Tree With Power Line (Picture)

climbingmonkey24

Active Member
Gotta take this tree down for a customer. Anyone have any experience with safety regarding trees with power lines going through them and the trees conducting electricity, etc.? Working near the line without getting a shock.

In this case let’s say having the wire dropped isn’t an option, any advice?

I’ve worked near wires before, but this wire is going right through the middle of the tree. I’m not worried about hitting it or anything, I can climb and work around it, my major concern is the electricity traveling through the tree, etc. and getting a shock simply from climbing.

It’s only one power line. The other is cable.

47146849-20CB-4787-9354-C140E8F22154.jpeg
 

Jem4417

Well-Known Member
If that’s just a bundled secondary and there’s no primary overhead by the book you shouldn’t because of z133 staying ten feet away from any conductors on the utility company’s pole. Bundles on carry voltages between 240 and 480. As far as electricity on trees, it should not be enough to cause indirect contact resulting in electrocution. It is not strong enough to dissipate through the tree. I’m not gonna tell you to do it based on the rules but there is a line clearance arborist out there that, if told to remove that, would do it with the electricity on
 

Bango Skank

Well-Known Member
If it can’t be dropped have the utility sleeve it.
Second this.
Would make life alot easier to get it dropped though. Then drop the cable tv too.

You could work around them though. From what I can see, alot of it can be dropped in pieces without rigging.

Toss a short rope over the wires and have groundie pull one way or the other to give you a few extra feet.
 

Raven

Well-Known Member
Call the system operator to get a temporary disconnect so you can safely remove the tree. They will cut power and coil up the dead wire out of your way - that's the best practice in this situation.

I strongly discourage climbing if there is actual contact, the wire coating could be worn through exposing the hot snake inside. Even 240v can conduct through green wet wood exposing you to potentially heart stopping milliamps. And the job will go soooo much easier without the wire in your way the whole time.
 

rico

Well-Known Member
Thats a service/house drop, not a "power line". In most places the HO is responsible for the service drop, and the utility companies responsibility ends at the service pole. You should be able to call to have service drop removed which would obviously make the job much easier. If not you can simply work around it, but please do a very good visual inspection of the line before doing so. There are usually 2 lines on a house drop. The bare line is simply a guy-line that is also used as a termination point which connects to the home. The black line is the one to pay attention to. If the sleeve is not in tip top shape you should re-evaluate. Fuck with it at your own peril!
 

Jem4417

Well-Known Member
Yea a second look and it’s not a bundle. Work around service lines is a grey area. If everyone who was ever within approach of a service line got it dropped that’s all the utility would have time to do. Plus it’s a scheduling nightmare
 

Jehinten

Well-Known Member
It looks like the wire only runs through one lead, me personally I would work on clearing everything currently hanging over it while the wire is being held close to the tree. Once the tops hanging over are clear then work your way down that lead to clear the wire from the tree. The natural angle of the wire and the sag between pole and the house may be enough to move the wire back to allow more clearance for the rest of the tree. If it isn't enough toss a rope over it and tie both ends back to something, if you tie your rope directly to the wire you'll have to figure put how to get back up there once the tree is down.

That is of course if you cannot get the power wire removed for some reason and assuming you have given it a through inspection. It's also not a bad idea to get the wire sleeved if it cannot come down so that there's 0 chance of being shocked.
 

Jehinten

Well-Known Member
One thing I forgot to mention, when the wire is hanging there (assuming the power cannot be removed) there is some give to it that can be forgiving should a small piece hit it. When you pull it to the side it becomes taught and is a lot less forgiving to the accident contact with a limb and can be pulled loose from the house.
 

Barc Buster

Active Member
There must be more to it than what the picture is showing because having the wire dropped is usually a fairly simple and inexpensive option. I've had it done many times. Homeowner calls schedules the drop for the day you are to work. You zip in remove tree and 4 hours later the utility co. restores power. What are we missing here?

Like @rico said if that insulator on the service wire isn't pristine you don't want to be messing around by it. And they are difficult to judge from the ground. Unless you really know what your doing you probably should have the line dropped.
 
  • Like
Reactions: ATH

samsquatch

Active Member
What do we say when the HO says "I have 3 freezers with 140 lbs of beef in them. I'm not turning off my power!"
 

Jem4417

Well-Known Member
It’s a bitch but If the money was right and you were having trouble getting the wire dropped I’d just reposition a 24 foot fiber glass ladder a few times. You might have to hop off it but it keeps you away from the center. I know everyone hates ladders but with a little common sense their a valuable tool
 

RBJtree

Well-Known Member
I am not line certified and anything I say might get you killed. Take my advice at your own risk. In fact, its not advice. Thats a house drop. I wouldn't have a job if I couldn't work around those wires hot. Don't touch the wires. House drops have almost zero chance of arcing, but give them a foot or so of distance from any part of your body just in case. I push them with fiberglass poles all the time. That is not recommended unless the pole is certified and clean as a whistle, but Jameson fiberglass poles work for me just fine. If a wire is touching the tree, the electricity will flow to the ground, not the person on the tree. Make sure if you have to cut the branch while it is touching a wire, the hinge doesn't break before the branch comes off the wire. Once the hinge breaks, if you are touching the branch and the branch is touching the wire, you can be shocked and killed. It happens far too often. Not likely with a house drop, but if the branch has been rubbing the line, it could have rubbed off the coating/jacket and be juicing the branch. If you run into the old triples that are separated from each other, they are far more dangerous. If you aren't comfortable with it, don't do it. Pole to pole lines are a different story, basicly stay clear unless trained. I learned from line trimmers. I saw them do it first. Money isn't worth serious injury or death. Oh, and don't do it in the rain.
 

RBJtree

Well-Known Member
Oh, and in my area, if you call to have a house line dropped, they will tell you 3-12 weeks, with zero notice, good fucking luck.
 

southsoundtree

Well-Known Member
Two quick anecdotes...

I once touched a dogwood on the deck, and felt the juice from the service drop.

I saw all three metal wires on a service-drop, +/-/support cable, where a branch was rubbing a long time in an Atlas blue cedar.

Wonder if either house was using excess electricity or had any electrical service inconsistencies... My mom had trouble in the house from an external wiring problem, either at the pole or service drop... No tree interference, just a 100 year old house.
 

RBJtree

Well-Known Member
I was once working at a house that had an abandoned house next door. My ground guy walked into the backyard, touched the metal fence and got juiced. The house drop from the abandoned house was broken off of the house and laying on the fence along with a bunch of vines and under brush. When you call the electric company and tell them that story, they show up quickly.
 
Top