Do It Yourself Book

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by jwelectric, Dec 30, 2008.

  1. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

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    From time to time I get some information via email just because of what I do for a living.

    Any of you who might have bought a How To book lately should check out this link

    click here
  2. jar546

    jar546 In the Trades

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    Just found this through another source this morning. This is what jw is pointing to:

    This is one more fine example of why electrical safety is so important and you really need to understand what you are doing.

    Faulty Instructions Prompt Recall of Electrical Wiring How-to-Books by The Taunton Press; Shock Hazard to Consumers
    WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed.
  3. jar546

    jar546 In the Trades

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    Cookie,

    You are running off on a tangent with this one. This is a very good example of how dangerous DIY with electrical can be and please re-read my statement.

    I never said DIY should not be done. No matter who you are, you need to know what you are doing, especially with electrical work. Comparing electrical to teaching school is a very poor example. One minor error in electrical work can cause a death. I am rather taken back that you choose to minimalize the importance of this.

    Rather than act as an attorney for the DIY folks, how about taking this lesson at face value by understanding and appreciating this important information that is being shared.

    Too many people are trying to make a buck by selling DIY books and money hungry publishers are quick to put them in the big box stores with very little oversight.

    Every 3 years a new NEC version comes out after a constant ongoing process involving thousands, yes thousands of experts who evaluate and re-evaluate the safety of the public. The NEC is over 100 years old and it is constantly changing. Before one word is changed it takes a major evaluation and acceptance. Not the case with some moron who wants to show people how to do things wrong.

    Whether you stated it or not, your post is minimalizing electrical safety. Don't lose sight of safety to ring the DIY bell.
  4. Cookie

    Cookie .

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    I knew you were going to say that. :)

    I absolutely did not miminize the danger, danger, of electrical.
    To be honest with you Jeff, you are alittle off tangent.
    I was married to an EE for nearly 30 years, and he would agree, education is the key to safety.

    Have a nice day.
  5. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

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    How to

    And do you really believe ONLY electrical books have errors in them. Most of the DIY books are probably written by guys, and gals, who have read other books, but never did any real work.
  6. Cookie

    Cookie .

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  7. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

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    Just curious....if any one has one of those books, can you post an example of the errors? I am thinking there must be some pretty egregious stuff in there to prompt CPSC action!
  8. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

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    Cookie the books that the CPSC has recalled have some very serious life safety issues in the text.
    The text tells someone how to wire something where all metal is carrying current. Wouldn’t you think it nice to arise in the morning and stroll into the kitchen to fix you some breakfast and while the eggs was frying in the skillet you are going to make you a pot of coffee. When you reach to turn on the water you can’t let go of the facet.

    Those eggs would just sit in that pan and burn and that would be a waste of good eggs not to mention that there might not be any more Cookie for us here and that would be nothing short of tragic.

    Being in the electrical construction for over 40 years I think it would be fair for me to say that I have taught thousands of people a little something about electrical installations.

    After old Author moved into my knees, hips and shoulders I had to give up field work and took on the role of instructor at the local community college where I have been teaching for 9 years. I think that if there is anyone on this site that can address the education of some of the task asked about on this forum I would be well qualified to make a judgment call as to whether or not the person asking the question could handle the job.

    I agree that education is the key but some things can not be taught through self help books and can’t even come close to being covered on some DIY web site.
    Working in the field as well as answering question on these DIY web sites any experience electrician can easily see that most of the DITer is just looking to make it work. Once it is working then in their mind it is right,

    In one of those books that is being recalled the author is telling the DIYer that a metal water pipe can be used as the return path for current. In other words the metal water pipes is being used for a conductor.

    Now ask any of the plumbers on this site just what they think about this type of installation. Remember that it will work so in the mind of most DIYer it must be right.
    .

    If someone wants to learn how to install a service let him/her go to their local community college where they will have some one on one instead of just coming to a web site and asking what kind of panel they need to buy.

