Discuss Moving from Installation to Maintenance in the Electrical Forum area at ElectriciansForums.net

Gary Moore

19 years in and not loving it
Messages
65
Location
Walsall
Hello this is my first post. I have been an Electrician for 19 years. Most of my experience is in commercial and industrial, places like hospitals, schools, offices, warehouses. I have always been an Installation Electrician on the books. But lately I’m getting fed up with it all. I fancy going into maintenance in aafter speaking to a friend who has done it. But I’m not sure if this is something that would be straight forward or not. I obviously only have limited experience with motors and control panels etc. No experience with machines. Is it something I can pick up quite quickly ? Any feedback from anyone who has made this transition would be great. Or just general feedback.
Thanks in advance
 

Eddy-88

New EF Member
Messages
1
Location
Shropshire
Hi Gary

I work in electrical maintenance and lot of what we deal with is fault finding and general maintenance. The general maintenance side of things is pretty straight forward to pick up. The fault finding may be a little trickier as there are a lot of components in the control side of the circuit that could be causing problems. Once you know how the equipment works and what components stop it from running then that's half the battle The electrical side I think is the easiest bit
 

Pete999

Mentor
Electrician's Arms
Messages
22,993
Location
Northampton
Hello this is my first post. I have been an Electrician for 19 years. Most of my experience is in commercial and industrial, places like hospitals, schools, offices, warehouses. I have always been an Installation Electrician on the books. But lately I’m getting fed up with it all. I fancy going into maintenance in aafter speaking to a friend who has done it. But I’m not sure if this is something that would be straight forward or not. I obviously only have limited experience with motors and control panels etc. No experience with machines. Is it something I can pick up quite quickly ? Any feedback from anyone who has made this transition would be great. Or just general feedback.
Thanks in advance
Gary, honestly I can't see what all the fuss is about, moving from installation to maintenance is part of the learning curve of being an all round Electrician.
I went from working on housing developments to Maintenance at an RAF base, it was a bit of a bind at first, but worked out well in the end, listen to the older guys if you are any good it will come naturally, I went from House bashing to Foreman M and E, worked overseas at Embassies all over the globe, ended up in charge of 17 Russian Tradesmen in Moscow, so if I can do it anyone can, good luck.
 
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rapparee

Electrician's Arms
Messages
1,392
Location
Ireland
Gary, honestly I can't see what all the fuss is about, moving from installation to maintenance is part of the learning curve of being an all round Electrician.
I went from working on housing developments to Maintenance at an RAF base, it was a bit of a bind at first, but worked out well in the end, listen to the older guys if you are any good it will come naturally, I went from House bashing to Foreman M and E, worked overseas at Embassies all over the globe, ended up in charge of 17 Russian Tradesmen in Moscow, so if I can do it anyone can, good luck.
In fairness Pete

He is talking about maintenance in a factory working with PLCs, proximity sensors and pneumatics etc not maintenance on buildings.
 

Pete999

Mentor
Electrician's Arms
Messages
22,993
Location
Northampton
In fairness Pete

He is talking about maintenance in a factory working with PLCs, proximity sensors and pneumatics etc not maintenance on buildings.
What do do you think they have on RAF bases 13Amp sockets and lights???????
 

Pete999

Mentor
Electrician's Arms
Messages
22,993
Location
Northampton
Well yes, I thought they might have stretched it to the odd commando socket as well.


It's just a big shed to keep planes in, isn't it?
Airfield lighting, Boiler House control, HV distribution LV distribution, Petro Chem installations, UPS installs, Radar, lifting gear etc etc etc commando sockets, and a big shed to keep airplanes in my backside, do your homework before you criticise.
 

