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electricity sub station

(8 Posts)
Slavetominidictator Sun 21-Feb-16 18:50:32

We've just moved into a house we love. On the day we moved in the electric gates didn't work. I also noticed my car wouldn't lock remotely once on the drive or on the road outside. Also, when we had wifi installed, it didn't work, expect sporadically but mostly not at all except in the room with the router and only intermittently there. All of these facts may be unrelated.
The gates were under warranty, as the house was sold by a property developer and done up by him. I called the gates company and they eventually concluded that the remote fob for opening the gates was being blocked. They claimed that the electricity substation at the end of our road was the cause. It is about 100 metres away from our boundary.
I asked neighbours and they all agreed their key fobs didn't work in that area. I googled effects of electricity substations and am now rather concerned. Does anyone have any suggestions? I called Western Power Distribution and they say that the substation couldn't possibly be the cause of the gate problem. I need advice....

specialsubject Sun 21-Feb-16 19:49:56

what effects of electricity substations concern you?

There are specifications for electrical interference, and the substation will comply with those. The gate company need to design their kit to cope, or refuse to install if it won't within a certain range of an interference source. But 100 metres is a long way for interference. So the gates company have cocked up and need to sort it by supplying kit that works.

here is a non-tinfoil hat website for you:

possibly the wi-fi, the gates and the fobs are all on the same frequency and interfering?

PigletJohn Sun 21-Feb-16 21:07:54

it is very strange. I have heard of car fobs being blocked when parked under a radio transmitter aerial, and I have heard of wireless alarms being blocked by an unlicenced wireless security cameras and by arc welders.

I have known signals get blocked by large metal structures in the way (scaffolding), and metal mesh will also do it.

I have also heard rumours of wireless baby alarm transmitters interfering, but I have never seen it happen, and neither has the person who tells me these stories.

The effects of a substation are very small and usually inside your house are less than you will get from the TV and computer.

Do your radios and TV work OK? Sometimes you can tune a portable radio so it picks up the interference, and by walking around can determine where it is coming from.

Years ago, if your radio and TV signals were blocked, you could complain to the BBC (it is an offence) and someone would come round and search for the source. I don't know if that is still done.

PigletJohn Sun 21-Feb-16 21:11:18

BTW, in towns and cities, almost everyone lives within a couple of hundred yards of a substation, although they may not know it. Interference as you describe doesn't happen to them.

Slavetominidictator Mon 22-Feb-16 19:18:39

Thanks very much for the replies. The gates company say the gates worked fine when installed. They point to the car fobs not working as evidence of interference.
I've ordered fibre optic broadband and two wifi boosters to see if that helps......
The phone line seems to have some interference on too.
Is there anyone I can get to come and sort this out? There are quite a few other problems I'm dealing with since moving in, as well as a 10 month old, 3 year old and a DH with a terminal illness. I just haven't got the headspace or energy to keep trying to investigate this on top of everything else. Any ideas?!

specialsubject Mon 22-Feb-16 19:47:26

I'm so sorry.

shout at your phone provider to sort it out - if it is BT don't waste time with Bangalore who won't understand and are directed not to help, raise a formal complaint.

raise a formal complaint with the gate people too, tell them to stop babbling about interference. If they worked before, I doubt the substation has appeared since they were installed.

We live right next to a substation and are generally parked directly outside it and have never had any issues with car fobs or phone line. Our wifi struggles to reach the far side of the house but that's due to us having very thick walls, a stone staircase and insulation which is basically foil wrapped around all the walls in the room the router is in.

There's a lot of scaremongering about them as far as I've seen online.

PigletJohn Tue 23-Feb-16 00:33:45

I don't know who to ask.

The Tinfoil Hat people have businesses which claim to detect EMF in your home, but I expect they will be as reliable as the people who claim to detect rising damp.

A person I sometimes hear from who drones on takes an interest, and claims to have located and identified sources in the past, is a Radio Amateur; there is a chance that if there is a local club near you, they might have members who solve their own problems with interference and might take an interest in yours.

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