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Sharing and providing electrical (or Gas Plumbing) advice online - Discussion thread

Discuss Sharing and providing electrical (or Gas Plumbing) advice online - Discussion thread in the UK Electrical Forum area at ElectriciansForums.net

Dan

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IMPORTANT: Please note that nobody on this forum should be seeking or providing advice to people who are not competent in their field. If you live in a country where electrical advice is only to be shared between professional qualified electricians, then clearly you need to abide by those laws and regulations. They're there for a reason. ElectriciansForums.net will not be held liable for actions taken based on advice sought on this forum. Each and every person reading threads on this forum will need to follow their local laws. Do NOT seek or provide advice to those who should not be touching electrics! - Lives are at stake here. Not just light switches being moved etc.

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So this has been posted in the following forum categories:-
And it made me think about posting a discussion thread regarding this. Just so we're all on the same page.

When we created ElectriciansForums.net and PlumbersForums.net it wasn't as clear cut as creating TilersForums.com. Anybody is allowed to pick up a tile in any country (I think?!) and fix it to a wall or floor.

With the plumbing, anybody (I think?) is allowed to repair a tap. Or even install a wash basin (sink). I think. Albeit given the fact you need to follow water regulations. So don't flush toxic chemicals in drains that lead to the normal water (waste) processing plants etc.

But tile fixing, anybody can do. And you can do it wrong too.

And that's kinda the issue. People will have a go. And tradesmen will get it wrong every now and again. And it's about continuing to learn your trade as new products, systems and processes come in. And in the grand scheme of things, even whole countries need advice every now and again as new ways come about. So electric cars aren't legal everywhere. Countries are testing them out. Some more than others. And we need skilled discussion on such things.

Now; we're online, anybody can access most parts of our forum. And anybody can ask a question about gas plumbing, or electrical wiring, and be well out of their scope. But they could also be an awful tradesman who has passed some exam once and legally is allowed to do something, but doesn't know where to go to check what he is doing is right.

So there's no way on earth other electrical forums online (or social media owners like facebook) are going to be able to vet every person and / or question. Or get out of their responsibility by having some wording somewhere on some page or in some terms you agree to.

Each and every one of us, when sharing (seeking or providing) advice need to make sure that they're only doing so with those who are allowed to carry out said 'improvements' on their home.

We have a DIY electrical forum, and rank for said wording, so we can explain to somebody that it's well out of their remit because A, B and C (still don't instruct them on how to do it!). And rather than saying 'nope, not replying' or whatever, which will only cause them to go and read other threads or forums or social media, and give it a go. Actually explain why they need to absolutely get a professional in.

Now we never really had an area to direct members to when doing this, so this is partly the reason I've always wanted a directory working. I think I'm on my 4th or 5th attempt now (anybody remember 'FindTrustedTradesmen.co.uk'? - that'd say Tradesperson these days for sure!) and I wont give up.

But you guys need to play your part too. Please.

Don't be destructive and outright block people seeking advice. Explain to them why they need to get a professional in. Link them to this new thread even. Which I'm sure will get some responses eventually (need read it all first it isn't short?! lol).

But on the same note, there will be DIYers, terrible traders that need retraining, manufacturers getting it wrong, whole countries getting it wrong (UK Plug Socket Covers?), and colleges getting it wrong.

We need to be here. We need to help them. But not by always giving them the answers to their questions. But showing them why there really are systems, laws, regulations, whatever they're locally called (and I mean Country now, not just UK county!) that they need to follow.

My thoughts are this; perhaps if the DIY industry is so massive (why do BnQ sell electric showers to DIY?!) why isn't it regulated a bit more. Why is it us that should be questioned for correcting DIY or a crap tradesperson. And the DIY sheds still manage to sell to them? What's the deal there?

If we ever end up being regulated and have to check off usernames against actual qualifications in each country to make sure they're not fibbing (there is no such list to check against - this is just me thinking out loud) then the system is already broken. Surely.

Anyway, that's our stance.

You shouldn't give advice to somebody who you think shouldn't be seeking it. And you also shouldn't be seeking it when you know you shouldn't be doing it. But no individual member gets to decide either of those on behalf of the forum (including me or forum volunteer staff). And the forum can't decide on behalf of the members either, there's no list of people who should be doing what.

