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Telco oops #167199
08/08/07 01:09 AM
08/08/07 01:09 AM
dougwells  Offline
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 1,152
kamloops BC Canada
[Linked Image]

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

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Re: Telco oops [Re: dougwells] #167200
08/08/07 01:22 AM
08/08/07 01:22 AM
frenchelectrican  Offline
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 939
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?)

Re: Telco oops [Re: frenchelectrican] #167201
08/08/07 01:35 AM
08/08/07 01:35 AM
noderaser  Offline
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 404
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.

Re: Telco oops [Re: noderaser] #167218
08/08/07 10:59 AM
08/08/07 10:59 AM
pauluk  Offline
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,520
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.)

Re: Telco oops [Re: pauluk] #167231
08/08/07 01:09 PM
08/08/07 01:09 PM
EV607797  Offline
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 745
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."
Re: Telco oops [Re: EV607797] #167249
08/08/07 07:04 PM
08/08/07 07:04 PM
ChicoC10  Offline
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 169
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.

Re: Telco oops [Re: ChicoC10] #167713
08/18/07 03:18 PM
08/18/07 03:18 PM
InspectorE  Offline
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 51
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.

Re: Telco oops [Re: InspectorE] #167720
08/18/07 04:39 PM
08/18/07 04:39 PM
Trumpy  Offline

Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,260
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

Re: Telco oops [Re: Trumpy] #167731
08/18/07 10:01 PM
08/18/07 10:01 PM
wire_twister  Offline
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 265
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
Re: Telco oops [Re: wire_twister] #167742
08/19/07 10:51 AM
08/19/07 10:51 AM
steve ancient apprentice  Offline
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 169
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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