We love sparkies, we do.  They are great for power points and light switches and meter boards and finding why the breaker to the fridge trips from time to time but there are some things that you are better off getting an AV professional to do.

The picture above is a classic example from a large Auckland Hotel (which will remain nameless).  You’ll see the back of a PA (public address) amplifier that drives the speakers that play that funky but relaxing Hotel Costes’ double CD set on repeat in the lobby 24/7.

Attached to the 100v output you may recognise the cable – yup, that’s cat5 dangling there.

The Automation Associates technical deployment experts get to see a lot of weird and wonderful things out in the field – usually after we get a call that begins with “ABC company installed XYZ and it has never worked properly, can you come and take a look please?” We usually get it sorted without passing judgement but this particular doozy rates special mention, not only due to the dreadful sound quality that this totally inappropriate cable was creating in this high end hotel’s very high end lobby, nor due to the lack of cable support or labeling but mainly due to the fire hazard and attendant insurance issues staring out at us.

Insurance companies are a mixed bag in my opinion (sorry Steve if you are reading this). The cash sapping annuals and enormous excesses are one thing but when the proverbial hits the fan it’s great when they have your back, unless they don’t.  They need to protect themselves and things like wiring a 100V PA system with cable that has neither the current carrying capacity nor insulation resistance to cope with the load is an easy out for them – and when the fire inspectors report comes in, believe me, they’ll take it.

Make your day a little easier and use the right tool for the job.  In this case its an AV Professional for an AV job.

If your interest (or conscience) is piqued or there is anything bothering you about your system please give Chris Rush a call on 021 947 356 and we will send out a tech to get it sorted, no judgements – we promise.

Located at 7 College Hill, Ponsonby. Drop in anytime to talk to one of our friendly techsperts or call 09 377 3778.  Email sales@aa.net.nz

Dodgy imported products are being found on building sites across Auckland, including electrical wiring, toughened safety glass shower doors and roofing tiles.

In the most recent cases, three homes had to be rewired and another eight were retiled after building inspectors uncovered materials that were not up to code.

The problems come as a severe housing shortage drives a building boom across Auckland that has seen one in three work sites fail council inspections because of shoddy workmanship.

Products associated with weathertight systems have also been reported as substandard.

The scale of the problem is unknown but concerns are serious enough to have prompted probes by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Enterprise (MBIE), Auckland Council and the Commerce Commission.

In February, more than $1 billion of residential building work was consented – up 40 per cent on the same period last year.

Auckland Council building control manager Ian McCormick highlighted one case where 100mm waste pipes were sold for $1 a metre, about a tenth of the normal retail price.

Mr McCormick said with building advancing at a growing pace, the council was keeping a vigilant eye on builders and tradespeople for non-complying products.

He would not name any of the tradesmen suspected of using dodgy products or the sites involved, but said the council was working with the MBIE and trade bodies to verify products and investigate issues.

“We understand that these types of products are not being sold through major retailers, but rather they are being imported privately,” he said.

Mr McCormick said about eight houses had to be reroofed after asphalt tiles were substituted with an imported product which council inspectors were not satisfied complied with the building code.

Building products needed an endorsement or marking to show the manufacturer complied to a recognised certifying body.

In the past year, the council had carried out 134,000 building inspections, of which a third failed.

MBIE determinations and assurance manager John Gardiner said the ministry was working to determine how significant the problem of dodgy materials was.

There had always been background noise and allegations of non-compliant products, he said, but complaints had recently got louder.

MBIE asks people to report building product compliance issues to a dedicated email address.

“We have done some investigations, primarily to get some more information. One of the challenges that we have got is that … it is very easy to make an allegation but without supportive evidence,” he said.

As well as products identified by Auckland Council, MBIE had heard about compliance issues with weathertight systems, including membrane products and flashing plates, and a toilet.

Mr Gardiner said MBIE had the power to issue warnings and take disciplinary action against licensed trades people. Only licensed builders could do consented work.

A Placemakers spokeswoman said it was focused on selling quality materials with manufacturer warranties.

“The majority of building materials we stock are sourced domestically, although a small percentage are imported. For imported products we use our professional sourcing office in Shanghai which has robust quality assurance processes,” she said.

Meanwhile, the Commerce Commission is investigating whether some steel mesh products used for concrete floors, driveways and pathway slabs meet standards.

Last month, Steel & Tube agreed to sell only seismic-reinforcing steel mesh which has been independently tested, similar to an undertaking entered into with Euro Corporation.

The commission is also investigating whether Timber King, a small building supplies company in Mt Wellington, sold steel mesh that did not meet the standard.

As reported by www.nzherald.co.nz 25 May 2016, 5:00am