One of the worst examples I've seen to date of a homeowner being fleeced by a cowboy...

While it's always a shame for anyone to be ripped off by a rogue tradesperson, it's especially bad when they're vulnerable, or as in this case, elderly.

I was called out to a job a few weeks ago where they wanted their rewiring 'put right'. The couple told me they'd hired a local chap to rewire the property thinking that he wouldn't rip them off, being based on their doorstep and all. Unfortunately, in this case he did an abysmal job before taking their money and running for the hills. And it seems he really did run as he's no longer living in the area.

Apparently he performed the work some time ago, left no certificates and they never checked to see if he was a member of a competent person (electrical) scheme

Despite me giving them favourable pricing, it was too expensive to put everything right, so I had to concentrate on the lighting which was perhaps the worst part of the installation. And that's the real sucker punch - matey half-arse took a couple of grand to throw in a bad, lazy, sloppy bit of wiring which wasn't compliant with the wiring regulations or building regulations, and for which he provided no paperwork and presumably no testing. They then have to pay me to put things right, and because they've been fleeced out of their ready cash by this guy, I have to charge a minimum to make good because he's left them short on funds.

The only winner here is the rogue trader.

Let's take a look at some pictures from this particular house of horrors...

2014-06-25 13.47.40   2014-06-25 09.47.31

He took down the fluorescent lights in the kitchen and left them with these. Not even ceiling roses, just the pendants, and not attached to the ceiling either. Look at the CPC (earths) which are disconnected on both even where he's provided a choc-block connector. As a radial circuit with metal light fittings elsewhere on the ground floor, having the CPC disconnected here places a fault classifiable as 'potentially dangerous' at other points in the circuit.

2014-06-25 09.34.34
The wiring shown above runs to the kitchen light switch. Normally it's draped over the top of the cupboard, I've moved it just to show it's dangling with no attempt to secure it via clips or conduit. The ceiling was newly replastered, so he had the ideal opportunity to conceal the cable within the fabric of the building before the plasterer came in to make good. Buy hey, why bother drilling joists or even clipping the cable to a wall when it can simply rest on top of a cupboard, right? I guess he figured he wasn't the one who had to live with it.


2014-06-25 09.34.16   2014-06-25 09.34.43

Perhaps the biggest joke are the switch drops. The backboxes are not attached to the wall, and the cables are not clipped but are held around the door frame by what looks like chewing gum. It beggars belief how he ever thought this installation was in a state acceptable enough for him to take the money and walk away.

2014-06-26 09.32.55
This is his attempt at a weatherproof cable junction on an outside light. The two (internal grade) cables he's run outside won't fit through the gromit, so he's simply pushed the cores through and then slimed silicon sealant all over it. Needless to say, water has got into the fitting and those solid-core 6242Y cables are breaking down through prolonged exposure to the great outdoors.

2014-06-25 12.46.55
His socket ring cabling, like everything else, is just thrown at the wall with no thought towards neatness, electrical safety or security of fixing.

2014-06-25 12.54.23
And it seems even the use of a spirit level was beyond the capabilities of this guy as evidenced by accessories on the piss such as this socket outlet.

2014-06-25 12.59.27
Although there's more to be done, at least things are on the mend now they know where to find me. That cable which was hanging over the cupboard is now in custom fitted trunking which has been silicon beaded at the ceiling and wall for a clean, gapless finish.


2014-06-25 13.47.31   2014-06-25 15.12.08

Similarly, those terrible switch drops are now enclosed in trunking and the backboxes properly secured to the walls. The trunking is also attached properly via screws. I don't use that self adhesive stuff which eventually falls down.

2014-06-26 14.12.41
The dangling kitchen lights have been replaced with the new fluorescent strips the client requested. The outside wiring has also been replaced with proper external grade cable and a weatherproof gel-filled junction. The lighting circuit has been inspected, tested and I have certified it.

Always check your sparky is a member of the likes of NICEIC before appointing them to perform work so you have some backup, if needed, through their complaints procedure or via their workmanship warranty. Don't rely on so called 'trusted tradesman' websites, cash-in-hand labourers, handymen/builders unqualified for electrical work or anyone who doesn't specifically show up as a member of the competent person (electrical) scheme. It simply isn't worth having to pay to have a bad job put right when choosing someone reputable should ensure a proper job is done in the first place.