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Posted By Topic: Is Electrical work considered Essential?

Mar 23 2020 18:59

Is everyone still working during the lockdown?

Mar 23 2020 19:54

My dentist is already closed! They cancelled the appointment twice on me. I might be looking at an abscess well before this blows over.


Mar 23 2020 20:07

Yes and No. Up until today's announcement we still had a mains changeover planned for Wednesday which has been cancelled. I have a critical bore water pump to go back in on Wednesday that's still going ahead. Machinery in supermarkets and switch board fires are the only work that will be attended. For the next 4 weeks got a lot of reading to catch up on... Maybe start weeding that damn jungle I call a garden!!

Mar 23 2020 20:22

Will depend on the type of work. The current list of essential businesses is on the website. Note that it's subject to change.

From the site:

>>> More specific information for each sector will be published shortly.

>>> These businesses will continue working, but will put in place alternative ways of working to keep employees safe, including shift-based working, staggered meal breaks, flexible leave arrangements and physical distancing.

>>> We are setting up a call centre and free 0800 number to help answer questions about this. Our website will be updated as soon as this is set up.

Regarding building and construction:
>>> Building and construction related to essential services, critical infrastructure, or immediately needed to maintain human health and safety at home/work.

Supporting essential industries also qualifies, eg keeping primary industry, food manufacturing, health, utilities running.

Mar 23 2020 20:24

Most of our work is, new build, construction type work. I'm guessing most construction sites will shut down and lock their gates. They'll no doubt get in the shit, if they try to carry on business as usual.

Mar 23 2020 22:56

domestic blown hot waters? smashed power point etc?????

Mar 23 2020 23:52

"domestic blown hot waters?smashed power point etc????? "

Any entity involved in building and construction required immediately to maintain human health and safety at home or work = yes, but how will you ensure your safety while on site? how will you ensure that you don't take a hitchhiker home with you?


Mar 24 2020 07:23

Apart from following in house guidelines, protocols and distancing, it's business as usual.

Mar 24 2020 08:43

So a blown HW element would need to be replaced to maintain human health I assume.But is there anywhere open to source the gear needed?

Mar 24 2020 09:39

I just talked to Cory's, they don't know what hours they will open but will make an announcement this afternoon.
As I understand it, construction and maintenance work for H&S and essential services is still on.
I think most domestic jobs can be done safely if we arrange distancing, hand washing etc over the phone first.

Mar 24 2020 11:50

Sanitise the door handles and taps.


Mar 24 2020 11:59

Given the non-availability of replacement alcohol-based sanitiser; I'd suggest wearing gloves, not wasting what little sanitiser you may have on door handles.

That's assuming you get any calls to attend work for essential services.


Mar 24 2020 16:53

We were in Bunnings at the weekend, crammed with people buying paint, garden stuff, tools, everything for home projects while they have some free time.
Also noticed wall-fans, range-hoods, and boxes of downlights in people's trolleys so there will be electrical work required.
We just have to work differently to fit in with the new rules.

Mar 24 2020 19:59

SaintAlan, the new rules say we can't do that for at least the next 4 weeks.

Mar 25 2020 09:44

guidance on what we can & can't do on :

Mar 25 2020 09:56

Thanks Alex, I think a firm statement from this site owner (Master Electricians) would be appropriate too given the inflated view some have of their importance. "Business as usual"???? For pity's sake, what does it take to get the message across?

There is actually very little that is 'essential' work. Fitting a bunch of reno / update stuff from Bunnings etc can wait a month. Irresponsible people will just put us all at risk of waiting longer and contribute to deaths. Copied from the web site you provided:

Q: What can I do as a tradesperson (eg plumber, electrician, carpenter)

Under a level 4 alert, only trades people undertaking work related to essential business or infrastructure are expected to be working outside of the self-isolation protocol. The exception to this may be where tradespeople are required to undertake emergency work where the need is immediate and required to maintain human health and safety. Situations might include:

The repair or replacement of a failed hot water cylinder required for sanitation purposes
The unblocking and repair or replacement of sanitary waste or water supply pipes to maintain human health and safety
The repair or replacement of electrical installations or equipment where there is an immediate threat to the human health and safety
The securing of roof or structure where there is an immediate threat to human health and safety

Examples of non-emergency work would be:

Finishing the lining of a client's house
Pouring a concrete slab to get ahead while the country is in lockdown
Replacing tap washers
Routine servicing of non-essential equipment or infrastructure
Replacement of sanitary fixtures that are working

Mar 25 2020 11:16

Emphasis on the "immediate threat" aspect. Just improving comfort level doesn't count.

Nor does mere compliance with other rules, like Building Act inspections for specified systems.

I've notified my IQP clients that routine checks of systems are off until the restrictions are lifted; but breakdowns can still be dealt with. If the occupants of a building are all locked-down at home, there's no need to check the emergency exits are clear; and those places won't need emergency lights either.


Mar 25 2020 11:21

I’ll change my comment to ‘business closed except for an emergency call out’. Like everyone, I’ll be at home.

Like the virus, the information and the news changes all the time.

Mar 25 2020 12:50

Great responses! Especially more so as this forum is open to public view.

Mar 25 2020 21:28

Hi, Is a oven replacement a essential repair?? Existing oven blowning fuse, plus client seen smoke coming out the back. Client has a Replacement oven.

Mar 25 2020 21:40

For good health, it is better if food is properly cooked before eating it. You need to make a sensible decision: which option is best for the safety and health of the most?

Mar 26 2020 00:28

Like the "rules" it's down to how you want to interpret it, and you need to be confident that your argument can stand up not in a court of law, but with your health on the line. Repairing a blown cooking range for an elderly client maybe considered essential works, but using that to cover the fact it's actually been busted for the last 2 weeks and they sourced a new one and waiting for you to fit off is another thing.

Mar 26 2020 09:45

i'd do that job with care, two weeks ago she has had the ability to get by without it, now is a little different. again, it's up to us to ensure the safety of ourselves and the customer who may have different takes on this whole game. they may not care, or they may not understand. either way i'd ask them to open the doors to the house and go outside before you enter, then there's no touching doorhandles just the cooker and switches, clean and leave, and fold the bill into a paperdart and fly it in?

Mar 26 2020 11:32

That is so effing annoying! Once went to a restaurant because the range hood speed control wasn't working. Was told we've been having trouble with it for about 6 months. If it had been looked at then I could have tightened ONE screw and realigned the gears instead of finding a pile of worn out dust at the bottom of the control box (of the controller that was no longer available)...

Mar 26 2020 17:20

All the takeaways and Uber-eats are closed which will be a shock to people who live on junk food and must now cook at home.
Under the circumstances where everyone MUST prepare food at home, I consider the maintenance of basic cooking, refrigeration and water heating services are essential.
Hence if one element on a cooker has blown they have others and can live without it, but if supply to the whole cooker is lost that needs prompt repair.

Mar 27 2020 18:31

Yes have work coming in all the time that needs to get done