Poll: Were you satisfied with your electrical contractor?

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    Columbiana, Alabama
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    Default Electrical Advice

    Do you have a favorite trick-of-the-trade or advice you would like to pass on to a helper? Are you a home owner who would like to tell-it-like it is to the contractor folks who frequent this forum? If you're a DIY or general contractor how do you feel about licensing or permits,what advice do you have for the potential client? Do you feel strongly about a topic but no one has ever asked the question?

    Good Luck from Columbiana, Alabama
    Maurice Turgeon, thesemi-retiredelectrician.com

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    42

    Default Re: Electrical Advice

    I think too many well meaning folks are quick to give electrical advice to people that are obviously in over their heads .

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    SoCal
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    Default Re: Electrical Advice

    Many electrical jobs require a license in most states. Why? because of safety issues. The power company won't even deal with homeowners for those jobs.

    Crossing this line can be fatal to homeowners and DIYers, so do the smart thing and call an electrician. It may save your life.

    I'm a landlord and a home remodeler, but not an electrical contractor. I still call my electrician for those certain jobs I need done.

  4. #4
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    Mar 2008
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    42

    Default Re: Electrical Advice

    Not saying that some people aren't capable of electrical diy projects , but sometimes you can tell by the way they ask the question that there's the potential for things to go very wrong .

  5. #5
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    Aug 2007
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    The Great White North
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    Default Re: Electrical Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by WitchDoctor View Post
    I think too many well meaning folks are quick to give electrical advice to people that are obviously in over their heads .
    Guilty as charged.

    Quote Originally Posted by WitchDoctor View Post
    Not saying that some people aren't capable of electrical diy projects , but sometimes you can tell by the way they ask the question that there's the potential for things to go very wrong .
    Absolutely agree.
    "" an ounce of perception -- a pound of obscure "
    - Rush

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    nova scotia, canada
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    Default Re: Electrical Advice

    no matter what the trade, with very small tasks its ok to diy. but as soon as it starts getting technical diy'ers should leave it to the pros, we spend many years learning our crafts and still keep learning and perfecting how we do things. a diy'er who is scratching their head trying to run pipe, wire or tear out a major structural component of their home is only asking for problems and a larger bill in the end.

    im a carpenter and am very proficient in some areas of the trade but in others i can be completely lost. give me a house to trim and the only confusing thing to me when the paint is on the wall and why certain colors were chosen to match my trim. but ask me to dis assemble commercial door closures and im lost
    fire up the saw and make some dust

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Columbiana, Alabama
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    707

    Default Re: Electrical Advice

    As an electrical contractor I agree some tasks are beyond the scope of a DIY without expert guidance. I've been in hardware stores and have overheard salespeople passing out really scary electrical advice, which could burn down a home.

    On the other hand, for any number or reasons, homeowners have the most to loose if their largest investment or loved ones are involved in a fire or are shocked. Most seek out the best advice (this forum is a good example) and pursue it religiously.

    For this reason, I try any way I can to advise them and in my own business allow them to help with their remodels or electrical problems.

    With a little bit of instruction they can drill holes, pull wire, drive ground wires, trench nail on boxes etc. to reduce costs and learn. We often become close friends and stay in touch years after the job is done.

    Good Luck from Columbiana, Alabama
    Maurice Turgeon, http://thesemi-retiredelectrician.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,795

    Default Re: Electrical Advice

    To do electrical work one should know at least the fundamentals of using a multi meter and never depend on a non contact voltage tester.
    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    Columbiana, Alabama
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    Default Re: Electrical Advice

    Jack, rather than a multimeter I prefer an old fashioned Wiggins "wiggie" tester which has a coil that vibrates and possibly lights as well, for everday use. A slightly newer version is the electronic type by Ideal or Greenlee, which also indicates continuity. They all draw a small amount of power and don't allow a novice to get fooled by "phantom" voltages.

    I was on a large industrial job where we used multi-pair bundles of control cable and a young engineer was confused. She was reading 120V to ground on a wire, that was open on each end, to ground. She was using the most expensive multimeter Fluke makes with a very high impedance input and was picking up induced/capactively coupled phantom voltages, which went away when we grounded one end.

    A wiggie would not have lied to her.

    Good Luck from Columbiana, Alabama
    Maurice Turgeon, http://thesemi-retiredelectrician.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,795

    Default Re: Electrical Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by The Semi-Retired Electric View Post
    Jack, rather than a multimeter I prefer an old fashioned Wiggins "wiggie" tester which has a coil that vibrates and possibly lights as well, for everday use. A slightly newer version is the electronic type by Ideal or Greenlee, which also indicates continuity. They all draw a small amount of power and don't allow a novice to get fooled by "phantom" voltages.

    I was on a large industrial job where we used multi-pair bundles of control cable and a young engineer was confused. She was reading 120V to ground on a wire, that was open on each end, to ground. She was using the most expensive multimeter Fluke makes with a very high impedance input and was picking up induced/capactively coupled phantom voltages, which went away when we grounded one end.

    A wiggie would not have lied to her.

    Good Luck from Columbiana, Alabama
    Maurice Turgeon, http://thesemi-retiredelectrician.com
    I agree, but most DIYers seem to have Multi-meters because they can pick one up for less than $20. A "wiggie" is all that I use now that they have a continuity feature. Only use Multi for DC circuits.

    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

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