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Discuss would you tell a diy'er how to rewire his or her house? in the Electrical Forum area at ElectriciansForums.net

should we advise a diy'er?


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thekingiam

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firstly i mean by diy'er a person with little or no knowledge of electrics.
not a person undergoing training or an electrician,enginneer working in other feilds.

alot of posts i have read warn the person to get a qualified person in,warn about the dangers then someone nearly always discusses how to do the job.
some people have mentioned that they do this as the person would do the work anyways and they are now better prepared not to have an accident, or cause one.
some people state that there would be no one using this forum if we don't advise the diy'er.
are these facts true or is it the ego of an electrician to jump in and save the day for some sorry soul.
i am not pointing any fingers or judgments as i believe we are all to blame.
should we point out how to complete such works without the knowledge of safe isolation, and the tools to do the job testers etc.
another point is people say if it was'nt for diyers then they wouldn't get half there calls when something goes wrong,wouldn't an electrician get more calls before an accident occured if people used them when required as in part p guidelines.
i don't know any other trades that cut there own throats by giving free advise to there customers on how not to use there services
 
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I can see both sides to this, mainly due to the fact that i'm an ole f**t.

I'm old school where the term "family rates" didn't mean family but most trades. As I have said on here before I have never charged my family or closest friends anything for electrical work, especially labour and often as not material as I always had something lieing around.

The same went other trades, I have never paid for a painter or decorator, or plumbing work and up until recently my car/van to be repaired, and I have rewired other trades houses, their kids houses and redeveloped a garage, but unfortunately those days are coming to an end in the modern world.

I have lost count of the times I have been "asked" by someone "Your a sparkie I need a few extra sockets and ....................." and I have tried to help. Old fashioned as it maybe I'm a great believer that what goes round comes round, and I rather try to help someone if I could than just say, sorry get someone in or I can quote you if you like.

A Diy'er coming on here is not nicking your work. Some of you younger lads don't remember the 70s and the 3 day week and 3 million unemployed, and being on strike for a year etc, when times were as hard as this, and there were DIy'ers then as there are today.

This forum in a way acts like a pub/canteen/cafe/club of slightly older times where you will get people coming to you and asking "Your a sparkie......................" whether you help or not is up to the individual, I try to help and always will, to a point, where if the 1st inquiry is followed up by the OPs next cleary shows he is out of his depth, then you have to say sorry but I can't help you really as I think your not capable of doing the job ...........

It goes back though to the old chestnut of how you say this, some on here's attitude toward others is quite appalling and I often wondered if it was in a pub they were asked this, and answered with an attitude how long they would last before being separated with consciousness.

Diy'ers, cowboys, Dave from the pub will not take your work, as they often create it, what is taking our work is the modern set up of where you can train a butcher, baker or candle stick maker in 5 weeks to become a domestic installer
 
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darkwood

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Advice should be tailored to the OP and his competence level and although there isn't any harm in answering a question by the OP i feel it wise to also inform them where they legally stand if doing the job, the hazards that could come with it and when it is advisable to get an electrician in for peace of mind safety of their family and house.
Just answering the question direct without pre-empting the OP about the risks and legality of their intentions would be incompetent but again its about tailoring the answer to both the OP's competence and content of the question. If your mate wanted to change his own light fitting then i would happily explain how to do it but also i would inform him to ensure he isolates the power correctly thats if i didn't want to earn a few pints myself ;) but if he asked me about wiring his own electric water feature in the garden id either explain and oversee the job or warn him against doing it himself as the regulations are very tight due to the added risks associated with the job.
If we fully inform the OP regarding the job i.e. safe isolation, testing of the circuit and where they stand legally then its up to the OP whether s/he does it themselves as they now have a full understanding of what they may originally have thought to be a simple task.
So in answer to your pole i have to say 'NO' as a full rewire comes with the need for a good grasp of the Regs had this been the 80's then maybe the answer would be different as rcd's, split boards, tighter regs etc weren't in the equation and test gear was only ever used to fault find and not as now to sign you job off.
 
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telectrix

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one problem is that, while we may see that the OP seems competent to do a job, we all know that he's not going to go out and buy a MFT in order to test such work.
 

ruston

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I love your post Malcolm It's how I was brought up. The answer to the question is a very subjective one and would be based on your judgment of the situation ; eg am I going to let this fool kill himself or am I going to do what I can to keep them safe from harm.

The problem is you know they are going to have a go anyway . So what do you do.

As for on the forum I think that these requests will be dealt with in there usual manner lol.
 

darkwood

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one problem is that, while we may see that the OP seems competent to do a job, we all know that he's not going to go out and buy a MFT in order to test such work.
Yes must agree but like i said as long as we bring the point up then we have informed the OP in the best way we can and the balls in their court then, i do feel we have shown many DIYers that what they thought to be a simple task has turned out to be more complex than they imagined and im confident some of them will have fully taken the advice we gave and drafted in a professional as for the others well its their risk if the job does indeed pose a hazard but they had been informed.
 
