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Thread: light fittings

  1. #1
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    light fittings

    this is a warning to electrical contractors and handymen who fit lights and ceiling fans with glass covers...

    i have been experiencing problem with glass covers on fans and light fittings...

    the most recent incident...we fitted a eurolux light fitting in a bathroom...installed connected and fitted the glass...one thing i insist on before we leave any premisies...we clean up...incuding any finger prints etc on ceiling...lights or electrical fittings we install ...as i put the cloth on the glass to wipe it clean...it just pops (the only word i coulf think of) you end up with 2 or 3 pieces in your hand...unfortunatly the lighting suppliers refuse to replace it unless you it was damaged while still in the box...so my company now has a policy...you want to supply light fittings we dont fit the glass covers anymore...only if i supply the light fittings do i fit the glass...

    we installed a crompton greeves ceiling fan recently (i have installed hundreds of them) and the same issue...i fitted the fan...connected everything...put the glass cover over...made sure the rubber was installed...put 4 dabs of silicon on the rim to prevent squeeking like i always do...walked to the light switch and switched on..."pop" one piece of the glass broke out...and the rest of the glass stayed in place.

    it would be fine if the suppliers backed it up their product...but they refuse and charge anything R250 and up to replace.


    i fitted a bug light fitting into my daughters room...connected and switched on "BOOOOM"...the globe exploded...it was one of those eurolux maxi globe...the glass went everywhere...i am sure if this was the usa i could sue eurolux...but unfortuntely us suckers in the sa have to pay to replace the glass and globe.

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    Diamond Member AndyD's Avatar
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    Wholesalers will generally try their luck when it comes to warranties. With some suppliers there's a little dance you must do to get them to accept the claim. When we submit an item for warranty we have failure sheet we fill in which details the crcumstances around the failure along with all the info about make. model no, place and date of purchase, place and date installed, name of the guy who installed etc etc. We submit a copy along with the faulty item back to the supplier.

    If the supplier refuses the claim we insist on the refusal in writing along with the specific details of why it was refused. We then contact their head office and request they review the decision so we won't have to take legal steps. A day or two later the claim gets accepted and the item is replaced.

    Many suppliers will say there's no warranty on lamps or glass covers or various other items but they always replace if you're firm and persistant. Especially lamps seem to be a common item where they'll tell you there's no warranty because of power spikes but I just point out they sold the item whilst being aware of local power quality so if the product isn't suitable for local use then thery're knowingly selling something not fit for purpose. In the last five years there were only 2 cases where I had to send a lawyers letter stating out intention to seek legal remedy and both occasions they replaced the entire item shortly afterwards. I suspect most suppliers will also take a less hard line now the CPAis in full swing.
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    like the fight with spazio...the claim was credited.

    you live and learn...one of my biggest challenges at present with my company...is not collecting money...instead having to deal with absolute rubbish product being supplied...come backs etc...its all well saying no problem just bring it back and we will replace it...its the cost for me to remove...return...collect and reinstall and connect...with the petrol price becoming a major factor in my daily operation...careful planning is required and having to factor in rpelacing faulty equipment supplied becomes a real profit killer...i beleive we as contractors should insist on a return policy fee...ie...any product which is found to be faulty and must be replaced if the compny which supplies the goods should either have a team equipped to deal with faulty items or we should have a set fee across the board...lets say R250 + travelling...just an idea


    some might say but why dont i buy better quality products...well that is another subject on its own...the only good quality product i know of is no longer supplied...the old lumex switches...i have started collecting them...when i remove them and keep them for my self...i have found that all the other switches are much of a muchness...if you look at the back they all look like they come out of the same factory...just the front is different...and you load any of them with more than 10 amps...continuously they fail.

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    Diamond Member AndyD's Avatar
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    Yeah we draw the line and won't supply several products and brand names because of quality issues. If the customer specifies he wasnts one of these brands I usually send him to do his own purchasing and he carries his own warranties on them. Funnily enough Crabtree isn't one of them. A few years ago we had a rash of failures on their 63A t-pole isolator switches but since then we haven't had problems....touch wood.

    Overall we have very low failure rates on components and our mark up on items easily covers any expenses incurred by the odd failure under warranty as well as a sensible profit.
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    i need to change my markup...for materials...at the moment i get a cost plus pricing structure from the supplier...which i add my markup...it normally works out cheaper than what the customer would pay if they purchased directly themselves...maybe its time to markup up the suppliers list price..then it would be well worth my while running backwards and forwards to suppliers...but them again why should i alway be the sucker doing the running...the distributor should have a team to fix their fault products...why should the contractor or customer always be the ones to suffer.

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    i will take some pics for you of what crabtree plugs look like when used under load...the new factory i visted on friday...has crabtree plugs...all of them are burnt...just this last week i have replaced 2 x crabtree sockets...installed 2 brand new sockets and 1 of the 2 where faulty...a light switch feeding 1 light was faulty and had to be replaced...and all the pugs in the new factory are burnt...and that is just last week...no other brand of sockets or switches where replaced last week....makes you think.

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    Diamond Member Blurock's Avatar
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    Andy may have the answer; supply only the best. If the customer wants cheap s#!t he must bear the consequences.
    Excellence is not a skill; its an attitude...

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    easier said than done...the problem is trying to find a good quality product....it like everything comes out the same factory...if you look at the back of the plug sockets for example...they all look the same.

    i finished off an office block a couple months back and used legrand skirting sockets...havent had a complaint yet.

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    Diamond Member AndyD's Avatar
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    A couple of things, firstly why are you running around for individual items? If you carry a nominal stock of items you can order over the internet or email when it suits you and most wholesalers will deliver. It will be a lot more cost and time efficient than spending hours driving around and standing at trade counters.

    Second thing is you've got an epidemic of socket failures it might be worth checking the plug tops you're supplying conform to SABS size tolerences. I've found more than one cheap brand of plug top where the pins are too short or the diameter is incorrect. Problem is you've only got to plug in a single plug that's got oversized pins and the female rings in the socket become loose and stretched so any plug that follows will not make a good contact.

    I'll let you into a secret, a good few years ago we had many more socket failures over a period of a few months than usual (approx 3-4%). I tried changing brands wherever possible on new installs but without success, the high failure rate continued. I spoke to several wholesalers to see if it was a known problem and they were all pretty convincing in their denial. Eventually after a few long nights combing through failure report sheets and supplier invoices and a few long days on sites dismantling sockets we'd recently installed and testing them, almost by chance I tracked the problem down to one of my employees who had a new plug in socket/RCD tester with non-conforming live and neutral pins. They were around 1mm too thick and damaging the sockets enough to cause overheating of any that were used with high load appliances such as microwaves, kettles and heaters.

    It was the kind of learning curve you go through as a newer business, we had to replace quite a few sockets at our expense and needless to say plug pin dimensions is something I'm very aware of even a decade later.
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    plug tops unfortunatelty are out of my hands...i dont have any control over what is plugged into sockets outlets i install...

    i have even experienced problems with plugs tops which cover the switch on the socket...it all goes back to import control and sales.

    we live in africa...where red robots are regarded as a means to slow people down...some people see them as a burden to certain parts of society...and feel they dont need to stop...how we gona control what is plugged into a socket outlet...

    andy i like the way you think...in fact i like what i hear...keeping fault reports and records.

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