A disabled man has been left fuming after a botched transformer repair fried thousands of pounds worth of his TV equipment.
Matthew Norwell, from Marhamchurch, Bude, was one of the hundreds of people in Cornwall whose power was cut out during last week’s thunderstorms.
His small village, however, suffered more damage than most – with two transformers having been damaged in the wet and windy conditions.
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Western Power Distribution (WPD), the company which manages local electricity infrastructure, was called to fix the faulty transformers.
Mr Norwell, a tech enthusiast, told CornwallLive his various gadgets – of which he has roughly £30,000 worth – were all still functioning after the storm.
WPD’s repairs, Mr Norwell said, involved switching the power on and off. This created an oscillation of low to high resonance across the day, causing appliances to heat up and become damaged.
The on-off of the power across a day was followed by a similar work overnight.
Mr Norwell explained he and at least 20 others in the Marhamchurch area all complained to a local electronics repair shop about the same problem of various pieces of equipment getting damaged.
They all, he said, initially thought it might have been caused by the storm before realising the problems started only once the transformer was repaired.
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In Mr Norwell’s case, his £100 Chromcast and roughly £5,000 OPPO bluray player were both “fried”.
“They replaced the overhead power cable and have chucked out a bunch of faults,” Mr Norwell said. “My equipment is about £30,000 worth of audio and visual equipment. I have that connected to a £2,000 mains protection conditioning unit. It’s the strongest protection against surge, spikes, lightning, etc.
“But it still fried it.”
Mr Norwell contacted Shunyata, the manufacturer of his surge protection equipment – with the company insisting it was the low-high voltage problem, which cannot be stopped by surge protectors.
Shunyata told Mr Norwell: “The fact that the UK 6 [the surge protection item], TV and other components were not affected points to something other spike of transient energy from lightning, causing the damage to your components.
“If the lightning caused the outage, we are certain the UK 6 …….