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  1. #31
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    Oh, BTW Boban, thanks

    My posts should not be taken to represent legal advice or opinion, rather reasonable counter arguments to the proposition that your insurance company will not pay up.

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  3. #32
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    But what if the problem is the electrician?

    Two years before we bought our 125 year old home the previous owner had it totally rewired and gave us the original receipts.

    During the first winter while I was installing ceiling insulation batts, assisted by a sparky friend, we noticed that the original lead-sheaved wires had been left in situe. My sparky friend said that this was quite dangerous as it complicated and slowed the fault tracing process in an emergency. So we set about removing all the redundant wires, lead-sheaved wires that have apparently been illegal since 1956!

    About the third lead wire that he cut was live; now I know why they are called sparkies. We then found that most of the drop wires to chest high wall switches had not been replaced.

    I then bought one of those three-pin/three light gadgets from Dick Smith and also got an extension lead with a three pin socket on one end and a plug to fit a light socket on the other. We found that almost one third of lights and power points had the switch wired on the return wire rather than the active wire. This is very dangerous and illegal.

    The "reputable contractor" was disinterested "....We have no contractual relationship with you, and client confidentiality precludes us confirming or denying whether the previous owner was a client...". I had their receipts!!!

    The electrical regulator, then the Tasmanian Hydro, was similarly disinterested and merely suggested that I hire a contractor to audit the wiring. No action was taken against the incompetent or lazy.

    Where do I stand with my insurer if a fire is caused by incompetent work by a licensed electrical contractor, compounded by an apparently inept or lazy regulator??

    Cheers

    Graeme

  4. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by spartan
    From the licensed electricians out there, how would an electrical fire start? Would the risk of this descrease if an RCD is fitted to a house?

    This debate has made me think another potential DIY disaster - one that I have committed myself - changing my brake pads on my car - no law against that is there?
    A large number of roof fires start because some d1ckhead or pothead is stealing power by accessing the mains prior to the switchboard. I will not go into the "how to" or someone else may try and burn their own house down as well.

    D1ckhead does it to save money (theft) whereas Pothead does it to try and hide the huge (we're talking megawatts here) consumption of power to maintain an artificial growing environment for their cannabis (heat lamps, UV lamps and hydroponic water system). When EnergyAustralia see huge losses for no apparent reason we place investigative devices on poles and other places to find out where the stuff is going.

    There is also the inadvertant fire caused by incedental movement of cabling causing loose wiring to develop a hot spot or by piling insulation material over lights (especially downlights - very hot) or wiring operating in an overloaded or previously stressed condition. Conductors can't get rid of excess heat, insulation degrades causing conductors to further heat causing insulation to melt. Conductors fuse and start fire cause D1ckhead has 3 inch nail in fuse box. BTW that RCD will not protect you from a short circuit, only a circuit breaker or fuse will do that.

    Lastly if the car you changed pads on is yours then your safe to some extent. You can always be sued for negligence by the others in the accident. It is against the law to repair or modify another persons vehicle without being licensed.
    ______________
    Mark
    They only call it a rort if they're not in on it

  5. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Markw
    A large number of roof fires start because some d1ckhead or pothead is stealing power by accessing the mains prior to the switchboard. I will not go into the "how to" or someone else may try and burn their own house down as well.
    Timely post as this afternoon we had an electrical inspector calling around checking the meter boxes in the area to make sure that no one had wired illegally into the of peak supply and also measured the supply use from the pole and compared it to the meter.

    Had a chat with him and he told me that he finds at least one house a day where they are stealing electricity. When he finds this he pulls the fuse on the power pole and gives a defect notice that requires the whole house wiring to be checked and payment for the estimated electricity theftis made before supply is restored

    Peter.

  6. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by silentC
    OK, hypothetical scenario: My house burns down; insurance company sends an investigator; he determines that illegal wiring has caused the fire; they refuse the claim.

    What happens next? Does the insurance company say "would you like to take us to court at our expense?" Or does it require ME to initiate proceedings against them at my own expense in the hope that in 5 or 10 years after all the appeals etc. they might have to pay out the policy?
    Not so hypothetical.

    A friend and former employer had the misfortune of his place of business, incidentally it was very profitable, burn down.

    Fire brigade experts could not prove the cause of the fire and although the police investigated no charges of arson where laid.

    Nevertheless the insurance company refused to pay out on the various policies of insurance (building, contents, loss of profits etc,) claiming arson by the proprietors and thus policies null and void.

    So they had to sue the insurance company in the Supreme Court, and in due course (18 months later) they won and cost and interest were awarded against the insurance company.


    Peter.

  7. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Markw
    There is also the inadvertant fire caused by incedental movement of cabling causing loose wiring to develop a hot spot or by piling insulation material over lights (especially downlights - very hot) or wiring operating in an overloaded or previously stressed condition. Conductors can't get rid of excess heat, insulation degrades causing conductors to further heat causing insulation to melt. Conductors fuse and start fire cause D1ckhead has 3 inch nail in fuse box. BTW that RCD will not protect you from a short circuit, only a circuit breaker or fuse will do that.
    Very informative. It reminded of me of the time when I in Cambodia installing telecommunications we used to run basically milspec two pair cable (WD/1T), the locals used to steel it and put 240 volts over it from local power poles they literally used to drop like flies.

    WE were forever finding crying on lookers when we went to investigate telephone line faults....What was worse is often they cut the phone end of the cable first....connected to the transformer while it was still connected to the switchboard......

    At any rate I digress, so if on the house side of your switchboard you have a reasonably modern set of circuit breakers and an RCD is there much chance of an electrical fire - assuming that you haven't over spec'd your circuit breakers - assuming a 10amp cb for lights, 20 amp standard for general power?

