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Electrical Power Cuts and what to do

Posted by admin on 3 October 2020
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WHAT is an electrical power cut?

When there is a current peak or power loss, the electrical system will go into safety, meaning the fuses will go off to avoid accidents, damage or even fire.

Although a very annoying situation – especially at night or in weekends – when there is a power shortcut, this means the general system has reacted well by cutting off the power.

Of course this also means something happened, there has been an incident or there may be a structural problem.

Power cuts need to be looked in always to secure the cause is not structural, thus not causing a safety issue for the building. So they should ALWAYS be reported to your landlord, even if the incident was minor and everything appears normal after turning on fuses.

RISK
Ignoring power cuts, not reporting or following up on power cuts can bring a serious safety risk, for you, and for the other people in the building.

For this we insist it should always be reported immediately and correctly = honestly to your landlord.

What can happen?

  • electrocution and health damage
  • damage to the general installation or devices that are plugged in
  • fire in the building!!

So what can CAUSE power shortcut and what are the most common reasons of it?

Power peek: the net has been overcharged

  • NO + 1000 Watt devices allowed!
  • Using heavy electrical appliances is not allowed. The reason for this is that too many heavy devices operating together may cause the net to be overcharged. The system will go into safety by a power cut to avoid wiring meltdown or system overheating and thus fire.
  • Water cookers and microwaves: are not supposed to be replaced by the tenant in case it gets broken, only light watt devices are allowed.
  • If you plan to buy or use a hairdryer, make sure it is a light version
  • Ovens, rice cookers, bread grill, … are NOT allowed in your rooms, if you want to use these devices you have to do this in the kitchen.

Power loss: the net has been interrupted and power got lost by contact with ground or water

  • this will happen if the electricity comes into contact with water, it is to prevent electrocution
  • broken devices, broken wiring of devices, will cause + and – electricity to get into contact and cause a power shock. Broken devices should NEVER be used again, they should be replaced.
  • the electricity find a way to flow away into the ground, eg if somebody would touch open electrical wires, he would pass the electricity to the ground through his body (contains water)
  • NEVER use a hairdryer or electrical device inside your bathroom!

Explaining the BUILDING INSTALLATION

The first safety: Fuse board inside your studio
Each studio has its own fuse box. It is to be found in the top cabinet in your entrance. This fuse box operates only that studio. The fuse box contains room line fuses and a main fuse.
It will go off when some ‘light’ incident happened in this room; broken lamp or light electrical device, overcharge of your room net, …
Only the power in this room will be off, the rest of the building will not be affected.

The second safety: General Main board
It is the left side main board under the staircase.
Every studio and kitchen have a their own fuse in this main board, there is also 1 main switch securing the whole net.
It will go off when some ‘more heavy’ incident happened in a room or kitchen, usually it will be an issue with extreme overpower or water + electricity in a room
It will affect the studio and turn of the main switch so all studio’s will be affected

Third Safety:
The main meter of the net provider also has a switch.
It should go of only in very rare occasions where there was a heavy incident.

WHAT TO DO in case of a power cut?

  1. Check where the issue is located and the incident happened. Is everybody SAFE?
  2. Try to restore the power like instructed below
  3. If the issue is also located outside your studio, call your landlord and follow his instructions
  4. ALWAYS mail the fuse board pictures and information to your landlord
  5. Communicate HONEST, calm, clear and detailed
  6. NEVER mess with electrical installations, wires or devices yourself, ALWAYS contact your landlord to have it looked at or to replace devices

Restoring INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Check where the issue is located:
    1. Is it only your studio?
      • Check your studio fuse board, ALWAYS make a picture before turning on the fuse
      • Unplug all devices and switch on the fuse
      • If it happens again, call your landlord
      • Mail the picture + detailed information about what was going on when it happened to your landlord
    2. Are the other studios and/or affected?
      • Check with your fellow residents in which studio the issue was caused
      • In the causing studio, check the fuse board, ALWAYS make a picture before turning on the fuse
      • Unplug all devices
      • Do NOT switch on the fuses
      • Now check the main fuse board downstairs, ALWAYS make a picture before turning on the fuse
      • Turn on the fuse in the mainboard
      • Go to the studio where the incident was caused and switch on the fuses
      • If it happens again, call your landlord
      • Mail the picture + detailed information about what was going on when it happened to your landlord.
    3. Is only the kitchen affected?
      • Check the fuse board or in the kitchen, there is one on each side in the cupboard above the sink, ALWAYS make a picture before turning on the fuse
      • Unplug all devices that you can reach the plug
      • Do NOT switch on the fuses
      • Check the main fuse board downstairs, ALWAYS make a picture before turning on the fuses
      • Turn on the fuse in the mainboard
      • Go to the kitchen where the incident was caused and switch on the fuses
      • If it happens again, call your landlord
      • Mail the picture + detailed information about what was going on when it happened to your landlord.
    4. Are the shared parts (staircase and lift) affected?
      • Please check well if the light in the shared parts (staircase and elevator) are operational.
      • The emergency light and alarm installation are ALWAYS operational so check by pushing the normal light button and opening the elevator door to see if it is operational
      • If the power cut affects the shared parts, the issue is probably with the main net
      • Go outside and check if other buildings you see light or not, if there is no light in the surrounding buildings, the power cut is in the street and not in our building
      • Call your landlord

What information to provide when you CONTACT your landlord

  • Stay calm and communicate clearly:
  • Your NAME
  • our studio Number
  • Is everybody safe?
  • Which areas of the building are affected
  • Where was the incident caused
  • What EXACTLY happened, we need CORRECT and detailed information to be able to help you in a correctly and fast way
  • Send always the pictures of the fuse board situation BEFORE restoring

CONTACT DETAILS
info@for-rent-leuven.com >> reporting small incident + pictures of the fuse box
00 32 487 254 154 >> urgent cases
00 32 53 42 00 18 >> urgent cases

Importance of HONEST and complete COMMUNICATION

Nobody likes to be in the dark, or without power, so please note that to solve issues in the best and fast way possible, we will need correct information to decide what will be the correct action to take for solving the issue: can we help you solve it from a distance? do we need to come there? do we need top invite an electrician? do we need to contact the building manager? do we need to contact the net provider? is the issue structural or was it a one-time incident? was there any damage so we can contact the insurance to cover reparation costs?

Nobody likes to pay unnecessary visits of the electrician, especially not during night or weekends when there are extra fees.

If it gets to this situation that we have serious accidents, and the insurance would doubt the information given is correct, they will do an investigation to find out what exactly happened to see if they can cover the claim or not, nobody likes to end up in this situation.

So please ALWAYS communicate HONESTLY to your landlord about what happened.

Please know that we manage several buildings, have done plenty of renovations, for over 35 years, we have experienced many situations, we know how these systems work, and it will be obvious always if somebody is not telling correct or complete information.

Accidents, mistakes, issues, things that you are not aware of, are all things that can happen, and we can understand, we value honestly over people trying to cover up things.

Note that it is your contractual obligation to inform your landlord and provide him with correct information. That if you are not honest or communicating, all damage or cost resulting from retaining information will be held accountable to the person who has not been honest.

More usefull information

Can be found all over the internet, here are some interesting links:

https://www.thespruce.com/what-causes-short-circuits-4118973

https://www.thespruce.com/why-circuit-breakers-trip-1824676

https://www.dfliq.net/blog/electrical-short-circuits-types-causes-and-prevention/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3hyMggzguwY&ab_channel=applianceassistant

https://www.360training.com/blog/the-dangers-of-short-circuit