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Electronics => Repair => Topic started by: daveatol on July 21, 2015, 10:02:02 am

Title: Legality of DIY repair of electronic goods
Post by: daveatol on July 21, 2015, 10:02:02 am
There are a few videos on eevblog about fixing up buggered caps on power supply boards of LCD and plasma displays. Anything connected to the mains has to be signed off by a sparky (I thought), and if you change the PSU HV input bulk cap(s), you're kinda fiddling with the part connected to the mains.

Does anyone know if is it legal to do your own repairs of electronic goods in Australia?
Title: Re: Legality of DIY repair of electronic goods
Post by: ruffy91 on July 21, 2015, 10:18:14 am
I don't know how it's in australia but in switzerland you can do anything you want on your side of the mains outlet. Everything behind the outlet and the outlet itself can only be touched by a licensed electrician. I thought it's like this in every country (except some differences from country to country with fix installed household appliances like refrigerators etc.).
Title: Re: Legality of DIY repair of electronic goods
Post by: daveatol on July 21, 2015, 10:26:16 am
That's a pretty good deal n switzerland - as long as ppl don't make dangerous equipment, or make equipment dangerous.

I found that in Queensland, it's illegal to replace even low-voltage components in electrical equipment (unless someone without electrical expertise could do it safely, e.g. replacing a fuse)(http://www.legislation.qld.gov.au/LEGISLTN/CURRENT/E/ElectricalSA02.pdf (http://www.legislation.qld.gov.au/LEGISLTN/CURRENT/E/ElectricalSA02.pdf)). I guess you could argue that someone without expertise could solder safely (though I think you'd lose).
Title: Re: Legality of DIY repair of electronic goods
Post by: ozwolf on July 21, 2015, 10:35:20 am
If you repair your own item and worried about its safety, why not take it to be "tested & tagged"?

Ozwolf
Title: Re: Legality of DIY repair of electronic goods
Post by: Deathwish on July 21, 2015, 10:41:00 am
Cant stand health and safety nuts myself, if I wanna bump myself of ( NO you can not put a back order in ) I will do so at my own choosing.

If I play with the mains that would affect other householders that is a different thing. Health and safety nuts are destroying the UK.

Actually I think the only time a ticket should be needed on personal mains stuff is if it is sold on to others after a repair. Maybe ...
Title: Re: Legality of DIY repair of electronic goods
Post by: ElectroIrradiator on July 21, 2015, 10:44:06 am
I don't know how it's in australia but in switzerland you can do anything you want on your side of the mains outlet. Everything behind the outlet and the outlet itself can only be touched by a licensed electrician. I thought it's like this in every country (except some differences from country to country with fix installed household appliances like refrigerators etc.).

Same thing in Denmark. The fine print here is that you are supposed to know what you are doing (which is not the same as saying you *got* to have an appropriate certification), and you are responsible for any damage resulting from a bodged repair job. Same as in everything else that you do, really.
Title: Re: Legality of DIY repair of electronic goods
Post by: blueskull on July 21, 2015, 10:44:36 am
Law? What law? Russian kids short out 500kV transmission lines and are still fine.
Title: Re: Legality of DIY repair of electronic goods
Post by: ozwolf on July 21, 2015, 11:10:27 am
That's a pretty good deal n switzerland - as long as ppl don't make dangerous equipment, or make equipment dangerous.

I found that in Queensland, it's illegal to replace even low-voltage components in electrical equipment (unless someone without electrical expertise could do it safely, e.g. replacing a fuse)(http://www.legislation.qld.gov.au/LEGISLTN/CURRENT/E/ElectricalSA02.pdf (http://www.legislation.qld.gov.au/LEGISLTN/CURRENT/E/ElectricalSA02.pdf)). I guess you could argue that someone without expertise could solder safely (though I think you'd lose).

