Monday, December 31, 2012

Engineering Series - Managing power spikes / tripped fuses

Hi Residents and owners,

Another in the engineering series for residents and owners living in East Ledang.


A fact of living in Johor is power-outs and spikes in our electricity supply. I am sure all of us have experienced power outages in the last few years. Unfortunately there is little we can do for power outs. For those who travel arriving home after time away (even for a day) discovering the circuit breaker has tripped due to a power spike and finding that all that food in your fridge or freezer has gone off (not to mention if you keep fish and the pump has been off for some time).

Power spikes are common (transient voltage issues) and can be managed to some extent. The circuit breaker by design trips (switches off the power) when earth leakage or power spike is detected for safety. This is a good thing. However if we are not around to turn the power back on, the food in the fridge may waste. We can't guarantee we will always been around to switch the power on.


Lucky the fix is a relatively easy one, perhaps a little expensive (depending how much food could be wasted). Hager makes a plug in device which sits aside the main circuit breaker which in effect resets itself after a power spike. It works like this:

1. A power spike is detected - shut power off.
2. After 10 min timer (delay period) - resets the circuit breaker (turns power back on without intervention)
3. The device will try to reset 3 times in 30 mins. If it detects an actual fault (anything other than a power spike), the power will remain off for safety.
This means if the power trips due to a single spike, the power to the house will come back on without anyone needing to be there.

The Device is around the 700 MYR to purchase and needs to be installed by an electrician (it is very easy installation - 10-15 mins) Hager Auto Reset MZ912 - there are different types depending on the load required.


NOTE: If your electrical system is NOT equipped with Surge Protection Devices, protect equipment from transient as it can damage electrical items. This can be done at the distribution board or at the plug level. (another blog another time....)

Hager Auto Rests can be obtained from:

Genuine Electric Sdn Bhd
126, Jln Ros Merah Dua/16
Taman Johor Jaya
81100 Johor Bahru, Joho
r Pic: Mr. Tan Lian Hua / Mr. Loh Chee Kan
Tel: 07-352 5722
Fax: 07-352 5727

Syarikat Elektrik Combi (JB) Sdn Bhd
61 & 63, Jalan Ros Merah 2/3
Taman Johor Jaya
81100 Johor Bahru, Johor
Pic: Mr. Lee Chee Boon
Tel: 07-356 0208
Fax: 07-356 0209

C.T.E. Electric Sdn Bhd
33, Jalan Sri Bahagia 5
Taman Sri Bahagia, Tampoi
81200 Johor Bahru, Johor
Pic: Madam Chay Ah Min
Tel: 07-236 5668
Fax: 07-236 5609

Actgen Industry Sdn Bhd
133, Jalan Seroja 39
Taman Johor Jaya
81100 Johor Bahru
Pic: Mr. Tang Pee Tee
Tel: 07-357 3133
Fax: 07-357 3136

All the best, have a great NYE. See you again next year.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Engineering Series - Twin Villa Series I and III leaking landing walls

Greetings from Australia! I hope everyone had a great Christmas holiday and/or celebration. This is a special post, written by my husband and aims to share tips on preventative maintenance of properties. Hope you'll find this useful.

Hi Residents and owners,

This is the first of a series of posts which seek to address issues / defects and preventative maintenance for properties in East Ledang.

IMPETUS: As many homeowners have been facing, defects seem to be normal walk of life in buying properties here (in our case, East Ledang).

Defects are the result of poor design, workmanship or inadequate defect repairs. In so many cases UEM maintenance team will simply 'paint over" providing only a cosmetic remedy,where the defect will only re-appear months later (subject to season) (tips for potential buyers, make sure you pay special attention to defects warranty and fix processes with UEM/your developer before you sign the purchase contract).