    Now being the wife of an electrical engineer do you think that he obtained his knowledge by asking a few questions on a web site? I bet he spent a lot of hours in a classroom. Some of the questions that are asked on this site would require the person to spend many classroom hours in order to learn about all the things that they are not asking about.
  9. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

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    How about useing the metal water pipe for a return path for a circuit.

    One example is that when changing from a three wire recrptacle to a four wire receptacle for a range or dryer a metal water pipe can be used for the new white wire.

    This means that the metal water pipe is carrying current. Wouldn't you love to work on that system?
  10. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

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    With some things like changing a light bulb or a fuse we can give a lot of help.

    With things such as a service panel there is no way they can LEAEN close to enough on a discussion forum such as this one.

    For some installations I recomment a course at the local community college.

    I am suprised that the wife of an electrical engineer would think that someone could obtain enouth knowledge to design and install an electrical system by asking questions on a web site.

    We have no way of testing the person to see if they are ready to move on the the next level so what we are doing is helping someone get hrut, hurt soemone else, or burn down their house.
  11. Cookie

    Cookie .

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    I never said they could obtain enough knowledge to do all things. Read my VERY first post again. Then read it again. You will see... something I said in it, about figuring out they, a DIY'er, will need a Pro.

    Do you see it? :D
    Don't read so quick guys, slow down, read what is being written before you jump.
  12. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

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    WOW! They really put that in a book? Hope that publisher had lots of insurance!
  13. Billy_Bob

    Billy_Bob In the Trades

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    So far as learning new things and books go, I like to get three books on the same subject by different authors/publishers. I learn the most this way.

    With just one book, something might not be explained very well and I don't understand it. Then the second book with explain the same thing differently and I will then understand it. And sometimes two books will give conflicting advice, then the 3rd will confirm something should be done one way or another.

    Also the important stuff is drilled into my head three times by reading three books.

    BTW I read a LOT and it is not uncommon to see mistakes in books. (Frequently toward the back.) I think the proof readers get tired after going through the first part of the book and are not so careful with the rest.
  14. Alectrician

    Alectrician DIY Senior Member

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    689
    IMO, homeowners and handymen should not do electrical work. The learning curve is too great.

    I do a lot of service work and base my opinion on what I see every day.

    If your plumbing leaks, things get wet. If your electricity leaks, things get burned and killed.
  15. Cookie

    Cookie .

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    Some plumbers die each year from things electricians do.
  16. Cookie

    Cookie .

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    I clicked there and I would like your opinion if this guy is an expert or not?

    http://www.linkedin.com/in/mcalistermichael
  17. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots Sprinkler Guy

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    Despite the back-and-forth, there are still no actual examples of the errors that led to the book's recall. Absent actual examples, one could suspect production errors on the publisher's part, if it were diagrams alone that were at fault.

    I once contributed some knowledge to a how-to book, by way of conversing with the author by phone. My trust of how accurate information can get lost in translation is such, that my response to the author's offer to include my name in the "thank-you to...." section was "Like hell you will."
  18. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

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    Many many times and it is always addressed as soon as it is found. Most of the mistakes are typos and page numbering.

    In the history of the NFPA there has never been a life safety issue printed.

    The code making process is a long drawn out affair.

    At the beginning of each code cycle (we will use the 2008) for the first few months there is what is called the proposal stage. Any one can make a proposal to have something in the code changed. In the proposal the reason for the change must be substantiated why the change is needed. This substantiation must be valid and life safety issues are a major reason for the change.

    These proposals are then sent to one of the 20 Code Making Panels for their review. Here these 15 to 20 people will pick apart the proposal to see if it conflicts with some other part of the NEC and then they vote.

    This vote will result in one of the following;
    Reject: The panel can reject the proposal for any number of reasons. The panel will make a comment on why they rejected the proposal. I use this information quite often in the classroom.

    Accept in part: The code panel might see that part of the proposal is good but part is not so good and then vote to accept it in part. Here they will again give the reason why only part was accepted.