    The reason I ask this is that I've all this installed by a qualifed electrician - along with my 3 phase - but I don't know if there is something dodgy in a wall or ceiling.....

  8. #37
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    Silent, Sturdee has answered the question well (as per usual). You have to take them on, but they end up paying for it in the end. Provided of course they have no valid reason for denying the claim. Of the ones I get involved in, very very rarely does the insurer not take my advice and pay up if they don't have the evidence to back up their suspicions.

  9. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by boban
    Of the ones I get involved in, very very rarely does the insurer not take my advice and pay up if they don't have the evidence to back up their suspicions.
    Boban, in that case the claim was for about $ 9M and the final settlement was about $ 10.5M so there was more incentive on the insurance company to try to get out of the claim.

    But they picked on the wrong guys in this case for all the times I learned to wait patiently in court house corridors was whilst I was working for them.


    Peter.

  10. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ashore
    I know that legally there is a limit to how mant points you can take off a circuit , or a mixed circuit how many lights / points are allowed and on a pure lighting circuit you are not allowed to have a power point.
    After you reach the max you need to run another circuit,
    How many points , lights etc are already comming off the circuit you are going to tap into ? , is it a lighting circuit or a mixed circuit, there is also rules as to how close to the roof you can have a power point or fixed light.

    I am not trying to rain on your parade, I know it looks so easy to just wire in another power point, and I would think that a lot of forum members have done so , its just that if there was ever a fire and the investergation team found abnomalities with your wireing then any insurance you have may be void, even if it did not cause the fire.

    Rgds

  11. #40
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    Hi everyone!
    Thanks to your replies specialy from Pulse and Ashore, I made my decision.
    I have tried to post for several times my tanks but I have been slow to understand how this site works and consequently my attempts have failed.

    If you could make it more user friedly, probably more people would get involved.

    Thanks again, hope I can help someone in the future.

    Regards
    Ariel
    ___________________________________________________
    KNOWLEDGE DOES NOT TAKE PLACE, ONLY MAKES ONE WISER

  12. #41
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    Unhappy

    I haven't posted for a while because,
    1. haven't been making much sawdust lately &
    2. I used to post a bit of electrical stuff (I'm a sparky). It's a bit of a broken record on here when someone asks these types of Q's, all the sensible advice is to get a sparkie and at the end of the day that's really the only advice a public forum should offer, hence my lack of responding now to such questions. As someone already said if you gotta ask then you don't know what you're doing and it's dangerous stuff. It's not like asking how to glue up a panel where the worst that can happen is you waste a few bucks worth of wood, this stuff will kill you.

    My2C worth, going back under my rock now...

    Reg.

  13. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sturdee
    Not so hypothetical.

    A friend and former employer had the misfortune of his place of business, incidentally it was very profitable, burn down.

    Fire brigade experts could not prove the cause of the fire and although the police investigated no charges of arson where laid.

    Nevertheless the insurance company refused to pay out on the various policies of insurance (building, contents, loss of profits etc,) claiming arson by the proprietors and thus policies null and void.

    So they had to sue the insurance company in the Supreme Court, and in due course (18 months later) they won and cost and interest were awarded against the insurance company.


    Peter.
    Similar case in QLD, there was a bloke who's house burnt to the ground one night. The insurer refused to pay out even thought the police the fire dept and even the insurers own investigators said it was 100% accidental.
    The insurers reason....he was an ex-firefighter and would know how to light a fire so as to make it look accidental. And once again the insurer was taken to court and lost.
    Have a nice day - Cheers

  14. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by spartan
    You see, when I bought this house I got a building and pest inspection, it says stuff like we don't inspect electricals, plumbing etc etc....But all seemed to be in workable order....

    I would therefore propose that it would be extremely hard for an insurance company to prove who or who didn't install electrical wiring.
    I know this may sound a bit finiky but when I bought my first house (58yr post WWII house) I paid a sparkie $150 to completely check over the house and write a report for me indicating the state of the wiring, what needed fixing and especially whether all the wiring was meeting current standards. Fortunately all the wiring was good, but as ashore noted
    but under the heading FIRE in the policy it reads we do not cover loss or damage caused by .....risk passed to you as purchaser of your home
    I had covered my ar*e in case something happened
    Have a nice day - Cheers

  15. #44
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    Different rules in different jurisdictions.

    Last year I got my workshop closed in and ready for wiring. (Shed size 12m x 6m).

    The sparky who has done alterations and minor additions on our house in many years past said he was flat out, and happily allowed me to install the wiring and fasten up the 9 double fluorescents, and install the wiring for the lights, 6 double power outlets and 2 hanging chain outlets, but to make no connections, and then to call him to do the connections and wire up the switch board (which I had fastened in place). He then certified the work.

    (The NZ system is that sparkies self-certify, and their work is then randomly audited by the licensing authority.)

    HIs part of the work took a whole afternoon,(Saturday) and he complimented me on the neatness of my wiring, which needless to say pleased me.

    Perhaps some deal like that might be possible in your part of the world.

    ROB NZ

  16. #45
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    Rob NZ, I did the same thing earlier this year when i built my shed. I was comfortable running the cabling and mounting the lights and switchboard, because i had been given clear instructions about what to run where and how. I was also told not to make any terminations. The Sparky giving me the advice, and who finally fitted off and connected the power, was one i use as a subcontractor to our construction business, so it was easy for me to ring him up and ask "stupid questions" while i was roughing in the cable. My point is that, like most things you havent done before, it seems easy until you start to do it, and find that it is complicated. Most of the labour is in roughing in, so that is expensive. Thats what tempts us to do it ourselves....
    Young kids cancels shed time

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