Equally unqualified or experienced UEM employes are ill prepared to investigate let alone resolve the root cause of the defect. Hence we decided to resolve these outstanding issues in our building ourselves but also take the opportunity to apply preventative works which reduce potential risks and significantly extend regular maintenance schedules (e.g painting)

DEFECT: Twin Villa Series I and III stair landing water moisture issue/s

Water inclusion (where it is not supposed to be) can destroy the integrity of a structure and damage finishes. We have had issues with our stair landing wall showing signs of moisture. This often results in secondary efflorescence (salting bumpy surface on the wall and possible ponding or pooling of water in the stair landing area) See figure 1

After reviewing a number of possible causes for moisture in the concrete (esp. 2 years after the build), this issue had been tracked down to incorrect installation and/or sealing of the windows by UEM in the original build. The frame seal between the aluminum window and the wall framing has not been sealed correctly and in many cases is the source of the moisture (silicone on the glass will not remedy the issue)

THE FIX Fortunately the repair is both relatively cheap and easy. A few tubes of acrylic paintable multipurpose sealer (10-15 MYR), masking tape and Sika brand acrylic waterproofing compound (looks like thick paint) will do the trick.

Masking tape is applied on the exterior aluminum window frame to protect the finish of the frame, also makes the whole repair process cleaner and easier.

After the masking tape is applied, run a bead of acrylic sealer in the joint between the frame and the concrete structure. Apply liberally as the excess will be wiped off with your finger and if need be a damp cloth. This creates a flexible seal which can manage shrinking and contraction as the building heats and cools. See figure 2

The next step prevents surrounding concrete 'leaching' moisture in behind the window. Apply by brush and roller a liberal coat of Sika Waterproofing compound around the sills and 300mm around the window, ensuring there are not holes, gaps and the compound covers the gap sealer you applied previously. This extends the waterproofing beyond the window area and in conjunction with the gap sealer ,creates a water tight seal all the way up to the window frame.

For extra peace of mind, a membrane can be used on the base sill to increase durability of the seal against movement of the building. See figure 3

After a few days of drying, a good quality exterior paint can be applied (original exterior wall colour) to finish the job.

Basic items are available from the local hardware store in Gelang Patah. Sika products can be obtained from Lin Hoo hardware in JB (Sika® RainTite®).

Best of luck! Thanks for reading.... Ian

Figure 1
Water inclusion from window sill. May not be as visible, moisture can leach without being seen.

Figure 2
Masked window frame (yellow tape) and gap sealer applied (white)

Figure 3
Waterproof compound applied (with fibre matting) on lower exterior sill

Figure 4
Waterproof cover surrounding the windows, ready for final colour coat.

Monday, December 3, 2012

UEM Q3 2012 Profit Rose by RM 42.01M, Yet UEM Falls Short of Delivering Sales Promises

Thanks to increase in sales and construction progress from development such as East Ledang, Imperia, etc, UEM made a very significant increase in pre-tax profit in the recent Q3 per this article. As an investor and resident in UEM's development, I am often very disappointed with the developer. UEM falls short in many ways in delivering against the promises and expectations set in their marketing/sales messages (at least for this area). Yes UEM can market and sell their houses very effectively, but what comes after sales and construction is as important, if not more important because existing estates are reflection of the true value of the developer.

With this profit, I sincerely hope that UEM would finally take action and delivers promises made to its investors. Inaction or lack of actions would eventually generate very detrimental publicity and image to the company. So let's see how this goes.

Best Rice Noodles (Kway Teow) in JB

Thanks to Johor Kaki blog, I've found my favourite soup kway teow (rice noodle) in Johor (actually & Singapore). Soup rice noodle is one of my all time favourite and being a Teochew, it's something that I grew up eating.

The name of this traditional and old shop is Restoran Sekee. It's located at 30, Jalan Segget, JB, GPS: 1.458202,103.764383. The shop is opened almost daily except Saturday & public holidays from 7.30 am to 1 or 1.30 pm.

Since I do not like internal organs, I ordered soup kway teow with pork meat, which cost RM5. The soup is refreshing, light, not oily at all. The pork meat is juicy and tender while the kway teow is light and smooth. This is as close to my hometown's kway teow soup dish as I can get. It's yummy and I would super recommend this to anyone who likes soup rice noodles.

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