the **** is that mess? Thing is, customers allow them to get away with this crap in the first place, if they didn't these cowboys wouldn't last long and end up working in Tescos stacking shelves...

Either that or the customer did it themselves and won't admit it.
 
I tried to persuade the customer to go down that route, but he wasn’t interested. Just wants its fixed. Shame. I agree. This person is probably doing the same elsewhere right now.
He’s brickwork is good though..,
What's the protocol in this situation? Is cooperation of the customer required for building control to take notice or should it be reported anyway? Given the state of it there can't be any way building control are aware the work has been carried out and fixing the wiring will leave a paper trail that shows you've worked on it and not reported it when something else goes wrong and they find out.
 

pirate

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Strima, it looks as though the brickie worked as a shelf-stacker in Tesco...that brickwork looks very like a badly stacked shelf...
and yes, maybe it will be rendered...(it'll have to be now, clearly) but what about the wall either side? Just render the bad bit and...
make a "feature" of it, as many a "builder" has said in the past.
 
Strima, it looks as though the brickie worked as a shelf-stacker in Tesco...that brickwork looks very like a badly stacked shelf...
and yes, maybe it will be rendered...(it'll have to be now, clearly) but what about the wall either side? Just render the bad bit and...
make a "feature" of it, as many a "builder" has said in the past.
It was not originally intended to render it - unless there was a mis-communication. Even it was planned it’s still bad. Bricks stacked on top of each other?! Surely we learn to stagger bricks when we play with Lego. Mortar beds are pretty much non-existent in places.

Anyway - no other houses are rendered on the street, so it’s going to be out of keeping.

Made some progress today but keep finding stuff. Here is how to do a single socket to double socket conversion;
Step 1: Twist existing cables together and extend with 1.0mm.
Step 2: Protect the connection with selotape.
Step 3: Extend the other bit with some more 1.0mm using a choc block.
Step 4: Push extended cables through the back of a surface mount back box and attach back box to the wall. Make sure you do not use any rawl plugs, woodscrews into crumbly plaster is just fine.
Step 5: Connect up and write invoice, ensuring you have sufficient funds to- restock on sellotape.

Customer is following me around whilst I sort all this out.....
 

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What's the protocol in this situation? Is cooperation of the customer required for building control to take notice or should it be reported anyway? Given the state of it there can't be any way building control are aware the work has been carried out and fixing the wiring will leave a paper trail that shows you've worked on it and not reported it when something else goes wrong and they find out.
Good questions but I honestly don’t know. I’d say it’s between the customer and the builder and I’ve got to be especially careful to cover my self with plenty of images, test results and certificates.

Come to think of it certificates are going to be a nightmare. Cross connected circuits and all sorts.

I think the customer is moving towards taking some action but keeps talking about social media etc. Which I don’t think is the way.

My understanding is that if a customer is not satisfied with a tradesman’s work then they have to give them the opportunity to make it right. Not sure that works with electrical work because, obviously, everything worked fine and looked OK (ish).
 

telectrix

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just because it works, don't make it right. to be right it must work, obviously, but also must comply with regs. and therefore be safe to use. that abortion obviously ain't right.
 

pirate

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Marcus, obviously you agree with me about the brickwork, but are you being a little harsh on the wiring...
I mean if it's real Sellotape, not some cheap copy, what could go wrong?
My Dad always insisted on proper Formica...not some cheap imitation stuff!


Seriously though...those pics are shocking...frankly, someone should be jailed for that
 

FatAlan

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just because it works, don't make it right. to be right it must work, obviously, but also must comply with regs. and therefore be safe to use. that abortion obviously ain't right.
Boeing 737 Max worked most of the time. All due respect to those who lost their lives. :(
 

123

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Looks like a bit of a mishap in that surface box, with the black smoke marks. Wonder if the sellotape failed at a time lol
 

SparkyChick

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So I got called out to a tripping breaker last week. 30A old Wylex push button MCB. Client had repeatedly re-energised and reported it stayed on for a while. This is what I found in a back box...

BurntOutSocket.png

After what I thought was a thorough walk round and some testing, it looked like there were just loads on the circuit, I did energise it whilst clamping the supply... 50A!

Wasn't able to restore full service but went back yesterday and this is what I found during my investigations:-

TT System with a fully functional 100mA upfront RCD which had been disconnected, but left in the on position... client was wondering why it didn't trip when this fault occured.

Ring final circuit with a leg that had been deliberately cut to break the ring with still connected live cable ends left uninsulated in a back box. The circuit was left on the 30A breaker.

Another socket had been taped over with parcel tape by the last 'electrician' to visit because it wasn't working.

