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Boiler Damage During Planned Power Outage - Can I claim

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mikexlr8mikexlr8 Forumite
3 posts
Tenth Anniversary First Post Combo Breaker
MoneySaving Newbie
Hi all,
Hoping someone can offer some advice. A couple of days ago I came home to find there had been a power cut - all the clocks in the house were flashing '12:00'. In the kitchen the boiler was making a hissing noise. I opened the cupboard door and the LED panel was dead and the boiler was not firing. I called a plumber who came out and identified the PCB board had shorted due to a power surge/outage. The plumber went off to buy the new part. I then called Electricity Northwest West who advised they had carried out planned works on a live underground cable, so the power was cut to most of the homes on my estate. I told the girl on the phone that we had recevied no notification, but had I been advised I would have switched everything off to prevent a surge. She then checked my postcode - she said even that her company carried out the planned works another company was responsible for the undergroind cables, a company called Lastmile based in Glasgow. She also said my boiler had likely gone into 'Safe Mode' and would probably switch back on in 1-3 hours. I advised it's been longer than three hours and that was pretty much the conversation. The plumber returned with the part and said he had never heard of Safe Mode but he called a couple of plumber mates  who also never heard of it then called the manufacutuer Baxi who said their boilers do not have a Safe Mode. The part was subsequently replaced and the boiler worked straight away - cost £250 total to fix and replace part. Upon checking with neighbours nobody else was aware of this planned outage other than some rumours on Facebook via Electricity North West's website or Twitter page.

My question is can I claim against Electricity North West or Lastmile and how should I go about it?
I have an invoice from the plumber detailing the works carried out and the cause of the fault. I looked at going via insurance before calling the plumber but my excess was £350 so obviously cheaper to get repaired independtly, plus it's my boiler and essential. Thanks.

Replies

  • BoohooBoohoo Forumite
    896 posts
    Part of the Furniture 500 Posts Name Dropper
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    mikexlr8 said:
    Hi all,
    Hoping someone can offer some advice. A couple of days ago I came home to find there had been a power cut - all the clocks in the house were flashing '12:00'. In the kitchen the boiler was making a hissing noise. I opened the cupboard door and the LED panel was dead and the boiler was not firing. I called a plumber who came out and identified the PCB board had shorted due to a power surge/outage. The plumber went off to buy the new part. I then called Electricity Northwest West who advised they had carried out planned works on a live underground cable, so the power was cut to most of the homes on my estate. I told the girl on the phone that we had recevied no notification, but had I been advised I would have switched everything off to prevent a surge. She then checked my postcode - she said even that her company carried out the planned works another company was responsible for the undergroind cables, a company called Lastmile based in Glasgow. She also said my boiler had likely gone into 'Safe Mode' and would probably switch back on in 1-3 hours. I advised it's been longer than three hours and that was pretty much the conversation. The plumber returned with the part and said he had never heard of Safe Mode but he called a couple of plumber mates  who also never heard of it then called the manufacutuer Baxi who said their boilers do not have a Safe Mode. The part was subsequently replaced and the boiler worked straight away - cost £250 total to fix and replace part. Upon checking with neighbours nobody else was aware of this planned outage other than some rumours on Facebook via Electricity North West's website or Twitter page.

    My question is can I claim against Electricity North West or Lastmile and how should I go about it?
    I have an invoice from the plumber detailing the works carried out and the cause of the fault. I looked at going via insurance before calling the plumber but my excess was £350 so obviously cheaper to get repaired independtly, plus it's my boiler and essential. Thanks.
    I would just let it go as how can you prove it was not broken before the power being turned off and it was broken by the power being turned off and then on again.
    How new is the boiler?
    You could call Baxi and tell them what happened and see if they can give you an answer to why a power cut would cause this issue on your boiler.
  • CardewCardew Forumite
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    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Rampant Recycler
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    If the electricity company admit to a voltage surge, then you might have a case.
    However I very much doubt you will get anything for an outage. Power to boilers can be switched off for several reasons, and power cuts are not uncommon.
  • mikexlr8mikexlr8 Forumite
    3 posts
    Tenth Anniversary First Post Combo Breaker
    MoneySaving Newbie
    Boohoo said:
    mikexlr8 said:
    Hi all,
    Hoping someone can offer some advice. A couple of days ago I came home to find there had been a power cut - all the clocks in the house were flashing '12:00'. In the kitchen the boiler was making a hissing noise. I opened the cupboard door and the LED panel was dead and the boiler was not firing. I called a plumber who came out and identified the PCB board had shorted due to a power surge/outage. The plumber went off to buy the new part. I then called Electricity Northwest West who advised they had carried out planned works on a live underground cable, so the power was cut to most of the homes on my estate. I told the girl on the phone that we had recevied no notification, but had I been advised I would have switched everything off to prevent a surge. She then checked my postcode - she said even that her company carried out the planned works another company was responsible for the undergroind cables, a company called Lastmile based in Glasgow. She also said my boiler had likely gone into 'Safe Mode' and would probably switch back on in 1-3 hours. I advised it's been longer than three hours and that was pretty much the conversation. The plumber returned with the part and said he had never heard of Safe Mode but he called a couple of plumber mates  who also never heard of it then called the manufacutuer Baxi who said their boilers do not have a Safe Mode. The part was subsequently replaced and the boiler worked straight away - cost £250 total to fix and replace part. Upon checking with neighbours nobody else was aware of this planned outage other than some rumours on Facebook via Electricity North West's website or Twitter page.

