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Electrical Issues with Housing

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Sunrisesingapore
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Electrical Issues with Housing

Postby Sunrisesingapore » Mon, 13 Jun 2016 2:00 pm

I am experiencing a number of potentially dangerous electrical problems in my rented condo, which is sufficient to create a risk of injury and fire. I'm talking about frequent surges, fuse box not tripping and appliances going up in smoke. However, neither the landlord nor the managements and none of the agents seem to want to take responsibility other than to just see what is happening and hopefully fix it.

Does anybody know which authority, if any, has oversight of these matters? I am quite concerned that the various parties' indifference and head-scratching could result in a fire. Surely something like this in Singapore is more than just a private civil affair between landlord/management/tenant?

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Re: Electrical Issues with Housing

Postby PNGMK » Mon, 13 Jun 2016 2:18 pm

I would start with a complaint to the BCA and then ring http://www.seca.sg/ - if need be hire a licensed electrician to examine and repair or report what the fault is. I personally think a lot of these buildings are very poorly earthed and there is a lot of single insulation cable used (in Australia we always use double insulated cable). I had a continual trip and it wasn't until I hired a licensed trained electrician that we could trace it down to a cut in the insulation in one single insulated wire in ceiling where the hot water heater was located. You could and should also notify the PUB.

FYI - you need a certified and therefore trained electrician. A lot of the local yokels say they are electricians but they are contracted or underneath a master electrician who signs their work off. You need THAT guy - no the incompetent yokel. Ask for his licence number if in doubt. If he's licensed he will show or tell you - if not he will have excuses.

IF it turns out (as it may) that the problem is not repairable that will be because they have either run single insulated cables without conduit - a bad practice that causes a lot of trips as the cables become moist or because they have an inadequate building earth and the potentials are all over the place or possible (but unlikely) they just haven't managed the loads correctly in the breaker box arrangements you may need to consider moving out. Electrical faults is a common cause of fire here and serious.
I have gay, black, Asian friends and then JR8.

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Re: Electrical Issues with Housing

Postby PNGMK » Mon, 13 Jun 2016 2:26 pm

(PS - I have in ten years never lost an appliance to a surge - the PUB have a fairly well regulated mains supply).
I have gay, black, Asian friends and then JR8.

Sunrisesingapore
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Re: Electrical Issues with Housing

Postby Sunrisesingapore » Mon, 13 Jun 2016 2:49 pm

Thanks PNGMK. I have had exactly the experience you describe. Some kid electrician turning up and talking Chinese to the landlord's agent. He mentioned something about single insulation wiring, but none of the agents are talking to me about it. If the wiring is causing a problem such as appliances going up in smoke (not sure if there is a connection there), then surely that's landlords responsibility to fix. If not, I guess I terminate.

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Re: Electrical Issues with Housing

Postby PNGMK » Mon, 13 Jun 2016 3:18 pm

Re-reading your faults it sounds as though the earthing and phase loading management is very poor. Singapore (like Britain and Australia etc) use a M.E.N system where no 240VAC phase should be more than 127V or so from ground. To do that there needs to be series of earthing points between the power station that earth the neutral point on each substation transformer etc. A lot of condo's have their own substations and I think that's where the system is breaking down - the earth's are not installed properly or checked and the apartment earths are not always well installed. You end up with equipment that ends up 'floating' well above the design tolerances and it's exacerbated by different phases have different loads (another management exercise). If you can feel a small shock between the chassis of a plugged in laptop computer and earth (as I could in my previous place) there is a definite earthing problem - in my current place there is not this issue. If you get an electrician in have all the earths checked and maybe rebonded.
I have gay, black, Asian friends and then JR8.

Sunrisesingapore
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Re: Electrical Issues with Housing

Postby Sunrisesingapore » Tue, 14 Jun 2016 1:13 pm

I have a feeling that the appliance issues may have coincided with heavy electrical storms, in which case earthing may definitely be an issue. Would surge protectors work to mitigate the problem in the future?

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x9200
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Re: Electrical Issues with Housing

Postby x9200 » Tue, 14 Jun 2016 1:33 pm

Are you going to surge protect every single appliance? As much as I believe the earthing problems* not always lead to your problem I think the PNGMK's advice is sound - get a real specialist to assess the issue.

*) in every place I lived so far there was always the "electric shock" effect present, but it was the only problem, nothing got ever burnt etc.

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Re: Electrical Issues with Housing

Postby Strong Eagle » Tue, 14 Jun 2016 1:48 pm

Sunrisesingapore wrote:I have a feeling that the appliance issues may have coincided with heavy electrical storms, in which case earthing may definitely be an issue. Would surge protectors work to mitigate the problem in the future?


NO! If you think electrical storms are the issue, you really ought to have a GFCI breaker installed... most homes do these days.

They are designed to throw the breaker if current in and out do not match... if you get a hard lightening strike, the GFCI blows before stray currents can affect your electronics.

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Re: Electrical Issues with Housing

Postby PNGMK » Tue, 14 Jun 2016 2:24 pm

Sunrisesingapore wrote:I have a feeling that the appliance issues may have coincided with heavy electrical storms, in which case earthing may definitely be an issue. Would surge protectors work to mitigate the problem in the future?


I've never noticed a problem with lightning damaging appliance inside an apartment but certainly a lightening strike nearby can send strong waves of differing potential 10's of km through highly conductive soil. In some parts of Australia youngsters are taught to stand with their legs together if they are on ground when lightening is visible - the potential difference between one leg and the other can be nasty .
I have gay, black, Asian friends and then JR8.

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Re: Electrical Issues with Housing

Postby Wd40 » Sat, 18 Jun 2016 1:05 pm

Yesterday suddenly our water heater stopped working. I found that the socket was faulty. Today I went to a value dollar shop near my house and found a socket for $10. Decided to take the matter in my own hands and replaced it myself. :)

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Switched off all the fuses and all I needed was a screwdriver and to know which wires go in the L,N and E points :)

I wonder how much it would have cost if I had called an electrician to do it. It would be really silly to call the Landlord and ask to fix such trivial things. Still I would imagine very few locals or foreigners would venture out to do such a thing. I am proud to be an engineer :)

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x9200
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Re: Electrical Issues with Housing

Postby x9200 » Sat, 18 Jun 2016 2:18 pm

Ca $40-120 my guess, for a condo this would break down tp $40 transportation, $20 materials, $20 know-how/labor.

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Re: Electrical Issues with Housing

Postby PNGMK » Sat, 18 Jun 2016 3:04 pm

WD40 won't need cremation if he keeps this up....
I have gay, black, Asian friends and then JR8.

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Re: Electrical Issues with Housing

Postby Wd40 » Sat, 18 Jun 2016 3:26 pm



Sent from my Redmi Note 2 using Tapatalk

PNGMK
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Re: Electrical Issues with Housing

Postby PNGMK » Sat, 18 Jun 2016 5:33 pm

ImageElectrocution is no joke though. Until the PUB and HDB made ELCB or RCB mandatory this was apparently quite common:
I have gay, black, Asian friends and then JR8.


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