When I left, the ring appeared to be in good order with good end to end continuity, the topology appears to be correct (some sockets were a bit high on the R1+R2 front but there is a bit of damp problem - that I suspect has been caused by people rendering inside and out with a strong mortar mix instead of lime render), IR is a bit low at around 2.5-3Mega ohm, RCD has been restored and tested (fully functional) and as far as I can tell all socket outlets have a functioning earth which is a major step forward from when I arrived as I found several with loose or non-existent connections.

The worst of it is, as best as I can tell, it was left in a bad way by a local guy who as far as I can tell has never been registered with a scheme but has been advertising for years offering the full compliment of domestic electrical services. It's not the first time his name has come up when I found some bad work.

Had another case the other day where I was moving a socket outlet. Started testing and shocker, the results were in some cases not at all like the certificate (they had a CU change back in June)... all circuits recorded having an IR of 200 Megaohms. I only found one that had anything like that, and on one half of the board, none of them had an IR of much over 3Mega ohms. And why was the board change sold to them? Because plastic boards are now illegal and they needed RCD protection for the lights in the bathroom (true) and their new mixer shower (true). But given they already had RCD protection on the socket circuits, both could have been supplied as spurs from the socket circuit... but hey how, plastic boards are now illegal so I can see a lot of board changes coming my way!!! FFS

Again, in that case a name came up that I've run across before, again in relation to some dodgy work. Does my head in!
 

FatAlan

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That slight charring on the two top lefthand terminals needs lookin into...
There’s quite a knack getting the termination just loose enough to get the correct arc. Takes years of practice to become competent. I hear that TLC are bringing out some lemon and coriander flavour earth sleeving :rolleyes:
 

littlespark

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I was on holiday last weekend barbequing half a dozen lovely juicy switch fused outlets (sausages) on our little bucket we use on caravan sites.... when a hungry seagull came and nabbed one off the grill.

:mad:
 

pirate

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Bas***d!
Bludi seagulls!
One did the same to me recently...tore a chicken breast off the BBQ, and it was stuck on quite hard...how it stood the heat I do not know.
 

Midwest

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Chucking it down here as well. Why is it always scorchio during the week, and pants at the weekend? I gonna start shift work again.
 

ruston

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Chucking it down here as well. Why is it always scorchio during the week, and pants at the weekend? I gonna start shift work again.
It's nearly always the same when you have only one day that you can do something on a particular day . Something to to with that chap called Sod.
 

freddo

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Workmate sent me this photo, he had a problem with a drill battery. The white is powder from the fire extinguisher.
1564934330845.png
 
I once had a corded mains drill catch fire after I got a 25mm auger bit stuck in a double joist.
But not seen a battery pack explode like this before.
Must have been some explosion...
 

SparkySy

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I had a Makita do that to me a year or so ago, battery pack got warm then started smoking then burst into flames, naturally I went at pace to the nearest window and ejected the lot way down the garden!
 

freddo

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@Dustydazzler . Yes when they go off they take no prisoners . Lead acid batteries are very dangerous when they go up.
It was a lithium battery pack.
I had a Makita do that to me a year or so ago, battery pack got warm then started smoking then burst into flames, naturally I went at pace to the nearest window and ejected the lot way down the garden!
Similar thing happened apparently, it was just sat on the floor and started making a sizzling noise then smoke, fire and bursting cells.
 

Strima

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When Li Ion batteries go they do it in style. This is why I never buy cheap batteries from the internet, less chance of genuine ones doing that, but there's still a chance.
 
@freddo need to ask him any habits. (If possible)
(always topped off last bit)
Original or replacement charger?
Did he have several batteries and notice any weirdness with offender ...
(and all the other "Genuine" Naggs ..!!)
..Or it belonged to employer _So a good as a rental car ! ..
 

freddo

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It is his, the battery, drill and charger were all bought new from a registered Makita dealer, about 2 or so years ago. The batteries would likely only be recharged when flat. Makita requested the mess be sent off to them, which it has been, (presumably so they can hide the evidence in the bin!) so they can investigate.
 

SparkySy

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Yeah mine was a li-ion, had 4 as part of a set of kit, the batteries were all the same age never been that roughly handled and only charged when needed as there was only me using them. This particular one sounds very similar to what happened to mine, a plumber mate had it happen too drilling a double joist with his Makita, he lost all the hairs off his arm as a result!
 

ruston

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I have just repaired the gearbox on a mates Makita impact drill . I have to say I am not impressed with the quality compared with what they used to be.
 

ruston

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I have replaced a motor in one of those too.
But it was down to abuse . They are easy to work on.
 

Andy78

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The report from Makita said that the battery was counterfeit.
Heard of this a few times. No idea why people buy the ebay/amazon fakes. The genuine ones don't cost much more.

My Milwaukee 5Ah 18V are only £55 where fakes are about £45. The genuine ones last for years with no issues. Not had one fail yet.
 

DPG

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You never know if things you are buying are genuine or not unfortunately even reputable dealers have been found to have been supplied with counterfeit stuff.
 

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