Getting a "gas ticket" or electrical certification

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by clockworks, Feb 7, 2009.

  1. clockworks

    clockworks
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    My brother narrowly escaped being royally ripped off by a plumber last week.

    Every year, he has trouble with his central heating boiler, usually needs a new thermocouple and the pilot jet cleaning. This year, after 2 attempts, the regular plumber condemned the boiler, saying replacement parts were no longer available. He quoted £2800 to fit a replacement!

    Having gone through all the options, he contacted the manufacturer, who said the part numbers had been changed, but were all still available. He stripped the boiler down, and found the wiring, piping and jet block in an appalling state.

    Armed with the new numbers, he bought the parts and a tin of leak spray for less than £30. The retailer didn't need to see a gas ticket to sell them. Rebuilt it, and it works better than ever. Took him about 3 hours.


    This got us thinking about becoming certified, and doing some heating and electrical work for paying customers - there must be a huge market for a couple of reasonably well-spoken, educated, middle-aged guys to do work for people who are fed up with being ripped off by the locals. As soon as the local tradesmen hear a London accent, their eyes light up and the prices double!

    We are both well capable of doing the work, having rewired and plumbed our own houses for many years, but would obviously need to be certified. Is there a fast track route to getting gas and electrical tickets?
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2009
  2. Bilbob

    Bilbob
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    Surely there is a Nigerian university that offers this sort of qualification?




    ;)

    I'm sure there will be some sensible replies anlong shortly...
     
  3. Ruperts slippers

    Ruperts slippers
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    BPEC - Gas ACS

    This might help a little .I never understand why fellow gas men try to rip customers off ,whats the point .Saying that i was stung by a high bill from the mechanic this week ,frustrating when you think the amount seems high .:)
     
  4. Naaktgeboren

    Naaktgeboren
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    Without trying to turn this into a bashing thread, I am most dubious when dealing with Gas, Plumbing and car mechanics. In my experience 90% will bleed you dry when they see a window of opportunity.

    I am sure there are good guys out there but it's hit and miss. No way of telling unless you are already clued up (and if you are clued up you would not need them in the first place)
     
  5. andykn

    andykn
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    Or get recommendations from friends, family & colleagues.
     
  6. niceguy235uk

    niceguy235uk
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    There is a quick way to do plumbing and electrics.

    It will cost you at least £5000.

    Bargain.
     
  7. clockworks

    clockworks
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    Thanks for the link.

    Seems that there are 2 ways to get a ticket:

    Work for a registered employer. I guess this is how most people do it, but I'm sure this is how bad habits and poor business practice are picked up.

    Do NVQs. Is this a good choice for a "mature" entrant?


    When employing tradesmen, I prefer to pay an hourly rate, rather than a fixed price for the job. Seems to me that many tradesmen build a contingency amount into their estimates when quoting a price, just incase they have unexpected problems. This includes getting the customer to pay for parts that don't actually fix the problem.
    Pay a fair hourly rate, plus the cost of parts that are actually used, seems better to me.
    A fair hourly rate would be somewhere between the national average and that of a qualified/experienced public servant - £15 to £25 an hour, depending on location. I see no reason why a tradesman should expect to earn more than £40k a year, after business expenses.
     
  8. Ruperts slippers

    Ruperts slippers
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    As a tradesman i find your post midly amusing to say the least ,i think far too many people have watched silly televison shows .
     
  9. wingnut121

    wingnut121
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    are you sure that the plumber was ripping you off?

    if you asked british gas for a quote it would have been even more.

    you have to ask the plumber why it was so much, i have replaced many boilers and the cost fact normally add up due to the fact, we have to alter pipe work, some times strip out the orginal sytem(say if we changing it to a combi)

    with out looking at the job myself i couldn't tell you if he was ripping you off or not,

    and i have to go through my training, , NVQ level2 and NVQ level 3, doing AGS gas, water regs, unvented. that is 4 years of training and on site experience, and you want to go and get a fast track to becoming a gas enginner, to be honest its people like your self that become on these programms for doing dodgy work, you say you have plumbed houses before but that is not enought experience to got into other people houses, with only a few days worth of experince, you dont learn any thing at these courses, you just pay for them to tell you the answers and get you passed. you want to get certified, become and apprentice (some companies will take on older people) and learn the trade correctly
     
  10. clockworks

    clockworks
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    I seem to have annoyed some people with this.

    My brother was being ripped off by the plumber. Rather than buy the correct parts to do a repair - which my brother has been paying him to do for several years - the plumber wanted to fit a replacement. We consider £2000 labour rather expensive for a couple of days work.

