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Posted: 7/2/2015 10:08:58 PM EDT
Last week, a huge thunderstorm, I mean HUGE thunderstorm, came through and blew half the town over.  The power distribution system was completely messed up.  PECO called in everyone they could, even Canadians, to fix the grid.

How exactly does that work?  Do the utilities have disaster agreements in place?  When one down gets blown up, others come help for free (and some day the favor gets repaid), or is there a fee for this?  Also, when the out-of-state guys come in, are they managed by a local guy, or do they free range and just start fixing shit?

Thanks for any replies.



Link Posted: 7/2/2015 10:13:37 PM EDT
[#1]
Mutual assistance. The other utility flips the bill for all persons and equipment . Usually or sometimes reimbursed by insurance and maybe even the gov.

And no they don't just come in and fix stuff. It's all coordinated by the utilty.
Link Posted: 7/2/2015 10:15:01 PM EDT
[#2]
There is no personnel management at all. They just drive around and fix stuff at will
Link Posted: 7/2/2015 10:17:53 PM EDT
[#3]
At the local coffee shop, they had a hard time understanding the Canadian guys, I know that for a fact.
Link Posted: 7/2/2015 10:21:35 PM EDT
[#4]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Mutual assistance. The other utility flips the bill for all persons and equipment . Usually or sometimes reimbursed by insurance and maybe even the gov.

And no they don't just come in and fix stuff. It's all coordinated by the utilty.
View Quote


This. When the May 20, 2013 tornado ripped through my hometown of Moore, OK, we had linemen from OK, TX, LA, KS, MO, AR, TN, VA and from as far away as CT comin in to help
Link Posted: 7/2/2015 10:22:02 PM EDT
[#5]
As stated, mutual assistance agreements. Since I'm just a dumb engineer that doesn't fix the broken stuff, I am what's called a "storm evaluator/assessor." I would report to a given location, get some drawings and maps, and then drive lines looking for damage. I record information and either call it in or take the package back to the reporting area. Crews are dispatched to repair the damage. We also get trouble tickets as the major repairs are completed to find little stuff previously missed.
Link Posted: 7/2/2015 10:24:35 PM EDT
[#6]

Quoted:


Last week, a huge thunderstorm, I mean HUGE thunderstorm, came through and blew half the town over.  The power distribution system was completely messed up.  PECO called in everyone they could, even Canadians, to fix the grid.



How exactly does that work?  Do the utilities have disaster agreements in place?  When one down gets blown up, others come help for free (and some day the favor gets repaid), or is there a fee for this?  Also, when the out-of-state guys come in, are they managed by a local guy, or do they free range and just start fixing shit?



Thanks for any replies.
View Quote
Not a lineman, but work for a regional electric utility.    Also, I'm not completely up to speed on the type of agreements used.  But basically, there are standing agreements to cooperate and a protocol for requesting and receiving assistance.  No, it isn't for free.  The requesting utility pays and many of the workers don't work directly for a sister utility company.  Many are contractors working for the utility companies.  On one hand, the company receiving the request can agree to send so many crews or, if it is in the same situation, decline.  But no one declines unless they are also needing the hands for restoration work.



The responding lineman make big money for the duration, but work LONG days.  16 hour shifts are not unusual.  And as far as line work goes, it is fairly dangerous.   Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for fatalities to occur during major storms.  I know of at least two in the last 10 years at local companies.



I don't know how all states handle it, but in Missouri if the event is large enough, it will get its own project number and all time, expenses, etc are tracked to it.



Keep in mind it isn't just the linemen who work the long hours.  If the event is large enough, 80-90+ of the company (excluding generation employees maybe) will be working the event.  Engineers, mappers, admins, HR, public affairs, etc.  For example, non-engineering staff management employees may be assigned to escort "foreign" line and tree crews.  Engineers may spend the day traveling making damage assessments and engineering solutions.  I spent ~10 days  away from home right before Christmas a few years back.  The first few days only a few hotels had power and most restaurants did not.  We'd been told to pack for 3 days.  So after some of the backbone was restored, we were all hitting up Walmart and any place we could find for clean underwear, jeans, etc.