Can you quote which section of the regulation you posted states that?  I did find this on page 40 - section 37

"Duty of repairer of electrical equipment or electrical installation
(1) This section applies to a person (the repairer) who repairs electrical equipment or an electrical installation.
(2) The repairer must ensure that—
(a) the way the electrical equipment or installation is repaired is electrically safe; and
(b) the processes followed for repairing the electrical equipment or installation ensure that, when repaired, it will be electrically safe; and
(c) the electrical equipment or installation, when repaired, is electrically safe.
(3) Without limiting subsection (1), the duty includes ensuring that the electrical equipment or installation, when repaired, is
tested and examined to ensure it is electrically safe."

So, you originally asked if DIY repair legal.  I think so, as long as you ensure the repair is safe.  Therefore get it tested and tagged to ensure safety for the rest of your family.

Ozwolf


Title: Re: Legality of DIY repair of electronic goods
Post by: daveatol on July 21, 2015, 11:16:36 am
If you repair your own item and worried about its safety, why not take it to be "tested & tagged"?
That's just for testing isolation, not if my repair job will result in a huge fireball.
Cant stand health and safety nuts myself, if I wanna bump myself of ( NO you can not put a back order in ) I will do so at my own choosing.

If I play with the mains that would affect other householders that is a different thing. Health and safety nuts are destroying the UK.

Actually I think the only time a ticket should be needed on personal mains stuff is if it is sold on to others after a repair. Maybe ...
There are many excessive regulations in Australia as well, although you don't need certification to get your kids to install roof insulation and shoot staples through mains cables.

Same thing in Denmark. The fine print here is that you are supposed to know what you are doing (which is not the same as saying you *got* to have an appropriate certification), and you are responsible for any damage resulting from a bodged repair job. Same as in everything else that you do, really.
That sounds pretty reasonable to me.

Law? What law? Russian kids short out 500kV transmission lines and are still fine.
They build kids tougher in Russia though.


Title: Re: Legality of DIY repair of electronic goods
Post by: ozwolf on July 21, 2015, 11:38:02 am
Test and tag is NOT just for isolation.

Refer to AS/NZS 3760 - In-service inspection and testing of electrical equipment.

I'm currently reading "Best Practices in Testing & Tagging of Electrical Equipment to AS/NZS 3760" by Frank Zahra & Damien Virieux in an attempt to decide if I should start a business in this field.

I'm only commenting on DIY repair as that was your first question.  For me, DIY repair backed up by Test & Tag is sufficient.  However, repair for profit is a different kettle of fish.  You clearly need certification to do that.

Ozwolf
Title: Re: Legality of DIY repair of electronic goods
Post by: daveatol on July 21, 2015, 11:44:28 am
Can you quote which section of the regulation you posted states that?  I did find this on page 40 - section 37
Page 59, section 55 states
Quote
A person must not perform or supervise electrical work
unless—
(a) the person is the holder of an electrical work licence in
force under this Act; and
(b) the licence authorises the person to perform the work
And electrical work is defined on page 24, section 18.

Test and tag is NOT just for isolation.
Ok. I've only seen it done on brand-new power cords and boards at work.

And from https://www.worksafe.qld.gov.au/licensing-and-registrations/electrical-licences/electrical-worker-licences/electrical-work-licencepermit-other-than-apprentice (https://www.worksafe.qld.gov.au/licensing-and-registrations/electrical-licences/electrical-worker-licences/electrical-work-licencepermit-other-than-apprentice)
Quote
It is illegal to perform electrical work without a licence or permit in Queensland.
Title: Re: Legality of DIY repair of electronic goods
Post by: Deathwish on July 21, 2015, 11:53:20 am
I would try the argument that electrical work is not the same as Electronic work, I wouldn't expect a guy who does household rewiring to be neccesarily capable of repairing a TV set
Title: Re: Legality of DIY repair of electronic goods
Post by: tec5c on July 21, 2015, 12:14:20 pm
When I used to work in TV repairs we would frequently replace HV caps/other components, more so in the CRT days and all we had for qualifications was related to electronics, i.e., no electrician license or testing and tagging.

