State Begins Investigating Faulty Generator Installations

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - New information tonight about a Chesterfield County company accused of improperly installing generators. A state agency is now investigating. Chesterfield building inspectors put out a warning this month that certain recently-installed whole-house generators could cause electrocution and even an explosion.

NBC12 uncovered today that Virginia Air Mechanical has changed names and is now operating as Superior Mechanical Services. It has also used the name Home Worx. The county wants you to call if you've had a generator installed by any of those companies.

Paul Wilson paid thousands for a generator Chesterfield building officials say he can not use.

"Now I have a $6,000 paperweight sitting in my damn yard," said Wilson.

He's one of at least 6 homeowners who bought generators from Virginia Air Mechanical that county officials say are dangerous because they were not properly installed.

"There's potential fire hazard involved with that. There could be an explosion," said Richard Witt, a Chesterfield County building inspector.

And building inspectors say this problem could be county wide. The county even won an injunction to stop the company from new installations until another court hearing on January 17th.

The Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation says the company is still licensed- but the agency is also now investigating. NBC12 has learned through a search of court documents that Virginia Air Mechanical terminated its business license on December 16th and on that same day created Superior Mechanical Services.

The re-named company even sent out mailers in December - stating it was licensed and insured. It advertised $1,000 off generators.

We went by the offices for the company. No one appeared to be inside. We found generator boxes in the back near the trash. The company's- old name still etched on the door.

The owner of the company- Stephen Mills- issued a statement this afternoon that says, "Superior Mechanical Service LLC has become aware of the issues currently being discussed in the various media outlets in and around the Richmond metropolitan area as they pertain to Virginia Apr Mechanical and Virginia Air Duct. We are fully cooperating with involved agencies and authorities to bring about a complete and expeditious resolution to the matter. We maintain that all work performed was conducted in a professional manner and is consistent with statewide codes and regulations. If you have any concerns in regard to any work performed by Virginia Air Mechanical, Virginia Air Duct or Superior Mechanical Service, please contact Marilyn Graham at 804-652-9616. We stand behind all products and services rendered and installed by Virginia Air Mechanical and Virginia Air Duct."

NBC12 spoke to Stephen Mills lawyer this afternoon. He says Mills' top priority is safety. They also blame a rogue employee for the faulty installations. Chesterfield County has told us- the company has not cooperated- which is why they went to the media with the alert.

The generators were installed across greater Richmond- including the city, New Kent County, Goochland, Hopewell, Henrico and Hanover. If you had a generator installed by Virginia Air Mechanical or Superior Mechanical Services call 748-1779.

Copyright 2012 WWBT NBC12.  All rights reserved.