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Thai Sparks! Bad Practices.


Formaleins

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Been adding some sockets to my existing ones in my back room. The house was wired about 12 years ago from scratch.

Had to go up into the roof space to get at the junction boxes to add some cable, and oh what a surprise!

 

Everything on the surface looks good at first, all the cables are either inside the yellow conduit or in that flexible silver conduit all nicely jointed and bolted into place.

 

Then, as I began tracing cables things took a different turn.

 

Every single steel junction box has all of the wires simply twisted into joints and taped with insulation tape - HORRIBLE!

 

Then, I traced the circuit I needed and switched it off at the main breaker box (the mini breakers on the Consumer Unit)  Goes back into the roof space and separates the wires and makes a neat snip through the first one, as soon as I snipped the second - plunged into darkness.

 

From what I can tell they have taken the mains feed from the breaker for that circuit that links all of the upstairs sockets which is then isolated when you switch off the breaker.....but......it looks like they have then hooked up part of what seems to be a "live"  Neutral cable from another lighting circuit into the same feed.

 

So the breaker isolates all of the sockets, but still has a live/neutral  from a light switch wired in - good job the old Safe-T-Cut was working, never even felt a tingle.

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I don't mean to argue with what you think is proper but conecting wires is all about the connection - not the looks.  Have you ever tried to take apart a "Thai twist and tape"?  I suppose so, since you ended up snipping it - which is about the only way to do it.  While many Thai sparks may not have knowledge about ground, borrowing neutrals, "3-way" switches, MEN, etc. they do know how to make a connection.  The wire nuts and tunnel connectors available here are crap.  The Wago not easily found.  Now, I twist and tape too.

 

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No argument that a twist-n-tape done properly is very solid. A properly executed telegraph twist is never going anywhere.

 

fig55.gif

 

The problem is that the poor quality Thai tape has an unfortunate habit of falling off, leaving an uninsulated joint flapping around in the wind.

 

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5 minutes ago, Crossy said:

No argument that a twist-n-tape done properly is very solid. A properly executed telegraph twist is never going anywhere.

 

fig55.gif

 

The problem is that the poor quality Thai tape has an unfortunate habit of falling off, leaving an uninsulated joint flapping around in the wind.

 

A "telegraph twist" is not feasible with the large wire sizes though.  When I was hooking up my AVS today, I first tried a large size tunnel connector which broke apart when I tried to get the connection tight.  Grrr.  I don't know how many times I've tried those F_ing things but never again.  After twisting, I did put a large size wire nut over and tape to hold in place just to protect the strands from potential arcing.

 

BTW:  The other thing Thais normally do is put about 20 wraps of tape around the connection - so, even when it does start to fall apart, it's just the outside layer; the inside layers seem to be melded together.

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1 hour ago, Crossy said:

No argument that a twist-n-tape done properly is very solid. A properly executed telegraph twist is never going anywhere.

 

fig55.gif

 

The problem is that the poor quality Thai tape has an unfortunate habit of falling off, leaving an uninsulated joint flapping around in the wind.

 

certainly a worry of mine the time our house was rewired

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1 hour ago, Crossy said:

The problem is that the poor quality Thai tape has an unfortunate habit of falling off, leaving an uninsulated joint flapping around in the wind.

Yeah the tape stays on the roll OK but not the twist joint.

What have started doing with wire joins on our land is to a good cover but the last 100mm cut it centre twist both pieces and tied it around the joint and form a knot. :thumbsup:

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The guy who did the wiring for our swimming pool understood ground/earth wires OK. I asked him to be sure to include them.

When he had finished, I went to check. Sure enough, there was earth wires visible. Just in case, I pulled on them, they all went into the yellow pipe for approx. 3 inches !!!!

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another way to make more secure  is to start the tape run   overlapping  the first turn  ie covering the first turn  continue to wrap  and finish off with a plastic zip fastener   hence securing both start and finish preventing  unraveling  

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1 minute ago, hellstens said:

I fix the electric (and water) myself, don't trust anyone here.

And as you say, the electrical wiring boxes here are a joke!

So I solder, and use shrink tubing on everything, end of problem :-)

 

but not cheap chinese shrink wrap

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2 minutes ago, Lamkyong said:

another way to make more secure  is to start the tape run   overlapping  the first turn  ie covering the first turn  continue to wrap  and finish off with a plastic zip fastener   hence securing both start and finish preventing  unraveling  

A good way inside but l find exposed joints outside the plastic zip fastener break down after a while where as the tape doesn't seem to.

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1 minute ago, Kwasaki said:

A good way inside but l find exposed joints outside the plastic zip fastener break down after a while where as the tape doesn't seem to.

never had that problem  but sure why not tape heat shrink and zip tie

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You would have to cut out my twist connections. I do a pretty much twist the wires but then I use a piece of stripped heavy solid copper wire, wrap it as tightly as possible around the twist then crimp it. I also do that when joining stranded wire and solid wire. Never had a connection fail.

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1 hour ago, Gary A said:

You would have to cut out my twist connections. I do a pretty much twist the wires but then I use a piece of stripped heavy solid copper wire, wrap it as tightly as possible around the twist then crimp it. I also do that when joining stranded wire and solid wire. Never had a connection fail.

