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Thread: electricity department faults response

  1. #1
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    electricity department faults response

    please tell me what you think and do you think the new consumer laws will protect or help with this type of problem.

    6 years ago i contacted the electricity department to report a low voltage in the morningside area...durban...right next to windermere centre...i completed an installation and carried out an inspection report on my work...during the test i noted the voltage extremely low...so i went to the main DB and checked...low voltage switched off the entire site...still low voltage...so i contacted the faults department and reported my findings...they sent someone out to attend to the problem but a couple of weeks later the company moved into the building and began trading...i received a complaint about issue they were having so i went to site and found the voltage still too long...in other words nothing had been done about it...at this stage i was still using a fluke 87 to carry out my readings...this carried on for months until the customer lost faith in my abilities and no longer utillises my services...unfortunatley there was nothing i could do and had no contacts in the elctricity department to pull strings...so i lost the customer...

    now 6 years later i am dealing with a similar problem...and it so happens that this customer also services the company in morningside...it turns out that the issue reported 6 years ago to the durban electricity department is still not sorted out...in fact it is costing the customer thosands of rands to replace batteries and ups units...

    i am now sitting with another similar problem just a lot worse because i have got a lot wiser....i now have high tech equipment and experince in this field.

    last year the cable was stolen up the road from my customer...bang...huge damage to all their electronic equipment...aircons....servers...ups units you name it....massive damage....so i got smart and decided to install a smart device to protect this from happening...R12000 later the system is installed and up and running...working like a dream...i also fitted lightniting protection just in case...at the supply and in the main DB...the unit works well...but the customer contacts me shortly after installing the system to tell me the unit is malfunctioning...eeeeeiish i canta believe it so i go to site and check...the unit is still under warranty...so no problem if it is faulty just replace it and never install it any where else...mark it off as a bad experience.

    i get to site to find it is tripping due to low voltage (glenwood area...durban) this time...so i do a couple of tests and find the voltage at around 200 volts which is low but not too bad...so i check everything and leave...the customer contacts me again to complain the unit keeps switch on and off...so i go check again...this time i take my power quality analyser with...and hook it up...the voltage is so unstable...varies from 197 volts to 214 volts so i contact the electricity department and report a low voltage...1 hour later i get a call to tell me there is an electrician at the gate from the council to check the voltage problem...with a duspol tester...yeah right any electrician will tel you you dont use a duspol tester to check for low voltage...at least a multimeter...anyway a couple hours go by and i get 5 calls from electricians who are there to attend to the problem...not one with a recorder or any form of power quality tester...anyway i leave it at that and "assume" it will get sorted out...this was last year june...now 7 months later i go back to the site do do some other work to find that the unit switches off ever single day sometime twice a day...but the customer is not tooo concerned because they have taken precaution to backup the system with huge invertor and ups units...so when the unit switches off it doesnt affect the equipment in the building....so i contact the electricity department again and report the issue again and notifiy them that this is an ongoing problem which has still not been sorted out...and leave specific instructions to make sure the electrician who goes to site must contact me before he goes to the site...so i can meet him on site...

    an hour later i get a call from the electrician to say he is at the gate and would like to do some tests....man what can i say...

    i ask him what his plan of action is...i am told he is going to test at various points to see what the voltage is...so i tell him there is no need to do this because i have a recorder...recording on site all we have to do is look at the screen and it will tellus what the voltage has been since this morning...i tell him the voltage at present is 214 volts and is not an issue but the voltage dips during the day at any given time...my question is how are they going to resolve this issue they cannot tell me...

    i know it is a long thread but i am trying to resolve this issue without damaging my head from banging it on the door again...at least the typing keeps me away from the door.
    Last edited by murdock; 16-Feb-11 at 09:17 PM. Reason: having a head banging break

  2. #2
    Diamond Member Justloadit's Avatar
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    Try and get the electricity department to change the tapping on the mains transformer supply that area by one point, which may mean that a low voltage may be at 205V, and the high may go to 255V, but at least the low side will keep things running.
    Victor - Knowledge is a blessing or a curse, your current circumstances make you decide!
    Solar and LED lighting solutions - www.microsolve.co.za

  3. #3
    Gold Member Sparks's Avatar
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    Ask the supplier's chief technician who you can adress a claim to for R10 million caused by low voltage reported 6 years ago. That will light a fire under his sorry backside.
    I had a Karoo monkeypality install a ripple relay on 1 phase of my 3ph submersible. By asking where to claim a new one they jumped so fast the phase fail protection hardly had time to work. They never even considered there would be something like that.

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