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SW1970

  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #7
...would you tell a Electrical Trainee how to rewire someone else's house?
 
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Mark_Burgess

  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #9
Only 3 votes so far?
Come on guys, get your votes in, what about you thekingiam, you started it!!
 
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Mark_Burgess

  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #10
I wonder if I can leave flyers at the local hospital and doctors surgery, so each time a diyer goes in for treatment, than can call me to sort it out!!
 
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Octopus

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  • #11
Definitely no. If I'm quoting for a rewire and the client wants to save money they can be the "apprentice" and do the bashing, help with the cable pulling and be responsible for the making good - oh and its full of furniture/carpets deal with that too.
 

Taylortwocities

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I'm with Murdoch.

Also I tend to decline the opprotunity to rewire houses that are full of furniture. I ain't a removals man - and me with my back....
 
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RISElectrical

  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #13
I used to always qualify the quote as being based upon clear and unimpeded access to all work areas. Any time lost, moving or waiting for things to be moved would be chargeable
 

Des 56

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I take furniture moving in my stride,if its choca block I frown and get on with it,if its spacious and uncluttered , I smile and thing what a lucky lad I am
 
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thekingiam

  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #15
Only 3 votes so far?
Come on guys, get your votes in, what about you thekingiam, you started it!!
ok so i have looked at the responses so far and i must say if i was in my local pub and asked for advice where say someone had messed up tring to do two way lighting, firstly i would do a few diagrams to show my knowledge and also see if the person understands what work is involved they usually then ask if i could do it for them and i would probably charge mates rates or not at all depending who.
i have to say i would advise face to face if a minor task, not adding new circuits or extending a ring etc.
my problem with online advice it is sometimes down to interpretation, we all make errors and some people may take the first response from a post and plough ahead without reading the veiws of the rest of us.
there is another site the diy forum and i am amazed at the bad and wrong answers to peoples questions,we are lucky to have good electricians on here and responsible ones.
i have to say no.
i believe we have a responsibility to the public to uphold health and safety,i worry about the comeback if a child dies from my advice not being adhered to properly and the response being this electrician told me to do it that way.
on searching for subjects myself it is sometimes difficult to find the correct answer with out taking alot of research and veiws a diyer wants a quik fix for there lack of power,lights etc to make the missus happy.
 
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thekingiam

  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #18
What if someone followed that advice though?
my point precissly, without knowing that the person is going to read all posts instead of the first one to let him get on with the job how can we asume what the job is.
how many posts start off with what seems a easy solution only to be told later on in the posts something unforseen contradicting your original answer. many diyers either don't want to share what they have done because it makes them look a fool or don't realise the complexity of there questions.
by the way i can't spell precissly lol
or stroboscopic
 
In some ways it's a good thing that advice is often given to the DIYer, after all the person could go to screwfix forum/diynot and get hopelessly inaccurate information and end up doing serious damage to either him/herself or to others and as stated above it's possibly a reasonable expectation that the DIYer is going to have a go anyway with or without advice.
However, I believe it comes down to our own individual judgments on an individual's competence or ability whether or not we give instructions/advice on how to carry out a job. I've taken to either bypassing these types of posts or giving the "default advice" of get a spark. What the potential legalities of giving advice are I have no idea because I'm an electrician not a solicitor but I'd be willing to bet it's a minefield.
 
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Geordie Spark

  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #20
one problem is that, while we may see that the OP seems competent to do a job, we all know that he's not going to go out and buy a MFT in order to test such work.
Why would he need to ... when he has his Neon Screwdriver ????
 
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sparks1973

  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #22
firstly i mean by diy'er a person with little or no knowledge of electrics.
not a person undergoing training or an electrician,enginneer working in other feilds.

alot of posts i have read warn the person to get a qualified person in,warn about the dangers then someone nearly always discusses how to do the job.
some people have mentioned that they do this as the person would do the work anyways and they are now better prepared not to have an accident, or cause one.
some people state that there would be no one using this forum if we don't advise the diy'er.
are these facts true or is it the ego of an electrician to jump in and save the day for some sorry soul.
i am not pointing any fingers or judgments as i believe we are all to blame.
should we point out how to complete such works without the knowledge of safe isolation, and the tools to do the job testers etc.
another point is people say if it was'nt for diyers then they wouldn't get half there calls when something goes wrong,wouldn't an electrician get more calls before an accident occured if people used them when required as in part p guidelines.
i don't know any other trades that cut there own throats by giving free advise to there customers on how not to use there services
would i chuff!!..they`l end up taking work from me that i have trained and gone without to get the certs & experience to do.....its like saying to someone `well here we are, i`v spent time at college n all that but i`ll just show you how to get along..hell, i`ll even tell you where to get all the stuff from do do the job`...not a chance..lol...
 
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ickleant

  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #23
As has been said before chances are a DIY'er are going to have a go any way. i think your best trying to warn them off or failing that enough advice to stop them doing some thing horrible.
 

