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#171632 12/02/07 11:47 AM
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 251
W
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The power to the house was cut, the firefighters got tangled in AC duct that had fallen. POCO said a poor ground caused stray currents to shock the firefighters.
http://abclocal.go.com/ktrk/story?section=news/local&id=5808452

Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 853
L
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Lucky indeed. Notice the misconception.. "only about 100 volts". I would think that their turnout gear is the only reason for their luck.

Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 399
A
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With the breakers off there was either a service disconnect somewhere that wasn't shut off or the service entrance conductors were run inside the house without protection.
There is nothing colder than a house fire in the winter. Even in Texas.


Alan--
If it was easy, anyone could do it.
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 301
J
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This is probably a dumb question? But where and how could stray current be present. I would assume that if all the power was cut, how could there be any voltage anywhere other than static charge.
Does it have something to do with the neutral not being switched off?......Thanks John

Joined: Jul 2004
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G
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I stopped the flash and looked at the 3R panel under the meter (which was pulled) I suppose they may not have got all the breakers off or one may have hung "closed" but if the power was still there after the meter was pulled I would be up in that attic looking for some bootleg wiring in front of the meter. I did hear a story once of people tapping the SE through a hole in the pipe where it dissappears in the soffit. They pull out a little loop and clamp on a Kupletap.


Greg Fretwell
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 402
J
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If a neighbour has an open neutral there could have been current on the ground/neutral. Ask plumbers why many of them carry jumper cables for when working on service laterals.

Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
Cat Servant
Member
I also smell a rat.

I could not see the actual service drop, but I am also inclined to think "power theft" ... especially with the cost of running air conditioners in Texas!

The rest of the news report is but testimony to the absolute ignorance of the 'talking heads.' Ground wire? Stray voltage? I think not.

The report was also silent as to the cause of the fire. Cooking fire? Cigarette in the couch? Meth lab? Maybe - imagine this - trouble with the bootleg wiring to the HVAC?

Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 745
E
Member
This reminds me of the episode of "Holmes on Homes" where a renter had turned a house into a marijuana grow house. To hide the electric consumption, they knocked a hole in the basement wall to expose the underground service lateral and tapped into it there for their power. Talk about gutsy.


---Ed---

"But the guy at Home Depot said it would work."
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 806
Member
Bold in folowing quote added by me:

Originally Posted by Alan Nadon
With the breakers off there was either a service disconnect somewhere that wasn't shut off or the service entrance conductors were run inside the house without protection.
There is nothing colder than a house fire in the winter. Even in Texas.


That would be my vote for the best explanation of what happened to cause the firefighter's to get shocked.

Another possibility: If the overhead drop was directly above the roof, and either sagged or fell onto the HVAC unit, that could energize the ductwork.

Reno said:

Quote
<snip> The rest of the news report is but testimony to the absolute ignorance of the 'talking heads.' Ground wire? Stray voltage? I think not. <snip>


Absolutely. Here in earthquake country, we have a lot of expulsion fuses that blow from the lines swaying into each other, etc. and the news reports always claim there were "transformer explosions." If they were right the POCO's here would go bankrupt replacing all those "transformers" after each earthquake. smile

Most of those dolts wouldn't know what a transformer was even if it hit them on the head. smile


Stupid should be painful.
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 853
L
Member
Perhaps the meter was pulled after the story, and a failed breaker was to blame. Or any of the above.


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