 
Link Posted: 7/2/2015 10:26:10 PM EDT
[#7]
Let's say you have a crew from PA working on a break in the line.  They're up there fixing it, but unbeknownst to them, a crew from NJ is half a mile away fixing another break.  The NJ goes to close switches and blows the PA guy right off the fucking pole.  That's the part I don't get...

Link Posted: 7/2/2015 10:26:53 PM EDT
[#8]
Last one I went on was about 3 years ago. Went to Alabama when they had a bunch of tornados.

Good money too. 16 hours a day for 2 weeks. All at double time.  And for the most part is not hard work.
Link Posted: 7/2/2015 10:28:33 PM EDT
[#9]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Let's say you have a crew from PA working on a break in the line.  They're up there fixing it, but unbeknownst to them, a crew from NJ is half a mile away fixing another break.  The NJ goes to close switches and blows the PA guy right off the fucking pole.  That's the part I don't get...

View Quote


All utilities have a central control center for switching to prevent those sort of things. And storm work is coordinated by the locals. Accidents happen, but all of the linemen I've worked with take safety seriously.
Link Posted: 7/2/2015 10:28:47 PM EDT
[#10]
I worked as a system operator for a bit. Storm restoration sucks balls

Lots of money to be made though
Link Posted: 7/2/2015 10:29:05 PM EDT
[#11]
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Quoted:
Last one I went on was about 3 years ago. Went to Alabama when they had a bunch of tornados.

Good money too. 16 hours a day for 2 weeks. All at double time.  And for the most part is not hard work.
View Quote


Thank you. Those ripped through my hometown.
Link Posted: 7/2/2015 10:30:47 PM EDT
[#12]
It seems like really dangerous work.  Something that is "off" right only be "off" because it's pulled only a couple inches out of a fitting by a tree or some shit...
Link Posted: 7/2/2015 10:31:21 PM EDT
[#13]
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Quoted:


All utilities have a central control center for switching to prevent those sort of things. And storm work is coordinated by the locals. Accidents happen, but all of the linemen I've worked with take safety seriously.
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Quoted:
Quoted:
Let's say you have a crew from PA working on a break in the line.  They're up there fixing it, but unbeknownst to them, a crew from NJ is half a mile away fixing another break.  The NJ goes to close switches and blows the PA guy right off the fucking pole.  That's the part I don't get...



All utilities have a central control center for switching to prevent those sort of things. And storm work is coordinated by the locals. Accidents happen, but all of the linemen I've worked with take safety seriously.



Yep, nobody is working on those lines without a clearance. We know where everyone is and what they are doing
Link Posted: 7/2/2015 10:34:30 PM EDT
[#14]
A short version of the command and control from my experience:



Evaluators will drive the area and make preliminary damage assessments.  They file reports to a team leader.  The team leader sends in reports every 2-3 hours.

Depending upon the scope, all reports may go to a central command center or to regional or area centers.  The work is prioritized and assigned to crews.  

Once crews work a job, they report back and begin the next assignment.



Te highest priority will be "critical" customers.  Typically, police, fire, ems, city hall, hospitals, etc.  Also, transmission gets a very high priority.  Without the bulk power, there isn't anything to deliver to end customers.  Low hanging fruit is worked first. If the company can patrol a feeder, confirm it is clear and close in a breaker restoring power to hundreds, that will get worked long before the last customer on 2 mile stretch of single phase.  Basically, the more people served by the impacted equipment, the higher its priority in most cases.  This is why you'll see, e.g., 100,000 "customers" out at the beginning, 10,000 out 24 hours later and 2,500 out at 48 hours.
Link Posted: 7/2/2015 10:34:34 PM EDT
[#15]
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Quoted:
Let's say you have a crew from PA working on a break in the line.  They're up there fixing it, but unbeknownst to them, a crew from NJ is half a mile away fixing another break.  The NJ goes to close switches and blows the PA guy right off the fucking pole.  That's the part I don't get...

