New Electrical Drop by Electric Company..watch out!

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New Electrical Drop by Electric Company..watch out!

Post by rickfarang » October 18, 2011, 11:23 pm

Two nights ago, we developed a problem in the underground electrical drop between the meter and the house. After calling the electric company, a crew of three showed up driving on of those big trucks and told us that out power is out. Yeah, thanks. They also said that we need a new drop (new wires) and they would come back in the morning to install it.

Yesterday morning, they came by, told my wife that it would cost about 14,000 baht for the job. These guys work for the electric company, why would they do wrong? We gave them 10k to cover the cost of material. In the afternoon, they came back and began installing the new wiring. I went out to have a look at the cable and became alarmed -it was aluminum and a size smaller than the copper that it was replacing. They foreman said that the (small) aluminum wire was the best wire available (apparently not noticing that a larger gauge copper wire is also available...).

Well, I let them finish the installation, then asked how they made the connection to the copper in the house. They said they twisted the copper and aluminum wires tightly and covered them with black tape. If you know anything about aluminum wiring, you know that you can't treat it like copper and that when splicing it to copper, special AL/CU connecting blocks or crimp splices are needed. After failing to get them to correct the splice, I told them to "never mind", paid them 2,000 baht on top of the 10,000 we already paid (of which 9,250 was for materials), and after retrieving the half roll of my wire from the back of their truck, sent them on their way.

We then called our preferred electrician, who was not available the night before, to come over and re-do the splice.

When he arrived, the first thing he asked was "what are you doing with that crummy aluminum wire?" I showed him the receipt for the material and he nearly fell on the floor. He went through the list, item by item, exclaiming things like "350 baht! They only cost 12 baht!" I had never seen him upset before. The "6500 baht" roll of wire of which I had been suspicious, should have not cost more than 1200 baht.

My wife called the foreman, and he appeared at our house within 10 minutes.

My wife sat him down, called over our electrician for backup information, and went over the receipt, item, by item with the foreman, our electrician starting at the ground, shaking his head and groaning every time the foreman mentioned a price. When she finished the list, my wife added up the more realistic prices and asked for a refund of 7,000 baht. The foreman reached into his pocket and brought out a small wad of cash, then counted off 6 thousand baht which he handed to my wife. He then gestured to the remaining 1,000 baht in his hand as if to say "but this only leaves me with 1,000 baht of the money I stole from you" and returned it to his pocket. Being a small, out of shape old man, I resisted the urge to punch him but leaned forward and told him I wanted 7,000 baht. He produced the other 1,000 baht, which I then handed directly to our electrician for his help in determining more realistic prices.

After the foreman and his crew left in their truck, out electrician thoroughly checked out the installation, then went up into the attic and applied a proper AL/CU spice, complete anti-oxidizing paste.

In summary, a crew from the electric company came out to our house, diagnosed out problem, installed a new mains drop but the part inside the house was not a proper or safe splice, and in the process gave us a phony receipt and overcharged us by a factor of more than 4X (7,000 baht!) for the materials and also charged for materials that were not used in the installation -ironically, the splicing block.

If I have troubles with my electrical service, I will spend days without service before we call the electric company for help. Suggest you consider the same.



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New Electrical Drop by Electric Company..watch out!

Post by KHONDAHM » October 19, 2011, 6:37 am

Horrible experience. I've been ripped off by them, too. We paid a lot of money upfront for 3 phase but got 1 phase. Post your electrician's contact info. Honest and competent are rare attributes here.

@Board - Is there a licensing body in Udon with contact details for its members? Electricians, plumbers, carpenters, masons, etc.? It would be great if we could identify good people who charge fair prices and pass them around. Win-win.
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New Electrical Drop by Electric Company..watch out!

Post by Brian Davis » October 19, 2011, 7:04 am

This is a frightening report. Not least that these guys are wildly ripping you off but, if I understand correctly, are from the official electrical body and one would expect a better standard of work. I think I might have been down the head office to ask what the **** is going on!

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New Electrical Drop by Electric Company..watch out!