You all need to follow local laws.

I wish it was easier, but it isn't. It's what it is. We don't do wrong by being here. We do right by a country mile. :)
 
Last edited:
Ps. I didn't write it in there I don't think; we have Gas plumbing advice, and even oil rig related advice on the plumbers forum. Oil rigs are in international waters at lot of the time so that's baffling.

The advice on plumbers can be just as dangerous in the wrong hands.

So that forum is hard to guide too. Especially now we are open to more countries than when we were using a .co.uk domain name.
 
Great Post Dan.

Very insightful.

This part particularly caught my eye.

Yes, even established tradesmen will get it wrong at times. People will have a go. And tradesmen will get it wrong every now and again. And it's about continuing to learn your trade as new products, systems and processes come in.

So basically everyone is evolving, even those already qualified and in the trade.

As for myself I'm learning as I go and only a DIYer but I would never attempt to do something out of my remit and NEVER on a property other than my own. I want to attempt to get qualified at a future time when I think my knowledge and competence can carry me through the training and make me a safe electrician. Until then I will keep studying and building up my skills.

Thanks
Stuart
 


View attachment 51994

So this has been posted in the following forum categories:-
And it made me think about posting a discussion thread regarding this. Just so we're all on the same page.

When we created ElectriciansForums.net and PlumbersForums.net it wasn't as clear cut as creating TilersForums.com. Anybody is allowed to pick up a tile in any country (I think?!) and fix it to a wall or floor.

With the plumbing, anybody (I think?) is allowed to repair a tap. Or even install a wash basin (sink). I think. Albeit given the fact you need to follow water regulations. So don't flush toxic chemicals in drains that lead to the normal water (waste) processing plants etc.

But tile fixing, anybody can do. And you can do it wrong too.

And that's kinda the issue. People will have a go. And tradesmen will get it wrong every now and again. And it's about continuing to learn your trade as new products, systems and processes come in. And in the grand scheme of things, even whole countries need advice every now and again as new ways come about. So electric cars aren't legal everywhere. Countries are testing them out. Some more than others. And we need skilled discussion on such things.

Now; we're online, anybody can access most parts of our forum. And anybody can ask a question about gas plumbing, or electrical wiring, and be well out of their scope. But they could also be an awful tradesman who has passed some exam once and legally is allowed to do something, but doesn't know where to go to check what he is doing is right.

So there's no way on earth other electrical forums online (or social media owners like facebook) are going to be able to vet every person and / or question. Or get out of their responsibility by having some wording somewhere on some page or in some terms you agree to.

Each and every one of us, when sharing (seeking or providing) advice need to make sure that they're only doing so with those who are allowed to carry out said 'improvements' on their home.

We have a DIY electrical forum, and rank for said wording, so we can explain to somebody that it's well out of their remit because A, B and C (still don't instruct them on how to do it!). And rather than saying 'nope, not replying' or whatever, which will only cause them to go and read other threads or forums or social media, and give it a go. Actually explain why they need to absolutely get a professional in.

Now we never really had an area to direct members to when doing this, so this is partly the reason I've always wanted a directory working. I think I'm on my 4th or 5th attempt now (anybody remember 'FindTrustedTradesmen.co.uk'? - that'd say Tradesperson these days for sure!) and I wont give up.

But you guys need to play your part too. Please.

Don't be destructive and outright block people seeking advice. Explain to them why they need to get a professional in. Link them to this new thread even. Which I'm sure will get some responses eventually (need read it all first it isn't short?! lol).

But on the same note, there will be DIYers, terrible traders that need retraining, manufacturers getting it wrong, whole countries getting it wrong (UK Plug Socket Covers?), and colleges getting it wrong.

We need to be here. We need to help them. But not by always giving them the answers to their questions. But showing them why there really are systems, laws, regulations, whatever they're locally called (and I mean Country now, not just UK county!) that they need to follow.

My thoughts are this; perhaps if the DIY industry is so massive (why do BnQ sell electric showers to DIY?!) why isn't it regulated a bit more. Why is it us that should be questioned for correcting DIY or a crap tradesperson. And the DIY sheds still manage to sell to them? What's the deal there?

