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#167199 - 08/07/07 10:09 PM Telco oops
dougwells Offline

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 1137
Loc: kamloops BC Canada

submitted by Frenchelectrician

A friend of mine in Colonia NJ had a new phone line put in last weekend. Check out the photo, observe the perfect placement of the drill bit going right through the electric service cable. Since the installer shorted the line upstream of the breaker panel, the only thing that stopped the fireworks was the wire burning open. I wonder how fast the meter was spinning for the 20 seconds or so when the lights were flickering in the whole neighborhood? The technician is lucky to be alive, and the homeowner is even luckier that his house didn't burn down. I guess this could have been done by Verizon, or the cable TV company, or the satellite company. They all show up at your house with the same 2-foot long drill bit, and their technicians are all about as well trained. PSE&G billed Verizon about $2K to fix the problem that Saturday evening. The PSE&G guy asked the Verizon guy if he would pick a lottery number for him, since his luck was so good. We've got a feeling this picture is go
Study Guides for VDV / Structured Cabling Installers
#167200 - 08/07/07 10:22 PM Re: Telco oops [Re: dougwells]
frenchelectrican Offline
Registered: 02/06/03
Posts: 939
Loc: Wi/ Paris France { France for ...
I just want to let you know this is not my photo but i found it in other forum so it was pretty cool photo so i decided to pass it along to remind other pepoles about this situation there


Merci, Marc
Pas de problme,il marche n'est-ce pas?"(No problem, it works doesn't it?)

#167201 - 08/07/07 10:35 PM Re: Telco oops [Re: frenchelectrican]
noderaser Offline
Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 404
Loc: Portland, Oregon, United State...
Seems like we always have excellent aim when there's catastrophe involved... When driving stakes for a temporary tent-like structure (3' pieces of rebar), I managed to hit a gas line square in the center... If I'd been 1/16" to either side, it would have likely deflected off and done no harm.

Fortunately, the supply was tank-fed and we were able to shut off the gas before blowing up the neighborhood.
#167218 - 08/08/07 07:59 AM Re: Telco oops [Re: noderaser]
pauluk Offline
Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7520
Loc: Norfolk, England
There's something about this which seems to direct drill bits straight to the cables!

A couple of years ago someone nearby called me one evening for blown fuses. He'd been drilling the kitchen wall to put up some new shelves. The drill had gone practically dead center into the cable feeding the range outlet. An inch either way and it wouldn't have touched it. (The cable had been run diagonally across the wall; I wouldn't have expected to find it there either.)
#167231 - 08/08/07 10:09 AM Re: Telco oops [Re: pauluk]
EV607797 Offline
Registered: 10/25/06
Posts: 744
Loc: Fredericksburg, VA, USA
I always cringe when driving a ground rod, cutting in a box from the outside or when drilling across a stud in a finished wall. You never know what's on the other side of the stud or in the ground. I even cut through a cable in my own house when cutting in a box for a receptacle!

"But the guy at Home Depot said it would work."
#167249 - 08/08/07 04:04 PM Re: Telco oops [Re: EV607797]
ChicoC10 Offline
Registered: 05/30/07
Posts: 169
Loc: CA
This guy could have gone outside and measured. I would have.
Twice. 3 times after seeing how close the HV was.

Originally Posted By EV607797
I always cringe when driving a ground rod, cutting in a box from the outside or when drilling across a stud in a finished wall. You never know what's on the other side of the stud or in the ground. I even cut through a cable in my own house when cutting in a box for a receptacle!

Cringe?-----I sweat and tremble!

How about drilling the top plate from the attic wondering just how (40 or 50 years ago) the original EC ran the cable. Did he drill on one side of the bay and, as close as possible to the top plate, cross the bay and staple?

I've drilled two holes through the top plate, one for the flashlight and one for my eye, and, after the dust had settled, saw that the EC of old had stapled his cable right along the horizontal block that I had planned to drill through next. (using several bit extensions)

And then there's the fun of adding an expandable fan brace kit between floors or in otherwise inaccessible locations.
This has me jamming my arm into the hole as far as I can trying to scrape the trusses (joists) as best I can with a long screwdriver feeling for cables, pipes, anything.
#167713 - 08/18/07 12:18 PM Re: Telco oops [Re: ChicoC10]
InspectorE Offline
Registered: 10/08/04
Posts: 51
Loc: Hudson WI USA
What I don't understand is how the installer continued to drill through the cable. That bit must be four to five inches beyond the cable. It shows how tough some of the insulation can be, I guess.

#167720 - 08/18/07 01:39 PM Re: Telco oops [Re: InspectorE]
Trumpy Offline

Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8211
Loc: SI,New Zealand
I went to a similar Faults call, years back.
A Telecom contractor was undergrounding a phone line and was drilling in through a brick wall using a long masonry drill bit.
His aim couldn't have been better, he managed to get all 3 phases in one fowl swoop.
I still haven't worked out why he was drilling in that exact spot, because below where his hole was, there was a cable marking sign that stated the cable entered the building at that point. eek
Let's face it, these days if you're not young, you're old - Red Green grin
#167731 - 08/18/07 07:01 PM Re: Telco oops [Re: Trumpy]
wire_twister Offline
Registered: 07/25/07
Posts: 265
Loc: Georgia USA
I did a service call earlier this year where a telco installer was installing cable for an internet connection. His aim was perfect dead center on a 6-2 romex cable going to the furnace. The cable was stapled to the bottom of the subfloor, in the middle of the joist space. The resulting blast burned a 1/4 inch installers drill bit clean in two. Didnt do much for the installer either

Life is tough, Life is tougher when you are stupid
#167742 - 08/19/07 07:51 AM Re: Telco oops [Re: wire_twister]
steve ancient apprentice Offline
Registered: 03/04/05
Posts: 169
Loc: west springfield,mass
Just last week a cable installer in either east longmeadow or wilbraham mass did this exact same thing. A fire broke out and fourtunatley no one was hurt just a lot of scorching and burnt sideing. It never fails to amaze me why they dont take the time to look where the drill is aimed. Im sure he will look twice and three times before he drills again.

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