Post by bluejets » October 19, 2011, 9:04 am

Any joint betwwen aluminium and copper, whether cable to cable or cable to terminal, should be done with the appropriate bi-metal lug, link or pin. (although I realise it is never done here)They are pre-charged with alminox paste to avoid any corrosion and cables should be prepared correctly.
Visited friend of mine out inthe back blocks last weekend, watching tv. Trucks roar past and click, power goes down and quick look out side sees man up on the truck with a cable end in each hand like "back to the future". I don't think he was quite sure what to do with the ends but I think he was hoping there was enough load current to re-fuse the ends together. Finally someone climbs the meter pole with the aid of a pallet and takes the cables out of the meter with a test pencil.(neon screwdriver) A married splice and some black tape later, and they were ready to move out. My friend is chasing them down the road trying to find out who is going to pay for the repairs that will come. They say, no,all fixed now. Friend decides it is all too hard and gets some new cable and calls authorities to send out lecky to replace cable.

you can see pdf here.........
http://www.sirfrt.com.au/wikis/imrt/ima ... ons_A4.PDF

Posted a link for anyone needing cable size calculations a couple of weeks ago somewhere so i will put link in again.
Very good info and resonably easy for non-electrical to work out.

http://www.olex.com.au/FAQ/General.html

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New Electrical Drop by Electric Company..watch out!

Post by parrot » October 19, 2011, 9:29 am

"Two nights ago, we developed a problem in the underground electrical drop between the meter and the house."

Any idea what caused the original line to crap out on you?

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New Electrical Drop by Electric Company..watch out!

Post by rickfarang » October 19, 2011, 10:15 am

Yes. The first to go was the buried doorbell connection, then it was the telephone lines, then the power drop. I suspect the cooked electrician who took shortcuts to save time and money.

More specifically: Right after the power went out, I detected smell that I identified as burnt or at least overheated insulation in the area of the power meter, where the drop goes underground. The electrician who wired the house merely twisted wires together, often not even bothering to wrap the splices in electrical tape.

The good and honest electrician's telephone numbers is 081 964 9608. He does not speak English, and we don't know his name (he's the electrician). Whenever he does work on our house, he does little "extras" such as cleaning and repairing light fixtures at no additional cost. The man is golden.

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New Electrical Drop by Electric Company..watch out!

Post by parrot » October 19, 2011, 11:57 am

"The good and honest electrician's telephone numbers is 081 964 9608."

Could you provide a general location of where either you or the electrician lives....I'd like to keep a number like that handy if he lives in our general vicinity (outside the city, past the new Ngeesoon).

On the negative side, it never ceases to amaze me that people don't drop like flies from the bad electrical jobs in the area......beside electrical lines run along the ground, across the street (on the street), lines helter skelter along the road, improper or no grounds (especially on hot water heaters)....the list goes on......why is it that more people don't die?
The problem for most of us (with limited knowledge about the ins/outs of electricity) is: when it comes time to hire someone to do a big electrical job, if you go for the lowest price, are you going to get inferior wires/workmanship? If you go for the higher price, will the electrician rip you off with shoddy materials/workmanship? It's yet another example (to me at least) about the benefits of government regulation and enforcement. A tea party rep I'm not!

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New Electrical Drop by Electric Company..watch out!

Post by KHONDAHM » October 19, 2011, 12:25 pm

Speaking from my own experience, finding anyone to do anything properly is a crapshoot regardless of the price you agree to pay. I have even asked about credentials and education. Seems everybody "no have" and you are left to cross your fingers and hope for the best based on somebody's recommendation.
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New Electrical Drop by Electric Company..watch out!

Post by rickfarang » October 19, 2011, 12:46 pm

We are on Nongbua-Nongsai road, just past the ring road. He seems to live in the area since he usually turns up within 10 to 15 minutes of our call.

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New Electrical Drop by Electric Company..watch out!

