New Electrical Regs - Again

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I can't believe that. How do building inspectors work if they can't set foot on the premises? Maybe" not allowed without permission"....
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Harrison wrote:

Generally of course it is by 'invitation'. But there are fallback provisions (in the Public Health Act 1936 in my BCO days) that enable you to get a magistrate to issue warrant to enter a property if necessary to do your job. IIRC if access is then denied the property owner is in contempt of court.
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uk.finance + uk.politics.misc added
On Tue, 30 Sep 2003 20:40:15 +0100, PoP
About a new requirement from next April that all domestic electricaL work will have to be certified by a qualified electrician.

I was wondering where the impetus for all these new regs came from, then it struck me:
Say..
I am a qualified electrician, Dave over the back is a professional painter and decorator employed by his own VAT registered LTD co, as I am.
Now, Dave could do his own house wiring, but he's not qualified and ther's be no certificate. But anyway, if he did he wouldn't pay any tax on it.
So Dave calls me in to fix his outside lights. I want to come out with 20 quid for doing the job. but I have to charge VATat 17.5%, pay both halves of the NI contributions, and higher rate income tax at 40%, plus excise duties on road fuels, council tax etc etc. The effect of all the taxation is that Dave has to pay me £100 just to get £20 worth of electrical work done.
Dave's tax status is exactly the same as mine so to get that £100 He has to do £500 of decorating work. £480 of which goes to the government.
Bearing in mind the recent beurocratic meddling and restrictions imposed on boiler replacement, installation of double glazing, and now house wiring, anyone here see an incentive for the goverment to make DIY as difficult as possible? Or have I got it wrong somewhere?
DG
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That isn't what's proposed. It's difficult to work out what is proposed, but it will most likely be based on being a member of NICEIC, and nothing to do with being a qualified electrician. The government was estimating about 40% of electricians currently belong to electrical trade bodies, but the trade itself seems to put the figure much lower, at little more than 25%.

The technical justification was non-existant (well, it did exist, but it was just plain wrong, and so very obviously so). The motivation is not a technical or safety one, although that's what the press releases from the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister would try and have you believe.
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wrote:

I think the reason is to avoid people doing a job badly and creating a danger.
-- Peter Saxton from London snipped-for-privacy@petersaxton.co.uk
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On Fri, 03 Oct 2003 17:13:27 +0100, Peter Saxton

You may want to believe that if you are an Alastair Campbell fan.....
There is nothing to support this legislation based on evidence of safety and improved standards.
.andy
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On Fri, 03 Oct 2003 17:13:27 +0100, Peter Saxton

Ah, you assume that membership of some body makes one competent ? BAD mistake - look at Corgi fitters.
Steve
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So, what do I need to stock up on before the regs come in?
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On 3 Oct 2003 20:58:19 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@ukmisc.org.uk (Huge) wrote:

I think that the reality is that most people will carry on as before and in the event that they sell the property, pay for an inspection, which they would have to do anyway.
The other scenario may be when other notifiable work is done, that this could be included in a BR application.
.andy
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wrote:

The possible issue with this could that if the work carried out was not up to certification standards and material or life was lost before it was eventually certified, the person carrying out the work would most likely be sued and their professional indemnity insurance would most likely not cover them. That could happen now without the new regs, but with the new regs the certification should be carried out at the point of installation, not some indeterminate time later.
And what about a situation where some work was carried out and not certified, and someone else comes along and bodges a change from which loss results? If the initial changes weren't certified then the practitioner may well find himself facing a charge due to someone elses poor work. Again, could happen now.
I see some good in these new requirements in so far that if the standard 16th edition tests are carried out then the likelihood is that the installation is safe, and certificated as such.
The bit I do not like about these new regulations (and which I continue to badger government about) is the notion that you have to be NICEIC registered in order to prove you can write certificates. I'm going to college in the new year to do the C&G2391 course which will provide me with the knowledge to perform the tests. From that (and using the approved test equipment) I could most likely write valid certificates. But those certificates would be meaningless unless I were an NICEIC member.
This is like saying to someone that they have just passed their driving test but they aren't allowed on the road until they have gained their AA membership. The bit that government can't grasp is that NICEIC membership does not equate to improved safety.
PoP
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On Sat, 04 Oct 2003 11:50:16 +0100, PoP

I was really thinking of DIY when I made that point, but for professionals I agree with you.

The new regulations do allow limited work to be done without certification (minor works). This is where the argument on the government's part falls down even further. If a minor work such as an addition to a circuit is done incompetently and causes a fire or other problem, then what happens? It didn't require notification. Apart from the statistical factor of the amount of wiring, wiring accessories and so on required for a full house rewire being Nx greater than that for a minor work, there is no real basis to say that somebody who can do a minor work competently can't do a full rewire or vice versa.

Agreed, but it doesn't require a sledgehammer like this to achieve that.

That's because of the real agenda which is to force tradesman to be members of organisations who document their members. First of all this promotes the closed shop mentality which is a carrot for the trade union leaders. Secondly and more importantly, it is a way of keeping tabs on tradesmen for tax purposes.
If customers know that a certificate has to be issued, I suspect that fewer tradesmen will be doing work for cash. Hence the government picks up VAT, income tax and national insurance. I don't condone tax evasion for one moment, but if the government would like to keep tabs for this reason then it should be honest about it and not introduce control in this way.