View Quote



LOTO and isolation, grounds and keeping your head in the game will keep that from happening .
But yea , take away even one of those it could happen.

Any time I have gone on a trip our guys were the only ones working that particular circuit.
We don't like mixing foreign crews with other foreign crews.
Link Posted: 7/2/2015 10:36:29 PM EDT
[#16]

Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:


Let's say you have a crew from PA working on a break in the line.  They're up there fixing it, but unbeknownst to them, a crew from NJ is half a mile away fixing another break.  The NJ goes to close switches and blows the PA guy right off the fucking pole.  That's the part I don't get...



View Quote
Those operations shouldn't occur without permission.  The command center knows what outages are assigned.  Also, if multiple crews are working on a single feeder, they are likely working together.



In short, you don't close a switch without someone telling you it is ok to close.



 
Link Posted: 7/2/2015 10:38:40 PM EDT
[#17]
I was a communications lineman.  
The utility paid your company.
You would show up in the morning and pick up work orders or an area that needed repair.
Sometimes you end up helping the power guys so shit goes faster. (we were paid by production).
Link Posted: 7/2/2015 10:39:48 PM EDT
[#18]
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Quoted:
It seems like really dangerous work.  Something that is "off" right only be "off" because it's pulled only a couple inches out of a fitting by a tree or some shit...
View Quote


It is dangerous. With that said, the grid has protection and control schemes to sense faults and then switch out the fault, at the basic level. We can talk about reclosers and automatic devices later.

Also, linemen have equipment to tell them if a circuit is hot. The process for clearances should provide some protection and they have PPE.
Link Posted: 7/2/2015 10:41:47 PM EDT
[#19]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:



LOTO and isolation, grounds and keeping your head in the game will keep that from happening .
But yea , take away even one of those it could happen.

Any time I have gone on a trip our guys were the only ones working that particular circuit.
We don't like mixing foreign crews with other foreign crews.
View Quote View All Quotes
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Quoted:
Let's say you have a crew from PA working on a break in the line.  They're up there fixing it, but unbeknownst to them, a crew from NJ is half a mile away fixing another break.  The NJ goes to close switches and blows the PA guy right off the fucking pole.  That's the part I don't get...




LOTO and isolation, grounds and keeping your head in the game will keep that from happening .
But yea , take away even one of those it could happen.

Any time I have gone on a trip our guys were the only ones working that particular circuit.
We don't like mixing foreign crews with other foreign crews.


Good point. "Foreign" can also mean guys from other regions.

Apparently, we have different terminology to go with our accents here in AL.
Link Posted: 7/2/2015 10:43:56 PM EDT
[#20]

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Quoted:
It is dangerous. With that said, the grid has protection and control schemes to sense faults and then switch out the fault, at the basic level. We can talk about reclosers and automatic devices later.



Also, linemen have equipment to tell them if a circuit is hot. The process for clearances should provide some protection and they have PPE.
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:



Quoted:

It seems like really dangerous work.  Something that is "off" right only be "off" because it's pulled only a couple inches out of a fitting by a tree or some shit...




It is dangerous. With that said, the grid has protection and control schemes to sense faults and then switch out the fault, at the basic level. We can talk about reclosers and automatic devices later.



Also, linemen have equipment to tell them if a circuit is hot. The process for clearances should provide some protection and they have PPE.
In my experience, it isn't closing a switch that gets someone killed on a storm.  At that point, everyone is typically very conscious of the risks and process.  The primary risk (no pun intended) is in the early hours walking the lines.  It can be damn near impossible to see an open wire conductor through branches and debris, especially when its dark.  Yes, we have voltage detectors and they work reasonably well.  But I know of at least two cases of a lineman walking into an energized line and getting killed.



 
Link Posted: 7/2/2015 10:45:01 PM EDT
[#21]

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Quoted:
Good point. "Foreign" can also mean guys from other regions.



