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  • FIRST POST
    • jude_pmc
    • By jude_pmc 7th Feb 18, 5:36 PM
    • 10Posts
    • 3Thanks
    jude_pmc
    Non-fatal electrocution compensation
    • #1
    • 7th Feb 18, 5:36 PM
    Non-fatal electrocution compensation 7th Feb 18 at 5:36 PM
    I want to advise a friend on how much compensation she should receive from UK Power Networks. Any info you can give me would be great.


    Story so far..
    Bought her bungalow June 2016 and had the electrics checked by her electrician.
    Began to get shocks in summer 2017 but she doesn’t understand electricity so she thought it must be strangely strong static electricity.

    December she had severe shock when in the shower so called out a plumber, who called in her electrician for her as she was so shaken.

    Electrician arrives and tells her it is the mains.

    UK power network arrives, plugs her house into the house next door over Christmas, digs up her hedge and fixes the disconnected lead. They told her that the small trees in her hedge probably caused the damage.


    She asked for compensation and they immediately gave her the money she paid to the plumber and to her electrician.


    I think they should give her much more.

    A large amount of her hair has fallen out and the doctor has put her on anti-depressants. She is now very frightened of her home and yesterday got her electrician to check everything in her house (she says she is going to send this bill to UK Power Networks). I don’t know if this will reassure her, she is saying she intends to move although she has no savings to pay a move costs.

    Please can you advise me how much compensation she should ask for or whether she has received all she has the right to?
Page 2
    • POPPYOSCAR
    • By POPPYOSCAR 8th Feb 18, 1:05 AM
    • 11,099 Posts
    • 23,192 Thanks
    POPPYOSCAR
    How is this even possible?

    Surely the earth wiring to the property prevents this from happening?

    Any electrical experts out there?
    • shaun from Africa
    • By shaun from Africa 8th Feb 18, 1:23 AM
    • 9,742 Posts
    • 10,950 Thanks
    shaun from Africa
    If the earthing was all correct and in good condition then it shouldn't be possible but this isn't always the case.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1198470/Young-mother-electrocuted-live-tap-ran-bath-familys-new-home.html
    • POPPYOSCAR
    • By POPPYOSCAR 8th Feb 18, 1:54 AM
    • 11,099 Posts
    • 23,192 Thanks
    POPPYOSCAR
    If the earthing was all correct and in good condition then it shouldn't be possible but this isn't always the case.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1198470/Young-mother-electrocuted-live-tap-ran-bath-familys-new-home.html
    Originally posted by shaun from Africa
    But is that not the responsibility of the house owner not UK Power?
    • tonyh66
    • By tonyh66 8th Feb 18, 9:12 AM
    • 1,102 Posts
    • 770 Thanks
    tonyh66
    Im guessing the consumer unit in the house was very old or badly maintained (no RCBs, fuses/fuse wire replaced by foil, nails etc) , im also guessing the damage caused the earth to become live.

    Having read the electrics were checked in 2016, im guessing the hedge was put in after that.
    Last edited by tonyh66; 08-02-2018 at 9:16 AM.
    • jude_pmc
    • By jude_pmc 8th Feb 18, 11:13 AM
    • 10 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    jude_pmc
    Thanks for the responses. I'll get in touch with her and find out more specific details.
    • phill99
    • By phill99 8th Feb 18, 1:53 PM
    • 8,020 Posts
    • 7,265 Thanks
    phill99
    The compo generation.....
    Eat vegetables and fear no creditors, rather than eat duck and hide.
    • jude_pmc
    • By jude_pmc 8th Feb 18, 2:24 PM
    • 10 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    jude_pmc
    I am coming to the conclusion that I shouldn’t suggest she asks for more compensation. But here are a few details.
    June 2016. Electrics thoroughly checked, including replacing fuse box.
    Summer 2017 shocks start (assumed not to be the electrics because they had all been checked so recently)
    Cable damage (she thinks she was told it created ‘reverse polarity’). UK Power Network said never been seen before, Old cable but they could only suggest it was the boundary hedge roots (the long established hedge was in place when the bungalow was bought).
    So it is this just an act of God that could happen to anyone?
    • Risteard
    • By Risteard 8th Feb 18, 2:32 PM
    • 729 Posts
    • 255 Thanks
    Risteard
    Summer 2017 shocks start (assumed not to be the electrics because they had all been checked so recently)
    Originally posted by jude_pmc
    It was pretty illogical to assume that electric shocks had nothing to do with the electrical installation regardless of how recently it had been checked. How did that make sense to anyone?
    • Furts
    • By Furts 8th Feb 18, 3:14 PM
    • 3,868 Posts
    • 2,463 Thanks
    Furts
    Over to those who know because building is my game and not electrics but I am fascinated to get feedback ...

    I live in a location where it is known - to those who need to know - that the main cables are all suspect. I have heard pop. pop, pop, many times at intervals inside my home. This means that at some future point - could be hours, could be days, the mains cable will break apart within a footpath within a hundred metres or so.

    Other times the lights will be flickering, possibly for hours, whilst one waits for the inevitable. I am guessing this comes with power surges, but nothings trips.

    It seems the mains cables cannot cope with any pressure being exerted on them. After failure, the excavations reveal a house brick, or piece of rubble, or simply the edge of a piece of type 1 roadstone has been pressing on the cable gradually, sometimes for 30 years before it fails. The most recent was simply the weight of vehicles going across the footpath crossover. Why? Because the adjacent home had just been sold and a removal truck had been in and out - enough extra pressure to blow the cable.

