Go Back   English Forum Switzerland > Help & tips > Housing in general  
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 21.03.2017, 19:37
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Rural French speaking part
Posts: 199
Groaned at 2 Times in 1 Post
Thanked 38 Times in 22 Posts
whome has made some interesting contributions
Who pays in case of faulty electrical installation ?

Asking for a friend...

What happens in the case where someone buys a house, with a certificat from an electrician that the electric installation is okey - then 2-3 years later it is found by another electrician that there are bad installation made from way before the house was bought.

Is that:

a) current owner
b) the company/electrician that verified the install
c) the former owner ?

If A - is there anything he can do insurance wise etc. to limit his loss that shouldn't have happened since others certified it was fine ?
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 21.03.2017, 21:55
Verbier's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Lully VD
Posts: 4,133
Groaned at 16 Times in 16 Posts
Thanked 4,222 Times in 2,176 Posts
Verbier has a reputation beyond reputeVerbier has a reputation beyond reputeVerbier has a reputation beyond reputeVerbier has a reputation beyond reputeVerbier has a reputation beyond reputeVerbier has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Who pays in case of faulty electricity ?

Depending on where you live, I would ask the question of the electrical company. They are normally the ones who manage the control system.

Depending on the specific issue (it would help to have more info), how easy it would have been for the controller to have spotted it and the cost to repair it, it would make some sense to complain to someone about it and see if you can push the repair cost on to the previous owners or the controller who (may have) not done his job correctly.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 21.03.2017, 22:22
Sbrinz's Avatar
RIP
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Murten - Morat
Posts: 12,055
Groaned at 563 Times in 354 Posts
Thanked 11,548 Times in 5,941 Posts
Sbrinz has a reputation beyond reputeSbrinz has a reputation beyond reputeSbrinz has a reputation beyond reputeSbrinz has a reputation beyond reputeSbrinz has a reputation beyond reputeSbrinz has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Who pays in case of faulty electricity ?

I asked my son who is an electrician working in Bern: his view is that the last person that signed off the installation is responsible, the person/company 'b'

I asked him if the original worker/company who did the installation were also responsible, he said "Well, yes, but they are probably out of business by now"

There is the government inspection agency that inspects installations, especially after a death, and they have enormous resources, they can close companies, and put people in jail.

My son suggests getting an independent company to inspect the wiring, and on this evidence getting the company 'b' to correct the work.

If there are unusual symptoms, lights flickering etc, it is best to switch everything off at the fusebox, to prevent any further damage.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 21.03.2017, 23:20
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Neuchatel
Posts: 23,047
Groaned at 553 Times in 424 Posts
Thanked 25,574 Times in 11,736 Posts
Odile has a reputation beyond reputeOdile has a reputation beyond reputeOdile has a reputation beyond reputeOdile has a reputation beyond reputeOdile has a reputation beyond reputeOdile has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Who pays in case of faulty electricity ?

It depends what you mean by 'ok' - the certificat could indicate everything was within legal limits for ECAP, but not necessarily 'good' in the modern sense, if you see what I mean.

Could also mean it was ok for the use of previous owners, but that current owner has many more appliances, used at the same time, and much higher expectations of use.
Reply With Quote
The following 3 users would like to thank Odile for this useful post:
  #5  
Old 21.03.2017, 23:57
st2lemans's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Lugano
Posts: 27,796
Groaned at 1,782 Times in 1,352 Posts
Thanked 32,359 Times in 15,478 Posts
st2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Who pays in case of faulty electricity ?

Quote:
View Post
it is found by another electrician that there are bad installation made from way before the house was bought.
Define 'bad installation'.

Tom
Reply With Quote
The following 4 users would like to thank st2lemans for this useful post:
  #6  
Old 22.03.2017, 10:49
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Ostschweiz
Posts: 7,774
Groaned at 265 Times in 227 Posts
Thanked 9,314 Times in 4,908 Posts
Urs Max has a reputation beyond reputeUrs Max has a reputation beyond reputeUrs Max has a reputation beyond reputeUrs Max has a reputation beyond reputeUrs Max has a reputation beyond reputeUrs Max has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Who pays in case of faulty electrical installation ?

Yes, define "bad installation". An old house may have lots of stuff that would no longer be acceptable if done today but that doesn't make it a defect.