AFAIK, this
I don't know how it's in australia but in switzerland you can do anything you want on your side of the mains outlet. Everything behind the outlet and the outlet itself can only be touched by a licensed electrician. I thought it's like this in every country (except some differences from country to country with fix installed household appliances like refrigerators etc.).
applies in Australia too.

Correct me if I am wrong though.
Title: Re: Legality of DIY repair of electronic goods
Post by: sleemanj on July 21, 2015, 12:33:54 pm
In NZ one can replace fittings, sockets, switches etc in your own home yourself.  You can also move them, but not add new ones (well, you can but you can't connect them into the circuit/switchboard, need the sparky for that).

Repairing your appliances is totally fine, but repairing somebody else's would require test/tag I believe.

Selling 2nd hand electrical devices requires that they be "electrically safe", for private sales this is generally tolerated (but not actually legal really) as the seller's and buyer's decision, for businesses (ie 2nd hand dealers), testing and tagging AS/NZS5761 or disabling and tagging AS/NZ4701 (or AS/NZ3551 for medical stuff) is a requirement (but rather loosely policed).

http://www.ewrb.govt.nz/for-consumers/diywhen-do-i-need-an-electrical-worker/ (http://www.ewrb.govt.nz/for-consumers/diywhen-do-i-need-an-electrical-worker/)
http://www.trademe.co.nz/help/750/electrical-safety (http://www.trademe.co.nz/help/750/electrical-safety)
http://www.legislation.co.nz/regulation/public/2010/0036/latest/DLM2763717.html (http://www.legislation.co.nz/regulation/public/2010/0036/latest/DLM2763717.html)
Title: Re: Legality of DIY repair of electronic goods
Post by: sleemanj on July 21, 2015, 12:35:57 pm
I found that in Queensland, it's illegal to replace even low-voltage components in electrical equipment

It is worth pointing out perhaps that in the regulations (and this is fairly similar around the world), mains power is in the "Low Voltage" band of 50V AC to 1000V AC. 

What the lay person might consider "Low Voltage" is actually "Extra Low Voltage" (under 50V AC, under 120V DC) in so far as regulations go.

Title: Re: Legality of DIY repair of electronic goods
Post by: HackedFridgeMagnet on July 21, 2015, 02:20:54 pm
I found that in Queensland, it's illegal to replace even low-voltage components in electrical equipment

It is worth pointing out perhaps that in the regulations (and this is fairly similar around the world), mains power is in the "Low Voltage" band of 50V AC to 1000V AC. 

What the lay person might consider "Low Voltage" is actually "Extra Low Voltage" (under 50V AC, under 120V DC) in so far as regulations go.

This is right. Reread those regulations with this in mind.
"Low Voltage" as defined in the standards is greater than 50v AC or 120V DC.
Anything less is considered "Extra Low Voltage" and those rules will not apply.
Title: Re: Legality of DIY repair of electronic goods
Post by: Kibi on July 21, 2015, 04:30:15 pm
Back in Zim we used to repair stuff and whilst we made sure it was safe to use and all that sort of thing, we never had any actual Health and Safety police (we never really had any real police for that matter). Most people making the repairs had enough pride in themselves to ensure the equipment was fit for use.
People in Zim were glad enough to have their stuff mended rather than having to buy a new one. I wonder what it's like over there nowadays.
Title: Re: Legality of DIY repair of electronic goods
Post by: jlmoon on July 21, 2015, 08:56:03 pm
So the "Electricity Police" will knock my door down, handcuff me and haul me off to jail, if I pull a receptacle from the wall and tighten up the the loose screws or dress up the shoddy wiring left behind by the contracted electrician that installed it in the first place?   It will be a cold day in hell when a bureaucrat comes to my place and tells me I can't touch my electrical wiring in my house or office which I bought and paid for with my hard earned cash!   :scared:
Title: Re: Legality of DIY repair of electronic goods
Post by: ruffy91 on July 21, 2015, 09:24:53 pm
Much easier. Your insurance just won't pay if they find out that your unqualified repairwork was the culprit that burned your house down. On the other side if the electrician did a totally incompetent job his insurance will pay you.
Title: Re: Legality of DIY repair of electronic goods
Post by: briselec on July 21, 2015, 09:54:04 pm
Much easier. Your insurance just won't pay if they find out that your unqualified repairwork was the culprit that burned your house down. On the other side if the electrician did a totally incompetent job his insurance will pay you.