Apparently, we have different terminology to go with our accents here in AL.
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Quoted:



Quoted:


Quoted:

Let's say you have a crew from PA working on a break in the line.  They're up there fixing it, but unbeknownst to them, a crew from NJ is half a mile away fixing another break.  The NJ goes to close switches and blows the PA guy right off the fucking pole.  That's the part I don't get...









LOTO and isolation, grounds and keeping your head in the game will keep that from happening .

But yea , take away even one of those it could happen.



Any time I have gone on a trip our guys were the only ones working that particular circuit.

We don't like mixing foreign crews with other foreign crews.




Good point. "Foreign" can also mean guys from other regions.



Apparently, we have different terminology to go with our accents here in AL.
We'd use the term to mean anyone who isn't company or working from the local hall, AFAIK.



 
Link Posted: 7/2/2015 10:49:32 PM EDT
[#22]
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Quoted:


Good point. "Foreign" can also mean guys from other regions.

Apparently, we have different terminology to go with our accents here in AL.
View Quote View All Quotes
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Quoted:
Quoted:
Let's say you have a crew from PA working on a break in the line.  They're up there fixing it, but unbeknownst to them, a crew from NJ is half a mile away fixing another break.  The NJ goes to close switches and blows the PA guy right off the fucking pole.  That's the part I don't get...




LOTO and isolation, grounds and keeping your head in the game will keep that from happening .
But yea , take away even one of those it could happen.

Any time I have gone on a trip our guys were the only ones working that particular circuit.
We don't like mixing foreign crews with other foreign crews.


Good point. "Foreign" can also mean guys from other regions.

Apparently, we have different terminology to go with our accents here in AL.



Ha. Yea not implying Mexican or Canadian .

Just what we refer to a crew that doesn't work for that utility.
Link Posted: 7/2/2015 10:51:23 PM EDT
[#23]
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Quoted:
We'd use the term to mean anyone who isn't company or working from the local hall, AFAIK.
 
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Quoted:
Quoted:
Quoted:
Let's say you have a crew from PA working on a break in the line.  They're up there fixing it, but unbeknownst to them, a crew from NJ is half a mile away fixing another break.  The NJ goes to close switches and blows the PA guy right off the fucking pole.  That's the part I don't get...




LOTO and isolation, grounds and keeping your head in the game will keep that from happening .
But yea , take away even one of those it could happen.

Any time I have gone on a trip our guys were the only ones working that particular circuit.
We don't like mixing foreign crews with other foreign crews.


Good point. "Foreign" can also mean guys from other regions.

Apparently, we have different terminology to go with our accents here in AL.
We'd use the term to mean anyone who isn't company or working from the local hall, AFAIK.
 


OP mentioned Canadians. Now that I look back, he wasn't necessarily talking about crews assisting. I thought Canada's grid was different anyhow. Metric.
Link Posted: 7/2/2015 10:52:41 PM EDT
[#24]

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Quoted:


There is no personnel management at all. They just drive around and fix stuff at will
View Quote




Truth.  One power company guy from Ohio fixed my toaster.  



 
Link Posted: 7/2/2015 10:53:06 PM EDT
[#25]
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Quoted:



Ha. Yea not implying Mexican or Canadian .

Just what we refer to a crew that doesn't work for that utility.
View Quote View All Quotes
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Quoted:
Quoted:
Quoted:
Let's say you have a crew from PA working on a break in the line.  They're up there fixing it, but unbeknownst to them, a crew from NJ is half a mile away fixing another break.  The NJ goes to close switches and blows the PA guy right off the fucking pole.  That's the part I don't get...




LOTO and isolation, grounds and keeping your head in the game will keep that from happening .
But yea , take away even one of those it could happen.

Any time I have gone on a trip our guys were the only ones working that particular circuit.
We don't like mixing foreign crews with other foreign crews.


Good point. "Foreign" can also mean guys from other regions.

Apparently, we have different terminology to go with our accents here in AL.



Ha. Yea not implying Mexican or Canadian .

