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Topic Title: General attitude and quality of work on site nowadays
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Created On: 21 February 2013 09:11 PM
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 21 February 2013 09:11 PM
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Alexg

Posts: 406
Joined: 03 February 2004

Been subbing for a friend for a month and a bit on two big store refits, making a change from my usual role as an electrician I was doing CCTV work. The general attitude of the electricians on site and the quality of work is just appalling. Each site has a different electrical company and both sites are just the same. We are neatly installing our cables on tray above the suspended ceiling while the electricians are just chucking their T+E over the ceiling, the main routes are on tray (kind of, just chucked on there in a twist) but where they need to branch of they are just thrown off the tray onto the grid nothing to stop cables pulling out of fittings, a lot of it is in a rats nest, cables are just chucked in and ran the shortest route possible. Also their attitude is just awful..on one site I have head the sentence 'f**k it, that'll do' so many times I've lost count. All the old wiring including strip lights are left above the new ceiling, old cables just chopped off and hanging (this is how it appears to be staying) The only other people doing a quality job are the refrigeration guys, their pipes are lovely and neat. I see this more and more on sites nowadays. Am I just old fashioned (I'm actually not that old!) and expect to see a quality job even above the ceiling and also a well managed site? Are their other who share my frustrations? Alex
 21 February 2013 09:34 PM
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slittle

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I think a lot of the attitude is down the rates the guys are getting and the fact most are subbies who are only there for the duration of the job.

I could say the same about alarm and cctv installers that have been on site where we've done the electrics. Not all of them by far but a few come to mind as being really rough. Taped joints instead of BNC connectors on video cables etc.

There's good and bad in every trade, it's down the whether the company managing the bad ones wants rid of them or wants a cheap job and never to return I'm afraid.

Stu
 21 February 2013 09:41 PM
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Martynduerden

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Appalling isn't nearly strong enough, I have seen some work in my time, this week I have seen three installations all have had new recent works all signed off all non compliant in so many ways, I fail to see why people do it, what is the point of new work if when you've finished it needs ripping out?

Sure it probably passes all the electrical tests but do we really only measure installations against a basic standard using only one metric? It seems so, either that or there are loads of qualified electricians simply signing off crap because its easier.


Arghhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

-------------------------
Regards

Martyn.

Only a mediocre person is always at their best



www.electrical contractors uk.com
 21 February 2013 09:41 PM
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Alexg

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Stu,

Yes I agree, when running a commercial electrical job I normally cringe when other CCTV / alarm boys come in, in a new job with tray installed most would still just chuck it in...why? it doesn't take that much longer to lay in neatly on tray.

Both these sites have a foreman...maybe it is just down to the foreman not caring/not knowing the difference. I guess if someone made rough trades redo their work they would soon buck up their ideas.

Alex
 21 February 2013 09:46 PM
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Alexg

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Originally posted by: Martynduerden

Appalling isn't nearly strong enough, I have seen some work in my time, this week I have seen three installations all have had new recent works all signed off all non compliant in so many ways, I fail to see why people do it, what is the point of new work if when you've finished it needs ripping out?



Sure it probably passes all the electrical tests but do we really only measure installations against a basic standard using only one metric? It seems so, either that or there are loads of qualified electricians simply signing off crap because its easier.





Arghhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!



Glad to see I'm not alone...Are you like me where your work above the ceiling looks as good as if it was on the surface? - it's not just about having pride in your work, it's just clean and easy to trace things in the future. With this site there is no separation between services, T+E pulled tight across tray and refrigeration pipes. Sad thing is when all the tiles are back the customer sees an acceptable job..
 21 February 2013 10:27 PM
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impvan

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No, you're not alone. Was chasing a fault on a pyro today, poking around the rat turds in voids etc; towards 4 o'clock get summoned to reception: "two of the CCTV cameras have gone off".

Well it was fairly likely I'd disturbed something, given the taped joints on the coax, the six-core alarm cable used as power feed, and the void depth being the same as my belly depth - and right enough, one of the wires which would have previously given a Middle 'C' when plucked was now a couple of octaves down.

Why do they do it??? It's not like the RG59+2 is expensive, neither are clips!

