More time wasting

English: This bathroom ceiling structure initi...
This bathroom ceiling structure initially used 2×4 boards; but building inspector wanted 2x10s. Instead of replacing the boards, each board was sistered so the resulting structure was strong. Afterwards, sheetrock was put here, with holes for lights and exhaust vents. Last, the ceiling was painted. This is a difficult handyman project. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I expected to spend about an hour on Monday morning replacing recessed ceiling lights for a local couple but discovered that the lights they had purchased were unsuitable for three reasons. The first was their voltage and what we call their IP rating. The IP is the unit’s capability to resist the ingress of moisture or water and for units in a bathroom that IP rating is quite high for obvious reasons. The second problem was the unit’s voltage, not a problem in itself but a problem if installed within the bathroom zone which prohibits them, that is within reach of baths, showers and basins etc. The problem in this instance was the fact that the ceiling was too low to allow them to be installed. In the picture shown I doubt these light units would be allowed as they don’t appear to meet with the first two requirements for electrical safety in a bathroom in this country at least. The third problem was one of space or lack of it in the ceiling void. The units were simply too large to fit in the minimal space the building had in the ceiling. Nothing could be done but to return the goods and get a refund. I accompanied the guy as we went back to the supplier for I thought it best to chat with the staff to see if a solution could be found. It is easier for an electrician with knowledge of the regulations to discuss requirements and problems with a supplier rather than a customer with little or no knowledge at all. This guy thought he could do all the purchasing himself and in fact had asked me on an earlier visit to provide him with the information he needed to buy the correct things. It had made no difference for he still managed to buy the wrong equipment. Had I been there with him, well, what can I say? So he is back to square one for the time being. To their credit the suppliers will attempt to source something which will meet the customer’s requirements now that I have discussed the situation with them because there didn’t seem to be any units of a suitable specification available. The chauffeur-driven ride to and from the supplier was nice for a change. I had left my van at the customer’s address. I hadn’t the heart to levy a charge despite the fact that I had been there twice without being able to do much but I felt I ought to and in fact he insisted upon it. In that respect therefore it wasn’t a waste of time though I can think of better ways to waste time than to be led up the garden path.

Shirley Anne