If we ever end up being regulated and have to check off usernames against actual qualifications in each country to make sure they're not fibbing (there is no such list to check against - this is just me thinking out loud) then the system is already broken. Surely.

Anyway, that's our stance.

You shouldn't give advice to somebody who you think shouldn't be seeking it. And you also shouldn't be seeking it when you know you shouldn't be doing it. But no individual member gets to decide either of those on behalf of the forum (including me or forum volunteer staff). And the forum can't decide on behalf of the members either, there's no list of people who should be doing what.

You all need to follow local laws.

I wish it was easier, but it isn't. It's what it is. We don't do wrong by being here. We do right by a country mile. :)
I want to thank you Dan for the patience you had with me and many like me. I felt like you was one of my family elders teaching me a little bit about life. Thank you sir for that. I will get a professional friend of mine and pay attention to his teaching as well. Your friend Wayne
 
That's a pretty stark warning and I completely agree with it. I'm in the group that doesn't give advice to DIYers as I think it does more harm that good. I'm a bit unsure why we have a DIY forum if we are not supposed to give electrical advice to them though? Also, a number of forum members give fairly superficial advice to DIYers just so that they can 'get it working'. This down grades the trade and is also dangerous.
 
That's a pretty stark warning and I completely agree with it. I'm in the group that doesn't give advice to DIYers as I think it does more harm that good. I'm a bit unsure why we have a DIY forum if we are not supposed to give electrical advice to them though? Also, a number of forum members give fairly superficial advice to DIYers just so that they can 'get it working'. This down grades the trade and is also dangerous.

Much needs to be read between the lines with DIY posts, but not everyone will read a post the same way and not everyone will agree on where lines should be drawn.

I like to see information drawn from from such threads, before advice is offered. Sometimes that happens and a clearer picture begins to emerge, with responses being considered appropriately. Other times fairly detailed information is provided before it becomes clear the OP probably shouldn't be given access to their own shoelaces.
 
There is a saying “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing” but I agree with Dan, that if we don’t help, even a little bit, the DIYer will look elsewhere for answers or just go ahead with the task anyway. That, and thinking that we are a bunch of insert expletives here for not helping.


You do have to gauge somewhat on the poster’s competency…. Do they actually have a clue? …. And tailor your advice accordingly.


It’s a strange state of affairs (in the UK) where gas work is accepted by the public as something not to be messed with…. But electricity is as dangerous, if not more so.


Outwith the building trade, many of us work on our own vehicles without formal training as a mechanic…. But again, change a wheel, don’t do the studs up tight enough…. And you’re running on 3 wheels at 70 mph on the M6
DIY on cars is also dangerous if you just give it a go with only half an idea.
 
If anyone looks up "what electrical work can I legally do in my house as a homeowner/diyer" they will find they can change lights, sockets and add them essentially. A lot of diyers of then get stuck on changing lights and switches. So I know advice is given to them. I don't usually respond personally because, there are so many underpinning factors to ensure prior to changing a light that are second nature to the trade. Such as is the earthing adequate for fault protection. Is the cable safe (VIR anybody ?) Double insulated or not etc. And then there are strange things like people may have added a socket powered from the lighting, yes it is done. Without being on site you simply cannot ensure all the unusual and technical factors are satisfied prior to advising how to complete the wiring. As to sockets, when we first went on the job let's face it, our termination techniques were pretty poor and it is only over time we developed good technique. Again the average diy er is not going to have that up his/her sleeve. Finally I like to run a couple of test on any even minor work just to be sure nothing is untoward before commissioning the circuit. The diy er can't do this. So in short, I don't want to get involved as it is too risky/unknown unknowns etc.
 
Here's exactly the sort of advice that shouldn't be given and I don't care whose feelings are upset. Not a DIY thread, but a member who discloses nothing about themselves being given 'theoretical' advice for no reason other than offering a display of 'knowledge".

No questions asked, nor information drawn from OP, just a simple "yes you could'.

Spur off 32a house socket form garage for 20a supply. - https://www.electriciansforums.net/threads/spur-off-32a-house-socket-form-garage-for-20a-supply.211662/post-1853111
 
This thread hasn't been replied to for 14 days, so replying to this one may not get a response. Post a new thread instead.

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