Flanders

Regular EF Member
Messages
1,403
Location
Tamworth
I have seen maintenance having to work flat out all the time doing call out at all hours with pressure to get things up and running, but then seen others spending most of their time hidding in the plantroom drinking tea, If your good and enjoy fault finding then yes I would say maintenance is a good job for you , just need to find a good company
 

rapparee

Electrician's Arms
Messages
1,392
Location
Ireland
Airfield lighting, Boiler House control, HV distribution LV distribution, Petro Chem installations, UPS installs, Radar, lifting gear etc etc etc commando sockets, and a big shed to keep airplanes in my backside, do your homework before you criticise.
Where's your sense of humour Pete
 

Pete999

Mentor
Electrician's Arms
Messages
22,993
Location
Northampton
Airfield lighting, Boiler House control, HV distribution LV distribution, Petro Chem installations, UPS installs, Radar, lifting gear etc etc etc commando sockets, and a big shed to keep airplanes in my backside, do your homework before you criticise.
Is that it?
 

Pete999

Mentor
Electrician's Arms
Messages
22,993
Location
Northampton
Where's your sense of humour Pete
Not the sort of response when someone is asking for serious advice mate, but if you are enquiring where my sense of humor is from basically changing a way of life I don't have one because it was no joke. hard work yes.
 

Pete999

Mentor
Electrician's Arms
Messages
22,993
Location
Northampton
Well yes, I thought they might have stretched it to the odd commando socket as well.


It's just a big shed to keep planes in, isn't it?
Might be like that in your neck of the woods.
 

rapparee

Electrician's Arms
Messages
1,392
Location
Ireland
Not the sort of response when someone is asking for serious advice mate, but if you are enquiring where my sense of humor is from basically changing a way of life I don't have one because it was no joke. hard work yes.
Pete, what would I know about the goings-on of an RAF Base. I assumed you were a civilian contractor, you said you went from house bashing to working as a foreman over electrical and mechanical and then onto embassies

I assumed that plant and machinery would have been left to the actual enlisted Royal engineers or whatever the correct title is. I've worked with a wet back and a stoker before from the British Navy. That was their lingo not mine.

The OP is looking to move into a manufacturing environment

I'm working 70 hours a week in a factory, I know what hard work is.

If I can't get a machine fixed in time, people get sacked (the abuse of agency workers is a disgrace)

I'm doing this single handed, I don't have other sparks for back-up. I'm paid well for this, I enjoy my job and I'm not complaining.

But if I didn't maintain a casual sense of humor I'd crack up.
 

Boing89

Regular EF Member
Messages
63
Location
Prestwick
I’ve been a maintenance electrician for 24 years now (in the RAF until last year funnily enough). As has been said the pressure really comes on when something’s down. I work on wind turbine lifts now and the pressure to get it fixed when it’s down can be quite high. Nobody reports the little problems that are the indicators of something bigger happening because they don’t want to lose the equipment. That means when it does break it’s always a huge drama for the users. I enjoy the fault finding but I miss having another electrician to bounce ideas off like I had in the RAF. That can increase the pressure for some reason.
 

DefyG

Regular EF Member
Messages
241
Location
South East
Your new employer will know your background and cant expect you to 'hit the ground running'! they will need to at least provide some basic training in the areas/machines you are expected to be working in and if it is a big company there will be others there to help!
 

DefyG

Regular EF Member
Messages
241
Location
South East
Your new employer will know your background and cant expect you to 'hit the ground running'! they will need to at least provide some basic training in the areas/machines you are expected to be working in and if it is a big company there will be others there to help!
 
OP
Gary Moore

Gary Moore

19 years in and not loving it
Messages
65
Location
Walsall
Hi Gary

I work in electrical maintenance and lot of what we deal with is fault finding and general maintenance. The general maintenance side of things is pretty straight forward to pick up. The fault finding may be a little trickier as there are a lot of components in the control side of the circuit that could be causing problems. Once you know how the equipment works and what components stop it from running then that's half the battle The electrical side I think is the easiest bit
Thanks mate
 
OP
Gary Moore

Gary Moore

19 years in and not loving it
Messages
65
Location
Walsall
Thanks for all the replies. I want to be doing fault finding, problem solving etc. Not just changing lamps and broken sockets. I’m finding that on the install side I’ve lost interest. Mainly because it’s not about doing a good job anymore, it’s all about throwing it in. I’m very conscientious and like everything to be spot on. Having to throw it in to save time is not my cup of tea. But it is beginning to be the same whoever I work for. I’ve lost that fire in my stomach for it. I feel a different direction will re light that fire. I also have a family and I’m just not prepared to travel all over the country anymore. Currently I don’t work for a bad firm, although the work is not testing me and boring and I’m always local so I have plenty of time to find the right position. I will not be rushing into it and taking the first thing that comes along.
 

