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Topic Title: Grr - LABC changing goalposts
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Created On: 28 March 2012 04:51 PM
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 18 May 2012 11:43 PM
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NickSims

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Hi there everyone, I've really enjoyed reading this debate. As a newbie, to the forum that is, I wonder then if anyone can help. I've been training for past 3 years and am now fully qualified, apart from the 2391(which I'm taking this year). I've done a few minor jobs for my parents, and they've appreciated my advice and knowledge, so I've 'tinkered' a bit there, which is great experience. I'm limited a bit through lack of test equipment, but my work is guaranteed safe and complies with regulations. In the next week or so I'm buying an MFT, so that I can properly test my work and issue minor works certs with results. Now, I'm currently unemployed due to health issues, my training has helped keep my head together. I'm biting at the bit do more work, paid or unpaid and gain more experience. I've got some application packs from 3 of the scheme providers, I'm going to join 1, but money is an issue, so can't really afford to do that yet. Can someone advise me on where the land lies if I ONLY do minor works, ie do BC need to be informed about these jobs, and can I issue the certs to the customer....with all findings and test results, and as for getting customers it's going to be word of mouth and maybe a little ad at the newsagents.I can't for see a massive customer database forming yet, so jobs are only going to be every now and then. I hope you can understand my dilemma, any advice would be great.

Nick
.....If I posted in the wrong place, sorry.

-------------------------
Nick

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 19 May 2012 12:33 AM
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Legh

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Nick,
As a student member of the IET, what is your engineering background/training?

Legh

-------------------------
Why do we need Vernier Calipers when we have container ships?

http://www.leghrichardson.co.uk

"Science has overcome time and space. Well, Harvey has overcome not only time and space - but any objections."
 19 May 2012 04:29 AM
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ebee

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"I'm limited a bit through lack of test equipment, but my work is guaranteed safe and complies with regulations."

I`d argue that with you a bit Nick otherwise you are reliant of the "bang bang 240" test of old.



Unless of course you`ve been borrowing test gear to test your work with.

Anyway you are buying an MFT now to sort that out - good man.
_____________________________________________________

Before Part P came in I spoke to all 5 of the schemes before deciding which suited me best.
I was happy there were at least 3 to pick from unlike the Gas registration, because I don`t think monopolies are a good thing (well my customers choose me or someone else to do their work and I choose to work or not work for my customers - LOL).

At that time , all of us already trading, had previous works of all descriptions we`d already done without notification to show as examples to our assessors - indeed we had a further 3 months grace of works already booked in.

Back then it was not uncommon for the schemes to suggest that you did notifiable works whilst awaiting assessment then notified them once registered - a bit naughty and it did get stopped eventually - but you could appreciate the reasoning , there was a backlog in the new system. Actually I did point out to a couple of them that if someone failed assessment this would be a problem and they admitted "er yes it would!" LOL.

Anyway my point is that things were easier the for us already trading back then, nowadays you (should) notify thru the LABC route prior to registration.

__________________________________________________

Unfortunately for you minor works and non minor works does not always follow the the non notifiable and notifiable categories ie some minor works is actually notifiable too I`m afraid and of course the schemes would rather assess you on more than just minor works that are non notifiable (notice I said rather, I didn`t say they wouldn`t) .

I`d advise you to speak to the schemes, they are very approachable, listen to what they say (and listen to what they don`t say too!).

Also take a look at LABC and Department for Communities and Local Government websites to see what is and what is not notifiable.

Good luck with your endeavours (and the 2391) I`m sure you`ll be registered soon.

As for customers via word of mouth, it`s the best way to get the best customers but it is a slow steady slog, it takes years. It`s the way I got most of mine but I do advertise a bit again now though (recession etc ).

Well I hope that`s all been of some help to you - let us know how you get on

-------------------------
Regards,
Ebee (M I S P N)

Knotted cables cause Lumpy Lektrik
 19 May 2012 05:20 PM
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NickSims

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Hi Legh,
I'm glad to get feedback, thanks. Ere's what I got....

At Brighton College of Technology..C&G 726 information Technology(Introductory and Elementary)...Electronics & Circuit Testing, coding in PASCAL, Programming and Design Techniques.

HNC Microprocessor Systems and Digital Electronics. Maths GSSE.

