Wonder if anyone can shed some light on this?
I lease my business premises from an easy-going landlord. I recently expanded and had a db board installed in part of the building i took over, and brought in a sub-lessee, feeding the sub-lessee and my own equipment from the new board (which takes power directly from the building main board.) This work was done by a millwright with a wireman's license, so everything was above board and hunky-dory.
Nine months done the line we had a small short which tripped the earth on our "sub-board" and cuased power spikes and the dropping of phases (everything is 3 phase), also irreparably damaging the isolator.
We called an electrician in (unfortunately the chap that did the original installation was not available) and after much fooling around, power on-off, phases out etc, he eventually figured out that the main cuase of the problem was not at all related to the new db board but a problem on the existing building's db board. (which he is currently correcting while refitting new cable and isolator into our db board.)
The problem is that during the period where the power came on-off, phases were dropped etc, the sub-lessee had 3 electrical/electrominc machines damaged. He claims that the spiking/phase dropping "burnt" the main computer board within these thre machines and now want either the electrician or me to pay for the damage (totals R70,000.00)
As far as I can work out, aside from the fact that he has no surge protectors in-line (which I'm given to understand is mandatory as far as most insurance companies are concerned) and his own connections (a warren of multiplugs and extension cords), the whole problem, including the initial short (cuasing the damage to our board, was caused by the existing flaw in the building's db board, a flaw which only really became apparent on serious investigation by the current electrician.
How can i, or for that matter, the electrician and even my landlord, be held liable? I mean to me, it's a bit like trying to predict a meteor falling on your head - how's anybody supposed to know when a problem is going to come out on a peice of wiring??
Surely he can't make any of us pay for damage?
Anybody with some input would be greatly apreciated, either thru this forum or to my mail address - firstname.lastname@example.org