Chris Smyth

New EF Member
Messages
1
Location
Lincolnshire
Hi Gary,
I did 12 years in the RAF as an electrical and electronic technician, left in 2015 and worked as a contractor for a flower automation company where it was a steep learning curve in comparison to what I did in the military! I then moved into the food industry as a multi skilled engineer and I love it. The money's good, hours are steady and it's always different! You obviously get the repetitive stuff but that's mixed in with frantic fault finding! You get some real head scratchers and spend some time buried in wiring diagrams...if you have access to some! Otherwise it's following cables!
I say do it! Start with a smaller company, learn the controls side of things and move after your learning curve steadies out.
Good luck mate!
 

Pete999

Mentor
Electrician's Arms
Messages
22,993
Location
Northampton
@Pete999 @rapparee doesn't mean to be disrespectful , he is not that kind of lad . It is like us saying " what can possibly go wrong.....
Appreciate that comment ruston thanks, I never meant to assume anything, maybe my post was misinterpreted, never meant to put the OP down, if it did seem that way the apologies to the OP, what I meant was, it seems that moving from installation is not as hard as it seems, IF i could do it then most other guys will have no problem adapting, personally I wish the OP well if he gets the new job.
 
OP
Gary Moore

Gary Moore

19 years in and not loving it
Messages
65
Location
Walsall
I will be doing it. Made my mind up now. My mate who has just done it is on 10k a year more than I am. That alone is enough incentive to do it. He comes from my back ground but has had some experience of quarries. Conveyers and motors etc. I know I’m more than capable of learning what I need to know.
 
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Boing89

Regular EF Member
Messages
63
Location
Prestwick
I’ve been a maintenance electrician for 24 years now (in the RAF until last year funnily enough). As has been said the pressure really comes on when something’s down. I work on wind turbine lifts now and the pressure to get it fixed when it’s down can be quite high. Nobody reports the little problems that are the indicators of something bigger happening because they don’t want to lose the equipment. That means when it does break it’s always a huge drama for the users. I enjoy the fault finding but I miss having another electrician to bounce ideas off like I had in the RAF. That can increase the pressure for some reason.
Your new employer will know your background and cant expect you to 'hit the ground running'! they will need to at least provide some basic training in the areas/machines you are expected to be working in and if it is a big company there will be others there to help!
I will be doing it. Made my mind up now. My mate who has just done it is on 10k a year more than I am. That alone is enough incentive to do it. He comes from my back ground but has had some experience of quarries. Conveyers and motors etc. I know I’m more than capable of learning what I need to know.
In my opinion you don’t have to worry about the motors as much as the control side. If you’ve voltage to your motor and it’s not turning it’s kaput, that’s as complicated as it gets. If you’ve no voltage then you’ve a whole circuit diagram of control circuits that are preventing it. As long as you’re confident in your fault finding you’ll be good. As someone else has already said your employer will have to give some sort of training on how the equipment works to give you that base knowledge anyway.
 

Starjack

Dont hate my success, strive to match it.
Electrician's Arms
Messages
277
Location
London
@Pete999

61LeV-+ycsL._UX522_.jpg

It was only a joke.
I can just picture you in Dad's Army.
 

BruvDunk

Electrician/ Maint/ EC&I/Safety Controller
Messages
88
Location
Norfolk
Go for it !
Loads to learn, and a different challenge most days....
Whats not to like, oh and lots of coffee to consume...
 

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