Just what we refer to a crew that doesn't work for that utility.


Mexico's grid runs off of frijoles and tequila.
Link Posted: 7/2/2015 10:54:22 PM EDT
[#26]
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Quoted:
I worked as a system operator for a bit. Storm restoration sucks balls

Lots of money to be made though
View Quote



That is what I do, can be complicated,  but it does pay,

Posted Via AR15.Com Mobile
Link Posted: 7/2/2015 10:56:49 PM EDT
[#27]
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Quoted:
Let's say you have a crew from PA working on a break in the line.  They're up there fixing it, but unbeknownst to them, a crew from NJ is half a mile away fixing another break.  The NJ goes to close switches and blows the PA guy right off the fucking pole.  That's the part I don't get...

View Quote


Where the hell do you work at?

Never heard of protocols, managers, phones?

People just walk around willy nilly like godzilla and fuck things up?
Link Posted: 7/2/2015 10:57:59 PM EDT
[#28]
Long story short. The guys that come to help get paid very well. The company they work for get paid even better.

When there is a storm like this our bosses are practically begging us to go and we get double time the whole time.

It also never fails we get a call to help on 4th of July weekend! Fingers crossed nothing bad happens this year again, but I won't turn it down if they call me.
Link Posted: 7/2/2015 11:00:40 PM EDT
[#29]
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Quoted:
Let's say you have a crew from PA working on a break in the line.  They're up there fixing it, but unbeknownst to them, a crew from NJ is half a mile away fixing another break.  The NJ goes to close switches and blows the PA guy right off the fucking pole.  That's the part I don't get...

View Quote



Holy fuck, that's  not how it works. Not at all. Switching is very complicated and coordinated. Nobody wants to kill a lineman. Thats my worst nightmare.

Posted Via AR15.Com Mobile
Link Posted: 7/2/2015 11:04:53 PM EDT
[#30]
Hey Sig, what town in PA
Link Posted: 7/2/2015 11:06:52 PM EDT
[#31]
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Quoted:



Holy fuck, that's  not how it works. Not at all. Switching is very complicated and coordinated. Nobody wants to kill a lineman. Thats my worst nightmare.

Posted Via AR15.Com Mobile
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Quoted:
Quoted:
Let's say you have a crew from PA working on a break in the line.  They're up there fixing it, but unbeknownst to them, a crew from NJ is half a mile away fixing another break.  The NJ goes to close switches and blows the PA guy right off the fucking pole.  That's the part I don't get...




Holy fuck, that's  not how it works. Not at all. Switching is very complicated and coordinated. Nobody wants to kill a lineman. Thats my worst nightmare.

Posted Via AR15.Com Mobile


I am more concerned with a customer that has seen a switch on his street operated numerous times over the years by a lineman restoring power and thinks he can do it too. Most are only locked with a little brass lock. Nothing for small pair of bolt cutters won't handle.
Link Posted: 7/2/2015 11:11:52 PM EDT
[#32]
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Quoted:


I am more concerned with a customer that has seen a switch on his street operated numerous times over the years by a lineman restoring power and thinks he can do it too. Most are only locked with a little brass lock. Nothing for small pair of bolt cutters won't handle.
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Quoted:
Quoted:
Quoted:
Let's say you have a crew from PA working on a break in the line.  They're up there fixing it, but unbeknownst to them, a crew from NJ is half a mile away fixing another break.  The NJ goes to close switches and blows the PA guy right off the fucking pole.  That's the part I don't get...




Holy fuck, that's  not how it works. Not at all. Switching is very complicated and coordinated. Nobody wants to kill a lineman. Thats my worst nightmare.

Posted Via AR15.Com Mobile


I am more concerned with a customer that has seen a switch on his street operated numerous times over the years by a lineman restoring power and thinks he can do it too. Most are only locked with a little brass lock. Nothing for small pair of bolt cutters won't handle.