Exactly! One of the reasons electrical contractors are required to have a contractors license is to ensure they have adequate public liability insurance.
Title: Re: Legality of DIY repair of electronic goods
Post by: jlmoon on July 21, 2015, 09:55:58 pm
Much easier. Your insurance just won't pay if they find out that your unqualified repairwork was the culprit that burned your house down. On the other side if the electrician did a totally incompetent job his insurance will pay you.

Exactly! One of the reasons electrical contractors are required to have a contractors license is to ensure they have adequate public liability insurance.

If they are still in business!
Title: Re: Legality of DIY repair of electronic goods
Post by: engiadina on July 21, 2015, 10:08:16 pm
In Germany your private insurance will pay you and afterwards ask the electricians insurance for the money. If that guy is out of business, thats the risk of the private insurance.

As long as you have done all work by an approved electrician, your private insurance will pay!
Title: Re: Legality of DIY repair of electronic goods
Post by: KJDS on July 21, 2015, 10:11:55 pm
Much easier. Your insurance just won't pay if they find out that your unqualified repairwork was the culprit that burned your house down. On the other side if the electrician did a totally incompetent job his insurance will pay you.

Exactly! One of the reasons electrical contractors are required to have a contractors license is to ensure they have adequate public liability insurance.

If they are still in business!

As far as I understand English insurance law, then if a contractor did some physical work in, say, 2011, then his insurer for that year would still be liable.

However if a contractor is doing design work, then he would be required to purchase run off insurance before closing his company. That would cover any claim made against the company after it had closed.
Title: Re: Legality of DIY repair of electronic goods
Post by: free_electron on July 21, 2015, 10:19:09 pm
Law? What law? Russian kids short out 500kV transmission lines and are still fine.

But those are russion transmission lines. and russian kids. their vodka to body mass ratio is close to 1.
Title: Re: Legality of DIY repair of electronic goods
Post by: tec5c on July 21, 2015, 10:21:49 pm
Law? What law? Russian kids short out 500kV transmission lines and are still fine.

But those are russion transmission lines. and russian kids. their vodka to body mass ratio is close to 1.

 :-DD!!
Title: Re: Legality of DIY repair of electronic goods
Post by: Lightages on July 21, 2015, 11:05:43 pm
In Chile, there is the safety authority known as S.E.C. They are responsible for approving electrical and gas installations and equipment. Their rules and specifications are very strict. Almost everyone here ignores them. Over 55% of house fires in Chile are from electrical faults. As far as repairing your own equipment? I don't know if they have specifics for that but I doubt anyone has any training and approval here for consumer appliance repairs. And the houses keep burning.....
Title: Re: Legality of DIY repair of electronic goods
Post by: eas on July 21, 2015, 11:49:11 pm
So the "Electricity Police" will knock my door down, handcuff me and haul me off to jail, if I pull a receptacle from the wall and tighten up the the loose screws or dress up the shoddy wiring left behind by the contracted electrician that installed it in the first place?   It will be a cold day in hell when a bureaucrat comes to my place and tells me I can't touch my electrical wiring in my house or office which I bought and paid for with my hard earned cash!   :scared:
Don't worry. Last I checked, creating a strawman and then tearing it down is perfectly legal in the US. Or, at least, there are plenty of loopholes.
Title: Re: Legality of DIY repair of electronic goods
Post by: Shock on July 22, 2015, 04:02:35 pm
It should be legal if you prove you have sufficient skill, just the same as replacing a wheel on a car. That can be just as dangerous, but people manage to do it, even if it takes some people longer to work things out than others.

