Any sparky's here?

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Any sparky's here?

Postby DasNutNock on Tue Sep 12, 2017 2:19 pm

If so, is this test even vaguely realistic (C&G level 2) http://www.sparkyfacts.co.uk/2365_Unit2 ... ulator.php?

Because I just got 70% where the pass mark is 65%. Now, I trained as an Electronic & Electrical Engineer for 4 years, but have worked in IT since I quit being a student, so I do have a fair grounding. With work increasingly uncertain, and articles in the press saying how in demand Electricians are:

a) Is that a useful qualification? Could I actually do anything with it or is it a gateway exam to something else?

b) Could I realistically just sit a bunch of exams without much in the way of structured training, by hitting the books & refreshing what I already know, then become an Electrician, or is the only way to get anywhere by being an apprentice etc?
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Re: Any sparky's here?

Postby sendô on Tue Sep 12, 2017 3:21 pm

Well I'm an electrical engineer and only got 60%, so I'm going to say no. 8-)
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Re: Any sparky's here?

Postby DasNutNock on Tue Sep 12, 2017 3:31 pm

I can imagine the stuff about codes would need to be learned from scratch, and I appear to have forgotten a large amount about motors, but the level 2 & 3 "Principles of Electrical Science" exams don't seem to contain a great deal of stuff outside of maybe A-level physics and certainly nothing beyond what I picked up in the HND I got before I went to university.

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Re: Any sparky's here?

Postby Hummer_I_mean_Hammer on Tue Sep 12, 2017 4:33 pm

DasNutNock wrote: the press saying how in demand Electricians are:

a) Is that a useful qualification? Could I actually do anything with it or is it a gateway exam to something else?


I'd say no, not if you're looking to become an electrician, possibly some related field, especially with your background in IT?

DasNutNock wrote:
b) Could I realistically just sit a bunch of exams without much in the way of structured training, by hitting the books & refreshing what I already know, then become an Electrician, or is the only way to get anywhere by being an apprentice etc?

Once you conclude your apprenticeship then that's when you really start to learn about 'sparking'...
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Re: Any sparky's here?

Postby DasNutNock on Tue Sep 12, 2017 5:00 pm

Hummer_I_mean_Hammer wrote:I'd say no, not if you're looking to become an electrician, possibly some related field, especially with your background in IT?


Sorry, no - I meant the C&G level 2 and 3, not my previous life as an Electrical Engineering student. Looks like I'd be able to pass at least some of the exams without any significant training - I'd imagine stuff pertaining to regs & codes would need more study on my part. But can it only be done after some formal training at college or whatever, and with practical exams too, or could I theoretically find an exam centre and knock a bunch of these tests out?
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Re: Any sparky's here?

Postby RichieRiv on Tue Sep 12, 2017 5:30 pm

To attain level 3 you need the practical experience i.e. An apprenticeship.

Mate of mine gave up his city job to retrain as a spark. He had an understanding wife who supported him through his 4 year apprenticeship.
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Re: Any sparky's here?

Postby Hummer_I_mean_Hammer on Tue Sep 12, 2017 9:53 pm

I would not like to be out by myself with just c&g certificate behind me.
When you get called to someone's house to sort out a fault and it's on your shift to sort out so that they have power or lighting?
Or something that is dangerous?
Like I said, I'd not like to be in that situation.
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Re: Any sparky's here?

Postby Clucking Bell on Wed Sep 13, 2017 3:04 am

Passing the exams is the easy bit. You've got to learn the important bits of the code and, if you only do residential work, you'll never go anywhere near three phase.

The tricky thing is that you've actually got to complete an apprenticeship and I suspect that would be a case of spending the next four years living on a fair bit less than you currently do. And what are you going to do after that? You've still got to advertise and build a reputation if you want to make a living at it.
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Re: Any sparky's here?

Postby DasNutNock on Wed Sep 13, 2017 9:11 am

Is that a de facto requirement to become a self-employed domestic sparky, a 4-year apprenticeship? Pretty confident that's out of the question :(

For the record, I wasn't expecting to be able to sit a bunch of exams then waltz into someone's home and rewire from scratch, but I did wonder if I might be able to follow some sort of fast track based on my historic training & credentials.
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Re: Any sparky's here?

Postby sendô on Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:49 am

The exams are the easy bit, the practical side of installing, wiring, making off armoured etc is the hard bit.

You don't need to do an apprenticeship, you can do a level 3 diploma course, which can be 6 to 30 weeks.

OR if you just want to do domestics, you can do the Part P, which is essentially a brickies guide to electrical install, but will enable you to do some house bashing.
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Re: Any sparky's here?

Postby DasNutNock on Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:57 am

Cheers Sendo - don't be surprised if you get some PMs from me in the near future. My current gig is looking a bit shaky again, and I'm not sure I've got the enthusiasm to carry on in IT.
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Re: Any sparky's here?

Postby Hummer_I_mean_Hammer on Wed Sep 13, 2017 12:13 pm

DasNutNock wrote: waltz into someone's home and rewire from scratch, but I did wonder if I might be able to follow some sort of fast track based on my historic training & credentials.


lols, rewiring someone's house is easy, its being called out to replace a light fitting and finding out the light fitting is connected to old VIR's...