You know, I never thought of that, I actually have a 13.8 switch on the corner of my property...and it is just a padlock on it. Never thought of some guy throwing a switch like that. I would shit my pants in the control room til I figured that one out! LOL.
Link Posted: 7/2/2015 11:24:12 PM EDT
[#33]
For the most part we know whats going on at our end. If not testing and grounding will prevent any issues.
The major problems I have witnessed are:
1.Broken line laying on snow that haven't tripped the breaker.
2.One underground riser pole that came up to feed a customers transformer. The transformer jumper broke away before hitting the ground. I walked up on it with my tester going wild. It exposed (top part) of the underground cable was a foot off the ground still hot.(7,200 volts)
3.Dumbass customers that use suicide cables to backfeed their house without flipping the disconnect, in turn back feeding the transformer putting 7,200 volts back into the line.
Luckily for our testing/grounding procedures we have never had an accident. Most of the time the 7,200 volt part of the line is still on the ground so it just bogs out their generator.

Edit:Also trees on the line scare the shit out of me. The line can can be dead, but what scares me is that a huge tree laying on high tension line will not even sag it to the ground, but effectively turn it into a catapult.
cut it off carefully chunk by chunk until it lets go!
Link Posted: 7/2/2015 11:25:49 PM EDT
[#34]
Saw a lot of that in NJ after sandy. Heck we even had foreign Nat-gas and pipeline people show up at LBI (Really creepy seeing Texas trucks responding in NJ,but apparently when the main serving an entire 20 mile long barrier island gets compromised with seawater in the main trunk from the mainland and destroys the entire system... experts need to be called.)

Interesting stories on the electric side too, really old really esoteric substation was flooded out in my area. Supposedly a design that could neither be replaced or easily repaired comprising of thousands of small metal plates and a bunch of wire that all had to be taken apart and unwound by hand, cleaned with toothbrushes and cleaning solvent, and then put back and rewound by hand... betcha someone bought a house with all that OT. Still at least it could be fixed.

A real specialty unit blew in Lake Hopatcong and they were without power for months while they tried to figure out a replacement for a one of a kind oil-cooled transformer the size of a school bus.  

Link Posted: 7/2/2015 11:33:26 PM EDT
[#35]
As a T-Line engineer, that was lulz.  It's a good thing people aren't just throwing switches and cooking people a state away.

Link Posted: 7/2/2015 11:39:51 PM EDT
[#36]
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Quoted:
As a T-Line engineer, that was lulz.  It's a good thing people aren't just throwing switches and cooking people a state away.

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Hey it could happen! I was finishing up a distribution 3-phase junction pole in southern Iowa one night at about 3:30 am when approximately a half a mile away there was a huge flash.

I had my back to it and it lit up my surroundings like it was noon!
Come to find out someone lit up a 69KV line that was still on the ground.

Link Posted: 7/2/2015 11:39:59 PM EDT
[#37]
Some of you here may dig this. My utility recently had a retired Lineman pass away kind of unexpectedly. He was a great Lineman with 44 years of service. He kept the lights on. We did this for his procession to pass under on his last trip, then the Legion did a nice 21 gun salute. And we all got rippin drunk at the Legion and told stories about him. He would have loved it.


Link Posted: 7/2/2015 11:40:14 PM EDT
[#38]
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Quoted:
As a T-Line engineer, that was lulz.  It's a good thing people aren't just throwing switches and cooking people a state away.

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Still don't know why t-lines need engineers. It's poles and wires people. Put the big end in the ground and hang wires on the little end. Geez.






Link Posted: 7/2/2015 11:43:40 PM EDT
[#39]
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Quoted:
Saw a lot of that in NJ after sandy. Heck we even had foreign Nat-gas and pipeline people show up at LBI (Really creepy seeing Texas trucks responding in NJ,but apparently when the main serving an entire 20 mile long barrier island gets compromised with seawater in the main trunk from the mainland and destroys the entire system... experts need to be called.)

