They should show the pictures of these clowns to squirrels. It might make them think twice about crawling into our transformers. Nevermind! You would probably just see squirrels in PPE, using LOTO procedures and stealing copper. Joe
#70765 - 10/13/0606:20 AMRe: Suicide by bolt cutter
In the link posted, how can cutting a ground wire cause that to happen? It seems like some other incidental contact was involved. "Ground" wires aren't supposed to be carrying current, let alone high voltage, right???? I'm really confused!
I can see the utilities using scare tactics as justified to discourage copper theft, but electrically it doesn't make sense to me.
[This message has been edited by CTwireman (edited 10-20-2006).]
#70769 - 10/20/0609:45 AMRe: Suicide by bolt cutter
CT, I noticed that as well. I just didn't worry much about it because a) the press all to often makes a mess of things; and, b) PoCo stuff is a world onto itself.
That aside, even ground wires (as we know the term) (more correctly, the GEC, or grounding electrode conductor) is almost always carrying current, even if it is seemingly at zero potential to ground. Cut it, and you will then have a voltage potential between the two halves.
A customer of mine had a meter can come apart when the PoCo wanted to pull the meter. Since electricity takes ALL paths, ther were several points where arcing resulted, between various pipes and conduits. Some of these arcs were just inches from the ground, between conduits that entered the ground.
#70770 - 10/22/0608:29 AMRe: Suicide by bolt cutter
Quote: "In the link posted, how can cutting a ground wire cause that to happen? It seems like some other incidental contact was involved. "Ground" wires aren't supposed to be carrying current, let alone high voltage, right???? I'm really confused! "
This was a power bank in a substation. Most distribution systems are 4 wire wye and the neutral is the last lead coming back to the transformer. It is typically bare copper (which made it tempting) but it is also the "return" for a high voltage circuit. Open it and you get full potential across it. This is the same reason you don't go near a downed power line, even if it is the neutral. Lots of people get hurt thinking it's at "ground" potential.