Electrician Building Woes

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Electrician Building Woes

Postby dozer » Mon Jul 27, 2009 12:07 pm

Received via coolthaihouse feedback from a reader from Chaing Mai and posted for interest.....

I purchased a house in Chiang Mai in 2006. It was the
model home for the Moo Baan. Since owning the home I have run into many problems with regard to the quality of the trades work on the home. My background is. I am a master electrician with forty years experience and am semi retired. My construction experience spans all those years in residential, commercial and industrial projects.
I have read with great interest some of the comments made with regard to the quality of the Thai trades people and their penchant for shortcuts which I find stunning to say the least.
In terms of electrical installations which I am most qualified to comment on I cannot conceive of any inspector passing any of the electrical installation on any of the houses here. The work is shoddy to say the least. It doesn't conform to any international standard that I know of. I have worked in Canada ,the US, Bermuda,and the Bahamas and have looked at electrical installations in Europe, Mexico, and South America. The only installations I have found to be worse than here was in Mexico.
Having said all that I have to say that I have had a great time fixing all the things that were wrong and can't help but feel sorry for the poor people who don't have my type of experience to do the necessary repairs for a proper and safely functioning electrical system. Some of the problems I found are listed below.
The most common was poor wiring connections.ie; joints in wires not taped or poorly twisted. Wiring with no wire connectors just tape. wires cut too short to make a proper connection Connections made in junction boxes that are inaccessible to make proper connections. Loose connections lead to overheating of the wires and of course can lead to fires and in the case of wires coming loose possible shorting to the structure ergo shocks.
My house fortunately has a good ground system and it meets a reasonable standard.
The other problem I have found is the installation of the wiring without the use of conduit or alternative cabling assemblies. In other words loose single conductors. These conductors should be encased to protect against vermin and vibration which can cause shorts and overheating and fires. A proper installation should include; (a) a complete cabling system comprised of multiconductor cables including a ground wire running from the source.( Breaker panel) to accessible junction boxes or device boxes to comprise a complete system. (b)Alternatively, conduit can be used but still must be a complete system with the appropriate conduit connectors and junction boxes and device boxes for that particular type of conduit ie, pvc. rigid conduit , electrical metallic tubing,etc. Unfortunately, non of the above criteria were met in my house and I doubt if they are met in most residential installations in Thailand. I have rectified most of these problems in my house but I just want people to be aware if they are thinking of buying a house here. They need to know what they are buying. I am also trying to give people tips to the basic installation procedures to make their home safe should they decide to build for themselves.
Another interesting thing that I found in my house was the lack of "P" traps in the plumbing which are required in other countries to stop the flow of potentially deadly methane gasses back up the piping system into the house. Aside from the fact that there is an awful smell this can be very dangerous if the house is completely closed up for the AC to be effective. If these gasses are allowed to build in a closed bathroom with no chance to escape they are toxic as well as explosive. I managed to get access to the offending pipes by cutting a hole in my dry walled ceilings and altering the piping with "P" traps on the shower outlets. This stopped the smell and put the proper safety valve back into the system. I talked to a Thai plumber and all he could say was that the little plastic cup on the floor drain was supposed to do this. I speak from experience when I say that does not work. Please ensure that all your drains have either a bottle trap or a "P" trap for your safety and that of your family.
In closing I would like to say that I apologize for the poor grammar and any typos. I am very happy to have an opportunity to share some of the things I have encountered in owning a house in Thailand and hope they are of some use to a prospective buyer or builder. I have found many other shortcomings in Thai construction and most of what I see seems to stem from poor enforcement of standards or a general lack of knowledge as to a truly proper installation. I hope this post helpful. Some of the smallest things can be the most important

NOTE: This was received from a reader and I (Dozer) am just posting it here for informational purposes, do not necessarily agree/disagree with it.
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Re: Electrician Building Woes

Postby thaifly » Mon Jul 27, 2009 1:53 pm

its a gidday to dozer...its the thai fly from mae rim..without being derogative to the post..WHATS NEW...... about moo baans ..that fit the above descriptions..the thai fly has seen moo baans in C/MAI. that are right up that blind alley...that he describes...sure there are some fair dinkum ones..but lets face it most are after after a quick kill..any way they can get it...and always at the expense of a poor unsuspecting buyer...i would rather deal with the devil...then these...???????...parasites...ALL IN ALL.....its a ROPE A DOPE GIDDAY TO ALL....its the thai fly from mae rim
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Re: Electrician Building Woes

Postby kevh » Thu Jul 30, 2009 9:17 am


I couldn't agree with you more. I'm also a qualified electrician. Luckily on my build I do have an electrician who knows what he's doing, he's answered all the questions I've thrown at him anyway.
People starting or planning a build need to be aware of the risks and unfortunately electricity is often overlooked.

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Re: Electrician Building Woes

Postby Sparky » Fri Jun 04, 2010 8:44 am

Kevh as a qualified electrician why didnt you do it your self ?
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