In OP's case the house isn't newly built thus the contract is probably an ordinary purchase contract. In these cases Gewährleistung (warranty if you will) is usually excluded as far as the law allows meaning there's no warranty at all, similar to buying a car from a private person that is bought "ab Platz" (as is). The only exception is intentional concealment which can only apply to defects that aren't obvious, for instance a leaking roof.
Reply With Quote
The following 3 users would like to thank Urs Max for this useful post:
  #7  
Old 22.03.2017, 11:31
Sbrinz's Avatar
RIP
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Murten - Morat
Posts: 12,055
Groaned at 563 Times in 354 Posts
Thanked 11,548 Times in 5,941 Posts
Sbrinz has a reputation beyond reputeSbrinz has a reputation beyond reputeSbrinz has a reputation beyond reputeSbrinz has a reputation beyond reputeSbrinz has a reputation beyond reputeSbrinz has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Who pays in case of faulty electrical installation ?

If the house doesn't have a modern fuse box with earth leakage circuit breakers, then it needs rewiring completely. The ELC have been compulsory for 25 years, and if there are problems now, it would be sensible to start afresh, rather than just fixing parts of the house wiring. Most fires in old houses are due to bad electrical connections or insulation.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 22.03.2017, 11:37
st2lemans's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Lugano
Posts: 27,796
Groaned at 1,782 Times in 1,352 Posts
Thanked 32,359 Times in 15,478 Posts
st2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Who pays in case of faulty electrical installation ?

Quote:
View Post
The ELC have been compulsory for 25 years.
Only compulsory for new builds, it is only 'recommended' for older builds.

Tom
Reply With Quote
The following 2 users would like to thank st2lemans for this useful post:
  #9  
Old 22.03.2017, 11:46
JagWaugh's Avatar
RIP
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Eglisau
Posts: 7,481
Groaned at 47 Times in 46 Posts
Thanked 14,131 Times in 5,506 Posts
JagWaugh has a reputation beyond reputeJagWaugh has a reputation beyond reputeJagWaugh has a reputation beyond reputeJagWaugh has a reputation beyond reputeJagWaugh has a reputation beyond reputeJagWaugh has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Who pays in case of faulty electrical installation ?

Quote:
View Post
Yes, define "bad installation". An old house may have lots of stuff that would no longer be acceptable if done today but that doesn't make it a defect.

In OP's case the house isn't newly built thus the contract is probably an ordinary purchase contract. In these cases Gewährleistung (warranty if you will) is usually excluded as far as the law allows meaning there's no warranty at all, similar to buying a car from a private person that is bought "ab Platz" (as is). The only exception is intentional concealment which can only apply to defects that aren't obvious, for instance a leaking roof.
I googled around a bit, as far as I could tell, new builds are different from ownership transfers of existing buildings.

Basically

New builds: seller is responsible for versteckte Mängel.
Existing buildings: seller is responsible for arglistig versteckte Mängel.

But it would also depend on the terms of the contract.

And it would also depend on the defect in the installation which the OP refers to - without knowing this crucial piece of information it is hard to tell if the previous owner, or even the first inspector could have been aware of the fault, let alone deliberately conceal it.
__________________
If everyone you know agrees with you consistently, they are either not listening, or not capable of critical thought.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank JagWaugh for this useful post:
  #10  
Old 22.03.2017, 11:55
newtoswitz's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Rapperswil
Posts: 2,222
Groaned at 34 Times in 31 Posts
Thanked 2,497 Times in 1,163 Posts
newtoswitz has a reputation beyond reputenewtoswitz has a reputation beyond reputenewtoswitz has a reputation beyond reputenewtoswitz has a reputation beyond reputenewtoswitz has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Who pays in case of faulty electrical installation ?

Regarding the original seller - as Urs Max says, anything except deliberate deception is pretty much excluded - we added a number of specific statements to our contract to the effect that "seller confirms there are no known issues with X, Y, Z" etc, so we had it in writing in case something came up.

What sort of inspection was it - does it have a legal basis with some sort of indemnity insurance?

