Another week over, and it never ceases to amaze me what so called 'electricians' get up to! I do not do much installation work these days, too busy trying to educate the masses, but I did promise a good friend that I would do a little job for him this week.
I changed the switch on his garden lighting, and in the process discovered that the 'professional' firm that he had employed to install the system some eight years ago, had not bothered to earth any part of it, so the SWA cables all around the garden had no earth fault protection! Given that at the time he had two young daughters who often played in the garden (now approaching late teenage so never at home!), this could have been a tragic news headline in the making!
When discussing this issue with him he also mentioned that a plumber had fed his lawn irrigation system off of the 'softened water' pipe, so he had been watering his lawn for eight years with softened, salted water. This has led him to returf the lawn TWICE in the last six years! Also another plumber had left unsealed bent-up' water pipes in his en-suite during a shower replacement job. These had eventually leaked and caused him a lot of redecoration and ceiling replacement work.
For all of these jobs he had employed so-called 'trusted' or 'approved' tradesmen, belonging to the various trade bodies that we hear and see so much about. It has long been obvious to me that the current 'competent person registers' just do not work, and that many less conscientious persons are working within these schemes. It is also fair to say that the guarantees that so many of these bodies throw around are worth nothing - in my own experience I have dealt with several cases where these bodies have simply ignored customers complaints. Again I come back to asking "why are electricians not individually licensed?"
With a licensing scheme, customers could report individual poor workmanship, and if too many complaints were made against one individual, their license could be revoked. Competent, trustworthy and conscientious electricians should have no fear of such a scheme, but those just out to pick a pocket or two would have to beware!