Since my last post, I have also become the proud owner of a Martindale Veri-test Multi function test meter, which was very kindly given to me by a Spark off the forum. I saved up for a while and got some new test leads and now have the means to practice some inspection and testing. My next aim will be to get it calibrated, if only for the peace of mind that I'm getting accurate test results. It has been a God send!
I had the not so awe inspiring experience recently of accidentally stumbling upon work undertaken by some Registered Electricians, and a dodgy Alarm fitter too! Both jobs were in my mind despicable. I had to change the fuse in the fused connection unit which fed my Dad's washing machine. On isolating the supply to the ring, the Burglar alarm went off. The Guy who fitted the Alarm had decided to fit the alarm to the 30A circuit breaker supplying the ring, using 2.5mm cable straight to the alarm panel. On closer inspection, he'd snapped off the Circuit protective conductor, and installed a battery that was over 12 years old, which was incidentally now knackered. We contacted him, he then decided to start ignoring his phone! So I decided to rectify the problems myself.
As I was working in the consumer unit, I decided to check all the connections for tightness. Guess what? Every single connection to the Circuit breakers were loose and I mean extremely loose, and the busbar cover was hanging off. They had recently been to do a PIR and obviously not bothered to tighten up the terminals after testing. The date of next inspection sticker was also incorrectly dated with the same date for the next inspection as the date it had just been carried out. I obviously rectified those problems too. My anger at the state that things had been left in however hasn't gone. These were registered sparks, working on behalf of the local housing authority. They had left my Fathers installation in a dangerous condition. There could easily have been a fire had I not accidentally happened upon the mess, and I could have lost my Dad because someone got lazy and couldn't be bothered.
Experiences like this bring it home just what a responsibility we have to one another. If someone puts their faith in us to undertake work on their homes, they are trusting us with the safety of themselves and their families. As an electrician, a builder, a plumber or whatever trade we have to always be mindful of the absolute responsibility we have to our clients safety and welfare. Cutting corners can so easily cost lives. I am sickened to know there are people out there who are happy to play Russian roulette with the lives of their customers for the sake of getting away a few minutes earlier. I'm just thankful that that particular fuse went on that particular day whilst I was there.
I am now waiting for dates to come available to go for my exams, I am nervous and excited in equal measure! I am now finding more time available again to study, which is good. The past 2 years have been a roller-coaster of ups and downs, but when I get the time to sit down and concentrate on my studies, I feel extremely happy and blessed to be on this journey. I love the fact that I still feel this is the direction my life was meant to go and I will one day be able to call myself an Electrician. One thing's for sure too, There will be no cutting corners. Life is a gift, far too easily taken for granted and far too easily gone. The day we get complacent, is the day we should be hanging up our tools.