How Shocking!? by Sylvan Tieger

Recently we went to a job to replace a defective water meter. Although this is normally a simple job it almost cost my employee his life.

It seems there is a lot of non licensed and obviously non skilled people out there that are dabbling in various trades they have no business doing.

It appears this person tried to do electrical work and had absolutely no idea what he was doing as he connected the electrical switch on the neutral instead of the hot line.
He also connected a live wire to the water piping instead of a ground wire.

When my journeyman disconnected the meter bolts, he was given a severe shock as he was standing in a puddle of water.

Now 1st off, I have always instructed my guys to use a "jumper cable" before disconnecting any piping. I have seen lots of ground cables even on gas piping as some appliance installers have no idea what the codes are about.

I cannot stress how important it is to use Qualified LICENSED Contractors for your protection.

The incompetence out there is rampant as I have seen a plastic drain line used for an electrical ground of a gas appliance.

To all my readers please for the safety of your entire family DEMAND to see the license of the actual person doing the work in your home. Do not be fooled by fast talking conglomerate sales pitches and little jingles saying they have "technicians" doing your plumbing / gas fitting or drainage. All of these trades demand a high level of knowledge.

To be a "skilled plumber" requires years of training and constant upgrading of these skills.

I recently read an article where a family of 4 lost 3 members of their family due do to an improperly installed gas flue pipe.

Seems this person knew a friend of a friend who "knew" plumbing/gas fitting and hooked up this flue pipe from a small boiler. Unfortunately this pipe was not installed into the existing chimney and the Carbon Monoxide came back into the home killing 2 children and the mother. Of course the friend felt really bad as he was just trying to help out someone and after all he did save these victims a little money on what a legitimate fully skilled and trained contractor would have charged.

I can go on and on with stories of inept unlicensed drainers / plumbers and gas fitters but the final responsibility is YOURS. YOU are the one who must check for the license and insurance. Please don't be embarrassed to ask for the license. Good luck.


Sylvan LMP (Licensed Master Plumber)
"Plumbers Protect The Health Of The World."

Sylvan Tieger - [Intro] | [Qualifications] | [Email] | [Website] | [Articles]

The views expressed in this article are those of the individual author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the management or staff of

PlumbViews Home Page