In the UK we looked at this - electrical inspections were backed by insurance and quite strong guarantees, but we decided we didn't need one; damp inspections were backed by nothing and basically stated it was only an opinion (and more expensive than the electrical inspection).
Reply With Quote
The following 2 users would like to thank newtoswitz for this useful post:
  #11  
Old 22.03.2017, 11:56
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Neuchatel
Posts: 23,047
Groaned at 553 Times in 424 Posts
Thanked 25,574 Times in 11,736 Posts
Odile has a reputation beyond reputeOdile has a reputation beyond reputeOdile has a reputation beyond reputeOdile has a reputation beyond reputeOdile has a reputation beyond reputeOdile has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Who pays in case of faulty electricity ?

Quote:
View Post
Depending on where you live, I would ask the question of the electrical company. They are normally the ones who manage the control system.
NOT in Neuchâtel- electricians and 'contrôle électrique' are totally separate.
We had the 'contrôle électrique' as per ECAP request after a couple of years here. He did a report and made a list of things to be done- parts of the house had to be rewired as they had the old nylon and even paper encased wires, we had to put insulating boxes for plugs set into wood panelling, one socket with the dryer was NOT earthed (could have been fatal!) and the fuse box had to be altered with modern safety trips. When the electrician came to do the work- he realised the control guy had totally overlooked a section of the house that also had the old paper wires- and that had to be all replaced to. We complained to the 'control' has the work cost a lot more than first expected- and basically we go the Gaelic shrugh of 'ah well, everyone can make a mistake- easily done'

So we got the work done, paid up - and all safe. As said, depends if it is 'legally ok' or not- or 'just' not up to the standards you expect for your personal use.
Reply With Quote
The following 3 users would like to thank Odile for this useful post:
  #12  
Old 22.03.2017, 12:08
fatmanfilms's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Verbier
Posts: 18,285
Groaned at 296 Times in 244 Posts
Thanked 16,173 Times in 8,972 Posts
fatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Who pays in case of faulty electrical installation ?

Quote:
View Post
If the house doesn't have a modern fuse box with earth leakage circuit breakers, then it needs rewiring completely. The ELC have been compulsory for 25 years, and if there are problems now, it would be sensible to start afresh, rather than just fixing parts of the house wiring. Most fires in old houses are due to bad electrical connections or insulation.
My flat in ZH had a old style box & passed inspection. There is no need to update if you don't want to, just don't use a hair dryer in the bath.
Reply With Quote
The following 2 users would like to thank fatmanfilms for this useful post:
  #13  
Old 22.03.2017, 12:13
Today only's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Europe
Posts: 8,387
Groaned at 910 Times in 626 Posts
Thanked 10,487 Times in 4,990 Posts
Today only has a reputation beyond reputeToday only has a reputation beyond reputeToday only has a reputation beyond reputeToday only has a reputation beyond reputeToday only has a reputation beyond reputeToday only has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Who pays in case of faulty electrical installation ?

Quote:
View Post
My flat in ZH had a old style box & passed inspection. There is no need to update if you don't want to, just don't use a hair dryer in the bath.
You still got hair at your age ?
Reply With Quote
The following 5 users would like to thank Today only for this useful post:
  #14  
Old 22.03.2017, 12:30
aSwissInTheUS's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Zurich area
Posts: 11,094
Groaned at 85 Times in 76 Posts
Thanked 16,772 Times in 7,468 Posts
aSwissInTheUS has a reputation beyond reputeaSwissInTheUS has a reputation beyond reputeaSwissInTheUS has a reputation beyond reputeaSwissInTheUS has a reputation beyond reputeaSwissInTheUS has a reputation beyond reputeaSwissInTheUS has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Who pays in case of faulty electrical installation ?

There is up to current code and up to code when it was built/installed.

An electrical installation does not have to be up to current code, it is enough if it meets all the the existing requirements when it was installed. If it does there is no issue or defect from a legal point of view.

A TN-C system and no RCD's not even in Bathroom or Kitchen is perfectly o.k. when there were no changes since the new code came in force.

On the other hand it could also be considered as "bad installation" as it totally does not meet current code and has lethal safety issues if somebody tinkers with the wires.

Personally, if I had such a system in my house I would rip out everything and bring it up to current code.

So the question is if there is really something wrong which must be fixed or is it o.k. but not according current best practice?
__________________
"I think so, Brain. But where are we going to find a gallon of whip cream and three yards of lederhosen at this time of night? Narf!"
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank aSwissInTheUS for this useful post:
  #15  
Old 22.03.2017, 12:35
aSwissInTheUS's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Zurich area
Posts: 11,094
Groaned at 85 Times in 76 Posts
Thanked 16,772 Times in 7,468 Posts
aSwissInTheUS has a reputation beyond reputeaSwissInTheUS has a reputation beyond reputeaSwissInTheUS has a reputation beyond reputeaSwissInTheUS has a reputation beyond reputeaSwissInTheUS has a reputation beyond reputeaSwissInTheUS has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Who pays in case of faulty electricity ?