DNS1

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As far as I'm concerned, there's no yes or no answer to this one...

If someone with zero experience asks for advice about a full rewire I tell them straight that it would be A) stupid and B) dangerous to attempt it, then point them in the right direction.

If someone with experience and knowledge but without the formal qualifications asks, then I'd help them as best I could, but still remind them of the need to notify and get the work checked.

Until recently I was the latter and the advice given to me on here and other forums was invaluable (and helped me on the road to qualification and registration) so I would always want to repay the favour and help out others (subject to ability and experience)
 
I help people at my discretion, I rarely pay for other trades to work for me, based on the favour system. I occassionaly give advice to other trades if they show an interest in doing it properly. I rarely help other trades who give it the 'I know it all approach' and question my advice.
In doing I&T's I have seen a lot of bodged DIY which is not dangerous but certainly recognisable as DIY
A fair amount of 'decent' DIY barely distinguishable from sparks work.
A faily small amount of outright dangerous work!
 
I priced a rewire last week for a shopkeeper who has property, he said that he thought my price was fair but has decided that he wanted to replace the CU which I could do (very gracious of him I know). Knowing this isn't going to sort his problems out I refused.
I went up yesterday for a few beers and he asked me how it should be done, obviously he is intending to try this himself.
After I stopped laughing at him what do you think my reply was
 
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Geordie Spark

  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #27
I priced a rewire last week for a shopkeeper who has property, he said that he thought my price was fair but has decided that he wanted to replace the CU which I could do (very gracious of him I know). Knowing this isn't going to sort his problems out I refused.
I went up yesterday for a few beers and he asked me how it should be done, obviously he is intending to try this himself.
After I stopped laughing at him what do you think my reply was
Foxtrot Oscar ??
 

Jimmy Boy

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If I decide to do the brakes on my car and they fail and kill myself or one of the family I have to live with that choice, guess what I employ a competent mechanic, I don't buy into this mindset ' well he will do it anyway'..that's his choice and his alone , you have absolutely no guarantee it will make it safer in fact I would argue the opposite by bolstering their confidence with advice you are encouraging them to exceed their abilities, it may not have happened yet but one day someone will die as a result of advice gleaned off the net, just ask yourself one question, how would you like to be involved with that ? We all moan about part P and yet some are happy to advise those with zero experience ....that is their choice but not me thanks very much.
J
 

DNS1

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Here's a scenario...

Bloke asks me if it's ok to rewire his cooker in 1.5mm T+E...

2 options...

A) I refuse to help, tell him he needs a proper sparks and he goes and does it anyway (because he's a tit)... Fire, dead kids etc...

B) I tell him he's a prat for trying it, but also say that the cable needs sizing correctly and that 6mm would be suitable BUT he should still get a sparks to do it for him. He ignores the last bit of advice and does it himself, but he thinks "that guy said I need a 6mm cable, fair enough, I'll do as he says, it doesn't cost much more"

Neither are ideal, but I know which situation is safer...
 
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thekingiam

  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #30
without looking at the job getting all information you have decided that its a cooker circuit so 6mm i know its highly unlikely for this to be wrong but if a bigger size was actually needed you have told someone wrong info and if anything goes wrong will he be knocking on your door?
 
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Guest111

  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #31
there was a post on a site the other day allegedly from a spark advising the diyer how to do a pyro cable without the correct tools, he then explained how to find which conductor was which using a multimeter then mark one as red for live the other black as neutral,connect up and away you go.At no point did he mention ir test on cable,truly shocking for a spark I thought,
 

happyhippydad

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I realise I'm a little new to this forum, but I hope noone minds me voting. It looks like I'm massively in the minority with my 'yes' vote, perhaps thats down to my inexperience and my vote may become a 'No' in a few years.

If a Diyer is asking for advice then I think you should first try and assess his experience a little. If he clearly has no experience then he wont understand what you are saying anyway and I would then vote 'No'. If he has some experience then I think it is safer to give some advice to stop him doing something dangerous.

However, I would say to him in very clear and blunt terms that he is a very silly man for attempting the work himself. I would strongly try to put him off doing it himself by making him aware of the dangers and perhaps even using some strong language!!! He would then be making an informed choice, his responsibility.

But I would give him the advice, if he had some understanding.... that is when I get it myself, being a Electrical Trainee as you experienced hands put it..
 
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sparks1973

  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #33
As far as I'm concerned, there's no yes or no answer to this one...

If someone with zero experience asks for advice about a full rewire I tell them straight that it would be A) stupid and B) dangerous to attempt it, then point them in the right direction.

If someone with experience and knowledge but without the formal qualifications asks, then I'd help them as best I could, but still remind them of the need to notify and get the work checked.

Until recently I was the latter and the advice given to me on here and other forums was invaluable (and helped me on the road to qualification and registration) so I would always want to repay the favour and help out others (subject to ability and experience)
yes but that is someone bettering themselves isn`t it......not some timewaster in the bar....
 

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