Dan, I'm not trying to put you off., but considering your background maybe you should look to combine your interest in electrics with your electronics/IT background? Industrially speaking, things like SCADA, PLC, APC and other control systems?

With IoT becoming big in the domestic environment you might consider the domestic market for networking and similar?
For example, a cousin of mine was into lighting control, AV and networked systems on domestic systems.

This was a few years ago (before Sonos, Chromecast, etc.) and required him to design and build bespoke servers and networks. He then subbed out the graft to actual sparkies who did all the installation and commissioning of mains voltage stuff, while he did all the testing and commissioning of the data.
Built up quite a clientele.
Looking at some other threads, this is an area where you seem to know your stuff. Just a thought.

Anyhow, all the best in your endeavours.
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Re: Any sparky's here?

Postby sendô on Wed Sep 13, 2017 12:35 pm

Hummer is right, AV systems are getting a lot bigger, and things like SCADA, EMS, BMS and other control wiring install is very specialised and pays better than house bashing - plus it's a lot easier too.

Even better still is getting into fibres and installing them privately.

Sparking isn't all that, and ultimately is a lot of grafting. The tricky bit will be when you get called to someones house to fault find, and start discovering rubber cables, multiple modifcations, ancient fuse boards and so on. It's an utter bollock ache.
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Re: Any sparky's here?

Postby RichieRiv on Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:19 pm

I won't have anyone Part P touch the electrics on my house, seen and heard to many abortions.

I also spoke to another mate who runs his own sparks firm. He's up to 120 blokes now and they've either entered through an apprenticeship via him or have at least completed one in their career.
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Re: Any sparky's here?

Postby Clucking Bell on Thu Sep 14, 2017 5:28 am

Hummer_I_mean_Hammer wrote: Industrially speaking, things like SCADA, PLC, APC and other control systems?


Thinking about it, controls generally is a pretty decent gig. 4-20mA instrumentation wiring is a piece of piss and, if you can program one PLC, you can program them all. Modbus and the other communication protocols are all pretty easy which makes SCADA and HMI programming pretty simple.

If you learn how to program Kuka and ABB robots, you'll be able to retire in six months .... in car assembly plants, it's a 'name your price' gig. I know a guy who was making $400 an hour fifteen years ago sorting out robotic **** ups in paint shops and assembly lines.

The tricky thing, of course, is getting into it. It's like the old days on the Fleet Street print, your dad needs to pass on his job to you when he retires. :)

I think I'd stay away from residential networking etc. At the end of the day you want repeat business and that means commercial/industrial work.
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Re: Any sparky's here?

Postby Hummer_I_mean_Hammer on Thu Sep 14, 2017 9:19 am

RichieRiv wrote:I won't have anyone Part P touch the electrics on my house, seen and heard to many abortions.

.


Richie, I hear what you are saying, but it is a regulatory requirement that if someone works / makes changes to your electrical installation at home they need to certify it under part - P of the building regs. Unless you have a council inspector inspect the works during the process.

Otherwise in the case of any insurance claim, selling on, etc. you may come unstuck.
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Re: Any sparky's here?

Postby The Old Man of Storr on Thu Sep 14, 2017 12:34 pm

Our Builder has a lad from Hungary as part of his team , he's probably the best worker he's got , can turn his hand to most things and is a qualifield electrician back in his home country - doesn't mean a thing once you enter the UK however .

http://www.sparkyfacts.co.uk/Overseas_q ... ician.html

Probably a good thing , but in Tibor's case he hasn't got the time to go through another apprenticeship in the UK as he needs to earn money etc etc .
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Re: Any sparky's here?

Postby sendô on Thu Sep 14, 2017 12:39 pm

Part P seems daft. Essentially an experienced electrician fully qualified in testing cannot sign off a domestic install, but it was brought in for good reason. There were too many builders around modding electrics in houses themselves without understanding fully what they were doing, and without testing and signing off. There was no need for these people to do a 4 year apprenticeship just to rewire a kitchen socket or put in an electric oven, so they brought in a condensed system that encouraged builders to do things properly.
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Re: Any sparky's here?

Postby Wembley1966 on Thu Sep 14, 2017 3:24 pm

It wasn't just builders - many DIYers did all sorts of modifications themselves. As sendô says, if you get into domestic it will be a complete nightmare.

I've been re-wiring my mother's place - mainly because trying to sort out what my dad did with radials and spurs 30 years ago was impossible. I followed all the BS 7671 regs having got the nod from a certified sparky as to what I proposed doing. He then came in, did the earth bonding, put the MCBs in the consumer unit, the meter tails and tested everything and signed it off.
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Re: Any sparky's here?

Postby RichieRiv on Thu Sep 14, 2017 3:53 pm

Hummer_I_mean_Hammer wrote:Richie, I hear what you are saying, but it is a regulatory requirement that if someone works / makes changes to your electrical installation at home they need to certify it under part - P of the building regs. Unless you have a council inspector inspect the works during the process.

Otherwise in the case of any insurance claim, selling on, etc. you may come unstuck.


What I meant is, I want a proper spark to work on my electrics not a kitchen fitter. When I did a stint onsite and customers were trying to save money by getting fitters to do the electrics I saw some horrific pieces of work - all hidden by kick boards - what the customer doesn't see and all that.

Luckily I've got my mate who checks over my stuff and the odd bits I do myself.
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