Participating in load: peak voltage destroys devices. ‘Heard a bang and then smoke came out’

Due to an error, the voltage in the electricity grid in Meeden-Oost peaked on Saturday. The result: broken TVs, dishwashers, water softeners, CVs and countless other devices with a plug in the socket.

Just last week, 84-year-old Frederik Beishuizen was trapped in the elevator in the Berkenlaan in Meeden for half an hour due to a power failure. Since last night it has failed again due to another problem with the electricity grid in Meeden-Oost. His downstairs neighbor has already had to carry him on his back twice today to his apartment on the first floor. ,,I am disabled,” he explains.

Meeden is in trouble from Saturday afternoon. Due to peak voltage on the electricity grid, many appliances with a plug in the socket have been destroyed. This also happened with the neighbors below Beishuizen. Ria Hesseling (74) sums up: the coffee maker, the washing machine, the dryer, the freezer, the television, the clock in the bedroom. “We heard a bang and then smoke came out. We now have to shower with a bucket of water. Just like before.”

‘The Xbox, the baby monitor and our Dyson vacuum cleaner are broken’

Same story further on. Ria Schreuder, who was living elsewhere with her husband, learned through the Vijverlaan app that there were problems with the electricity. Her husband rushed home to cut the power. “When we got home last night it turned out that we had a lot of damage. Our whirlpool in the bathroom is broken, the mechanical ventilation, the water softener and the lamps no longer work. This morning we already had the Energiewacht over to repair our central heating. Fortunately, we now have hot water again.”

Lisa Germs, who lives around the corner, was barbecuing at the neighbors. ,, The neighbor shouted in panic that sparks were splashing from the coffee machine. My husband quickly ran home to pull out all the plugs and flip the GFCI. But that was too late. The X-box, the baby monitor and our Dyson vacuum cleaner are broken.”

Spokesman Cyril Hamstra of grid operator Enexis confirms what happened. According to him, there have been tension problems in Meeden for some time. This has to do with the return of electricity to the grid. “As a result, the low-voltage grid is reaching its limits. To solve that, we installed a transformer with more capacity.”

Enexis promises to compensate the damage

An error was made during the changeover on Saturday. According to Hamstra, it is not clear what exactly went wrong. In any case, the voltage at the connection of the houses was too high for a short time. “It’s downright annoying.”

Connected devices can burn out due to the peak voltage. It can even be a fire hazard. ,,That cannot be ruled out”, Hamstra agrees. As far as we know, no fire started.

At the beginning of this week, the residents of Meeden-Oost will be invited to a meeting. According to him, Enexis knows exactly which households are connected to the transformer and are therefore affected by the peak voltage. “Of course we will pay for the damage.”

‘I was waiting for it’

Installer Roelof Eising of WarmtePlus from Meeden has been working all day with colleague Henk Bakker to carry out repairs in the area. “I got a call from the first one on Saturday night at 9 p.m. I was already waiting for it, because there have been more power failures in recent weeks.

Due to the peak voltage of 380-400 volts instead of 220-230 volts, many circuit boards of appliances have burned, according to Eising. “We can replace CVs. We’ve already done that nine times today. But if smoke comes out of a dishwasher or television, then the exercise is over.”

A blessing in disguise, according to Eising, is the warm spring weather. “People are not difficult. Some say: ‘We’ll take a cold shower sometime’. It had been worse in the winter. Then you have to arrange electric heaters everywhere. If they don’t have hot water or can’t watch TV, they’ll manage that.”