Interesting stories on the electric side too, really old really esoteric substation was flooded out in my area. Supposedly a design that could neither be replaced or easily repaired comprising of thousands of small metal plates and a bunch of wire that all had to be taken apart and unwound by hand, cleaned with toothbrushes and cleaning solvent, and then put back and rewound by hand... betcha someone bought a house with all that OT. Still at least it could be fixed.

A real specialty unit blew in Lake Hopatcong and they were without power for months while they tried to figure out a replacement for a one of a kind oil-cooled transformer the size of a school bus.  

View Quote


The consensus of everyone I know who went to NJ for NG repair/restoration was that the utilities on the coast are run by idiots and tards of the highest order. They literally had no emergency plans in place for anything and entire crews of men stood around waiting to work because management didn't know shit.

[The majority of management at many utilities are no longer people who worked their way up and are familiar with operations and when large scale emergencies happen, it shows.]
Link Posted: 7/2/2015 11:46:52 PM EDT
[#40]
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Quoted:


The consensus of everyone I know who went to NJ for NG repair/restoration was that the utilities on the coast are run by idiots and tards of the highest order. They literally had no emergency plans in place for anything and entire crews of men stood around waiting to work because management didn't know shit.

[The majority of management at many utilities are no longer people who worked their way up and are familiar with operations and when large scale emergencies happen, it shows.]
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Saw a lot of that in NJ after sandy. Heck we even had foreign Nat-gas and pipeline people show up at LBI (Really creepy seeing Texas trucks responding in NJ,but apparently when the main serving an entire 20 mile long barrier island gets compromised with seawater in the main trunk from the mainland and destroys the entire system... experts need to be called.)

Interesting stories on the electric side too, really old really esoteric substation was flooded out in my area. Supposedly a design that could neither be replaced or easily repaired comprising of thousands of small metal plates and a bunch of wire that all had to be taken apart and unwound by hand, cleaned with toothbrushes and cleaning solvent, and then put back and rewound by hand... betcha someone bought a house with all that OT. Still at least it could be fixed.

A real specialty unit blew in Lake Hopatcong and they were without power for months while they tried to figure out a replacement for a one of a kind oil-cooled transformer the size of a school bus.  



The consensus of everyone I know who went to NJ for NG repair/restoration was that the utilities on the coast are run by idiots and tards of the highest order. They literally had no emergency plans in place for anything and entire crews of men stood around waiting to work because management didn't know shit.

[The majority of management at many utilities are no longer people who worked their way up and are familiar with operations and when large scale emergencies happen, it shows.]




This is very accurate, and the retirement rate of people who have worked their way there is phenomenal. Lot of knowledge leaving the power industry at a high rate. ( I cannot wait, I am getting short.)
Link Posted: 7/2/2015 11:49:43 PM EDT
[#41]
I've worked several mutual assistance assignments.

Generally the local utilities will request the help, how far away we come depends on the extent of the damage. I have gone as far as MS and OK. We have sent people as far as CT.

On the storms I have worked, we were assigned feeders (main circuit) to get back on. After we got those fixed, we would go back and fix the laterals (circuits coming off the feeder). Once those were up, we cleaned up with fixing the individual customer services that were still down. Once we got that area fixed we would be given another feeder to work on.  

We had a local guy with us and had complete control of the feeder that we were assigned. From the breaker at the substation, to the switches that tied to other circuits and even the tree trimming crews were under our control (though the local guy).  We went above and beyond our regular work practices to isolate the section we were working on from the rest of the system due to the circumstances.

We definitely don't go for free. Our company asks for volunteers to go and usually has more than enough to make the trip. The host utility gets to pay the bill, however they charge it.
Link Posted: 7/2/2015 11:53:29 PM EDT
[#42]
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This is very accurate, and the retirement rate of people who have worked their way there is phenomenal. Lot of knowledge leaving the power industry at a high rate. ( I cannot wait, I am getting short.)
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Saw a lot of that in NJ after sandy. Heck we even had foreign Nat-gas and pipeline people show up at LBI (Really creepy seeing Texas trucks responding in NJ,but apparently when the main serving an entire 20 mile long barrier island gets compromised with seawater in the main trunk from the mainland and destroys the entire system... experts need to be called.)