    I know there should be sand bedding and protection, or rock dust but it does not happen. Even with every repair type 1 gets fired in without any prior protection. So perhaps one has to blame decades of incompetent, indifferent, contractors with a vested interest in more failures. But equally the power company is guilty - there is zero inspection, zero interest, and total indifference.

    All this means tree roots could cause significant problems. No idea how this is linked to shocks though. But then maybe all our homes are better wired and protected. OP talking about a fusebox may be a pointer here - are the electrics on the home ancient or obsolete?
    • tonyh66
    • By tonyh66 8th Feb 18, 4:39 PM
    • 1,102 Posts
    • 770 Thanks
    tonyh66
    Im not a spark, but I have never heard of negative polarity on AC current, I thought the polarity switched constantly hence alternating current (AC).
    • Risteard
    • By Risteard 8th Feb 18, 5:24 PM
    • 729 Posts
    • 255 Thanks
    Risteard
    Im not a spark, but I have never heard of negative polarity on AC current, I thought the polarity switched constantly hence alternating current (AC).
    Originally posted by tonyh66
    Polarity does come into AC as well. The phase (line) conductor is at a potential of 230V relative to Earth/neutral (and 400V to other phases), and neutral has a potential of 0V with respect to Earth as it is Earthed. Fuses and single pole devices must only be connected to the phase conductor(s).

    So reverse polarity is a dangerous situation.
    • stator
    • By stator 8th Feb 18, 5:40 PM
    • 6,021 Posts
    • 3,971 Thanks
    stator
    Im not a spark, but I have never heard of negative polarity on AC current, I thought the polarity switched constantly hence alternating current (AC).
    Originally posted by tonyh66
    If Live and Neutral are switched most electrical devices will continue to work but it can be dangerous when something goes wrong.
    I'm not an electrician but I am guessing this is one of those situations.
    Someone bodged an electrical job, switched Live and Neutral. Some time later a cable is damaged and Earth becomes Live.
    Changing the world, one sarcastic comment at a time.
    • jack_pott
    • By jack_pott 9th Feb 18, 12:18 AM
    • 4,402 Posts
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    jack_pott
    How is this even possible?
    Originally posted by POPPYOSCAR
    By a break in the neutral conductor of a TN-C-S service cable.
    I'm not upset that you lied to me, I'm upset that from now on I can't believe you.
    Friedrich Nietzsche
    • jude_pmc
    • By jude_pmc 9th Feb 18, 8:58 AM
    • 10 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    jude_pmc
    'Fuse box' is my word - she had a comprehensive overhaul of the electrics in June 2016 when she moved in, with new switch box (or whatever you call it) replaced.


    'Negative polarity' may be wrong, but she picked the term up somehow.
    • tonyh66
    • By tonyh66 9th Feb 18, 9:45 AM
    • 1,102 Posts
    • 770 Thanks
    tonyh66
    'Fuse box' is my word - she had a comprehensive overhaul of the electrics in June 2016 when she moved in, with new switch box (or whatever you call it) replaced.


    'Negative polarity' may be wrong, but she picked the term up somehow.
    Originally posted by jude_pmc
    Electricians call it the consumer unit, Im surprised if it was changed that any live current on the earth would not trip the RCD, again not being an electrician I wouldn't know if thats how it works.
    Upshot is that a random event (act of god) damaged the wire outside the property to cause the problems, its no ones fault so compensation doesn't come into it (unless the cable was badly laid in the first place).
    • DavidF
    • By DavidF 9th Feb 18, 10:25 AM
    • 454 Posts
    • 2,492 Thanks
    DavidF
    I am an electrician and I can't see how an incoming cable could be "reversed polarity" due to anything other than human error (joint outside the wrong way round). So I think your friend has picked up something incorrectly.
    Not really wanting to add to the compo drive here BUT the electrician who changed the consumer unit and did the eicr should as part of that job have discovered reversed polarity of the incoming service cable...it is one of the tests we do - and as nice guy's we normally either call the DNO (UKPN in this case) ourselves on the customers behalf or just give customer the number and description of fault and get them to call.
    • brightontraveller
    • By brightontraveller 9th Feb 18, 2:03 PM
    • 1,330 Posts
    • 516 Thanks
    brightontraveller
    "Told" means absolutely nothing and "probably " isn't report vocabulary so BS or misunderstood/ misinterpreted by either your friend or whomever gave them the information, Without a full report which they don't have they wont get anywhere? (good luck getting a retrospective report from UK Power that would admit liability.
    ) Without liability whom do they think is going to compensate them ?
    • Lizabeth21
    • By Lizabeth21 9th Feb 18, 2:25 PM
    • 154 Posts
    • 177 Thanks
    Lizabeth21
    How would compensation help her feel better in her home?
    • jack_pott
    • By jack_pott 9th Feb 18, 2:31 PM
    • 4,402 Posts
    • 5,696 Thanks
    jack_pott
    Im surprised if it was changed that any live current on the earth would not trip the RCD
    Originally posted by tonyh66
    An RCD doesn't provide protection against a break in the neutral conductor of a TN-C-S service cable.
    I'm not upset that you lied to me, I'm upset that from now on I can't believe you.
    Friedrich Nietzsche
    • jude_pmc
    • By jude_pmc 21st Feb 18, 8:00 AM
    • 10 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    jude_pmc
    Thanks to everyone for your contributions.
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