I have been an Test Engineer and Inspector. Repair Engineer and Production Test Engineer, Supervisor. And last but not least I've been a Computer Support Executive. Ok that looks like only a few, but where I have worked in these roles I have worked in over a period of several years.

Also of course my Electrician training.
Hope that's ok.
Nick

-------------------------
Nick

Student Member of The IET.

Edited: 19 May 2012 at 06:08 PM by NickSims
 19 May 2012 06:06 PM
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NickSims

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Hi ebee,
Yeh that's great. I've sort of come to a conclusion, that if only do minor works I am very aware of what I can and cannot do. So even if I get assessed for Defined-scope, I might as well get assessed for Full-scope, I have the quals to prove that I'm at level. And as for the test equipment, I have Ethos Voltage indicator, Proffesional Digital Meter(CE marked,to BS EN61010), also Regin XP5 4 in 1 Tester....no-trip loop,mains voltage,correct socket wiring and polarity. And of course Ethos volt finder.
On the subject of getting registered, a guy that was on the same course as me, ie we are both full-scope qualified, replaced a consumer unit, the way he disconnected the meter tails is a bit scary, anyway he had already pre-booked for assessment. The assessors turned up as per booking, looked over is work, test results, test gear etc. and is now with a scheme, BC weren't involved. It's a bit of a grey area for me. If I inform BC that for instance I want to upgrade my own consumer unit, so that I get assessed for full-scope recognition, BC will levy a charge for one of their approved electricians to come out and test,inspect and verify the installation, at a huge cost. I'm thinking while I write this....do I instead tell BC that I'm being assessed to join a competent scheme, and that they'll receive all relevant documentation and won't require it to be 'signed off' by one of their own approved electricians? Next week I will be contacting BC and the scheme I want to be with, so thanks that's a great idea, loads of stuff going through my head...forget the obvious things to do. Just read your para about informing LABC....doh! Think you and I have come to the same conclusion(sorry I'm a numpty)

Anyway it's great to get advice and feedback, helps me a hell of a lot!

Nick

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Nick

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 19 May 2012 06:29 PM
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rocknroll

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BC weren't involved. It's a bit of a grey area for me. If I inform BC that for instance I want to upgrade my own consumer unit, so that I get assessed for full-scope recognition, BC will levy a charge for one of their approved electricians to come out and test,inspect and verify the installation, at a huge cost. I'm thinking while I write this....do I instead tell BC that I'm being assessed to join a competent scheme, and that they'll receive all relevant documentation and won't require it to be 'signed off' by one of their own approved electricians?


With regards to your comments I would just like to point out that the Building Regulations work across a wide range of local authorities who are autonomous and have different views regarding competence and levels of inspection, you will need to discuss this matter with your local Building Control service.

You do not have to go the local authority route and can employ a private building inspector to act on your behalf which may be cheaper, details of any local inspectors should be in your local yellow pages etc; or sites like CIC approved register or NHBC offering your postcode.

regards

-------------------------
"Take nothing but a picture,
leave nothing but footprints!"
-------------------------
"Oh! The drama of it all."
-------------------------
"You can throw all the philosophy you like at the problem, but at the end of the day it's just basic electrical theory!"
-------------------------
 19 May 2012 06:43 PM
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NickSims

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Thanks rocknroll, I didn't think of that. So looks like I have a few phone calls and enquiries to do for sure.

-------------------------
Nick

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 20 May 2012 04:16 PM
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perspicacious

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"And as for the test equipment, I have Ethos Voltage indicator, Proffesional Digital Meter(CE marked,to BS EN61010), also Regin XP5 4 in 1 Tester....no-trip loop,mains voltage,correct socket wiring and polarity. And of course Ethos volt finder."

What do you use to comply with 612.10?

Regards

BOD
 20 May 2012 05:52 PM
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ebee

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An 8K resistor connected to an egg timer

-------------------------
Regards,
Ebee (M I S P N)

Knotted cables cause Lumpy Lektrik
 21 May 2012 08:24 PM
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NickSims

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Thanks for that perspicacious. I think ebee's answer is on the money!!

