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steptoe

5 week wonders

I am one of the following  

104 members have voted

  1. 1. I am one of the following

    • 5 week wonder
    • time served
    • time served self certifying
    • self certifying other, plumber etc, please specify
    • interested other, diyer etc, please specify
    • something else, please explain


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SPECIAL LOCATION

;)OK here goes..

Time served (but not in the Electrical industry as such!)

Left school..

4 year Telecommunications apprenticeship.

(Private company NOT BT, or GPO as it was then called!)

Gained BTEC Telecommunications certificate

&

HNC in Telecommunications Engineering.

Worked on installation & maintenance of various commercial communication systems:-

Internal phone systems, {before that days of the BT liberalisation a lot of factories had TWO phone systems, internal & external,

This was the era of mechanical Strowger switch boards, just as the electronic stuff was coming in.}

Broadcast systems

Pagers

Fire Alarm

Time & Attendance systems

Then as desktop computers became economically viable (a reasonable desktop PC was around

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revjames

Sorry mr niceguy....

From your first post it did seem a bit underhanded. You did word it to imply a bit of skullduggerry. Apologies for jumping down your throat. And please don't take the Lords name in vain!

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niceguy
Sorry mr niceguy....

From your first post it did seem a bit underhanded. You did word it to imply a bit of skullduggerry. Apologies for jumping down your throat. And please don't take the Lords name in vain!

Apologies, and bless you.

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Evans Electric
;)OK here goes..

Time served (but not in the Electrical industry as such!)

Left school..

4 year Telecommunications apprenticeship.

(Private company NOT BT, or GPO as it was then called!)

Gained BTEC Telecommunications certificate

&

HNC in Telecommunications Engineering.

Worked on installation & maintenance of various commercial communication systems:-

Internal phone systems, {before that days of the BT liberalisation a lot of factories had TWO phone systems, internal & external,

This was the era of mechanical Strowger switch boards, just as the electronic stuff was coming in.}

Broadcast systems

Pagers

Fire Alarm

Time & Attendance systems

Then as desktop computers became economically viable (a reasonable desktop PC was around

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green-hornet

Ok my History is not as facinating as the above :)

I built my first working circuit at 13 years old and at 15 built a fully working binary computer.

I was supposed to do electrical engineering but got bored, I started an apprenticeship working alongside a guy called cyril who reminded me every day that I will never make an electrician as long as I had a hole in my backside.

I did my time but then joined the army, leaving to become a computer programmer, but I hated that job as well.

I spent a total of 20 years off the tools before going back full time.

I did odd rewires here and there during the time away from full time working.

A few years ago I designed a circuit and wiring diagram that is now used worldwide (by this company) for automatic double gate openers, I sent the instructions by e-mail to the head designer who implemented them, and I never thought to copywrite the plans so lost out big time :(

I do like the design stage but I am more happy on the job, which is why I carry on.

Most of my passion is with industrial work, but will do domestic when I feel the need to get dirty.

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Admin
O

A few years ago I designed a circuit and wiring diagram that is now used worldwide (by this company) for automatic double gate openers, I sent the instructions by e-mail to the head designer who implemented them, and I never thought to copywrite the plans so lost out big time :(

Aww Gawd. :_| Sorry to hear that GH, Mate. :(

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ianmacd

Most contracts have a section that basically says if you invent something while working for us (even if its in your own time) then we own the IP on it.

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Apache
Most contracts have a section that basically says if you invent something while working for us (even if its in your own time) then we own the IP on it.

Well you don't want water and dust getting into your electronic gate controllers.......

:coat

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sarni31

ok here goes

College C&G electronics servicing 223/224 (now defunct)

analogue/digital techniques, electrical power theory and all that kind of stuff.

Got a trainee bench engineer job with Mastercare, Currys and Dixons repair service. Spent 13 happy years repairing all manner of brown goods from record players to plasma tvs.

Was made redundant, worked with brother in law (spark) for a while completed 5 week wonder course, over a period of 6 months, now self employed doing mainly domestic and small commercial jobs.

Just for the record - :|

I too get a little annoyed with this idea that anyone who completes a 5 week course is somehow to blame for every bad job out there.

