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Topic Title: Kitchen fitters again.
Topic Summary: How to go legal?
Created On: 04 November 2010 07:10 PM
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 04 November 2010 07:10 PM
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Hello, I had another emergency call out today.

A tiny little studio flat where a telecom engineer had been in and had told the tenant ( who is two weeks from giving birth), that her installation was 'live' and not earthed. I have to confess to being a bit sceptical but went over straight away. He is absolutely spot on but I don't particularly like the 'live' word... all circuits are live if they are switched on aren't they.

Beautiful kitchen installed two years ago. singles in conduit it appears, and no connection to earth at any of the sockets or switches including the cooker. Under cupboard lights connected as standard steel switches as spurs from sockets, not fused down. Two spurs from some sockets. No box earth so nothing connected to the steel sockets.

Not sure about the DB end as I didn't open it up....Asbestos and very very old. No RCD protection. JP, how few days since you and I discussed such boards and there it was.

One socket in the lounge showing 120Volts.

Zs of 36.3 from the immersion heater.

I'm fed up with this and the client is outraged. She knows who the kitchen fitters were, possibly yarek and darek from Poland who I've told you of before. But she is going to check. So, I called NAPIT on the subject of going legal and fair enough, they don't deal with unregistered type complaints. They suggested I call LABC. LABC broke the news that they have a two year deadline so this is just over.

I identified one socket circuit which is bahaving as it should and condemned the rest. The landlady is paying for the tenant to eat out and I have arranged another electrician to go in and deal with it as I don't have time. He's Hungarian as it happens but does such a good job. I trust him.

Now, given that this work was not certificated and is clearly held together with sticky tape and string I think it reasonable to assume that any faults may not show up for a year or more. Like when the tenant's toaster breaks down and she dies.

I feel so strongly about this one and because we probably know the provenance of the work I'm considering suing on this myself if the client won't. I want these damned unregistered and crap murderous electricians OFF MY PATCH. Without them you or I could so easily be running a thriving contracting company here in South Bucks and we'd be doing a good job. But you know how I feel about them so I'll not go on.

Where to now with a complaint? Or is it too old?

And I wish I knew who the telecom man is, I'd shout his name from the treetops for him.

 04 November 2010 07:30 PM
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It sounds like another classic lash up Madam

That said, it's all very well the client being outraged at this stage - pity they didn't employ a bit of the same vigour when the appointed a kitchen fitter who was clearly going to fiddle with the electrical system.

Are these people really that stupid that they never think to ask or is the approach a little more cynical and financially focused. I guess that's why Yarek and Darek do so well - because people are willing to employ them with no checks or references - because the are cheap

And what's happened in the ensuing two years - no thought for a PIR in a rented property by the outraged landlord by the sound of it ?

And then we have the tenant - did they not think to ask even a basic question like are the electrics safe in this flat I intend passing over good money for - how about a PIR to go with my landlords gas safety cert and my EPC

As for where to go next - nowhere I'm afraid unless TS want to give it a go, although I suspect they have bigger fish to fry in the run up to Xmas

So - my advice, keep calm and carry on - you cannot educate people who don't want to know and you won't stop ***** poor installations by halfwits (particularly in the current climate). Focus on doing a good job at a good price - if the client wants Yarek and Darek prices then let them carry on.



Let the wind blow you, across a big floor.
 04 November 2010 08:27 PM
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On tuesday, I must have been about 100 yds from the High Street walking up towards it.
To blokes walking from the High Street stopped me, held a mobile phone in front of me and just said 'where'. On the screen, was the number of a new development in the High Street, just round the corner. This development is for the large private school we have here and I believe the builders are owned by the school.
They didn't speak english and I dread to think what is going to happen in the coming years. What chance if they can't even spot a High Street, speak the language and all this in a school that has told me in the past they bring a million pounds a year into the town (I told him to take it and the school somewhere else). That million pounds obviously comes in and goes straight out again to eastern europe if the accent is anything to judge by.

 04 November 2010 10:29 PM
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Ive just came back from a crap job as well. If you are an air conditioning firm who works in watford area, sort your life out!

1.5mm flex to a unit CANNOT go on a C32 breaker ok. Ive just spent a year on and off trying to straighten out this building.
Ive spent a days cutting away 20m of excess swa dumped on the floor in the risers, all fed from random what ever they had in the van breakers.
Only for you morons to come back to install your flex.


Lack of planning on your part doesn't make it an emergency on mine....

Every man has to know his limitations- Dirty Harry
 05 November 2010 06:51 AM
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It keeps us out of mischief!

 05 November 2010 07:09 PM
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John Peckham

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I saw the fine works of the kitchen fitter today whilst carrying out a PIR.

