Hunter S Thompson: On electricity

dmonn

Participating member
Location
Mequon
Got a question for you electrical types. I'm in a semi-rural area. The power lines near my house have a single top line, and other lines below that one. Is that top line a higher voltage than the others? Guesses as to what voltage? The reason I ask is that there is a dead ash tree that is hung up on another tree, but touching that top line. I called the power company about it 3 weeks ago and they have not removed it from the line. It's along an "unimproved city street" (gravel that they don't maintain), and the owner of the lot adjacent to the spot where the tree is on the power line has now started building his house. I'm concerned that anybody making contact with the tree that is supporting the one touching the power line is at risk. No arcing or sparks at the contact point, and no power outages nearby.
 

Reach

Been here a while
Location
Atglen, PA
Got a question for you electrical types. I'm in a semi-rural area. The power lines near my house have a single top line, and other lines below that one. Is that top line a higher voltage than the others? Guesses as to what voltage? The reason I ask is that there is a dead ash tree that is hung up on another tree, but touching that top line. I called the power company about it 3 weeks ago and they have not removed it from the line. It's along an "unimproved city street" (gravel that they don't maintain), and the owner of the lot adjacent to the spot where the tree is on the power line has now started building his house. I'm concerned that anybody making contact with the tree that is supporting the one touching the power line is at risk. No arcing or sparks at the contact point, and no power outages nearby.
Definitely avoid that tree and the ground around it. That top line is most likely a single phase primary, voltage could be anywhere from 2,400-12,470 volts. Since it’s a rural area, and probably an older line, it’s more likely on the lower end of the scale, but still plenty to kill you.

If the voltage is high enough, and conditions are right, it is possible to be shocked simply by walking too close.

I’ll second the power company notification. If they didn’t jump right on it, it’s possible the line is dead or it’s not a major concern for some reason, but you could always call a second time.
 

TheTreeSpyder

Participating member
Location
Florida>>> USA
It all cost$ money..
The higher, the farther apart, the more resistors, the thicker the cable
are all signatures of more $1000's spent as MANDATED per voltage potential carried; against all other efforts to save money.
10' higher pole etc. might be deeper, thicker x 3000 of them; is very purposeful 'choice', forced by code/law.
.
 

dmonn

Participating member
Location
Mequon
I’ll second the power company notification. If they didn’t jump right on it, it’s possible the line is dead or it’s not a major concern for some reason, but you could always call a second time.
I think the power company folks didn't see the contact. It's pretty hard to see if you're just cruising along looking. I walk that drive regularly, and pay attention to the trees along it, and spotted it. There are also some issues with driveways vs addresses, gravel vs paved, etc. We'll see if the info I gave the scheduler actually gets to the crew in a form they understand.
 

dmonn

Participating member
Location
Mequon
The power company took care of things yesterday. The location had been flagged by a supervisor the day before. They said they heard the buzzing before they actually saw the contact point. They weren't sure of the voltage (didn't measure it) but said it could have been as high as 7k. They agreed that it was a hazard to anyone walking near the base of the tree that had been in contact with the primary wire. I'm glad I spotted it and reported it before somebody on the building construction crew got zapped.
 

Winchman

Branched out member
A local termite inspector was electrocuted recently when he came into contact with an electrified AC duct. The insulation on some Romex touching the duct had deteriorated after many years, allowing it to make contact. The homeowner who went looking for the fellow was shocked (electrically) when he tried to rouse him before calling 911. In this case the lazy drunken troll was hiding under the house.
 

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