Everything burnt up, do to electric company


Hello I have a question about electric company's and if they pay for damages that were caused by them. We have had trouble for a while now, and called our electric company three times to check out what is wrong with our home. They said no problem on the pole, call an electrition. Lights going dim then so bright the light bulbs blow. It has been 4months now and 3 electritions later. Last night everything that we own got zapped and now is no longer working. Our home nearly cought on fire. We called Ameren UE and they sent someone out tonight to look at the pole. They found out that it WAS their fault. The transformer had a loose ground or neutral and the guy fixed it. Now my question is this, are they responsible for all the damages? The only thing I have that works, is this computer and one lamp. (They were unpluged thank goodness!) I have been told that Ameren should have to pay for replacements but I am sure they wont want to since it is going to be very high. (I have about $6500.00 added up so far.) Any one ever have to deal with this? Please give me some advice. Thanks!
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tamrad11 wrote:

Before going too overboard I would tell them that you have made up a list of the items and ask if they would kindly pay for them tomorrow morning. They might say yes and save you the trouble of whatever else you were going to do.
Hope this helps, William Deans
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Don't know what to do. That is problem. LOL I am just devistated. I am just getting back on my feet and now this! I have no fridge no tv no microwave or stove and my water softner is now not working. ($3000.) right there. I tried to turn on the furnace and it is burnt up also, with winter comming. Sorry for the soap box. Just frustrated!!! I will call them in the morning and see what they say. Thanks
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wrote:

Make sure you get and save paperwork on everything. Gather up receipts for your damaged stuff if you have them. Most likely you will need to see a lawyer. See if they'll work on contingency.
If you have iron-clad proof that power company caused your problem you should have a case.
Beachcomber
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if you don't have homeowners insurance, your next best leverage may be dealing with the PSC (public service commission).
Bill

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tamrad11 wrote:

Run, do not walk to your local plaintiffs' law firm.
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tamrad11 wrote:

Call your insurance company right away. They will go after the utility for you, since otherwise, they will have to pay the claim. Insurance companies hate to pay, especially if there is someone else with deep pockets who is actually at fault.
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tamrad11 wrote:

I would suggest calling your own insurance company first. They will be on your side and may well take care of everything for you, including replacement and repair. They will then go to the electric company and recoup their money and you can avoid all that trouble.
Second choice would be to go to the electric company. See what they say about your damage. They may step up and take care of everything for you.
Last consult a local attorney. The laws are different from place to place. You may need to contact the attorney and if either the insurance company or the electric company seem to be delaying or avoiding responsibility, then don't delay contacting the attorney.
Do keep written records of everything and start calling now.
--
Joseph Meehan

Dia \'s Muire duit
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Joseph Meehan wrote:

To re-emphasise what Joseph Meehan said:
Keep a log or logbook of some sort next to the phone and write a short summary of every single phone call, the date, and the persons contacted. Add a summary of every letter sent, the date and the addressee. Make a copy of every letter sent.
Your problem could be resolved instantly by the electric company or your home owners insurance; or drag on for months. I am near the end of a "drag on" situation and it really gets confusing trying to keep track of everything.
-Jason
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After you have resolved the financial problems, have a whole house surge protector installed. This might have prevented the problem in the first place.
---MIKE---

>> (44 15' N - Elevation 1580')
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Not likely in the case of an open neutral. It would have probably just fried the surge protector also.
--
Steve Barker


"---MIKE---" < snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net> wrote in message
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I agree with going to your insurance company. They are the place to start. When my neutral wire corroded in half, (underground) my company willingly paid for my vcr and tv. Nothing else was hurt.
--
Steve Barker

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tamrad11 wrote:

I had a similar situation some years back. Turns out, the problem was an intermittent neutral connection in the wiring coming from the pole to the service entry. With electrician/utility, make sure to use the phrase "faulty neutral." Various power-supplies got zapped, fortunately for us not many, and the utility covered repairs.
Such a problem is _very_dangerous_, as I guessed when the tv cable got hot to the touch from providing a low-rated neutral connection from the panel.
I'd call the utility immediately, mention "faulty neutral", and tell them about the wild voltage swings and destruction, and threat to safety. Do tell them what you say above about steps you've taken, to no avail.
Then call lawyer, consumer advocate, whomever, if they don't immediately offer satisfaction. Meaning: fix the problem, and cover the damage.
Seems, quite often, the source is connection with aluminum cable getting oxidized.
Disconnect all significant loads until they fix it. But you knew that.
J
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tamrad11 wrote:

Hi, Do you have enigbhors who has same damage? All by yourself?
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I am the only one on the transformer. The electric company did fix the Loose Neutral last night and told me he was going to note it in his report that this was "their fault" do to a neutral not being tight on the transformer. He also told me we were lucky our house didn't burn up during the 4-6 months we have been dealing with this. I have had so much trouble. And the bad thing is we threw away some of the things like a microwave satelight receiver and nice coffee maker stereo and I don't know how many light bulbs. All our surge protectors are melted and the home is about 35-45 years old so I have been told that the wires will prob have to be changed out now doto them getting to hot last night. We had sparks comming out of the outlets at one point before we shut off the breaker outside. Funny thing is none of the circuts blew or fuses. We checked them today and all are fine. WEIRD! I just hope that the Electric company will fix what got broke becouse there is no way I could do it on my own. I am going to take off work tomarow and call the Insurance company and electric company. Hope I have Good news. I will let you all know what happens. Thanks for the advice I love this group! ;) Tam
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It's not really all that weird that the circut breakers didn't blow. They don't (within limits) care what voltage you put through them, they only care about the amperage. And it's not obvious to me, (although it may be true anyway) that you should have to replace the in-wall wiring, since as I understand it, that ought to be good up to 600V. You DO want to open every plug, switch, and junction box and look for scorching though. With any luck at all, all the damage will be within the devices, and you can leave the wires in place.
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tamrad11 wrote:

Just another reason why a home's earthing electrode also is essential. Some say the lights work fine; therefore earthing electrode is sufficient. Wrong. One home had broken its earth ground connection. Only when their neutral wire failed at the transformer, then house obtained an electrical connection through utility gas line. Fortunately no one was home when gaskets finally failed and gas meter exploded. Earth ground does something useful only during rare and potentially catastrophic events. Earthing (so often missing in older homes) is that important.
Yes, the problem is their fault. I would also quantify how much incandescent bulbs were brightening and dimming. That quantified 'intensity change' suggests how far voltage was changing. As others have noted, they are required to keep voltage in a narrow (ballpark 5%) range so that your appliances never see a ballpark 10% voltage variation. Damage to appliances from poor voltage variation is their fault. But make written testimony that can put a quantitative number to that variation. Not because that testimony is required. That quantified change is supporting evidence to why appliance shop says appliance was damaged and how long the problem existed (in conjuction with a history of previous calls).
In most every case, that lineman's report is sufficient for them to admit fault. Date of your first utility service call would strengthen you case for damage reinbursement.
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I recently posted something about my stove igniter burning out after a power failure. My electric company, ComEd would not pay for the damage and an appeal to them got nowhere. They are only responsible for 'negligence' issues. If we have more than normal rates of power outages in my neighborhood, can't that be construed as negligence? I don't think surge protection would have made a difference, in my case. Maybe I should contact my insurance company, but for $165 in damages, it may not
be worth it.
Sherwin D.
tamrad11 wrote:

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wrote:

Sometimes power companies try to exploit a customer's lack of technical knowledge. I've seen cases where the customer has complained that surges have caused damage to expensive consumer electronics. The utility denied responsibility.
When the customer complained repeatedly, the power company said "Oh no... not us... our power is clean" and claimed that the argument was in their favor because the slow-acting paper strip-chart recorders that they installed to monitor line voltage showed nothing abnormal. The point is that many potentially damaging situations would not necessarily show up on a strip chart recorder.
They are responsible for providing power and a service drop according to nationally recognized standards for safety, and a workmanlike installation from transformer to the demarcation point of your service entrance. An open or loose neutral at the power company transformer can cause serious damage, injury, or death to a customer and should be a liability issue on the part of the utility.
You will probably not have much luck winning claims for storm damage, lighting induced power surges or just plain old power outages unless you can prove negligence, wiring errors on the part of the utility (known to happen), or that they somehow used sub-standard equipment.
Beachcomber
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Hell yeah you should make them pay for all the destroyed equipment and also the 3 electrician visits. You have to get a lawyer because I'm sure they won't pay anything otherwise. Also make sure the lawyer doesn't rip you off and take too much of the settlement. Whoever said there was nothing wrong with your pole should be fired.
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