Post by zoomzoom » October 10, 2012, 5:57 pm

rickfarang wrote:Two nights ago, we developed a problem in the underground electrical drop between the meter and the house. After calling the electric company, a crew of three showed up driving on of those big trucks and told us that out power is out. Yeah, thanks. They also said that we need a new drop (new wires) and they would come back in the morning to install it.

Yesterday morning, they came by, told my wife that it would cost about 14,000 baht for the job. These guys work for the electric company, why would they do wrong? We gave them 10k to cover the cost of material. In the afternoon, they came back and began installing the new wiring. I went out to have a look at the cable and became alarmed -it was aluminum and a size smaller than the copper that it was replacing. They foreman said that the (small) aluminum wire was the best wire available (apparently not noticing that a larger gauge copper wire is also available...).

Well, I let them finish the installation, then asked how they made the connection to the copper in the house. They said they twisted the copper and aluminum wires tightly and covered them with black tape. If you know anything about aluminum wiring, you know that you can't treat it like copper and that when splicing it to copper, special AL/CU connecting blocks or crimp splices are needed. After failing to get them to correct the splice, I told them to "never mind", paid them 2,000 baht on top of the 10,000 we already paid (of which 9,250 was for materials), and after retrieving the half roll of my wire from the back of their truck, sent them on their way.

We then called our preferred electrician, who was not available the night before, to come over and re-do the splice.

When he arrived, the first thing he asked was "what are you doing with that crummy aluminum wire?" I showed him the receipt for the material and he nearly fell on the floor. He went through the list, item by item, exclaiming things like "350 baht! They only cost 12 baht!" I had never seen him upset before. The "6500 baht" roll of wire of which I had been suspicious, should have not cost more than 1200 baht.

My wife called the foreman, and he appeared at our house within 10 minutes.

My wife sat him down, called over our electrician for backup information, and went over the receipt, item, by item with the foreman, our electrician starting at the ground, shaking his head and groaning every time the foreman mentioned a price. When she finished the list, my wife added up the more realistic prices and asked for a refund of 7,000 baht. The foreman reached into his pocket and brought out a small wad of cash, then counted off 6 thousand baht which he handed to my wife. He then gestured to the remaining 1,000 baht in his hand as if to say "but this only leaves me with 1,000 baht of the money I stole from you" and returned it to his pocket. Being a small, out of shape old man, I resisted the urge to punch him but leaned forward and told him I wanted 7,000 baht. He produced the other 1,000 baht, which I then handed directly to our electrician for his help in determining more realistic prices.

After the foreman and his crew left in their truck, out electrician thoroughly checked out the installation, then went up into the attic and applied a proper AL/CU spice, complete anti-oxidizing paste.

In summary, a crew from the electric company came out to our house, diagnosed out problem, installed a new mains drop but the part inside the house was not a proper or safe splice, and in the process gave us a phony receipt and overcharged us by a factor of more than 4X (7,000 baht!) for the materials and also charged for materials that were not used in the installation -ironically, the splicing block.

If I have troubles with my electrical service, I will spend days without service before we call the electric company for help. Suggest you consider the same.
I've just picked up on this today, so realise it is an old thread.

However, a couple of questions, if I may:

1) Is the electric company you refer to PEA?

I've had a "run in" with one of their employees today and ended up getting very annoyed!

2) Why, when you found out (and could prove) that he was "on the fiddle" did you not just report the guy?

There is nothing better to focus corrupt minds than seeing a senior colleague fired!
What is hope??????

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New Electrical Drop by Electric Company..watch out!

Post by rickfarang » October 10, 2012, 6:59 pm

I'm sorry to hear that you had a run-in with them.

Neither my wife nor I could recognize the initials "PEA". It is the same electric company that provides electricity to all of Udon.

I let my wife handle it, but apparently, many Asians feel that their #1 priority is to recover whatever was lost. I guess the thinking was that if she reported the guy, she might or might not get the money back and she would not have anything left with which to bargain. This way, she had some leverage.

