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Thread: Some contractors...

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    Thumbs down Some contractors...

    Should be jailed, never mind put out of business.

    As I explained here: http://www.theforumsa.co.za/forums/s...ead.php?t=3517 I am the MD of a company that supplies and installs generators.

    About 2 months back, I received a call from a lady, she bought a 5kVA unit from a "large and reputable" company that offered a 12-month warranty on the installation. They came around, claimed that a 5kVA was sufficent, and installed it together with an AMF. Said company (im not gonna mention names, I don't like bad mouthing the competition even though some deserve it). To cut a long story short, after a couple of weeks, the unit burned out, so badly that even the AMF was reduced to carbon. She wanted us to go and fix the problems as said company refused, claiming it was not the unit's or the installation's fault, but abuse from the owner.

    We kindly declined, in my experience fixing other people's problems leads to disputes, and since it's not our equipment to start with, and can fail again once fixed, it ends up giving our company a bad name.

    Last week she phoned me to have a full quote to install a new generator, and replace the AMF switch. So I sent out our contractor. Firstly, the generator was wired up to the DB board in a way that it supplied the entire house, inc several geysers. Obviously whoever did the installation didn't bother to test the current draw when everything was on, which we did. It was in the region of 11kVA! no wonder the poor 5.0kVA melted.

    We supplied a 6.8kVA generator, after the client decided that a 12.5kVA was out of her price range, and isolated all the large current drawing equipment off the generator side of the DB board, this meant that the requirement had dropped from 11kVA to around 4kVA when everything other than geysers and stove where running.

    But to our amazement, we discovered that the wire coming in to the old AMF panel (which I failed to mention that said company was sued by our client for damages, and came to remove said burned out unit and AMF panel, leaving un-insulated wires exposed..)was tapped directly into the main feed cable from the municipality pole into the DB board, with no form of protection whatsoever! If anyone was unlucky enough to come into contact with this piece of cable(approx 30m BTW), they would have been toast.

    And this job was commissioned by a large company, to a qualified electrical contractor? The mind boggles!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Generator Man View Post
    But to our amazement, we discovered that the wire coming in to the old AMF panel... was tapped directly into the main feed cable from the municipality pole into the DB board, with no form of protection whatsoever! If anyone was unlucky enough to come into contact with this piece of cable(approx 30m BTW), they would have been toast.
    Not even something on the meter or the pole?

    Mind you - even behind a 60 amp breaker - if you get hooked up on that there are going to be consequences.

    You are right - it's criminal.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave A View Post
    Not even something on the meter or the pole?

    Mind you - even behind a 60 amp breaker - if you get hooked up on that there are going to be consequences.

    You are right - it's criminal.
    The only thing there was the main trip switch by the meter, but not earth protected.

    Thats not all. The wires connected to the earth leakage on the DB where connected on the input side, so there was no earth leakage protection on the generator live feed whatsoever.

    We compiled a report that will be used in the legal case that the home owners have against that company, I hope they get nailed.
    Last edited by Generator Man; 26-Jun-08 at 03:16 PM.

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    YK950i

    Quote Originally Posted by Generator Man View Post
    The only thing there was the main trip switch by the meter, but not earth protected.

    Thats not all. The wires connected to the earth leakage on the DB where connected on the input side, so there was no earth leakage protection on the generator live feed whatsoever.

    We compiled a report that will be used in the legal case that the home owners have against that company, I hope they get nailed.
    Hi, Mr. Generator Man,

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    Please view website: http://www.yang-ke.com for further details.

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    most generator installation which i go to are illegally installed...the customer didnt want to spend the money on the bigger unit so now the person who installed the unit sits with a problem because at the time the customer was desperate for power so they just wanted a unit installed at the cheapest cost to sort out their immediate problem...now that the load shedding has stopped if there is a problem with the units installed or someone tells them the unit is incorrectly installed...they all want to jump on the band wagen and sue but at the time were quiet happy to have the generator fitted knowing it was incorrect just so long as it was the cheapest way to do it...it a joke and shame on all those generator companys who took advantage of the customers in their time of need.

    the biggest problem i have with generators is the labelling...if i see a label which indicates there is a generator installed i dont even start working on the installation until i understand how the generator is wired... because there are some scary installations out there...its even worse if there is no label because sometimes the generators are hidden in some small room under the building... so you switch off the power and suddenly you hear a drone...if they even start up most installations i have come across recently dont even start anymore because people havent started them since the load shedding or the fuel have run out which is a saving grace for us electricians having to work on these installations.

    and i will say it again no policing and prosecution...no control.

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    Quote Originally Posted by murdock View Post
    most generator installation which i go to are illegally installed...the customer didnt want to spend the money on the bigger unit so now the person who installed the unit sits with a problem because at the time the customer was desperate for power so they just wanted a unit installed at the cheapest cost to sort out their immediate problem...now that the load shedding has stopped if there is a problem with the units installed or someone tells them the unit is incorrectly installed...they all want to jump on the band wagen and sue but at the time were quiet happy to have the generator fitted knowing it was incorrect just so long as it was the cheapest way to do it...it a joke and shame on all those generator companys who took advantage of the customers in their time of need.

    the biggest problem i have with generators is the labelling...if i see a label which indicates there is a generator installed i dont even start working on the installation until i understand how the generator is wired... because there are some scary installations out there...its even worse if there is no label because sometimes the generators are hidden in some small room under the building... so you switch off the power and suddenly you hear a drone...if they even start up most installations i have come across recently dont even start anymore because people havent started them since the load shedding or the fuel have run out which is a saving grace for us electricians having to work on these installations.

    and i will say it again no policing and prosecution...no control.
    Yep, exactly as you say!

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