When looking at the pyros in the same void (albeit under layers of distemper) 8 cables all bare 224's and 192's laid flat & touching, sweeping round all the beams and perfect radii on the flat bends... lovely. And a 4-core, probably 10mm2 equivalent , with perfect curves, and even the sandstone quoin dressed on one corner to take the radius - an absolute work of art, must have taken him an hour just to lay 10' of one sub...

FWIW the camera fault was a BNC plug they'd not even crimped; the pyro fault was perforated sheath from being embedded in cement 20 years ago - not bad for stuff put in in June 1931 (found a North Wales Weekly News in the same hole)
 21 February 2013 11:19 PM
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chunk522

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These poor installs for me are down to not giving the electrician enough time to install properly and paying monkeys.
Some Main contractors have a good understanding of time needed to install properly some dont give a s**t.
The contractors we work for are really good on jobs when we explain why we need the time to install wiring systems properly before the suspended ceiling goes up as an example.
We had a job last summer ( new customer) it was for a company that just wanted a quick turn around they didnt care what the wiring looked like above the ceiling, all the boss was concerned about was the painter and decorators getting the rooms finished and turned around quick but the building firm were the same rush rush drag...... from the start of the job access was ok for cable clipping etc but as the job proggressed the main rooms needed a trunking system above the ceiling to be honest, but there just wasnt time to install it we were given two days to install a 2 week job(one word was sole destroying to see us installing cables this way) in the end, I ended up telling the comapany who was running the job that we needed more time to install... they were not interested so we pulled of the job 3/4 of the way in.
I dont know if it ever got finished by somebody else.
In that sort of situation something will get forgotten and somebody will get hurt.
 21 February 2013 11:36 PM
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Martynduerden

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Originally posted by: Alexg

Originally posted by: Martynduerden

Appalling isn't nearly strong enough, I have seen some work in my time, this week I have seen three installations all have had new recent works all signed off all non compliant in so many ways, I fail to see why people do it, what is the point of new work if when you've finished it needs ripping out?

Sure it probably passes all the electrical tests but do we really only measure installations against a basic standard using only one metric? It seems so, either that or there are loads of qualified electricians simply signing off crap because its easier.

Arghhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!


Glad to see I'm not alone...Are you like me where your work above the ceiling looks as good as if it was on the surface? - it's not just about having pride in your work, it's just clean and easy to trace things in the future. With this site there is no separation between services, T+E pulled tight across tray and refrigeration pipes. Sad thing is when all the tiles are back the customer sees an acceptable job..


I recently had a qualified electrician working for me, he was crap, dangerous & thought he was amazing.

He didn't just do it to me though I've seen plenty of his work for others, som dangerous some ugly and some just untidy, I count me as the lucky one, I managed to correct his work. Some of his work will never be corrected.

Shame really.

-------------------------
Regards

Martyn.

Only a mediocre person is always at their best



www.electrical contractors uk.com
 22 February 2013 06:45 AM
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Jaymack

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Originally posted by: Martynduerden
I recently had a qualified electrician working for me, he was crap, dangerous & thought he was amazing. He didn't just do it to me though I've seen plenty of his work for others, som dangerous some ugly and some just untidy, I count me as the lucky one, I managed to correct his work. Some of his work will never be corrected.

It takes 2 to tango, your vetting and interviewing procedures are suspect. Shame really.

Regards
 22 February 2013 07:00 AM
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ebee

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Whatever your vetting and interviewing you have to let them do some practical real life on their own to find out what they are really like.
Looks like that`s what Martyn did then got rid.
What else could he reasonably do?

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

Knotted cables cause Lumpy Lektrik
 22 February 2013 07:15 AM
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Fm

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Pisspoor
 22 February 2013 07:25 AM
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Jaymack

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Originally posted by: ebee
Whatever your vetting and interviewing you have to let them do some practical real life on their own to find out what they are really like.

I need hands! Having interviewed many people including craftsmen in my time, there are ways in determining a candidate's practical skills, it's an admission of failure on the part of the interviewer, and unfair to hire anyone without having had a comprehensive vetting procedure; including reliable feedback on a candidate's practical skills ..... in relation to the intended scope of work.

Regards
 22 February 2013 09:23 AM
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oshta

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Originally posted by: chunk522These poor installs for me are down to not giving the electrician enough time to install properly and paying monkeys.