    The parts were available locally - just took 2 phone calls to find them. When he fitted the correct parts, he found that they were completely different to the ones that the same plumber had fitted last year. That's probably why they kept failing. He had also tried "cleaning the jet", which had damaged the jet beyond repair. The flame was shooting downwards, hitting the floor! It was after doing this damage that the plumber condemned the boiler.

    To me, that is bad workmanship, which he should have put right, at no extra expense. Turning his hamfistedness into an opportunity to make even more money is dishonest.

    Most people have had similar experiences with home appliance, computer or car repairs. There are decent tradesmen out there, but they can be hard to find.

    Most trades aren't "rocket science" - anyone of average intelligence and of a practical leaning should be able to learn any trade. If an absolute beginner, straight from school, can become fully qualified in 4 years, why shouldn't a practical person with 30 years experience be just as good after, say, a year's training? We aren't expecting to become fully qualified after a couple of weeks!

    I'm a computer engineer (full time employment) and clockmaker (part time business). I've rewired and plumbed complete houses, built a kit car and a couple of motorbikes, rebuilt car and motorbike engines, and build and fly/drive RC cars and planes.

    My brother has built house extensions and done flat conversions. He's run his own business building 100's of custom motorbikes from scratch. He's built several hotrods and rebuilt various classic cars. He's an accomplished airbrush artist and sign writer, as well as being a qualified NLP and CBT counsellor.

    We are both practical people. Between us, we can turn our hands to just about anything, to an above average level of workmanship. We aren't out to be cowboys or rip-off merchants. We wouldn't dream of taking on a job that we weren't comfortable with, especially for paying customers.
    We fancy a change of direction, and want to do this properly, but don't want to start from scratch with training.
     
  11. Ruperts slippers

    Ruperts slippers
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    Why don't we make a tv show about rogue customers who don't pay ,a decorator friend of mine mentioned recently over the yrs he'd lost around £70000 on customers dodging payment .


    Maybe its 90% of customers are a pain in the arse ,constantly moaning ,haggling ,giving unqualified ridiculous opinions ,asking for quite frankly impossible or bizzare requests ,puttting unreasonable time constraints on projects ,causing the workers to sacrifce valuable family ,freetime .

    For repairs and breakdowns i suggest using someone recommended by friends and family ,for larger jobs get a few quotes in .

    I had a bloke ring me the other week wanting a quote for some minor jobs ,i was busy at the time so asked if i could ring him back within 10 mins ,his reply was don't bother because you lot never ring back .:rotfl::suicide:
     
  12. wingnut121

    wingnut121
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    clockworks, i understand you a bit more now, this might help, but i still feel that £2000 for a boiler change might have not been a rip off. and if the boiler keeps failing then there is some thing wrong with and should be replaced. as the plumber was the last qualified person to touch that boiler he/she is responsable for that boiler. if he/she thinks it is dangerours they do not feel safe leaving it on, then it sould be replaced or fixed. this to you might feel they are trying to squeeze more money out of you. lots of boiler parts are universal so them looking differnt to the one's your brother put in does not mean that is the fault for it failing.

    i am in my 3rd year of training, my ACS gas asseement are coming up next year, i have to do over 70 hrs of gas work and have a portfoilo of my gas work before i can take my ACS gas.

    yes then i would be fully qualifed, but i know i will not have enough experince to take on the world with. i understand that you and your brother are practical people. and i am sure you both would make fantastic gas enginners,

    you have to redo your gas every few years and the cost is abot £1500 i think
     
  13. Ruperts slippers

    Ruperts slippers
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    I'm sorry but i don't agree with your opinion ,and don't take this personally but i think you may have a little problem with your attitude ,i'm quite sure you are very capable ,but the industry has a standard which has to be adhered to .Why should you be any different ,there are lots of clever people involved in this industry ,but we only hear about the negative aspects .
     
  14. montybaber

    montybaber
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    Are you sure the boiler is now working perfectly? did he perform a drop test amongst everything else?

    Im sorry but only way IMO to get qualified is to serve an apprenticeship and go to college day release, in four or five years I will let you in my house :smashin:
     
  15. clockworks

    clockworks
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    The cost for a replacement boiler was £2800 - £800 for the boiler, £2000 for labour and consumables.
    The same plumber has been coming back each year for the same problem - "pilot light goes out because thermocouple has failed". Each year, the plumber replaces the thermocouple. Next year, it fails again. This time, he tried cleaning the pilot jet, damaged it so that the flame was shooting out downwards, then condemned the boiler.
    My brother found a new jet assembly and thermocouple and fitted them. Fires up perfectly, with a "clean" pilot flame. If the plumber had replaced the jet on his first visit, chances are the problem would have been cured several years ago.