    Accept in principal: The code panel may see that the idea of the submitter was good but the wording was bad. Remember when the codes are adopted by a state or city they become law so the wording is very important. Again the panel will give a reason

    Accept: here the code panel just accepts the proposal as it is written

    After all this takes place the Report on Proposals are sent to those who made a proposal and then the next cycle starts.

    The comment stage;
    During the comment stage any one can make a comment on any proposal that has been voted on. This process goes on for a couple of months before everything is complied into the new code.

    For the 2008 code cycle I made five proposals. Four were accepted either fully or in part. One was rejected but I did get an informal ruling on what the intent of that particular code sections was.

    As you can see the NEC is not just written by a bunch of tie wearing people sitting around in the office with nothing else to do. The NEC is written by people just like you and me.

    Below is an example of a proposal that may have conflicted with another part of the NEC and the action taken by the Code Panel.
    This was my proposal

    1-39 Log #1299 NEC-P01 Final Action: Accept in Principle
    (100.Lighting Outlet)
    _____________________________________________________________
    TCC Action: It was the action of the Technical Correlating Committee that this Proposal be referred to Code-Making Panels 2 and 18 for comment.
    Submitter: Joseph Whitt, JW Electric
    Recommendation: Revise text to read:
    Lighting Outlet. An outlet intended for the direct connection of a permanently installed, cord and plug connected lampholder, a luminaire (lighting fixture), or a pendant cord terminating in a lampholder.
    Substantiation: As worded, a lighting outlet would require a direct connection to the premises wiring. This could be interpreted to mean that the luminary would be required to be installed to a box with wire nuts which would leave out a cord and plug connected luminary as outlined in 410.30. This would also negate Exception No. 1 of 210.70(A)(1).
    This would also clear up the confusion for inspectors and electrical contractors as to whether a receptacle used for the sole purpose to supply current to a luminary is a lighting outlet or not. This will help in clearing up the confusion over the use and switching of small appliance and laundry receptacles for permanently installed under cabinet luminaries.
    As an instructor of inspector classes in the state of North Carolina, I see those inspectors coming through my classes are split about fifty/fifty on this issue. This issue needs clarity.
    Panel Meeting Action: Accept in Principle
    Revise the definition to read as follows:
    “Lighting Outlet. An outlet intended for the connection of a lampholder, a luminaire (lighting fixture), or a pendant cord terminating in a lampholder.
    Panel Statement: The panel concludes this action meets the intent of the submitter. CMP-1 agrees that the definition may conflict with the requirement in 410.30(C)(1) and other code sections that allow for the use of attachment plugs for the connection of luminaires. CMP-1 disagrees that the existing definition negates 210.70(A)(1), Exception No. 1. CMP-1 has revised the definition by deleting the word “direct.†The panel recommends that the TCC forward this action to CMP-18.
    Number Eligible to Vote: 12
    Ballot Results: Affirmative: 12
    _____________________________________________________________
  19. Ian Gills

    Ian Gills Senior Robin Hood Guy

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    Last edited: Dec 31, 2008
  20. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

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    Good ole Rex Cauldwell of Taunton Press

    I thought I remembered the name!
    What a Blooming Idiot!
    Here's his bio page on the web... Rex Cauldwell Bio Page
    Seems to be under construction and the links selling the books aren't working.:eek:
    Try searching for the name of the business that he claims to run in his bio...
    I couldn't get it to come up in several different searches I did.

    He wrote a how to plumb book too! Here is an article he wrote for Fine Homebuilding Magazine http://www.taunton.com/finehomebuilding/how-to/articles/better-undersink-plumbing.aspx?ac=ts&ra=fp on how to plumb the drains under a kitchen sink better too. Take a look at the picture below and see if you see anything wrong with it... It should be good for a belly laugh! Sorry about the bad copy but I was not going to buy it to get you a better view.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 6, 2009
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