To further illustrate the point:
A few weeks ago, a friend accidentally left her ATM card at a store in the new Central shopping center. When she realized it was gone, she went back to the shop where the lady shop owner said she had not seen it. When my friend checked her bank account, 8,000 baht, almost all she had, had been used to make electronic purchases (credit card style). On the advice of the police, she the electronic sales information from her bank, then took those slips to the store in Central at which her ATM card had been used. She showed me screen shots of the woman from the shop where her ATM card had been misplaced shopping and paying for sports equipment and clothing. She said she didn't know whether to use these photos to confront the lady shop owner or to go to the police. I urged her to go back to the police as this would likely make the shop owner's illicit activities, but in the end, my friend decided to confront the shop owner with the photos. The shop owner gave her back the 8,000 baht plus 30,000 for her trouble. I

n both my friend's and my wife's case, they put recovery of their losses above duty to society. I don't know which path I would prefer if I had been in either of their shoes.

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New Electrical Drop by Electric Company..watch out!

Post by zoomzoom » October 11, 2012, 7:28 am

Many thanks for the reply, it was much appreciated.

1) PEA (Provincial Electric Authority) are the power supply utility for (I think) all of Thailand.

The reason for my query was that I wasn't sure if you were referring to them or, maybe, another organisation who may (I have no idea) have responsibility for repairs/maintenance of power lines etc.

Regarding the shenanigans of the foreman, my thoughts were not driven by any sense of public duty but more by a good old fashioned need for revenge!

I was thinking about once, having exposed his actions and recovered the cash then to report him to his company, together with proof of his actions - I can't see them taking too kindly to his "moonlighting", in their time and attempting to divert any money due to them (whether inflated or not) into his own pocket, whilst damaging their reputation with the standard of the work carried out!

In much the same way, once your friend had been "compensated" for the shopkeeper's actions my inclination would have been to report her (again with proof of her actions) to both the police and her landlords, at Central Plaza.

The former whilst, probably, saying officially that the 30,000THB had settled the problem, in all likelihood, would have been making a pointed request for a "donation" to their tea fund with the latter, possibly, being prepared to terminate her lease!

Double whammy!!

Continuing with the shop owner who stole your friend's ATM card, would you mind identifying her shop (by pm if you prefer) because I would hate to be (unknowingly) contributing to her profits!
What is hope??????

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New Electrical Drop by Electric Company..watch out!

Post by FrazeeDK » October 12, 2012, 9:21 pm

same PEA that had a 2 person tree cutting team "clearing" electrical lines in my neighborhood. They came onto our property and took the top 6-7 meters off a mature tree that was in no danger of touching the electrical lines. All the branches they chopped they left in a heap on our property saying "firewood for you.".. When the TW got into their case they quickly vacated the area saying they were going to lunch.. Idiots with chainsaws and machetes who left a trail of chopped down trees splayed out into the roads and on people's property throughout our neighborhood. The neighbors just take it.. We had no points of contact and these mugs didn't stay around to give details..
Dave

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New Electrical Drop by Electric Company..watch out!

Post by Khun Paul » October 12, 2012, 9:51 pm

Having just read this post, out of a little interest as I had majotr supply probs, it turned out that some years back unbeknown to me the house with its copper wiring was joined to the meter by the blue Aluminimum wiring, which over the last few years started to seteriorate, not that I knew anything. When the power was off and on i started to check and as the safety cut was cutting out after about an hour you can imagine that i was pretty pissed off , Eventually called out the PEA crew well a more sensible lots of chaps , sorted out the probelm, realigned the meter, got rid of the aluminum wires and rerouted the house copper wire so that it would meet up with the meter, All in all after two visits job well done, one bottle of 365 and one bott of vodka did the trick they went happy as I am.

I now know that the aluminium wire is second rate and proceeded to go through the entire house to check out every jointy and wire disposing of those a tad iffy and ensuring at least from mneter to switch or light in my house 100%, before that lap of the gods or the leccy coy over which I have no control.

Now also my bills about 3-500 Baht cheaper so must have been l,osing quite a lot in seepage.

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New Electrical Drop by Electric Company..watch out!