If you are lucky enough to get an apprenticeship - great,

If you can afford to go to night school - great,

are you going to be a good electrician?

Only time and experience will tell.

GuinnessGuinness

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ianmacd

I do think it is a derogatory comment that people do throw around far too often but I have no doubt that it is rarly used to cause offense.

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steptoe
ok here goes

College C&G electronics servicing 223/224 (now defunct)

analogue/digital techniques, electrical power theory and all that kind of stuff.

Got a trainee bench engineer job with Mastercare, Currys and Dixons repair service. Spent 13 happy years repairing all manner of brown goods from record players to plasma tvs.

Was made redundant, worked with brother in law (spark) for a while completed 5 week wonder course, over a period of 6 months, now self employed doing mainly domestic and small commercial jobs.

Just for the record - :|

I too get a little annoyed with this idea that anyone who completes a 5 week course is somehow to blame for every bad job out there.

If you are lucky enough to get an apprenticeship - great,

If you can afford to go to night school - great,

are you going to be a good electrician?

Only time and experience will tell.

GuinnessGuinness

there is no doubt that some 5week wonders are good,

unfortunately I have yet to meet them.

its not a derogatory comment, its a fact.

I also know some time served sparks that are about as much use as **** on a boar too.

the reason I ask people if they are 5week wonders is often 2fold or they have gave me reasonable thought to question how much they know, how much experience they have,

if I know someone is 5week then I can adjust my response accordingly,

ie, not many 5weeks on the job for a fortnight would get my approval for changing a 48way 3ph board if they started asking questions as to what size sub main they needed/how do i terminate it/is this PME or TT system, and do I need a separate earth to go to my outside toilet along with my 3ph board fitted just behind the cistern.

in short, if I know you are a "5week wonder" then I can appreciate the need for you to sometimes ask questions I would otherwise thought basic knowledge after 5years.

I dont mind trying to explain to someone the basics of borrowed neutrals and singles for 2way switching on landing lights.

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revjames

There is no such thing as a 5 week wonder. The 5 weeks is just the beginning.

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Theorysparky

Steps..

In response to your last post.........

what 5 week sparky would attempt a 3 phase 48 way board ??????

i thought those courses covered domestic only

although i have worked on a 3 phase industrial board under strict supervision you guys can keep them..

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steptoe
Steps..

In response to your last post.........

what 5 week sparky would attempt a 3 phase 48 way board ??????

i thought those courses covered domestic only

although i have worked on a 3 phase industrial board under strict supervision you guys can keep them..

exactly my point theory, and it was only an example, the people doing this are IDIOTS, and they do exist.

I was sent to check on a rewire once that was being done by one of them,

2nd week out of his course and he was rewiring a house with no help, and not asking for any advice!

the bonding clamps had just been wrapped around the pipes(not actually clamped),

no 2way switching anywhere(he didnt know how to do it, sw at top of stairs done landing light only, sw at bottom done hall light only), 3 1gang switches in living room for wall lights, and 2 centre lights, he didnt know how to connect a 3gang sw.

no low level sockets for washer etc, immersion heater of ring final, 2channel boiler plugged in to socket(NOT a combi)so on all the time.

my point being that some people seem to be asking questions that very obviously seem to be beyond their knowledge and experience therefore should wait until they learn more about it before they are doing that particular job.

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ianmacd
my point being that some people seem to be asking questions that very obviously seem to be beyond their knowledge and experience therefore should wait until they learn more about it before they are doing that particular job.

Surly you must agree that even by coming here and asking questions they are smart enough to ask for help? Should they expect what could be seen as harassment in response? Will that encourage other's with questions, the desire to ask and learn and work safely to avoid this forum? I think it may.

Please do not think I am moaning at you Steps but this entire poll is an example of the contempt some people seem to show to others on this forum.

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Theorysparky

There are questions

and there are questions

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vandalay

Steptoes point is valid (people doing jobs outside their field of experience) but this applies to all of us in the trade. I realise there are idiots who sit the online 17th( i took a class with some of them) and think they are ready to rewire a factory by themselves.

