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Master
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
rant

Maybe someone can shed some wisdom on me about this. The only answer I get from anyone (including inspectors) is "because thats the way it is."
I made it all the way to Master plumber without a single shred of electrical training whatsoever. Are we supposed to learn by osmosis? OJT? When an electric tankless water heater stops working, call Fng NASA don't call a plumber. The only thing plumbing about it is the water coming in And going out. Sure you can say quitcherbitchen and tell them to call someone else, but honestly, that's what I do. But, I own the company. There was a time when I didn't get to pick and choose the calls I was given. I bet 90% of plumbers out there don't even know how to troubleshoot a standArd tank elect. I guess, best you can hope for is you actually apprentice under someone who apprenticed under someone who know what the hell they are doing. Pray you have a plumber with an above average mechanical aptitude come to your house.
Example: couple of weeks ago I get a call about fireplace not working. I go out and the customer says "well when I flip the light switch, the fireplace is supposed to come on, Now it doesn't." I say hmm better call an electrician. She says, he was already here he told me to call a plumber!
wtf. So I get my plumbers tool bag and take out my FNG VOLTAGE METER and start testing control modules, voltage adapters, continuity etc.. I find a hi limit switch on top of the firebox hood not showing voltage coming out. Order new part, week later go back install and flip switch, fireplace on, merry Christmas. duh
My lawyer has a sliding hourly rate scale stating, "anywhere from $75-$450 per hour depending on the novelty, difficulty and amount of expertise required to complete the task at hand." I subscribe to this philosophy whenever I have to do AN ELECTRICIANS JOB and I charged her accordingly. She's happy I'm happy $$ but damn where is my training?
My question is, where do the governing bodies stand on this issue? How are we legally even allowed to work in the electrical field, let alone be expected to ? sheesh
/rant
 

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Super Moderator
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11,965 Posts
I'd love to hear some feedback on this.

I have installed plenty of garbage disposals, dishwashers, bathroom vent fans, attic fans (including through the roof and flashing), etc.

So actually I have stepped on the toes from the example above of plumbers, HVAC, and roofers since it's usually impractical to call in each appropriate trade for their part on a service call.

I for one NEVER question a plumbers ability to make simple hard wired connections. Interesting though, I've never been officially trained in HVAC, plumbing, or roofing. I guess I'm a hack!:jester:

It's certainly a gray area when it comes to micro-jobs.

I run into this dilemma mostly with HVAC where an HVAC contractor says to call an electrician, and we usually recommend the opposite since neither of us really know what the problem might be over the phone. I don't like charging my service call fee to spend 5 minutes only to discover that the feed is fine and they need another trade.

This is real common, at least for me.

More thoughts?
 

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Capra Aegagrus
Remodeler
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25,203 Posts
If you don't do service work, you'll seldom run into such quandaries. For those of us who do, it's almost imperative that we have at least some cross-training and the ability to do at least a bit of "other trades'" work.

Most licensing authorities allow for such crossover, with limitations. But for the training, you're pretty much at the mercy of your life experience. That's one of the reasons I almost never turn down the chance to learn something new when it comes along. :thumbsup:
 

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PlumbingZone Reject
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62 Posts
If you don't do service work, you'll seldom run into such quandaries. For those of us who do, it's almost imperative that we have at least some cross-training and the ability to do at least a bit of "other trades'" work.

Most licensing authorities allow for such crossover, with limitations. But for the training, you're pretty much at the mercy of your life experience. That's one of the reasons I almost never turn down the chance to learn something new when it comes along. :thumbsup:
Most states these days are cognizant of a necessary overlap between certain Trades and accommodate this overlap by making the overlap a part of the Continuing Education process.

I'm not an Electrician, but the State allows me a certain amount of latitude in wiring up Plumbing fixtures, vessels and appliances by requiring a certain amount of knowledge in order to retain my license.

Do I feel comfortable doing it? Hell no. I generally schedule a licensed Electrician to come in behind me and vet my work.
 

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Contractor of the Month
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Most states these days are cognizant of a necessary overlap between certain Trades and accommodate this overlap by making the overlap a part of the Continuing Education process.

I'm not an Electrician, but the State allows me a certain amount of latitude in wiring up Plumbing fixtures, vessels and appliances by requiring a certain amount of knowledge in order to retain my license.

Do I feel comfortable doing it? Hell no. I generally schedule a licensed Electrician to come in behind me and vet my work.
Same with Ontario, HVAC guys can plumb up to 50 feet for their application, connect electrical to their devices etc.
 

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Registered
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13,355 Posts
Make sure your insurance covers the additional trades. I'm a licensed General, Mechanical and Electrical contractor, my insurance covers all 3 trades.

Someday I'll take the state plumbing test.

Tom
 

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I was a Manufacturers Rep in the HVAC/P&H business for 25 yrs. I'm a pipefitter/welder by trade and had a mechanical business for several years. My suggestion is you speak with your preferred supply houses and get them to schedule the training, technical, hand on training that is, on the brands of product you want to sell and support. Many times the rep will come to your shop if you can put guys in the seats. You as the customer get to decide what you buy/sell. One of the deciding factors there should be the level of support, training and expertise you get on those brands. I would always rather make a training call than a sales call. Last longer and has a better effect on business and after all, you are doing the business.

Also, do you have a local PHCC group in your area? That was always a good place to get training to, depending upon the area.
 
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