Quote:
View Post
NOT in Neuchâtel- electricians and 'contrôle électrique' are totally separate.
They are separate as in the company which inspects is not the company that fixes, and the company that fixes and installs is not the company that inspects.

Many companies with an inspection license also have an installation license. Also in Canton NE. See http://aikb.esti.ch/Default.aspx
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 22.03.2017, 14:53
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Rural French speaking part
Posts: 199
Groaned at 2 Times in 1 Post
Thanked 38 Times in 22 Posts
whome has made some interesting contributions
Re: Who pays in case of faulty electricity ?

Quote:
View Post
Depending on where you live, I would ask the question of the electrical company. They are normally the ones who manage the control system.

Depending on the specific issue (it would help to have more info), how easy it would have been for the controller to have spotted it and the cost to repair it, it would make some sense to complain to someone about it and see if you can push the repair cost on to the previous owners or the controller who (may have) not done his job correctly.
info is that my friend done a few renovations in the house and every time the electrician goes looking behind a plug they have gone "eh - wth is this?".

The first two times friend thought it was isolated to specific place in house and got it fixed.

Now this week three rooms lost electricity but no breaker switch got enabled or secure spark(? sorry cant remeber the english term for the last defense got burned.

Caused by wires being routed around in house in serial with multiple connections so when starting to use some of these plugs a bit more it caused overload.

The latest electrician calling it a fire hazard and would not touch anything besides fixing the last issue - requesting friend to get everything checked and raise to whoever approved the wires when house was bought ~3 years ago.

Friend got a document from 2010 verifying electricity and now just wondering how to reduce whatever N amount of CHF bill will come out of this.

And yes, to me it seems any electrician should been able to spot this as the various electricains that been involved the last few times have looked very weird when they came to fix issues and renovation.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 22.03.2017, 14:59
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Rural French speaking part
Posts: 199
Groaned at 2 Times in 1 Post
Thanked 38 Times in 22 Posts
whome has made some interesting contributions
Re: Who pays in case of faulty electricity ?

Quote:
View Post
Define 'bad installation'.

Tom
so far friend found:

* 2-3 weird power outages over the last few years that couldn't be explained.
* example of two switches that are set to be in phase (two switches to control one light) is not in phase - only one wire connected across.
* switches that are mounted wrong (not in proper sockets or securely mounted)
* "fiddling" on how high power and low power was setup (this was fixed during our kitchen renovation)
* plugs and switches setup in serial with many intermediate connections rather than one secure wire.(last one found which caused a potential fire hazard)

House is ~25 years old, certificat for electricity is from 2010.
when house bought seller made us aware that certificat did not cover the external garden lights - so that part friend already have planned to fix.

But was not expecting on having to do full internal rewiring.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 22.03.2017, 15:13
JagWaugh's Avatar
RIP
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Eglisau
Posts: 7,481
Groaned at 47 Times in 46 Posts
Thanked 14,131 Times in 5,506 Posts
JagWaugh has a reputation beyond reputeJagWaugh has a reputation beyond reputeJagWaugh has a reputation beyond reputeJagWaugh has a reputation beyond reputeJagWaugh has a reputation beyond reputeJagWaugh has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Who pays in case of faulty electricity ?

Quote:
View Post
info is that my friend done a few renovations in the house and every time the electrician goes looking behind a plug they have gone "eh - wth is this?".

The first two times friend thought it was isolated to specific place in house and got it fixed.

Now this week three rooms lost electricity but no breaker switch got enabled or secure spark(? sorry cant remeber the english term for the last defense got burned.

Caused by wires being routed around in house in serial with multiple connections so when starting to use some of these plugs a bit more it caused overload.

The latest electrician calling it a fire hazard and would not touch anything besides fixing the last issue - requesting friend to get everything checked and raise to whoever approved the wires when house was bought ~3 years ago.

Friend got a document from 2010 verifying electricity and now just wondering how to reduce whatever N amount of CHF bill will come out of this.