    Maybe the quote for replacement was perfectly normal, although £2000 seems to be pretty good for a week's work. The potential rip-off was the it seems like the work wasn't necessary - plumber said parts weren't available, but they were.
     
  16. clockworks

    clockworks
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    Maybe you've been unlucky with your customers?

    In over 30 years of working as a computer engineer, and 12 years of running my own clock repair business, I've never had anyone refuse to pay. Some jobs come back a second time, so I fix them. I stand by my work and my guarantee.

    I've met some awkward customers - not many, certainly less than one a year - but any problems have been resolved after we've both put our point of view. Most people are reasonable if they are treated fairly.
     
  17. clockworks

    clockworks
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    I'm not sure what the problem with my attitude is? I don't like being taken for a ride, and I would like to offer a fair service to customers.
     
  18. clockworks

    clockworks
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    Not sure what a drop test has to do with the pilot light going out?

    If one was necessary, presumably the plumber would have done it. However, he's never seen the plumber testing anything, just replacing the thermocouple and brushing/vacuuming.
     
  19. Ruperts slippers

    Ruperts slippers
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    I don't think repairing a computer or a clock is as labour intensive or disruptive to a householder as a bathroom or central heating install imho.
     
  20. Ruperts slippers

    Ruperts slippers
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    If you would like to offer a fair service whats the problem with going through the same process as everyone else who wants to be become a qualified gas engineer ,there are no short cuts ,you may find the process easier with your practical ability,but don't underestimate whats involved .
     
  21. clockworks

    clockworks
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    No it normally isn't, but going into a large supermarket, DIY store or bank branch that's had to close for business or work manually because the store server or router has failed is a pretty pressured environment.
     
  22. Ruperts slippers

    Ruperts slippers
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    Lol :nono::nono::rolleyes:

    A few questions to ponder over ,piece of cake this gas fitting.
    Aptitude Test Questions
     
  23. clockworks

    clockworks
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    The original point of this thread was to ask if there was a quicker way. If there isn't, then fair enough. At my age (51) I don't really have the time to spend four years doing day release, so was hoping that there was an intensive study course available through a technical college or industry scheme that bypassed the "basics".
     
  24. Ruperts slippers

    Ruperts slippers
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    I can imagine it is ,but i'm not the one claiming trades are easy .

    Anyway i'm not falling out ,i just don't agree with your opinion at all on this matter and never will .
     
  25. clockworks

    clockworks
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    So, are you saying the original plumber WAS a cowboy?

    I never said that I thought any trade was easy, just that I thought that the average person with with practical leanings could learn to do it.
    Same with both of my "trades".

    Many years ago, I bought a copy of the IEEE regs and read through it. Lots of similar technical stuff, but nothing that couldn't be learned.
     
  26. Ruperts slippers

    Ruperts slippers
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    Nothing wrong with your original post until you said this :

    :oops:
     
  27. clockworks

    clockworks
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    Why should anyone doing a normal job expect to earn twice the national average for a 40 hour week?
    Why should a tradesman expect to earn appreciably more than a teacher, nurse, paramedic, policeman or firefighter?

    All these jobs require several years of training, so what makes a tradesman worth more?

    Notice that I said "after business expenses", so that's clear profit for a self-employed tradesman, or pre-tax for an employed tradesman.

    If you work long or unsocial hours, of course you are entitled to earn more for doing more work. I know many people who earn this kind of money, but they have to work ridiculous hours.

    My basic is right on the national average - IT doesn't pay as well as most people think. I work on average 6 days a week, doing 24/7 on call for 2 weeks in 4. When I'm on call, I often do 15-hour days, and work 19 days without a day off (my on call weeks are consecutive). Over Christmas, I did 33 days without a break.

    I'll just about hit 40k this tax year.

    I think my pay is fair for the hours I put in - I'm doing OK, and there are many that earn a lot less round here.
     
  28. Ruperts slippers

    Ruperts slippers
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    How many people do you know who run there own business work 40 hrs a week ,who cares what anyone earns ,its non of my business ,any self employed person may choose or be drawn into working unsociable hrs ,myself personally i have other business interests and love my freetime so i tend not to work silly hrs or weekends .

    Been there done that and its not for me .

    You seem to have a problem with tradesmen and how much they earn ,stop reading silly adverts and listening to daft journalists ,most lads earn enough to live off.
     

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