No, oh ok then. Well firstly the minor stuff that I've done is really minor ie. change a broken socket, replaced ceiling rose and pendant, and for that the only requirement(I think, might be wrong though) needed here is that voltage,polarity and continuity is correct. The actual physical connections are secure and tight. The circuits are all on RCD's rated at 30ma with 40ms operating time, I assume this as the consumer unit is fairly new. However I have used the Regin tester which confirms polarity,loop and mains by led indicators, used before doing the work and after it as well. The verification on additional protection then is by operating the RCD's test button really.(not forgetting that I've locked off the circuit I'm working on)
So on Part 3 no. 5 RCD operation (if applicable) I used the figures above.
I will add though that when I get my MFT, I shall be using it to it's fullest. The scenario would obviously change had I the MFT set to RCD tests.

Ok.... I'm probably just about to be shot down for what I've just said, so be gentle.

regards

-------------------------
Nick

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 20 June 2012 04:16 PM
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NickSims

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Hey guys, finally got my mft, Megger 1720. I've been 'playing' with it non stop now, I got a test rig made up on a board trying to simulate a ring and a radial circuit. It's supply is coming off from a socket in the wall in the lounge, which goes through an MCB with RCD protection, so if it trips(which it does when I do RCD tests) it doesn't affect the rest of my flat.
I've designed a couple of test sheets now, which are more detailed than the Schedule of Tests sheet, just really getting to know how the MFT works really. As my confidance is growing a bit more now, I've been around my parents house and done a few tests there, and an inspection/test summary so I don't forget the test results. My flat isn't protected by an RCD, but with BS1361 fuses ranging from 5A to 30A so testing things like RCD is something I can't do there, but can do at my parents, plus if I connect something wrong, then the RCD trips, just like on my test rig.
So I thought I ought to let you guys know that I'm getting 'pucker', so I'm not going to be called a cowboy.
Oh one last note, I talked to LABC and asked what I need to do, they said send copies of all my qualifications to them so that I'm on their books, so to speak. So things are going great.

-------------------------
Nick

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 20 June 2012 05:03 PM
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AJJewsbury

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which goes through an MCB with RCD protection, so if it trips(which it does when I do RCD tests) it doesn't affect the rest of my flat

Bear in mind that normally there's no discrimination between MCBs or RCDs (unless the upstream one is time delayed) - so if you take you test rig elsewhere you might still trip out the supply!
- Andy.
 20 June 2012 08:46 PM
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ebee

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I do a naughty trick with my test rig.
It`s a very very naughty trick so don`t try this at home.

My shed supply is on a 30mA RCD at supply end with a 10mA RCD in shed (No time delay so none discrim) .

That`s not the naughty bit though - this is.
On the test rig I use Ph for Ph (of course) & N for both N & E (sort of as a PME system would).
That way I can do fault loop tests and onboard RCD tests without tripping any shed RCD.
The test rig is padlocked up so no one can plug owt into it and a big skull and crossbones danger of death notice on it too.

-------------------------
Regards,
Ebee (M I S P N)

Knotted cables cause Lumpy Lektrik
 21 June 2012 12:56 PM
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AJJewsbury

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I do a naughty trick with my test rig.

I have a plug & socket adaptor wired the same way - for the same reason!
- Andy.
 21 June 2012 12:59 PM
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ebee

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Andy,
I think we should create our own naughty corner to reside in !!!

-------------------------
Regards,
Ebee (M I S P N)

Knotted cables cause Lumpy Lektrik
 23 June 2012 01:19 PM
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NickSims

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Originally posted by: AJJewsbury

which goes through an MCB with RCD protection, so if it trips(which it does when I do RCD tests) it doesn't affect the rest of my flat


Bear in mind that normally there's no discrimination between MCBs or RCDs (unless the upstream one is time delayed) - so if you take you test rig elsewhere you might still trip out the supply!

- Andy.


Ah, my bad. What I meant was that my rig is powered from the lounge socket, goes through the main isolator in the DB.....then through RCD(63A, 30mA).... then to the MCB's.
Maybe It's lucky that it works to a point, but the main thing is for me is to learn hands on as the meter I have now, Megger 1720, isn't the same meter I used at the training centre which I think they were Megger 1500 series, and they were two separate testing functions.
If you want a 'larf' then head over to my website, I posted a few vids and pics of stuff that I've done, http://www.freewebs.com/fselectrical-installations/ of course any handy tips and advice is always most welcome

-------------------------
Nick

Student Member of The IET.
IET » Wiring and the regulations » Grr - LABC changing goalposts

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