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Thread: Supply earth - Again

  1. #1
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    Supply earth - Again

    In previous post i mentioned that nearly every job I go to these days has no incoming earth - despite it being a TN-S.

    My current situation is that the house I'm moving into, I offered to do the COC - Hoping for a discount and I can see what the electrics are like, even though i intend to strip out and renovate from scratch.

    Anyway I find straight away that there is the usual no incoming earth - TN-S - earth fault current was something around 30amps (bad) and short circuit current 550amp (fine) at the main position.

    After finding this i asked the current owner to lodge a fault with the municipality - the guy has contacts so he logs the fault and phones his contact.

    His contact tells him its not Municipality's problem and most guys just "whack in an earth spike"

    I would be fine with that if it was TT system but its is clearly TN-S (no doubt)

    I refuse to do the COC as there is no incoming earth.

    I check the neighbours house and same story - no earth reading and I'm pretty confident that he other houses off the pole (4 of them) will have the same story

    Surely the municipality has to give you an earth if it TN-S. The property has protective device to operate within the parameters of a TN-S earth system. Are home owners magically expected to know the earth is missing and the pay for and electrician to "whack in an earth spike' and pay for an earth leakage device. If the home owner did know why should they down grade their earthing system and pay, I'd guestimate, R2000 for a CBI earth leakage, and an earth spike or 2 and call out /2 - 3 hours labour.

    If the property is supposed to be TN-S and there is problem - shock/fire (i found the geyser has an earth fault current of 15 amps on a 20 amp breaker - why would it trip if you were getting a shock?) who gets the blame.

    The home owner has a COC - which, at the time, may have been perfectly fine. Maybe there was an earth there when the COC was done. Now there isn't. The home owner doesn't know this and because they have a COC they think its fine.

    Now I have refused to do the COC he is going to pay someone R2500 to get a COC. I upset him by saying a dodgy COC only cost about R600 .

    The wiring in the house isn't to bad - old, but not to bad

    I'm buying this house and I know it has a bad incoming earth and is sold with a dodgy COC - if i dispute it then I'll be waiting until who knows when to move in as the bank needs a COC.

    I'm a licensed electrician and intend to rewire anyway but I still need that incoming earth sorted - is there anywhere its says that the Municipality must provide an earth and ensure the integrity of it.

    I know the SANS 10142 book inside out but anything before the Main switch is not part of a COC.

    Someone will sign it off as is....

    I have seen the municipality guys just link the neutral and earth at the pole.

    Next question - is it TNC-S (because its linked at the pole) or is it TN-S (because that's what it looks like when I look at the mains position)

    Have you seen what happens when a Neutral goes missing in a TNC-S system - it ain't pretty.

    So many questions......

  2. #2
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    We have a case on point. We have been without earth cable for 2 years...despite repeated calls for assistance. It seems like they think that this (see pic) is an adequate fix. Interested in your comments.Click image for larger version. 

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    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  3. #3
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    Just makes sure you CYA, send an email to the electricity department with the information or print out the info and make them sign for it when you hand it in at the electricity department....and contact there fault number and report a fault and make sure you get a reference number for the fault logged.

    There is not much more you can do about it...other than knocking a spike in the ground just to be on the safe side.

    My dealings with the municipal electrical department have proved to be very challenging...there arent too many bright sparks left (most of them have been retrenched or offered packages to leave or just left the country) people wonder why there is a skills shortage...anyway that is another whole debate i am not wanting to go into.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rockie View Post
    We have a case on point. We have been without earth cable for 2 years...despite repeated calls for assistance. It seems like they think that this (see pic) is an adequate fix. Interested in your comments.Click image for larger version. 

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    I am surprised the cable hasnt been stolen yet

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