Unmarked 6 way Wylex consumer unit. Circuit No. 1 has a 6mm T&E and a 2.5mm T&E in a 32A 60898 Type B. Switched of all the other breakers and with my socket tester I find the cooker panel which is some distance from the oven is live. The oven time clock is flashing. Ahaa I thought what they have done is used the T&E to feed a 13A socket for the oven whiuch is behind the oven.

Circuit breaker No. 3 also has a 6mm T&E and a 2.5mm T&E. Wonder where the 6mm goes as there is already a shower circuit from another DB. Socket tester says it is the ground floor sockets. Hang on a minute the oven clock is flashing again. Test the cooker panel socket and that is again live. So 2 MCBs feeding the oven panel and other sockets in parallel.

Test the 32A 2.5mm kitchen socket ring and that is open circuit on all 3 conductor rings.

Of course no 30mA RCD protection and so it went on.

John Peckham
 05 November 2010 07:46 PM
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Originally posted by: Zs

unregistered and crap murderous electricians

Ummm I'm not sure about that, we have all seen 1001 poor jobs most I see are actually by the registered crew, I suppose taking an RnR or OMS line one could argue that in two years no one was dead.... Im not defending Yarek and Darek, If indeed it is that pair but unregistered does not make crap usually quite the opposite I find.

As for running a successful business, when was the last time you had a day off............?



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 06 November 2010 05:47 PM
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Why bother with the hassle.
You will spend a fortune on solicitors who will be more dodgy than the so called sparks you are trying to put out of business.These cowboys will be doing cash in hand jobs and will always get work.They will just set another Pheonix company up the following day, if any court action was successful
We just need to make sure that us proper sparks who want to do a good job, do so.
 06 November 2010 06:43 PM
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I am totally sick of it!!!

Been to 3 jobs this week, all a nightmare!

A good friend of mines Dad is having his kitchen done, asked me to have a look because the sparky the company is using says he cant issue a certificate because the rest of the house isnt up to standard. I agree with that, but surely he needs to install the kitchen electrics so it IS up to standard.

Here is what i found: A single socket in the corner (original socket) they have "through crimped" each leg to extend the ring around the kitchen. Ok, nothing wrong with this, but the plasterer is going to plaster over the single box with the cable joint in it.

There was a cooker switch on the wall, this has been put into connectors and plastered over. Still connected in the board as it shares the same fuse as the 8.5KW shower! Which the plumber had installed last year! Must be a junction box somewhere he told the customer! No, after checking the cable it is doubled up with the shower in the board. He didnt even check to see if it was.

Unbeliveable!! Then i look at the mains water pipe, it has an earth bond to it (an old 2.5mm solid green conductor) 15th edition i think or earlier! The fitters were going to install the units over the top of the pipes and box in the main bond. I inform the customer it should be 10mm and he says the kitchen fitter says its ok!!!

I let him have a drum of 10mm and an earth clamp and asked him to tell the spark to wire it in before they fit the units.

They have only plastered down to the work top level and everything below has been left as it was (black mould and all!!) They said this was ok and every kitchen is like it.

I'm going back next week to do a full PIR and will suggest a rewire of some if not all the circuits. And maybe put right the kitchen fitters work.

I dont know how they get away with it.
 06 November 2010 09:12 PM
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"They" get away with it because people like your friends dad don't put a stop to it.

 07 November 2010 12:12 AM
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They get away with it,because,

Plenty of kitchen installers price the job with electrics included
The customer is unlikely to be aware of their competence or lack of it as far as the wiring goes

The customer could be excused for engaging a firm who may very well do the majority of the installation well (and possinbly cheap) the customer having no idea of electrical standards expected

Why shoulkd they as well,they are paying for a competent job,whatever may be involved,its harsh to always blame the customer as penny pinching by going for the low quotes

Whatever price there is on any job,the paying customer should expect a first class job, without having a degree in all the various disciplines of the building trade, and shouldering the blame for shoddy workmanship, which the authorities have more chance of outlawing
 07 November 2010 06:54 AM
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"Plenty of kitchen installers price the job with electrics included "

Exactly why I stopped doing sub-contract work for builders.
They tend to get the hump when told how much works needs to be done and how much it would cost. The usual reply goes along the line of 'I wouldn't get the job if I included ll that work'. That goes a long way to explain it!

 07 November 2010 10:50 AM
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And it's not just the crap jobs we end up being called out to. I put a tender in for a couple of jobs recently, nothing major, but a couple of grand. They also had a couple of quotes from other companies for about the same amount. Then they get a quote for £700. Well, if a client receives a few quotes all coming in at the same rate and then one for almost a third of the price and, they go for the cheaper one, then they deserve all the get. Surely common sense would tell them somethings amiss.

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