(http://hackedgadgets.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/reverse-engineer-a-power-supply-to-find-fault_2.jpg)
Title: Re: Legality of DIY repair of electronic goods
Post by: Someone on July 23, 2015, 12:05:23 am
They've come up with a neat compromise that adds a new level of bureaucracy for those repairing or building low voltage plug in appliances, but at the same time grants access to a sensible restricted license for technical roles so they can do work on attached equipment. Compare that to other states in Australia where you require a full trade apprenticeship to get the license to work on directly attached equipment.

https://www.worksafe.qld.gov.au/licensing-and-registrations/electrical-licences/electrical-worker-licences/restricted-electrical-licence-system-information-guide/scope-of-the-licence-system (https://www.worksafe.qld.gov.au/licensing-and-registrations/electrical-licences/electrical-worker-licences/restricted-electrical-licence-system-information-guide/scope-of-the-licence-system)

Top end employers were already putting these sorts of requirements in place through internal policies and procedures, which were never transferrable between organisations. Given the low costs this government run license seems like a good idea.
Title: Re: Legality of DIY repair of electronic goods
Post by: vk6zgo on July 23, 2015, 06:52:16 am
WA has had an "R" licence for years.
It is mainly aimed at people who have to disconnect & connect things like hot water systems with electric boosters,& so on,but Electronics workers also could get them.

The licencing authorities suddenly realised back in the 1990s that Electronics workers didn't just work on battery operated "transistor radios",& had a bit of a panic.
My employer sent a few of us to get  "R" licences.

It was very easy,just a few days at TAFE ---mine allows me to "disconnect/reconnect fixed wired  to 1000v,limited to like-for-like replacement of motors rated at not greater than 22kW,solenoids,pressure switches and LV-ELV Isolating transformers"

Interestingly,my old card says I have a "Disconnect & Reconnect plus Appliances Licence"

The current one is just a "Disconnect & Reconnect Licence",so I've been shortchanged!

It is supposedly "for restricted electrical work in association with Communications/Computing Equipment"
I don't know of much Computer gear with 22kW motors! ;D

There were mutterings about a Federally based licence a few years back,but I think that died!
Actually looking at your link that was probably "The national restricted electrical licence (NREL) system" which they were referring to.
Title: Re: Legality of DIY repair of electronic goods
Post by: Deathwish on July 23, 2015, 07:01:37 am

The current one is just a "Disconnect & Reconnect Licence",so I've been shortchanged!

Not electronics related but I took my Motorcycle test donkeys years ago, passed and had the entitlement on my licence until i had to send it back to be replaced with the new style one. I then got pulled over by police for riding a yamaha fzr 600cc without a full licence, it took a fight to prove I had passed a test and only won when I found a copy of the pass certificate my old courier firm needed.

Never trust govt departments
Title: Re: Legality of DIY repair of electronic goods
Post by: David_AVD on July 23, 2015, 09:08:49 am
So, do the workers who assemble mains operated equipment need a restricted electrical licence?  As far as I know they do not.
Title: Re: Legality of DIY repair of electronic goods
Post by: ruffy91 on July 23, 2015, 09:12:37 am
So, do the workers who assemble mains operated equipment need a restricted electrical licence?  As far as I know they do not.
No but the company has to have at least one worker wo has a license and who is responsible for the equipment.
Title: Re: Legality of DIY repair of electronic goods
Post by: wagon on July 23, 2015, 11:33:36 am
There is a surprising amount of organisations around that should have a contractors license, but don't.  Their workers should have a restricted license too, but don't.  Have a look at all the guys around repairing office equipment, for a start.

Having said that.... I have a restricted license.  This enables me to do pretty much anything plug in, within the confines of my workshop.  I can't do ''electrical work" outside my workshop.  Now, this is where it gets stupid.

What I do isn't necessarily classed as electrical work.  So, what exactly is replacing a flexible cord, if it isn't electrical work?  (I've got the email from the ESO printed and on the whiteboard, at work.  I'll post up a link tomorrow.)

