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Spark giving us the run around

(10 Posts)
PatterofaMinion Thu 08-Jan-15 08:59:20

Hope someone can advise.

We bought this house in August and have only just moved in after extensive work including rewire and replumb/new CH etc.

The guy who did the wiring told us he was in the process of being certified as a competent person through Elecsa and would therefore be able to sign it off himself once it was done.

Most of the work was completed in Sept (I say completed loosely - he was hopeless at making good and I had to take out all 25 sockets and refit the back boxes in lath and plaster walls, as he made such an fffing mess of it)

anyway most of the wiring seemed good and there were various mistakes but we put that down to his having a 15yo apprentice with him who kept cocking things up.

So far we keep asking but have had no certification and he thought it would all be done by Christmas - ie registration process for him as competent person. He keeps saying they want to inspect one of his last 3 jobs but it may or may not be ours - he's been saying this for months now.

Tried chasing up with elecsa but he isn't on their system so we asked for his EPP number and he says he hasn't got that yet, and is dodging giving us the notification number from any correspondence with them.

He seems a lovely guy. He is quite young and very very busy.
We even know his dad who is great.

I am swinging between thinking he's pulling a fast one and that maybe he is dyslexic and crap with paperwork, but he is starting to get a bit shirty as we persist in asking for numbers and so on. Now he says he'll get his old boss to sign off the work, but this guy never saw it at first fix or second or at any point so we're worried about that.

Going to speak with building control and ask their advice but does anyone have a clue what we need to do from this point forward, as it seems unlikely anything relevant will be forthcoming from him, and we need it signed off.

Thanks flowers

PigletJohn Thu 08-Jan-15 10:03:02

Have you paid him?

Sadly it was a mistake to use an unqualified person. Even if it had turned out to be true that he would be qualified by the time he finished, you don't want a beginner learning his trade on your house.

BCO can certify an installation, but only if they are notified and fees paid before you start. They might possibly accept inspection and test certification by a Scheme member if they are feeling especially helpful.

PatterofaMinion Thu 08-Jan-15 11:54:21

Thanks John. Unfortunately I agree we should not have hired him, however I protested at the time and was overruled by the rest of the family (who I have to say, were the ones paying him, so I had to abide).

I had a nice Elecsa chap in mind who I had used before but he was't available in any case so rather than continue the massive disagreement, I caved in. Now they are regretting it of course.

BC have agreed to inspect the work after the fact - which surprised me as I thought we needed to inform them before it took place - and we will have to pay them a fee to sign it off.

Main concern is that it may not be up to scratch, there were various things that worried me such as the way he crimped a join under the floor and just covered it with loads of insulation tape - apparently this is acceptable, but I felt concerned about there having been a fault there in the first place.

They have already paid the young upstart, I wish they hadn't, but if people insist on using 'friends' then it usually means you can't have it out or create a conflict if something goes pear shaped.

Lesson learned I suspect.

PigletJohn Thu 08-Jan-15 12:00:57

Insulation tape is not correct. I think most people would now use a ratchet-crimped joint, using the (newish) insulated heat-shrink crimps, and oversleeving with heat-shrink sleeving to replace the standard cable sheath.

QuintlessShadows Thu 08-Jan-15 12:03:58

How come an unqualified person was even instructing a trainee?

Why did you not use somebody qualified? Pressure from the lads dad?

PatterofaMinion Thu 08-Jan-15 14:20:50

My parents. They own the house outright, and they decided to use this guy because they had had him before for some minor jobs and also used his dad for some building work.

So they had a few word of mouth references from friends and thought it was a good idea. I met him one evening when he came to quote and I thought he wouldn't have enough experience as it's a really old house and quite fragile. I said I think we need someone who is registered as competent, my mother got up in arms and decided that I only wanted to criticise every decision she made, and it wasn't pleasant, so I backed down.

Also we were using his brother for the heating (who is most definitely competent, and very good) so they thought it made sense.

When he turned up with an apprentice I think all our hearts just sank through the floor. They kept jiggering floorboards and breaking stuff, it was all I could do not to cry openly on occasion, but I didn't get to decide or they would have been off the job and out on their ear.

The guy is 25. I could be his mother. He's full of enthusiasm and very sweet and energetic, and seems to know his stuff but I believe experience counts for a lot and if you want a finished job not just some correct wiring in a broken hole in the wall, then you need someone with experience.

Took me weeks to sort out the making good, and even last week we were finding incorrectly wired fittings that we hadn't known about due to their not having bulbs in yet.

I think we wasted our money tbh. That's a PITA about the insulation tape as well as we'll have to have the new carpet taken up to sort it out. I said all this as it was happening but my mother just overruled everything.

PatterofaMinion Thu 08-Jan-15 14:23:12

PLUS she will never ask for the money back because she is afraid of social repercussions. She even said to the council, can we get this sorted without getting the lad into trouble? And they said yes!

I despair really I do

roneik Thu 08-Jan-15 16:41:06

Insulating tape sweats over time and is rendered useless, it peels away. , An Electrician could overcome that with a junction box I reckon. I am not an electrician but over the years done bits and bobs like wiring a shower to consumer unit before all this official oversight. It is a good thing really as there are people out there that would bodge changing a light bulb

PigletJohn Thu 08-Jan-15 18:23:39

junction boxes "must" be installed where they are accessible for inspection and maintenance, as the screws may come loose, overheat, or need tightening or eplacement. So not suitable under the floor. If you can't see it you can't maintain it.

A soldered or crimped joint is considered to be permanent so does not need inspection or maintenance. Electricians use ratchet crimping pliers, which apply great force to deform the metal. Not the same as the sort sold in Halfords.

roneik Thu 08-Jan-15 19:03:30

I don't touch electrics much.I reckon the way I turn down electrical socket screws they would be tight till a rewire was called for. Before you say it, I know the energy is a moving cold hot scenario to cause loosening .As you have said crimping. The last time I crimped anything was rewiring part of a car loom . I would only ever employ an qualified electrician

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