Basic rule seems to be anyone who has subscribed to the NICEIC. I
don't use the term "member" of the NICEIC because they don't have
members, apparently. You just hand over your dosh each year and you
become able to issue certificates.
No, to become a member of the NICEIC, you need to have been in business for
a year. To be in business you need to already be a member of the NICEIC. By
instituting this chicken and egg situation, the government has effectively
banned setting up an electrical business.
On Fri, 10 Oct 2003 10:25:20 +0100, "Christian McArdle"
Exactly. And what this government are too stupid to recognise is that
there are another few votes which won't go in their direction in the
future. And probably never will again, given that if you give people a
hard time during your governments term then they most likely will
suffer from having a long memory.
Competent person is a purposefully loose description, to allow a number of
criteria to fit.
It the fundamental level, it is "someone able to do the job".
You then expand this by qualifying why they can do the job. This may be
demonstated by years of experience, or a certain qualification.
A definition is just one possibility, and bear in mind that there will be
other ways to meet competancy. The IEE may state one method and promote a
certain training course - obviously for a fee. However, reading the new regs
thouroughly at home (and understanding them!) is just as good a method to
Err, not *quite* all. An understanding of basic electrical theory is
essential when considering competency. Merely reading and understanding
the regs will not provide that understanding. How would a competent
person by your definition know how to avoid danger from electric shock
when working on an electrical installation? How would they know the
*relevance* of correct polarity? How would they know the *relevance* of
earth loop impedance?
I do not subscribe to the idea that all such work should be carried out
by 'qualified' - whatever that means - electricians or gas fitters,
where gas is concerned, but I do think that anyone who is prepared to
take on such work must be aware of the dangers and how to avoid them.
One only has to read through some of the oh so basic questions that get
asked in this NG at times to know that there is a need for some form of
control over the enthusiastic but unknowing amateur. When I see
something like 'Can anyone recommend a good book to help me instal a new
twin plug', then it's fairly obvious to me that person should not be
doing that work.
I think a fair starting point for taking on this sort of work would
have to include having gained the necessary certifications via C&G2381
and C&G2391. What surprised me earlier this year when I got my C&G2381
was that the course was full of sparkies who had been practising for
some time (i.e. they weren't apprentices). As the only non-sparky on
the course I was a bit surprised by that - I'd have thought their
apprenticeship would have equipped them with that certification but I
was obviously wrong. I think a couple of them had 15th edition or
something, can't remember now.
I'm doing C&G2391 in the new year when there's next a place available
at the local college. Then equipped with that certification I can,
err, not write certificates because I'm not a subscriber to the NICEIC
Actually I'd consider that a little unfair - if someone is asking the
question then they are aware they have limitations and hence are asking
for more informed advice. If they are asking for a book reference, then
they are showing they are taking things seriously and looking for the
correct way to do things.
If, however, they are saying "I fitted a new twin plug yesterday and my
house caught fire when I switched the power on, why?", then I'd agree
On Fri, 10 Oct 2003 18:54:07 +0100, Tony Wood wrote:
But the danger of following an idiot's guide is that they may not
realise that regardless of said idiot's guide if they actually get the
cables in the wrong terminals it could have lethal consequences.
On Fri, 10 Oct 2003 23:41:15 +0100, Dave Plowman wrote:
I've had to attend a couple of inquests as expert witness, so yes, and
judging on some of the questions I've seen asked in this NG over the
three or four years I've been following it, again, yes! There may not be
many, but just one accident because someone doesn't understand what
they're doing is too many.
If this is a general view, it gives carte blanche for the government to
introduce legislation as indeed they have done. Whether it will be
effective or not - "something has to be done".
Wonder when they'll do something similar about road deaths? Everyone
driving is qualified to do so - in theory at least - but it doesn't stop
FWIW, some of the most serious bodges in electrics I've seen in my
limited experience were carried out by pros that will presumably be the
very ones who are allowed legally to work on electricity under the new
*You can't have everything, where would you put it?
Dave Plowman email@example.com London SW 12
Precisely. Not long ago when flooring my loft, I found at several
light fittings where several cables arrive to create the daisy chain
and switching, that the earths had simply been twisted together behind
the fitting. No sleeving, no terminals. Bodge.
Presumably the electrician gets a special deal on his spurs from the
To email, substitute .nospam with .gl
Several weeks ago I put a PC into my daughters bedroom. As I was
sorting out the cabling she remarked "oh yes, that 13A socket doesn't
work". She had never told me previously, but what the heck.
I set to with the screwdriver, to discover that whoever wired up our
house 8 years ago had done a serious bodge job, leaving this socket
either badly or not earthed. And these are definitely people who will
be allowed to continue working on electrical installations.
Coming back on-topic, I think the general tradesman who needs to do
the occasional electrical work might tend to cut less corners than a
sparky who is doing this day-in, day-out. Familiarity breeds apathy.
And don't we see that in our politicians?
I am not sure I agree with the former. The other day, a tradesman who
was connecting up a new wall light as part of a larger job came to me
and said he was puzzled because it did not work when he put the fuse
back in - and there was mains to the fitting ok. He then demonstrated
to me that he had 240v to both pins of the bayonet socket!
It was clear to ME that I would not expect the bulb to light
up in those circumstances although it took ME a few minutes to work
out what had been done - the power supply had been taken from the
switched live between two switches to the main room light!
A 'proper' sparky was then called in to rewire the light.
Have to agree with you there that the tradesman was not competent to
be doing the job.
But by the same token, being a qualified and time-served sparky would
not automatically make someone competent either. The likelihood is
that they would be, but there are bad apples in every barrel.
The gentleman who wired our house was a budding Robin Hood. In the
attic every wire is a bow string, incliding the one that stretched
taut across the corner of the framing around the access hatch.
Paul Mc Cann
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