Last week watchdog covered a so called “electrician” carrying out a variety of tasks in people’s homes. The work he carried out was shocking to say the least and extremely dangerous. We think that the episode is excellent and really shows some of the worst working practices by a so called “electrician” who quite clearly has never had any proper training or if he has, is simply too lazy to put into practice what he learnt in a training centre or whilst working out there in industry. He are some of his most shocking moments:
1. He attempts to fit a new socket without even turning off the power supply at all. In the programme the producers actually get so worried for the electricians safety that they get their actress to intervene and insist he turns off the power at the consumer unit. This is after she repeatedly asks him if he should turn it off, he says no its fine!
2. He doesn’t even secure the back box for the sockets to the wall. The whole socket is very likely to come away from the wall in a very short period of time.
3. He completely removes the fuse for the hob ignitor meaning if there is a fault there is nothing there to protect the circuit.
Then Watchdog get him back in to replace an old fuse box to see just how far this electrician will push it with his unsafe practices and not to anyone’s surprise he does the following:
4. He doesn’t carry out an initial inspection of the property or test the circuit where there are some obvious issues. He carries on regardless re-connecting what is essentially a faulty circuit.
5. He then simply removes the tag for the service cut out box without any consent from the electricity company. Yes we know this is fairly common practice, however we can be pretty sure he will not inform the electricity company afterwards or secure it properly.
6. Possibly the most shocking of all. When it gets dark the electrician then decides to generate some extra light to work from by simply connecting a light directly into the service cut out box essentially running light directly off the incoming mains. The light even goes out at one point and he simply pokes around with his fingers to get it working again. If the light develops a fault it could affect the power to the whole street and even effect the distribution network.
7. To top things off when he leaves and the work is inspected we find the consumer unit is buckled, the wiring is complete chaos and he has actually broken the cover for the service cut out too. This is a potentially lethal issue and is simply the icing on a cake of horrendous electrical work.
So we think this makes a clear case as to why you should use a registered electrician. This can give you the confidence that the work will be safe and if for any reason it is not you have a clear way to rectify any issues with the scheme provider.
The programme does mention that it is illegal to carry out notifiable work without being registered electrician but this is not strictly true. There are many experienced and trained electricians who for one reason or another are not a member of a scheme. In this instance the electrician will need to notify building control about the job and their competence to do the job (ie qualifications and experience). They will need to complete all the necessary tests and paperwork and building control will inspect the work and issue the Part P certificate to the home owner. However in order to keep it simple for homeowners the message really is find a registered electrician. You can quickly and easily find registered electricians here: http://www.electricalcompetentperson.co.uk/
If you want to watch the full episode for yourself you can find it here: