DIY Electrical

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by jar546, Nov 28, 2008.

  1. jar546

    jar546 In the Trades

    Messages:
    432
    Location:
    USA
  2. Billy_Bob

    Billy_Bob In the Trades

    Messages:
    422
    Thanks for posting that. Quite a bit of "handiwork" there.

    I've seen that grounding problem before. An entire new addition to a small office building with grounded wiring to everything but they never connected the grounds to the main panel!

    I always say behind every electrical code is a tragic death or fire.

    They should have mentioned GFCI's on the news report...
  3. drick

    drick In the Trades

    Messages:
    392
    This is an unfortunate preventable tragedy. However, sadly, it illustrates why some people prefer DIY. Even a homeowner with average skill could have done a more competent job than the illegal, shoddy workmanship performed by the licensed electrical contractor.

    -rick
  4. jar546

    jar546 In the Trades

    Messages:
    432
    Location:
    USA

    The problem here was at multi-levels.

    1) The idiot employee who performed the improper job
    2) The employer for not checking the work of the employee
    3) The employer for not pulling an electrical permit
    4) The building inspector who did not bump a note to the electrical department to make them come out and inspect the electrical work being performed.

    If anything, this should teach us all that electricity is dangerous and even the professionals make mistakes, some of them deadly. It is even more dangerous when DIY are involved.

    If I fail a job performed by a licensed electrician I am usually nitpicking as I should be.

    When I fail a DIY job, there are far more dangerous defects that are found.

    This is the simple truth.
  5. seaneys

    seaneys New Member

    Messages:
    192
    Location:
    Chicago Suburbs
  6. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    If you inspected and failed that job you wouldn't have been nitpicking...and it wasn't a DIY job. The boy died...you can't get more dangerous than that.

    The boy died because of negligence pure and simple...while there were a few people who should / could have caught something that would have prevented it the majority of fault lies with the...

    Professionally Trained & Licensed Electrical Contractor...this may include his employees.

    It might have been a mistake that the ground was never hooked up before the job was finished...but it wasn't a "mistake" that a GFCI wasn't used and it wasn't a "mistake" that the wrong # of conductors were used and it wasn't a "mistake" that a permit wasn't pulled and the whole job never being tested is just pure neglence...Not installing the GFCI, 4 conductor wire, and not pulling the permit were $$$ saving things that were done purposely...not by "mistake". This is my NSHO.

    I wonder if the contractor will have his license pulled permanently or do any jail time.
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2008
  7. jar546

    jar546 In the Trades

    Messages:
    432
    Location:
    USA
    The importance of this post is to realize that electricity is not a hobby and that we all make mistakes. It is also important to realize just how critical it is to perform electrical work to a safe, code compliant level.

    Yes, professionals at more than one level made a mistake that costs someone's life.

    Most of the time professionals do work, they pull permits and get the work inspected. If they are true professionals then they have the proper training and experience to perform the work. Like all humans, they too make mistakes.

    Most homeowners never pull permits and rarely get their work inspected. Most homeowners rely on information from people at big box stores or printed DIY books, both of which are full of bad information. Most DIY jobs that I do inspect fail inspection for major violations. Most pro electrician jobs pass with no problems and those that fail, fail for smaller nitpicky violations. Again we are all human.

    I have inspection thousands of homes and this is a sad fact, the DIY electrician is very dangerous.
  8. jar546

    jar546 In the Trades

    Messages:
    432
    Location:
    USA
    Professional Work:
    [​IMG]


    DIY Work:
    [​IMG]
  9. Cookie

    Cookie .

    Messages:
    5,658
    Location:
    .
    I think that is one of the reasons why, Terry created this forum, so, DIY'ers can learn how-to-do-it safely. And have discussions. That kind of is the purpose of this all, so DIY'ers can learn from the pro's more than just to change out a light bulb.

    Not all DIY'ers are dumb and not all pro's are the best or the brightest light bulb in the box either. Just the way it is.
    This is DIY'er forum with different interests people can discuss on.
    Electrical is one of them.
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2008
  10. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    When someone dies because of something a professional does it is rarely a mistake...it most times will be something they did deliberately...you see it is very difficult for a professional to make a mistake...that is why he is a professional...

    I dislike the word "mistake" because most times when it is used...it is not...it is mistakenly used to describe things that are deliberate.
  11. Cookie

    Cookie .

    Messages:
    5,658
    Location:
    .
    In my books when someone is doing their job to the best of their ability, if they are inspecting accordingly, then their is no nitpicking...

    Nitpicking to me, sounds personal. Business is not personal, business is business.
  12. Cookie

    Cookie .

    Messages:
    5,658
    Location:
    .
    It then becomes negligence. That is why their are lawyers.
  13. jar546

    jar546 In the Trades

    Messages:
    432
    Location:
    USA
    Here is a good example.

    If you look at the photo of the Professional job that looks great there are no safety hazards but there are still 3 code violations that caused the job to fail. They are small and not really safety related but still code violations.

    Can any of you DIYrs see the 3 code violations in the professional photo?
  14. Cookie

    Cookie .

    Messages:
    5,658
    Location:
    .
    Is a DIY'er supposed to see it on a Professional job?
  15. Speedy Petey

    Speedy Petey Licensed Electrical Contractor

    Messages:
    996
    Location:
    NY State, USA
    I was going to say there are several violations in that "professional" install but I didn't want to get flamed for being a jerk.
    Very impressive LOOKING but still not 100% compliant.

    If I do say so, my work is very nice looking. I do get compliments all the time. Even my rough-ins, but my panels DO NOT look as anal as that. Pretty close to as neat, but not so "perfect" looking.

    I HATE bringing that many wires in the side KO's.
  16. Speedy Petey

    Speedy Petey Licensed Electrical Contractor

    Messages:
    996
    Location:
    NY State, USA
    These violations are quite obvious.
  17. Cookie

    Cookie .

    Messages:
    5,658
    Location:
    .
    With your level of expertise I would hope so. If not, why do you hold a license?
    But he said, a DIY'er...
    The forum here is that to help, advise, discuss for the DIY'er.

    I would point out what is wrong with the picture so the DIY'er can learn and things can be discussed. Is that not the point of it all?
  18. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

    Messages:
    2,534
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Herein lays a major problem in the electrical trade. Most of these Do-It-Yourself web sites are moderated by people that have little or no knowledge of the aspects of electrical theory their self and will allow someone with even less knowledge give advice to someone about an electrical circuit.

    I have no problem with helping someone do something that they have the capabilities of doing but every once in a while someone comes along that wants to argue with the sound advice they are receiving which leads into something going tragically wrong. This type person I have a problem with giving advice to.

    Then we have those who read something without doing any research and think that just because someone else half heartily agrees with their thoughts that they must be correct. We see this daily here on this site. How many times have you seen, “well that is what my electrician said?†Maybe their electrician is a first year man or even a maintenance man at the local factory without any knowledge of what they are talking about in the first place.

    I have been teaching electrical classes at the local community college for many years now and can safely say that more than half of the students I see are taking the class so they can learn how to do work around their own house or that of a friend. Most will call me a few weeks after finishing school and ask questions about some project they are doing.
    A few will go on into the electrical field and pursue a career which takes years to learn.

    Then we have the Do-It-Yourselfer that thinks as long as it works it must be alright. This is where things go array. Not picking on any one individual on this forum but just in the past day I have read where a smaller breaker was used on a circuit just to make the old wiring safer. Any one with knowledge knows this does not make it safer. The voltage applied does not change with a smaller overcurrent device.

    Yes we do have license holders that cut corners to make a dime. This is bad and needs to be addressed with a heavier hand than what it is today. But when we have someone that has little or no knowledge in the electrical field that starts cutting corners then we have death on a stick.

    I admire Steve and what he is trying to do but he needs to get a little better grip on some of what is taking place in his forum. Leaving all the liability on the table and only addressing the burden of responsibility for the safety of others the loan of a discussion forum is a heavy burden. If the story of Isaac was due to advice given on this forum it would be a terrible burden for him to carry.

    This forum as well as all other forums should have safety as the first rule. This is why there are so many forums out there that will only allow someone who is in the profession to post. There they can debate the safety aspects of different installations without giving advice to someone who might hurt their self or others. When someone post remarks that display a total disregard to safety that person should be put on notice and if they continue then they should be banned.

    Remember that it is always safety first, safety last and safety always. There is always numerous ways to make an electrical installation but only one way to make it safe for everyone involved. The code making process is an on going process with nothing but personal safety at its heart. To just disregard these code rules thinking that it works is nothing less than playing Russian roulette. One day it is going to go wrong and when it does it could be a disaster.
  19. Speedy Petey

    Speedy Petey Licensed Electrical Contractor

    Messages:
    996
    Location:
    NY State, USA
    I was NOT talking about me. I mean they should be obvious to ANY diy'er doing electrical work.
  20. Cookie

    Cookie .

    Messages:
    5,658
    Location:
    .
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2008
Similar Threads: Electrical
Forum Title Date
Electrical Forum discussion & Blog Septic system electrical lines Jun 24, 2014
Electrical Forum discussion & Blog Installing Garbage Disposer electrical Jun 18, 2014
Electrical Forum discussion & Blog One right way to run electrical Jun 5, 2014
Electrical Forum discussion & Blog How to wire outdoor electrical outlet using old hot tub connection? Jun 3, 2014
Electrical Forum discussion & Blog Dropping an electrical line.... Apr 28, 2014

Share This Page