Filthie's Mobile Fortress Of Solitude

Filthie's Mobile Fortress Of Solitude
Where Great Intelligence Goes To Be Insulted

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Why Is That, Anyways?

My neighbour is a top flight tin basher and is a big wheel at a small local HVAC company. He did the duct work on my house when it was built 20 years ago.

We often banter back and forth over the fence and one day we were chatting about the trades - specifically, some local politico wank wanted the trades de-certified. After all, there is no real trade work around anymore, right? Your mechanic at the local garage will use a computer to diagnose your car. That's in addition to the self diagnostics your car's own microprocessor does. For HVAC, most houses made today are of a 'cookie cutter' design. You don't need to know all the ins-and-outs of tin bashing, all you gotta know is how to do the ductwork for a couple different house designs and you're good to go! Residential Electricians? Fah - you can probably wire your own house after reading a DIY book. Seriously. Instrumentation? Fah! Everything's microprocessor based! Pull the PC board and replace it and you're off to the races! The mechanical aspects of that trade are rudimentary.

My neighbour's objection was pretty much obvious: what happens to your HVAC installer when he runs into a new design - or an old one? What happens when he is put into a situation where he has to think his way through it? That is the difference between a tradesman and some de-certified installer. There was a small war to decertify the trades up here years ago and thank God it was won and over before the morons did it. Our trades people are still respected professionals as they should be.

It used to be the trades were guarantees of employment and something you could always 'fall back on' in tough times. They certainly aren't anymore; up here in Alberta we have a whole passle of unemployed tradesmen as well as professionals and technicals. We are all getting hit by the recession.

Oh well, we are Albertans, and the oilfield booms and busts. We survived the last ones, we will survive this one.


  1. Sure, wire your own house. See what happens.

    My brother decided to finish the large attic space of his recently purchased home, which amounted to running electrical wiring, putting in a floor over the sub-floor, installing electrical heaters, and putting up drywall. To save money, he did the wiring himself under the uncertified direction of a mutual acquaintance, who is also an unlicensed general contractor. Okay, fine. I even helped him out a little.

    When the time came to hook the new wiring into the breaker box, his mentor and advisor was on hand to do the hard part - connect a handful of wires to their respective breakers. He'd brought his official assistant, Black Joey, along for the ride.

    So they threw the switch, and there was this horridly loud buzzing noise combined with a flash of purple light that turned the back of the garage from night into bright, bright sunlight. For a second, anyway. Black Joey took to his heels with me trailing by a length.

    It seems that somehow the Red and Green wires got switched. Well, these things happen.

    1. I would start small with home wiring. Electrify your shed or work bench, for example. Everyone crosses wires at some point, and a sparky show serves as an excellent reminder on how important it is to get them right! :)