And yes, to me it seems any electrician should been able to spot this as the various electricains that been involved the last few times have looked very weird when they came to fix issues and renovation.
Language is a bit of an issue here. The loss of the end of a long chain due to a broken/burnt wire will not necessarily blow a fuse, trip a breaker or RCD.

The inspection doesn't involve removing every outlet and switch and checking the size and insulation of the wiring. Depending on the age of the installation a quick look behind the breaker panel to see that the wire and insulation looks correct, then a walk through the house making sure that outlets and switches are not too close to water sources, and that they are of the appropriate type for the location. Then a check of each outlet to see that the phasing is right and the earth is connected, and if it is an RCD branch, that the device trips correctly.

Most inspectors wouldn't even notice if someone had used an internal ight fixture on the exterior of the house, unless it was glaringly obvious.

This is not to say that the inspections are pointless. But if nothing raises the inspector's curiosity, then it is quite likely that they just pass the installation without investigating it down to every single connection.

I suspect that in Odile's case, the inspector found enough faults that it should have been clear to the electrician rectifying the faults that he should go through the whole installation with a fine tooth comb.

(And yes, as an electrician, I have seen a great many installations which damn near caused my eyebrow to separate from my forehead, but had an approval. And when you say "This'll all have to come out", the owner often says "But it was inspected, and it was fine until that outlet started smoking, can't you just replace the outlet?".)
__________________
If everyone you know agrees with you consistently, they are either not listening, or not capable of critical thought.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank JagWaugh for this useful post:
  #19  
Old 22.03.2017, 15:16
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Rural French speaking part
Posts: 199
Groaned at 2 Times in 1 Post
Thanked 38 Times in 22 Posts
whome has made some interesting contributions
Re: Who pays in case of faulty electrical installation ?

Quote:
View Post
On the other hand it could also be considered as "bad installation" as it totally does not meet current code and has lethal safety issues if somebody tinkers with the wires.
lethal safety issues.

Quote:
Personally, if I had such a system in my house I would rip out everything and bring it up to current code.
Yes, thats what plan is - but that is a cost friend feel whoever did the installs and certified when sales was made should have some responsibility over.

Quote:
So the question is if there is really something wrong which must be fixed or is it o.k. but not according current best practice?
must be fixed unfortunately.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 22.03.2017, 15:25
aSwissInTheUS's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Zurich area
Posts: 11,094
Groaned at 85 Times in 76 Posts
Thanked 16,772 Times in 7,468 Posts
aSwissInTheUS has a reputation beyond reputeaSwissInTheUS has a reputation beyond reputeaSwissInTheUS has a reputation beyond reputeaSwissInTheUS has a reputation beyond reputeaSwissInTheUS has a reputation beyond reputeaSwissInTheUS has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Who pays in case of faulty electrical installation ?

From your description a periodic check may or may not have found this issues. During a periodic check socket, switches and plates are normally not unscrewed.

Most likely it was the previous owner of the house. You say it is 25 years old. First in spection was when it was built. Hopefully everyhing was in order at that point. Next inspection was 2010 which seems to be within the mandatory 20 year cycle. At time of sale this inspection was not older than 5 years which means by law no new inspection was needed.

This tells us that when one buys a house do not trust such old inspections but get an new througful inspection by your own electrician.

The WTF moments of the electrician fixing various stuff should have been an alarm bell. For the owner and the electrician as well. If there is one there may be a few others. If there are two there are many. And if there a three the whole thing is broken.

Friend of mine had once such a WTF moment. So he looked behind a few more sockets and switches, finally switched of all brakers, and called his boss because the whole installation was just bonkers beyond belive.
__________________
"I think so, Brain. But where are we going to find a gallon of whip cream and three yards of lederhosen at this time of night? Narf!"
Reply With Quote
Reply




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
who pays? - hospital bill for healthy baby in uncomplicated birth maurerjones Insurance 5 30.10.2014 13:18
Who pays? - accident before living in CH. Island Monkey Insurance 4 24.02.2014 19:08
Electrical installation material, where to buy chrisIDS Housing in general 5 30.11.2012 15:29
Who pays? biff Insurance 5 18.12.2010 22:52
Dishwasher repair in rental: who pays? ejml Housing in general 4 07.01.2008 15:18


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 22:25.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
LinkBacks Enabled by vBSEO 3.1.0