    My question is can I claim against Electricity North West or Lastmile and how should I go about it?
    I have an invoice from the plumber detailing the works carried out and the cause of the fault. I looked at going via insurance before calling the plumber but my excess was £350 so obviously cheaper to get repaired independtly, plus it's my boiler and essential. Thanks.
    I would just let it go as how can you prove it was not broken before the power being turned off and it was broken by the power being turned off and then on again.
    How new is the boiler?
    You could call Baxi and tell them what happened and see if they can give you an answer to why a power cut would cause this issue on your boiler.
    Boiler is 4x years old. No issues with it previously. Good idea, I'll call them again and see what they say. Finding hard to let go as self employed, unable to work, and cannot afford this.
    Cardew said:
    If the electricity company admit to a voltage surge, then you might have a case.
    However I very much doubt you will get anything for an outage. Power to boilers can be switched off for several reasons, and power cuts are not uncommon.
    Yes I get what you mean. It wasn't a power cut. It was a planned outage for repair works. I wondered if legally company's have to inform residents. The power was over for around an hour. We recevied no notification. Some other local houses are supplied by Electricity Northwest and they recevied cards informing them, some recevied cards the following day AFTER the outage. We and most of our other neghbours didn't get any notice. ENW are saying that Lastmile should have let us know.


  • nick74nick74 Forumite
    581 posts
    Part of the Furniture 500 Posts
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    The PCB in our boiler died recently when it  was turned off, then on again during installation of a new bathroom. No 'power surge' as such, if an electronic component is on the verge of failing anyway then being turned off and on can be sufficient to finally finish it off. 
  • twhitehousescattwhitehousescat Forumite
    5K posts
    1,000 Posts Third Anniversary Name Dropper
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    if this was a common problem , millions of payg customers would be cold , my elec meter beepps when funding is low and i have to press button for emergency , problem is , its outdoors ! and i cannot hear it 
    Time pretending I was asleep whilst under his desk , has given me insight to this sordid world
  • edited 28 March at 12:51PM
    Kitchen_SinkKitchen_Sink Forumite
    223 posts
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    edited 28 March at 12:51PM
    mikexlr8 said:
    Hi all,
    Hoping someone can offer some advice. A couple of days ago I came home to find there had been a power cut - all the clocks in the house were flashing '12:00'. In the kitchen the boiler was making a hissing noise. I opened the cupboard door and the LED panel was dead and the boiler was not firing. I called a plumber who came out and identified the PCB board had shorted due to a power surge/outage. The plumber went off to buy the new part. I then called Electricity Northwest West who advised they had carried out planned works on a live underground cable, so the power was cut to most of the homes on my estate. I told the girl on the phone that we had recevied no notification, but had I been advised I would have switched everything off to prevent a surge. She then checked my postcode - she said even that her company carried out the planned works another company was responsible for the undergroind cables, a company called Lastmile based in Glasgow. She also said my boiler had likely gone into 'Safe Mode' and would probably switch back on in 1-3 hours. I advised it's been longer than three hours and that was pretty much the conversation. The plumber returned with the part and said he had never heard of Safe Mode but he called a couple of plumber mates  who also never heard of it then called the manufacutuer Baxi who said their boilers do not have a Safe Mode. The part was subsequently replaced and the boiler worked straight away - cost £250 total to fix and replace part. Upon checking with neighbours nobody else was aware of this planned outage other than some rumours on Facebook via Electricity North West's website or Twitter page.

    My question is can I claim against Electricity North West or Lastmile and how should I go about it?
    I have an invoice from the plumber detailing the works carried out and the cause of the fault. I looked at going via insurance before calling the plumber but my excess was £350 so obviously cheaper to get repaired independtly, plus it's my boiler and essential. Thanks.
    If you have evidence of a power surge, then yes you would have the basis of a valid claim.

    But I suspect the power supplier has better evidence than you have as regards their power supply, and even if they don't, a power surge would have affected your neighbours too, not just your house.  Find out who else locally, if anyone, has suffered damage from the alleged power surge at the time of the power outage.
  • JC_DerbyJC_Derby Forumite
    735 posts
    Part of the Furniture 500 Posts Combo Breaker
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    Sorry but I hear this all the time from numerous sources that it’s a DNO caused issue that’s made such and such fail. Basically it’s an easy answer with no factual evidence to support it just an easy answer rather than a manufacturer accepting responsibility or liability.
    as has been said, If no one else has had the similar issues it’s because your boilers pcb was on its way out anyway.

    ive also re read your post again OP as I thought you may be inline for a Guaranteed standard payment, however it very much sounds like you live in a new estate where the electricity network is owned by an IDNO - independent network operator. I suspect what has happened is Electricity North West will have sent an outage card/notification to Lastmile or the IDNO operator as is there (ENW’s)duty but the IDNO/lastmile probably haven’t bothered to inform their customers.
    as such, I am not sure that you would be due a payment from the IDNO or not.
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