Post by bluejets » October 13, 2012, 6:59 am

Khun Paul wrote:
Now also my bills about 3-500 Baht cheaper so must have been l,osing quite a lot in seepage.

No, it's an electric cable, not a waterpipe. Doesn't work like you think.

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Post by Khun Paul » October 13, 2012, 8:30 am

OK then losing it through bad insulation or even minor grounding but I was losing it. It was called seepage by my electrican in the UK when he found the cable damaged and the required amount of electricity hneeded by my house was more due to the damage as it nee3ded to draw more electricity. Any that was how it was explained to me, I am no expert sounded sensible .

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Post by rickfarang » October 13, 2012, 12:20 pm

Bare wires laying on concrete will "leak" current into the concrete to be returned to the transformer via the earth. So if the crew properly insulated formerly uninsulated bits or wire, its possible that leakage to earth contributed to savings.

A better bet is that the copper wire has lower resistance than the aluminum, so less power is used heating up the wire, and more of it is used to do work inside the house. In the case of the air conditioner, the air conditioner would not have to run as long with a lower resistance connection to the meter.

All of that is hypothetical, since we don't know exactly what was changed.

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New Electrical Drop by Electric Company..watch out!

Post by bluejets » October 14, 2012, 6:21 am

500 baht a month / 6 baht per unit = 83 units.

1 unit = 1 kwh. (1 kilowatt (1,000watts) consumed over 1 hour)

Note:- Unless you have Kvar meters then power factor comes into the equation.

So, 83 kwh over 30 days = 2.76 kwh per day = 2760 watts / 24 hours = 115 watts

Therefore, so called “leakage” of 115 watts per hour.

115 watts/240v = 0.479 amps

Every underground run has water in the conduit (or under concrete slab)

A damaged cable causing a current flow to the ground of this magnitude would cause a blow up in a very short period of time. It would certainly not last long enough to get and extra 3-500 baht / month
added to the electricity bill and this was my point in the earlier post.

If you are wishing to avert problems with damage to underground mains cabling, then starting with double insulated cable is a good start. Single insulation detoriates rapidly underground and the conductor then starts to corrode.

Cheers............

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New Electrical Drop by Electric Company..watch out!

Post by lee » November 2, 2012, 11:04 am

rickfarang wrote:The good and honest electrician's telephone numbers is 081 964 9608. He does not speak English, and we don't know his name (he's the electrician). Whenever he does work on our house, he does little "extras" such as cleaning and repairing light fixtures at no additional cost. The man is golden.
I decided to hire this guy based on the recommendation above however I'm now wishing I hadn't.

I hired him to install electrics in a new building, I walked around with him marking exactly where I wanted the light switches, plug sockets etc. I made it very clear I wanted 6 light switches at both the front and back of the building, he installed only 2. I asked for 1 exterior light at the back, he installed 4. I marked the exterior lights at the front, he installed them in the wrong place. I asked for a light switch just outside the bathroom door, he installed it a meter away on an opposite wall. I asked for plug sockets close to the floor, he installed them 1 meter above. I asked for the exterior lights to be controlled by a light sensor and manual switch, he installed fittings for a sensor only.

I had to buy all the electrical parts for him, however he didn't include wire connectors on his list so I would imagine he planned twisting the wires together. I made sure that he did it the correct way before he started.

When I confronted him about all the mistakes he said it was my fault, he blatantly lied to my wife saying that I changed my mind about all the light fittings, he said he regularly has these problems with farangs and he said they are always changing their minds!

Before he started the work he kept offering us free things that he picked up at the government electrical office, we obviously declined. All I was concerned about was getting the job done properly.

I have now canceled him and I have a new guy coming to finish the job.

This is just my personal experience so if you do hire him please keep the above in mind.

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New Electrical Drop by Electric Company..watch out!

Post by fatbob » November 2, 2012, 11:45 am

I hope you had a proper electrical plan with light switches, lights and power points all marked clearly and in Thai language, I see some people walk around and point where they want things or mark on a wall that gets painted over, or they are not on site everyday to supervise and wonder why mistakes happen.

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