Raleigh electric company resolves member’s complaint
I hired Ralph’s — Electric Service of Raleigh, N.C., to install a 20-amp circuit in my attic, replace a bathroom fan and install trim.
While adding the new circuit, he broke the seal on my power meter and left it unsealed. He applied some sealant around the conduit couplings, but it didn’t go all the way around.
The next night, a breaker tripped in my main service panel. I went outside to reset the breaker and found that water had gotten into the whole house surge protector.
I contacted Ralph to ask him to come check and reseal his work. I told him that the surge protector was no longer functional and that I wanted him to replace it.
I said if he could determine that the water getting into the surge protector wasn’t due to his work, then I’d pay for the replacement.
I also asked him to replace the 15-amp outlet with a 20-amp one as required by code and to contact Duke Energy to have the power meter resealed.
He sent me an email citing another part of electrical code that says it’s OK to have a duplex 15-amp receptacle on a 20-amp circuit. While this is true, it wasn’t appropriate for my application. He told me he would come by and replace the outlet and reseal the conduit.
He replaced the 15-amp outlet with a 20-amp outlet, but not with one that complies with the current code. He told my wife we would need to swap it out for a code inspection. He worked on the conduit outside and applied some more sealant. However, the conduit couplings by the box are misaligned and not fully tightened. It looks like he made things worse.
He said that he didn’t see any water in our breaker box. While it did look dry, water could be seen in the surge protector and that the status light no longer glowed when power was applied. He refused to replace the surge suppressor saying he didn’t know if it needed to be replaced. When asked about his contacting Duke Energy, he said that he would not do that, as that would cause him to get in trouble.
At this point, I do not want Ralph near our house. I plan to hire an electrician to repair the issues.
I would like a refund of $208.
Ken Dockser, Cary, N.C.
I sealed around the conduit on the meter and replaced the 15-amp duplex, which is code, with a 20-amp one.
I found no evidence of any water. I turned the surge suppressor on, and it remained on during my visit.
I will be glad to replace the surge suppressor if it is proven to be bad. I believe that water may be entering the conduit from on top where it enters the house. I sealed the conduit inside, but was unable to properly get to the upper part. If the conduit is sealed above, I believe that should resolve it.
If the suppressor is in need of replacement after the conduit is sealed on top, I would be glad to pay for the replacement part.
Things happen, and I am willing to correct anything that I may do wrong, if given the chance. I am sorry that it happened, but disappointed that he chose to deal with it this negative way.
Ralph Nannola, owner
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