Service drop power line - Pay Attention!

Oroboros

Well-Known Member
#21
I once was casual (uneducated ) about service lines. Then I watched a lineman lower a live line ( disconnected at the house end ) onto a garage roof. Big snap spark light show when it touched a metal chimney. (The middle of the line, not the cut end ) Now much respect to ALL energized lines.
 
#22
Lol what do you think line clearance guys do? I used to be around those wires everyday. Utility arborists can get electrocuted just as easy as residential arborists. If you think touching a service wire (house drops) with your rope or throwline or with mild indirect contact of a branch you will get shocked shows you don't understand what is really going on. I'd never tell you to touch a service wire because the rules clearly state a no touch policy will be followed considering the wire is energized with potentially fatal voltages. But I've seen people accidentally touch it and no one immediately combusted. Obviously primaries will ruin your life and in no way am I advocating a thought process that involves lackadaisically working around power lines but the lower voltages lines do not carry the energy to kill you anywhere close in comparison to primaries
I have touched them more than I am willing to admit. That is the main reason why I started this thread. I have never seen one so badly worn exposing both wires. Also it was very humid that day and I sweat like the Amazon. In the pictures I made sure I didn't nor did my rope touch that section of exposed wire. Immediately combusted!?


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Scheffa

Active Member
#23
Over here you would get your arse kicked if caught working so close to service wires.
Clearing service wires in Aus is a big grey area as technically you are only allowed to clear them if authorised to by the network owner.
My understanding of low voltage is that it can be more dangerous than hv, the Liv cause your muscles to contract therefore making it harder to break contact with the conductor, a lot more people are killed or injured by low voltage wires than high voltage wires
 

Jem4417

Well-Known Member
#24
I have touched them more than I am willing to admit. That is the main reason why I started this thread. I have never seen one so badly worn exposing both wires. Also it was very humid that day and I sweat like the Amazon. In the pictures I made sure I didn't nor did my rope touch that section of exposed wire. Immediately combusted!?


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There's obviously a threshold for how close and comfortable you should be. An inspection of the wire can easily tell you if it's compromised or not. An extreme example will always dictate how to handle every situation but a competent arborist familiar with utility set ups and or is ehap certified may be just as or more qualified than some of the goofs I've seen trimming for the power companies to clear service Lines.
 

TimBr

Well-Known Member
#25
Over here you would get your arse kicked if caught working so close to service wires.
Clearing service wires in Aus is a big grey area as technically you are only allowed to clear them if authorised to by the network owner.
My understanding of low voltage is that it can be more dangerous than hv, the Liv cause your muscles to contract therefore making it harder to break contact with the conductor, a lot more people are killed or injured by low voltage wires than high voltage wires
Good post. Part of the reason for more people dying from lower voltages is the likelihood that a much larger number of people have access to the lower voltages.

Another important point is that it is not the voltage that kills you, it is the current or amperage that kills you. 1/10th of one amp is enough current to kill a person. I found a web page that backs up Scheffa's claims. Here's a link to that page.

https://www.physics.ohio-state.edu/~p616/safety/fatal_current.html

Interestingly, according to this web page, it is the range of current from 1/10th of an amp to 2/10ths of an amp that is most often deadly, as it messes up the heart's timing. Above that level is more likely to just stop the heart altogether, which is easier to correct. At least that is the way I read it.

Tim
 
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#28
We have all heard the Voltage equals pressure, current/amperage equals size of hose analogy. So IMHO, the difference as far as the service drop versus high voltage lines is,
with either high or low voltage if you put your hand on a bare wire and are grounded you will be shocked and potentially electrocuted. However if you touch a bare wire with a semiconductor (branch, dirty/wet rope) and you are grounded the higher the voltage the more likely it is to shock or kill you.
 

Jem4417

Well-Known Member
#29
I use to work in the home region of asplundh. The area where they started. Trimming lines for Peco. Used to be philly electric, their first customer. I've met some 50 year guys whose stories would shock you about those lines. Caution should always be taken but thinking a service line is as dangerous as a primary will mess with your head and give you a misconception of what your working around
 

treehumper

Well-Known Member
#30
This is a good example of statistics. The likelihood of this situation arising goes up with the number of times you are put into the situation. That you noticed it without coming into contact is pure luck. It points to the need for better inspection prior to proposing the work and setting a price. Had you seen this first what would've been done differently? Would you have pointed out the hazard to the client, made a recommendation to have the service dropped and repaired during the outage? I think the client would've been appreciative of it.

It's also a classic example of how we ignore the standards that are set out in our industry, i.e., all conductors shall be considered uninsulated and energized. The notion that you can presume the degree of electrocution based on the voltage means you understand Ohm's Law and have a handle on calculating the resistance present in the circuit you will form when contact is made directly or indirectly. Of course you all know that current is the killer and that it is inversely proportional to resistance in the circuit. Considering that most times we are soaked with sweat, our skin resistance isn't very high.

End of the day, we're not paid to guess with our lives. As Tom said, if you doubt that ask your spouse, partner, kids, parents, siblings, etc...
 

Jem4417

Well-Known Member
#31
That sounds like a great way to portray how your mindset should be but 95% of the time the service wire is staying put and you have to work around it.
 

Jem4417

Well-Known Member
#34
What do you think line clearance arborists do? I'm confused where the disconnect is here. People climb around energized lines for the utility company everyday. Their biology is the same as everyone else's. Their equipment the same and way of doing tree work the same
 

Jem4417

Well-Known Member
#36
If we based every discussion with the possibility that tree climbers are untrained and inexperienced we would never have an advanced conversation on the reality of our dangerous profession
 

Scheffa

Active Member
#37
What do you think line clearance arborists do? I'm confused where the disconnect is here. People climb around energized lines for the utility company everyday. Their biology is the same as everyone else's. Their equipment the same and way of doing tree work the same

In Aus on the powerline contract I work we have very strict clearances we have to abide by.
For low voltage up to 240v same as service wires we climbers must keep a minimum of 700mm body clearance whether insulated or not, this includes service wires.
We are allowed to cut vegetation contacting the LV so long as we maintain the minimum body clearance.

If a home owner asks us to clear a service wire that is not part of our work orders, even though we are certified to work with reduced clearances we have to work within ordinary person clearances
 
#38
Good post treehumper. Since I am self employed/small business owner/climber I have the opportunity to assess the job when doing a proposal. Very good point that it is not only safe but will make the job easier and it looks more professional. I think for me it's really stupid not to have it done. I will be more efficient, safe, and have one less target that could cause me to loose profit.


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#39
That sounds like a great way to portray how your mindset should be but 95% of the time the service wire is staying put and you have to work around it.
I can relate when working for another company. Even being self employed at times it can stop you from knocking out an add on while your already there on the job. Maybe if enough of us put our foot down we could make a change. Then again that's the major issue with our industry. There is always the next guy that will do it and not get fined but that's a discussion for another thread...
 

CutHighnLetFly

Well-Known Member
#40
Hey anyone here, come out to cape cod and ask to get a line dropped/ energized / sleeved. Lemme know if it ever happens.
Respect wires, know when You shouldn't do what your looking at needing to do.

But get training so your not the guy that never is willing to work ago around electricity.
 
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