However I have also worked with lads who done full apprentiships who are as bad in different ways as in standards of work and not being able to answer questions I was asking whilst trying to build up my own experience.

Like the Rev said if you have brain and genuine interest in the job 5 weeks is where you start . I myself after 3 yrs working am only now comfortable with domestic jobs and would not go near more heavy boards without a more experianced spark alongside me.

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green-hornet

I think steptoe has a valid point here, and one which can really help anyone who needs some advise when they ask a question.

Most of my work was always 3 phase, so the background basics are sort of second nature.

With that any question I was asked I would automatically ASSUME that they know them basics too.

Example:

I was called into a local factory because they had a broken down machine, "after" one of the operators told the manager that his mate was an electrician and would sort it out for him.

Every machine in the factory was 3 phase, and when I asked what the problem was I was told that the electrician who was called out first could not identify the problem other than to say there was no nuetral to the machines motor.

Now there is a good reason why no nuetral is taken to a 3 phase motor (its not required), but this electrician did not know that basic fact.

The problem turned out to be a phase which had gone down, fixed by a simple flick of a breaker. Much more cost effective than installing a new motor, or trying to find where to connect a nuetral!

So you can see what steptoe is getting at, I can, and it would help when I answer a question, if I know I have to be a little more precise then I would, so all the basics are covered in the answer as well as the more obvious.

I do however dislike the term 5 week wonders, and I think it shows disrespect to people who have got off their backsides and at least done the course, many do not and fall into the catagory of downright dangerous.

I would not discriminate against any person who asks questions on this forum simply because they have had the balls to ask what is to many a simple question, BUT HAVE ASKED!

Respect to those who do ask before they try to blunder through.

You have, if your one who has taken the short cut to remember, most timed served electricians are jealous of you because they had to take far longer to qualify and because of this some will always look down on them, partly through ignorance and partly through jealousy.

You should all note though, the fact that you are members of this forum, you will always be considered equal to me.

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spinlondon

On other forums the term used is '5 day wonders'. Apparently there are courses that you can do that will give a kitchen fitter etc. a basics in electrical installation.

The problem, seems to be that these people are then registered with a scheme provider, and are technically authorised to carry out any and all electrical installation work.

I think the problem is not whether someone is qualified or time served, but whether they are competent.

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Doc Hudson

Moderator; No serving time or certifying required.

Doc H.

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green-hornet

Limited scope is one area where I have always been strongly opposed to.

Kitchen fitters who do the part P are only supposed to be limited to alterations and never to full circuits or cu changes, however I have heard stories (rumours) that they even quote for rewires and cu changes.

You can not blame them if they get away with it, you should blame the scheme providers who do not really care as long as the revenue is comming in.

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Doc Hudson
On other forums the term used is '5 day wonders'. Apparently there are courses that you can do that will give a kitchen fitter etc. a basics in electrical installation.

The problem, seems to be that these people are then registered with a scheme provider, and are technically authorised to carry out any and all electrical installation work.I think the problem is not whether someone is qualified or time served, but whether they are competent.

I believe they have limited scope certification, not any and all electrical work.

Doc H.

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Doc Hudson
Limited scope is one area where I have always been strongly opposed to.

Kitchen fitters who do the part P are only supposed to be limited to alterations and never to full circuits or cu changes, however I have heard stories (rumours) that they even quote for rewires and cu changes.

You can not blame them if they get away with it, you should blame the scheme providers who do not really care as long as the revenue is comming in.

Stories and rumours will always be told, I am aware of reports of prosecutions for miss-use of alleged membership rights of a scheme. So your last statement whilst your opinion may not be totally accurate.

Doc H.

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green-hornet

Was that a story or a rumour?

Sorry doc but you are correct and I do stand by my opinion biased as it is but only because I believe part P to be so flawed in its execution.

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Doc Hudson
Was that a story or a rumour?

Sorry doc but you are correct and I do stand by my opinion biased as it is but only because I believe part P to be so flawed in its execution.

You are very much entitled to your opinion GH, I was just playing the stand-in-defence for absent scheme providers not represented here.

Doc H.

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