But its also the fact that often the people comminsioning the work dont inspect the job afterwards, dont know what it should look like if they did, and nine times out of ten dont give a stuff anyway as long as the light comes of when they flick the switch.
 22 February 2013 10:01 AM
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Martynduerden

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Originally posted by: Jaymack

Originally posted by: Martynduerden

I recently had a qualified electrician working for me, he was crap, dangerous & thought he was amazing. He didn't just do it to me though I've seen plenty of his work for others, som dangerous some ugly and some just untidy, I count me as the lucky one, I managed to correct his work. Some of his work will never be corrected.


It takes 2 to tango, your vetting and interviewing procedures are suspect. Shame really.

Regards


I accept that, at the time I was in desperate beet of a pair if hands so I used someone who I was generally highly thought of, there are con artists the world over, he was a good bulshi**er and managed to fool a few for a while.

That's not an excuse, just the facts, I screwed up I'm sure I will again, lets just hope I am also able to rectify it next time.

-------------------------
Regards

Martyn.

Only a mediocre person is always at their best



www.electrical contractors uk.com
 22 February 2013 10:44 AM
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Jaymack

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Originally posted by: Martynduerden
he was a good bulshi**er and managed to fool a few for a while.

As the pilot in "Catch me if you can", it's important to get him before he gets in the cockpit.

Regards
 22 February 2013 11:20 AM
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OMS

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Am I just old fashioned (I'm actually not that old!) and expect to see a quality job even above the ceiling and also a well managed site? Are their other who share my frustrations?


I don't disagree with most of what you've said Alex - for sure there is evidence of deskilling in the industry, and I won't go there in terms of the prevailing view of short cycle electrical trainees.

However, it's perhaps worth putting a little context on this.

The cost of installing and owning building services systems for some clients is often the make or break point on an investment made in difficult times - the operators of these sheds have obviously decided they need a refresh in order to generate new, or at least maintain old, business and they want it done quick and cheap. From there, it's easy to see how extremely competitive bidding results in a situation where "traditional" installation standards have to decline.

If you are in a business with tight margins anyway, do you really worry about what's above your ceilings as long as it keeps working and allows you to keep trading - that is very often the only consideration for these kind of refits, as they are probably destined to last just a few years until the next change.

Sometimes you simply get what you pay for - and it's easy to see that not much in the way of design has gone on - T&E on commercial fit out should say something to you about the background thinking - given that labour is cheap at the moment, it's the sort of system that you would want to avoid.

My advice to this client would be to go as modular as you can - lighting busbars, power busbars and simple robust containment - you have a small team of reasonably skilled guys to install that and then you bring in the semi skilled installers who can't really make too much of a mess plugging in luminaires, sockets etc - from there sub contracts to specialist fire and security installers with containment already in place is easy to control.

Most of these problems start at the design stage - but if the client can't or won't see the advantages in sensible planning, then what you get is what you've been working on.

Never forget the old saying about D&B being ideal for clients who know exactly what they want and aren't too fussy about what they actualy get

Regards

OMS

-------------------------
Failure is always an option
 22 February 2013 04:43 PM
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OldSparky

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i am glad there are people out there like me..

I am sick and tired of following crap work, no one seems to give a toss any more

Standards are seriously dropping.

I am thinking of going into teaching, certainly on the practical side.

I had 2 weeks with an agency because i had no work, before i could connect any electrical items (dont ask) i had to go on a day course.

The instructor gave us all plug tops to put on a flex.. i was the only one who doubled over the flex in the terminal.. Even the instructor had no comment to make to the other staff in the class.

This is basic electrical good practice, why has it stopped.
 23 February 2013 05:11 PM
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MrOther

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Alex was this a full refit or a small refit?

If it was a small refit, i.e. not the whole store then for practicality I can see why the electricians are throwing it in.

If its a full refit, most of the cieling down, whole floor emptied of occupation then I'd expect to see a properly plan out job.
 23 February 2013 06:31 PM
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Alexg

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Hi MrOther.

Full refit, the whole ceiling was replaced...well a new ceiling was installed a foot lower with parts of the old solid and suspended ceiling left in place, complete with all old accessories left in place.

Alex


Originally posted by: MrOther

Alex was this a full refit or a small refit?



If it was a small refit, i.e. not the whole store then for practicality I can see why the electricians are throwing it in.



If its a full refit, most of the cieling down, whole floor emptied of occupation then I'd expect to see a properly plan out job.


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