Anyone had recourse to deal with the electric suppliers recently?
Washing machine not working in a flat.
OK it's the 13A fuse (32A MCB ring circuit no RCD) replace fuse all is well but
.. fuses don't blow by themselves so I thought I'll check to see if the
current consumption during heat/pump/spin are plausible. (E.g. there might
be 20A being drawn by a broken heater - say). So I gently eased my tong-tester
(clip on ammeter) around the meter tail.... flash and darkness ... as my
eyes adjusted to the dark I saw the meter tail had _fallen_
out of the
meter (meter replaced an Sub-sub-sub...contractor of Siemens Metering only
a month or two ago).
Decided that whilst I _could_
pull the fuse, break the seals etc. and fix
fault in minutes I would do the 'right' thing...
1) Phone EDF Emergency Eastern Service. (Formerly 24-7 Formerly
Eastern Elec. Formerly the EEB).
Menus & music one level (MM1).
Nice guy. Asked me precisely which wire had falled out. Told me outgoing
meter tails are handled by the supplier. Don't come back to us _they_
2) Got tenant to find recent bill. (Nobody except a verified cusotmer can
speak to a supplier) Phone NPower. MM1. Another nice guy.
Explain situation carefully. Put on hold.
2 minutes later... "This is the number you need...."
3) Phone "needed" number. MM2 (2 levels of menus & 'soothing' music).
Actually was "Eastern Contracting" or some such. No person at all but the
number your need is ... the one for EDF Emergency Eastern Service
like I got from the phone book before at stage (1).
4) Try previous number again but take different route through MM2 to hold
for an advisor. Engaged tone 3 minutes before giving up.
5) Try Npower again. MM1. Another nice guy. Explain situation carefully.
Unfortunately this guy has short term memory problems.
NP:"You'll need a qualified electrician to fix it."
ES:"Really! I thought this was seriously off limits." (Knowning full well
NP:"No, all you need is a qualified electrician."
ES:"Just to check, we are talking about the connection on the meter
NP:"I'll just check with my supervisor."
... more music ...
NP:"Oops sorry, You can't fix it."
ES:"Right-oh. When are _you_
going to fix it?"
NP:"I'll give you a number."
ES:"Been there, done that, I'll be back here. EDF won't fix meter outlet
are you going to fix it?"
NP:"It does need fixing."
ES:"Yep. It does indeed."
NP:"I'll ring you back."
5 minutes later.
NP:"It's OK for you to get a qualified electrician to fix it."
ES:"We are talking about the wire which has falled out of the METER."
NP:"I'll check and ring you back".
10 minutes later.
NP:"Someone will be there in the next 9 hours."
ES:"OK what's the job reference." (So I can progress chase if needed).
Experienced guy turns up one hour later, fixes it in 5 minutes. (Also
checks all the other terminals at his own suggestion which saved me
the bother of requesting he did so). He holds unprintable views about
Tenant: It has taken a lot of work, I think things are simpler in
This is the 3rd time in about 6 years that I have directly experienced a
serious fault on an electrical installation associated with a meter
replacement. Twice it was loose tails, Once it was polarity reversal.
With appologies to JRRT.
Three ring tones for the Powers of Hell.
Seven for the Gen Co.s wanting more.
Nine for the Supply Co.s doomed to sell.
One for a saleman at every door.
In the Land of London where the shadows lie.
No number to rule them all, nor one to find them,
No number to ring them all for service by them,
In the land of London where the shadows lie.
Ed Sirett - Property maintainer and registered gas fitter.
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