Outstanding Gary!  You didn't mention it, but guessing you use high quality German heat shrink to protect it.  If Crossy has a prize for wire connection overkill, I think you should get it.

 

Cheers

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41 minutes ago, bankruatsteve said:

Outstanding Gary!  You didn't mention it, but guessing you use high quality German heat shrink to protect it.  If Crossy has a prize for wire connection overkill, I think you should get it.

 

Cheers

Actually I prefer the self vulcanizing black rubber tape.

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in the last month i wired my own small house here  but before i managed to sack my builder and electrician he managed to put 12 meters of cable in from my shower to water pump outside............one evening last week the main breaker started tripping out,,,within 5 minuits narrowed the fault down to this 12meter of cable the thai had installed......this is what i found running in pvc pipe outside with water in it...,,,,,it just reassured me that i did the right thing getting rid off him .....there must be around 200meters off wiring in my house and its all fine apart from the 12 meters i let a thai do,,,absolute jokers ,,the good to come out of it is i know my rcbo works :)

IMAG1786.jpg

IMAG1787.jpg

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7 hours ago, bankruatsteve said:

I don't mean to argue with what you think is proper but conecting wires is all about the connection - not the looks.  Have you ever tried to take apart a "Thai twist and tape"?  I suppose so, since you ended up snipping it - which is about the only way to do it.  While many Thai sparks may not have knowledge about ground, borrowing neutrals, "3-way" switches, MEN, etc. they do know how to make a connection.  The wire nuts and tunnel connectors available here are crap.  The Wago not easily found.  Now, I twist and tape too.

 

I kind of agree, I have Wago and they cannot handle the 2.5mm heavy gauge, they keep coming loose.

 

I also agree that the joints look like crap but you are again correct, trying to get them apart is unbelievably difficult.

 

Yes, they don't look nice, but as you say, they were well connected. I didn't like the stray Neutral that they plugged in there though.

 

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7 hours ago, Crossy said:

No argument that a twist-n-tape done properly is very solid. A properly executed telegraph twist is never going anywhere.

 

fig55.gif

 

The problem is that the poor quality Thai tape has an unfortunate habit of falling off, leaving an uninsulated joint flapping around in the wind.

 

Well, the buggers that jointed my cables must have used a huge pair of pliers as it was impossible to remove the twists. Just looks crap, and I hate insulation tape, they never use a good brand and it always turns into some glue mess.

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6 hours ago, bankruatsteve said:

A "telegraph twist" is not feasible with the large wire sizes though.  When I was hooking up my AVS today, I first tried a large size tunnel connector which broke apart when I tried to get the connection tight.  Grrr.  I don't know how many times I've tried those F_ing things but never again.  After twisting, I did put a large size wire nut over and tape to hold in place just to protect the strands from potential arcing.

 

BTW:  The other thing Thais normally do is put about 20 wraps of tape around the connection - so, even when it does start to fall apart, it's just the outside layer; the inside layers seem to be melded together.

Ha ha! Nothing quite as ornamental as that in my roof space, just a mass of twisted copper, at least they bothered to by the 2 Core + Earth and connected it properly.

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49 minutes ago, taninthai said:

in the last month i wired my own small house here  but before i managed to sack my builder and electrician he managed to put 12 meters of cable in from my shower to water pump outside............one evening last week the main breaker started tripping out,,,within 5 minuits narrowed the fault down to this 12meter of cable the thai had installed......this is what i found running in pvc pipe outside with water in it...,,,,,it just reassured me that i did the right thing getting rid off him .....there must be around 200meters off wiring in my house and its all fine apart from the 12 meters i let a thai do,,,absolute jokers ,,the good to come out of it is i know my rcbo works :)

IMAG1786.jpg

IMAG1787.jpg

At least he gave you an Earth! Be grateful for small mercies. I have been thinking of brazing a live cable to a 10 Baht coin and leaving it on a table, then when my wife goes to pick it up she will test my Safe-T_Cut, I can check how effective it is at 5mA, 15mA and 25 mA....and if she annoys me, well we can switch it to DIRECT.

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10 hours ago, Formaleins said:

I kind of agree, I have Wago and they cannot handle the 2.5mm heavy gauge, they keep coming loose.

 

I also agree that the joints look like crap but you are again correct, trying to get them apart is unbelievably difficult.

 

Yes, they don't look nice, but as you say, they were well connected. I didn't like the stray Neutral that they plugged in there though.

 

Unless you have double pole breakers (which I doubt), you were only isolating the live when you turned off the breaker.  The neutrals would still be detected by your Safe-T-Cut and most likely the trip was due to the N-E "fault" when you cut it.  

 

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12 hours ago, elgordo38 said:

A gooder one. 

Many years now, made some improvements myself but mainly trip switch amp amounts and getting earthing done to showers,  washing machine, water pump and computer plug in's.  :thumbsup:

 

When l looked up in the ceiling & loft areas the tape is still in tack. :laugh:

Edited by Kwasaki
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2 hours ago, Kwasaki said:

Many years now, made some improvements myself but mainly trip switch amp amounts and getting earthing done to showers,  washing machine, water pump and computer plug in's.  :thumbsup:

 

When l looked up in the ceiling & loft areas the tape is still in tack. :laugh:

Yes duct tape does wonders. Maybe patch me up in the upcoming years. 

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