You may remember my thread ranting about Taiwan’s complete disregard for electrical safety. There have been two interesting developments: firstly, the first floor circuit in my house has blown up exactly as I predicted 6 months ago and secondly, I had a very interesting chat with a local electrician.
This house is no more than three years old and is not cheap given the location. When I first moved in I was apoplectic about the wiring conditions but received the usual Taiwanese landlord response: ‘it’s fine, no problem, it’s completely safe to install interior lights outdoors in typhoon-prone areas… WAIT A MINUTE… ARE YOUR SHOES INSIDE THE HOUSE? ARE YOU MAD, DON’T YOU REALISE THE GHOSTS WILL LIVE IN THEM AND MAKE YOU DIE?!’
I told them that I didn’t care how many PhDs their friend’s son had in Being a Shit Electrician - water was going to get into the external wiring causing excess stress on the cable and at some point the whole thing would overheat. 6 months on, and guess what?
This kind of heat damage to 10mm core cable suggests multiple serious problems. The main breaker downstairs should have tripped, or the breaker for the floor, or the 50A breaker for the consumer board, or the individual circuit breakers.
While we’re at it, the total maximum load + breaker for this floor’s lighting and socket rings is 15A. What in all holy shit? 15A is too high for a lighting ring and too low for the socket ring. 15A x 110v = 1650W. My fridge will be eating 500W with the compressor running, lights about 400W max, computer 250W, good job I don’t have a TV or microwave because… WHOOPS, OVERLOAD!
Also, the ELCBs you see in those pics don’t work. The left one is connected to a redundant socket ring and the right one isn’t connected at all. It looks like the original electrician made at least a half-assed attempt at a safe installation, realised that 15A was going to keep tripping and instead of splitting the lights/sockets and/or using heavier gauge cable just disconnected the ELCB. Fan-effing-tastic.
Okay, NEXT! I insisted my embarrassed landlord get an electrician out pronto, who was amazingly competent. I had a long chat with him about Taiwanese vs. European standards and he lamented that it pained him to see such stupidity on an everyday basis but admitted that he was also responsible for unsafe jobs himself. People want what they want - and in Taiwan, they want it cheap. He told me what we all know already - the minute he tells someone what is safe or not is the minute he has no guanxi, and no guanxi means no job. So from now on I will try to give Taiwanese sparks a break and instead encourage my friends to spend that extra NT$400 here and there to make sure their houses don’t burn down.[/img]