So, do I need a license or not?  I do have one, and the public liability insurance.  But do I *need* it? 

Title: Re: Legality of DIY repair of electronic goods
Post by: David_AVD on July 23, 2015, 12:21:14 pm
So, do the workers who assemble mains operated equipment need a restricted electrical licence?  As far as I know they do not.
No but the company has to have at least one worker wo has a license and who is responsible for the equipment.

My inquiries with the relevant authorities years ago led me to understand that as long as it's a "prescribed workshop" (their words) and you are doing things to the relevant standard(s) there is no licensing required.
Title: Re: Legality of DIY repair of electronic goods
Post by: HackedFridgeMagnet on July 23, 2015, 12:39:07 pm
Maybe you should approach the question of from the other side.
Am I totally sure it is illegal?  If not then just fix it.

Also remember most criminal law in Australia is State Law not Federal law, so every state is different although they tend to draft similar laws.

I think it is more a problem if you are selling equipment.
http://www.esv.vic.gov.au/Electricity-Professionals/Electrical-equipment-and-appliances/Sale-and-supply-of-second-hand-equipment (http://www.esv.vic.gov.au/Electricity-Professionals/Electrical-equipment-and-appliances/Sale-and-supply-of-second-hand-equipment)
Title: Re: Legality of DIY repair of electronic goods
Post by: smgvbest on July 23, 2015, 03:48:22 pm
I would ask what is the definition of 'Electrical Equipment' this may not be the same definition of 'Electronic Equipment'   
My understand here in the USA you are required to have an License if you work on Electrical Equipment such as Power Panels, AC Wiring, HVAC and such not computers, radios, tv's as so forth.   I went to school and got my degree as a technician (boy am I so far removed from that though in where my career went) but even so I am not licensed to repair someone elses home electrical i can however do my own.   Like most here we probably no more about how AC / DC circuits work then some or many of the 'Licensed Professionals' (no intent to put them down) but Licensed usually means more of you know all the rules and regulations more than having in depth technical skills. 

Ask an Electrician how an OP Amp works for example they probably can not answer.  Likewise, Ask someone in Electronics work what the rules and regulations are for how a 12/3 wire should be routed through a rafter and how many of use know. 

So to me the term 'Electrical Equipment' has to be defined clearly someone for the law to be determined if it applies to the question asked here about repairing a monitor/tv or other such equipment.

I believe I kind of saw that brought up but in reality that is the question that has to be answered.

Also Licensed can have many connotations, such as, Licensed to do business.  Licensed to sell and so on.  so even the term Licensed need to be defined into the context of the question being asked.

Yes in the USA you must be Licensed to enter someones home and repair AC Mains themselves.   You have to have a licensed business to repair electronics but not a license for electronics,  it's the business license.   that will vary state to state, even country or townships may have different laws in place.

I installed a solar panel system for my observatory,   it is recommended to have a licensed professional do it but since I want not tied into the Main's I have not requirement that a Licensed Professional do so.   

So first find the definition of the terms to see if they even apply to the situation in question is ultimately what I am saying and I hope i've stated my thoughts clearly enough.



Title: Re: Legality of DIY repair of electronic goods
Post by: mazurov on July 25, 2015, 02:18:45 am
As far as I understand US rules when you do everything by the code and use only what can be bought in a hardware store the insurance (or next owner's inspection) have no way to find out the work has been a DIY. The code itself is trivial; you don't have to be a HS grad to be an electrician in this country. I only hire professionals when job is dirty, like running cables through walls or install light fixtures. Even then I have to inspect what they are about to install and sometimes point out that "this fixture must have CuAl marking if you'are planning to mate it to this wire :-)".

What sucks though is that I can't fix ppls issues unless I'm 'bonded and insured', even for free. My poor neighbor will keep paying electricians until forced to sell her house - her husband has died couple years ago and she has no clue whatsoever.