I'm sure they do. It just happens to be a convenient organisation with a suitable bureaucracy to track its members whereby they can outsource the form of tracking mentioned above at zero cost to the tax payer, thereby claiming another victory. Their undoing will be that they have patently listened to the lobbying of this organisation and have ignored the electorate.
What goes around, comes around.......

.andy
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wrote:

Yes, rereading your message I did tend to infer the tradesman rather than the DIY bodger.

Absolutely.
Actually I see the converse argument - but either could be right.
Lets say that the householder has a need for some relatively minor work to be undertaken, which according to the new regs requires certification. Tradesman says "100 quid for cash, or with certificate 300 quid". I tend to think that a large number of householders would be keen to save the 200 quid.

Agreed. Only until the Labour government came along it was perfectly legal to mitigate your tax affairs so as to legally pay the minimum amount of tax possible - that was referred to as tax avoidance. Nothing wrong with that. Only now it is your responsibility to pay as much tax as possible to the exchequor.
Tax evasion is another matter - where tax is due but you fail to pay it.
The Lord Levy's of this world are exempt from these rules because they happen to be Labour Party supporters:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/825676.stm

Whilst I believe that Labour will be returned at the next election I'm comfortable that their majority will be significantly reduced as things stand today. There's a couple of reasons for this.
First, where's the opposition? The Tories haven't woken up yet to the idea that the country doesn't like baldie who is currently leading them. Second, the electorate are not yet p'd off enough with Labour to do the job properly.
From a personal standpoint I want Labour to be returned for a third term. Reason being that they've sowed lots of seeds that are going to erupt, and they should carry the can in the full glare of the electorate. That should keep them safely out of harms way for at least a couple of parliaments.
Problem is that if the Tories get in then they will carry the can for those deeds, and we'll have the same game of political ping-pong going that was there in the 70's. I don't rate the LibDems, they are just Labour in disguise.
Another issue that Blair has seriously overlooked in my opinion is these student fees that they've been so keen on increasing. Lots of students will be very unhappy at having to take on massive loans so early in their careers - and may spend a lifetime never voting for Labour.
PoP
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been done since a certicficate was issued (or not). A certificate doesn't describe the installed wiring in any detail as far as I know so it's quite impossible to decide whether it applies to what's actually installed.
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Chris Green ( snipped-for-privacy@x-1.net)

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PoP wrote:

I'm just spoiling for a fight, since I am a chartered electrical engineer, and a member of the bloody IEE. Am I competent ?
Steve
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On Sat, 04 Oct 2003 17:14:09 +0000, Steve

Nope. You don't have the right union card.
I ceased contributing to IEE membership some years ago because of the lack of value.
.andy
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Andy Hall wrote:

It has definite value to me, just apparently not doing a bloody wiring job at home !
Steve
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On Sat, 04 Oct 2003 17:39:07 +0000, Steve

No problem there - you can do your own wiring at home. But you will have to call in the local council to provide you with a certificate to prove that you have done the job properly.....
PoP
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I suppose, Steve, that it boild down to; Is competency in a piece of card or a piece of paper ... or is it in the individual? From my experience, a qualification might be a good start, but it is in the maintenance of knowledge and capability that the real competency exists. I've met some Qualified electricians that couldn't understand why a 12V downlighter that was fitted 6 meters from the transformer was running with as much light as the glow from the end of a cigarette, or that had to phone their supervisors to ask how many double sockets they could put on a ring and their supervisors had to look it up in a book. I beleive it's down to how much effort the individual puts in to maintaining and improving his own knowledge that really signifies competency.
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being a degree in Electrical Engineering.
Since it's 'us' (in the generic sense) that write the regulations surely we are somehow qualified to say that they have been complied with.
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Chris Green ( snipped-for-privacy@x-1.net)

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wrote:

No, I think that you are on at least part of the money. You have our pugilistic pal and his cronies to thank for that.
The excuse presented was that there would be a reduction in electrical accidents and fires (when almost all come from portable appliances and their wiring and not fixed wiring).
This is also part of a series of construction legislation whereby a tradesman belonging to a specified trade organisation (according to the discipline) can self certify his work. Of course the tradesman does have to have been trained or have appropriate experience and be a member of said organisation to do this. Such membership will be more economically viable for larger firms than for a tradesman who might work in multiple disciplines. Membership fees and other costs will of course be passed on to the customer.
This of course creates the 21st century equivalent to the closed shop, especially when your point about it making it much easier for tradespeople to be tracked through said organisations.
There is as well a general impicit put down of DIY activity as well. For example, on the web site of one of these unions in disguise, the Institute of Plumbers, there is a put down to the effect that it's OK to put up a few shelves but that plumbing requires a skilled and approved tradesman. Yeah, sure.
Never mind though. In letters from the minister responsible for all of this via their MPs, several people asking about DIY electrical work have been told that all is OK - they can submit a Building Notice at the local authority. One small snag. Most local authorities know nothing about this impending legislation, have not been funded to handle it and are not professionally equipped. Not to worry, though - if they squeak, they will have their budget capped.
Yes of course, this is another infringement of personal freedom by the nanny state and a not very stealthy stealth tax.
.andy
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