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92 posts

Master Geek

# 159917 17-Dec-2014 10:13
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We have just bought a house, after moving in we found that using the microwave caused the light circuit to trip.

Upon further investigation it looks like there may have been a light or extractor fan in the kitchen which at some point was removed and then an outlet was installed for the microwave.

The previous owners had a microwave on the same shelf which only has the single powerpoint so I'm fairly certain they would have known about this.

Assuming this power point was installed while they lived in the house... do we have any grounds to ask for this to be rectified? Is there any certificate that would have been required for this work to be carried out in the last year or two (previous owners were only there for a year).


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2997 posts

Uber Geek

  # 1198920 17-Dec-2014 10:35
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They may have had a less powerful microwave so may not have had any problem. If you know that the work was done while they were there you might stand a chance but enforcing any rights will probably cost more than paying to fix it.

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Uber Geek

  # 1198932 17-Dec-2014 10:50
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Bung: enforcing any rights will probably cost more than paying to fix it.



+1, when they reply "prove it" your only option is to take them through the courts,



Yes you probably have legal grounds, but actually enforcing those is a different matter






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  # 1199048 17-Dec-2014 12:53
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This is one of the shortcomings of buying a second hand house.

Also not much chance a pre purchase inspection would catch it. Can't prove seller did it or knew of it so can't do anything about it.

When looking for houses with a friend out east auckland there were several that had a mismatched budget double power outlet directly below some light switches so obviously were just on the lighting circuit. Not uncommon it seems.


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Uber Geek


  # 1199068 17-Dec-2014 13:02
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A COC would have been required however if they say they have no knowledge of this work being done you have no effective comeback.

It won't be the last problem you find however houses are sold on an "as is where is basis". If there were issues it is effectively on you to find them during due diligence unless they are required to be disclosed by law. See below:

Mad Scientist
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  # 1199084 17-Dec-2014 13:19
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any work done by previous owner they are legally responsible for it.

any work done by previous previous owner, previous owner is not legally responsible for it.  (as I understand)

taking them to court will cost you more than the fix

unless there is some sort of cheap tribunal for like a $50 fee or something

Involuntary autocorrect in operation on mobile device. Apologies in advance.

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  # 1199091 17-Dec-2014 13:26
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I don't see how there could be any kind of certificate since I am fairly certain that connecting a powerpoint to a lighting circuit is highly illegal in any circumstances. This is clearly an unapproved DIY job.


I don't think there is ever a bad time to talk about how absurd war is, how old men make decisions and young people die. - George Clooney

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Master Geek

  # 1199095 17-Dec-2014 13:27
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Thanks for all the feedback :)


Hmm, what to write...
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Uber Geek


  # 1199138 17-Dec-2014 13:58
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Rikkitic: I don't see how there could be any kind of certificate since I am fairly certain that connecting a powerpoint to a lighting circuit is highly illegal in any circumstances. This is clearly an unapproved DIY job.

Not Quite...  You can use a 10A socket outlet on a lighting circuit if you want to. The circuit breaker will protect the circuit. I know it sounds funny but it is completely within the law. 

I won't say I've done it many times but there are all sorts of reasons you may want to do this. When I do it I always put a label on the outlet specifying its purpose.

A common reason is to be able to control a plug in lamp using a light dimmer .... guess what happens if you plug a vacuum cleaner into such an outlet? ... Exactly the same as plugging a hair dryer into a 230V shaver socket. (and that's quite legal too)


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Uber Geek

  # 1199355 17-Dec-2014 17:16
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Just an extra caution on a possibility for that wiring setup.
Houses didn't used to have an earth on lighting circuits. If that's the case - that the socket has no earth - then it's an extremely dangerous shock hazard - especially so in a kitchen.
If it's an older house and on a lighting circuit with no earth, I doubt the "installer" would have run an earth wire to it, as if they'd gone to that bother then they might have well wired it back to an existing earthed power circuit.

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Uber Geek

  # 1199421 17-Dec-2014 18:52
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It may be worth asking the solicitor that did your conveyancing. Friends recently sold a house that had a minor leak on the HWC connections that didn't show up until the power had been off and the pipes cooled down. Under the contract they had to fix faults that showed up like that.

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  # 1199530 17-Dec-2014 21:30

Are you sure that it was definitely a circuit breaker that tripped and not an RCD? As you are allowed to have both lights and power points on 1 RCD. (Switchboard mounted RCDs often look like circuit breakers).

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