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Electrician not legal


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I am posting this so hopefully the people concerned will see it, and think again. I know they use the forum;

They have asked a man to do their rewiring. Said man has done many electrical jobs in area.

He has a english registered ltd company, has worked here for years, doing various jobs, and good at it to.

He is not a qualified electrician, is not registered here, has no siret number, no insurance. He believes he is doing nothing wrong.

I am sure this is not correct. If you are considering using this man think again. I am sure this is not right, there will be no 10 yr guarantee or

insurance if he injures himsef. Please can others comment so these dear friends believe me.

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There is a renovation in a nearby village to us that is in a right pickle because of this.  The guy got some of his ‘mates’ on the black to do the wiring at a suitably cheap price.  Along comes Monsieur EDF and the first thing that he asks for is the SIRET number of the contractor.  Oh dear... no paperwork.  M. EDF says “get it checked by a proper contractor”.[:'(] Guy gets a local French electrician who has retired to check and do remedial work.  M. EDF returns...  Promptly asks for various face plates and connection covers to be removed so that he can inspect the wiring.  Mon dieu!!  Still a problem, as the wiring code has changed since French electrician last did an install and some cable sizes are incorrect.[8-)]  M. EDF gives owner a right b*llocking who is told that if the next inspection fails EDF will refuse to connect the property now or in the future![Www]


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For me there are only two options

1: Bite the bullet, pay the price and use a (french) registered and insured contractor

2: Learn the subject, do the work yourself and accept the consequences of your own errors/limitations.

I took the second route, I indicated on the application that I had done the work myself so no SIRET number was necessary but crucially I was able to discuss the installation in detail with the inspector together with the schema that I had drawn (a Consuel requirement) without saying "er, um, I will have to ask mon pote"

Anything other than the above options will leave you responsible for any non-conformities and with no recourse against the person/people you have paid.

I have a special warning against soi disant "retired electricians", while I was doing my installation and trying to get to grips with the normes another guy was using a pair of allegedly retired French electricians, so I would regularly visit after they had finished work to see what they had done to help me better understand the normes as I had only just started learning French.

What I discovered shocked me although I didnt have the heart to tell the owner, when I discreetly asked the electricians if what they were doing was acceptable they replied "ni vu, ni connu" as most of the bodges/dodges they were perpetuating would be hidden behind the plasterboard.

One example was a multiple lighting feed where instead of running 2 gaines back to the tableau or even using an accessible junction box they had formed a tee from the single gaine from the tableau connecting it to two others, this was acheived by using insulation tape (as I dont believe that such tees exist) I was suspicious so cut open the tape, inside I found that the wires were twisted together and taped. There were many other areas of non conformity mainly where (in my opinion) they wanted to save money, for themselves that is not the owner who paid a high price (again in my opinion).

I seriously doubt whether either or both of them were ever actually registered electricians but giving them the benefit of the doubt I would say that instead of having the 25 years experience that they claimed, they probably had one years experience which was 25 years out of date!


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The old hands on here, particularly those who have their own legitimate business, like the ever-helpful Mr Trollope, continually warn people on this forum about the dangers of using unregistered and uninsured artisans, but it seems that the lure of an apparently cheaper price and quicker service, often persuades them to take the risk and months if not years later they realise that they should have taken the good advice of those in the know.

I have friends here who moved into a house about 12kms from me, at the same time (3.5 years ago.)  I have another friend who is an electrician/plumber whom I have known for years (French).  They were unhappy about his devis for installing central heating and checking the wiring and also the length of time he reckoned he would take to turn up (as he is very busy.)

After all this time, they have a large gas tank in their garden, a central heating system which is not connected (installed by - they were insistant on telling me - a Corgi (sic) registered central heating installer whom they met in the UK) and bits and piece of wiring that their son has done for them.  No French qualified person is now in the least bit interested in coming along and connecting their system up and giving them the appropriate certificates because they did not do the work in the first place.  Their house is freezing cold and getting damper each winter, and they are miserable throughout the winter months, and are running expensive electric heaters which they huddle round to keep warm.In the meantime, my friend has re-wired my house completetly and installed a new woodburner and we have been happy, safe and cozy since our first winter here.

And I bet it has cost us a good deal less in the long term than it has them.

You pays your money....

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I had to turn down the opportunity to quote for a central heating job last August as the client needed it finished for October. We are working on another project for the same client and the plumber he found is still on site now although apparantly part of the system is working. The plumber only seems to turn up when hassled. Whilst I'm annoyed that I didn't take the job on I wouldn't like being in the situation where I was running late on a job like central heating feeling I had mislead the client, I just don't need the stress.

I also do electrics. Whilst there is nothing special about being a registered electrician there are some special insurance conditions that don't apply to other trades and the responsibilty to bring existing installations up to date. If an electrician does not bring an installation up to date and then the house burnt down I suspect they would find themselves in very serious trouble. Of all the trades to employ on the black the electrician is not the one.

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I have to say this person does an excellent job? I don't think all are aware that he is not insured here etc.  Though one he has just finished shave to tell conseul they have done the job. His name does not appear on anything. I shall ask him to, look at this thread. He won't change his mind; he says he has a living to make.
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[quote user="mooky"]I have to say this person does an excellent job?[/quote]

Interesting choice of words, mooky.

Quite how the job could be "Excellent" if he is in total breach of regulations, cannot be correctly registered and thus properly insured, beats me.

Hopefully, as the new stipulations about wiring on the Acte de Vente take effect, this will show his customers how far from "Excellent" this man's work really was. 

When I read this sort of thread, I am minded of the dreadful disaster last week about the poor wee lass killed when a wall collapsed on her: she and her Mum were innocently walking past a house which blew up as an idiot fiddled, illegally, with his gas boiler................

Unfortunately, England has had little true regard for qualifications and registration for far too long: any idiot can open a garage, and start playing with people's cars, brakes, steering, tyres with no prior qualification and/or training. And far too many idiots do.

No doubt this laisez faire state encouraged some English migrators to take their insouciant and arrogant contempt for standards and regulations along with their goods and chattels. To the whole detriment of their customers. Who really ought to bother to know different!


With all its problems, at least France bit the bullet and demanded vocational qualification and registration of tradesmen. And women. And quite right too!


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I have read as many reports as I can find on the tragic incident you mention.

I cant find a single reference to      " an idiot fiddled, illegally, with his gas boiler  "

perhaps you would be kind enough to point me to this report.

regards colin

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