Interesting stories on the electric side too, really old really esoteric substation was flooded out in my area. Supposedly a design that could neither be replaced or easily repaired comprising of thousands of small metal plates and a bunch of wire that all had to be taken apart and unwound by hand, cleaned with toothbrushes and cleaning solvent, and then put back and rewound by hand... betcha someone bought a house with all that OT. Still at least it could be fixed.

A real specialty unit blew in Lake Hopatcong and they were without power for months while they tried to figure out a replacement for a one of a kind oil-cooled transformer the size of a school bus.  



We'll lose 125 years of knowledge twixt this year and next year just in our department alone. To get someone to ''A'' skill level takes at least 5 years and we are so far behind the curve that it's impossible to ever catch up. Almost none of the management have actual working experience and those that do will be retired in the next couple years. However, as long as they hire some females and Blacks, everyone is happy even though they don't know shit and don't really have the physical, mechanical, and educational background to learn the work.  

The consensus of everyone I know who went to NJ for NG repair/restoration was that the utilities on the coast are run by idiots and tards of the highest order. They literally had no emergency plans in place for anything and entire crews of men stood around waiting to work because management didn't know shit.

[The majority of management at many utilities are no longer people who worked their way up and are familiar with operations and when large scale emergencies happen, it shows.]




This is very accurate, and the retirement rate of people who have worked their way there is phenomenal. Lot of knowledge leaving the power industry at a high rate. ( I cannot wait, I am getting short.)

Link Posted: 7/2/2015 11:54:42 PM EDT
[#43]


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The consensus of everyone I know who went to NJ for NG repair/restoration was that the utilities on the coast are run by idiots and tards of the highest order. They literally had no emergency plans in place for anything and entire crews of men stood around waiting to work because management didn't know shit.





[The majority of management at many utilities are no longer people who worked their way up and are familiar with operations and when large scale emergencies happen, it shows.]


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The consensus of everyone I know who went to NJ for NG repair/restoration was that the utilities on the coast are run by idiots and tards of the highest order. They literally had no emergency plans in place for anything and entire crews of men stood around waiting to work because management didn't know shit.





[The majority of management at many utilities are no longer people who worked their way up and are familiar with operations and when large scale emergencies happen, it shows.]








ETA:  I seem to recall a news article about toll workers not letting the foreign crews on the roads unless they paid.  Since they hadn't expected to be charged for trying to help, it caused a big stink until one of the governors set the toll workers straight.





 
Link Posted: 7/2/2015 11:55:12 PM EDT
[#44]
On the topic of safety...

I can get on my soapbox about unions with the best of them. I've worked with linemen all over the country - some IBEW, some not. The IBEW crews are overwhelming more skilled and safer in their work practices than the non-union guys.
Link Posted: 7/3/2015 12:00:59 AM EDT
[#45]
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Still don't know why t-lines need engineers. It's poles and wires people. Put the big end in the ground and hang wires on the little end. Geez.


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As a T-Line engineer, that was lulz.  It's a good thing people aren't just throwing switches and cooking people a state away.



Still don't know why t-lines need engineers. It's poles and wires people. Put the big end in the ground and hang wires on the little end. Geez.





It gets really tough when we have to underground it.  It seems the linemen never bury the poles right.

Link Posted: 7/3/2015 12:01:05 AM EDT
[#46]
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Some of you here may dig this. My utility recently had a retired Lineman pass away kind of unexpectedly. He was a great Lineman with 44 years of service. He kept the lights on. We did this for his procession to pass under on his last trip, then the Legion did a nice 21 gun salute. And we all got rippin drunk at the Legion and told stories about him. He would have loved it.


http://i20.photobucket.com/albums/b238/sd0324/20150630_110122-1_zpsy5hlhpzw.jpg
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That's awesome! Great memorial fellas!
Link Posted: 7/3/2015 12:07:20 AM EDT
[#47]
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You know, I never thought of that, I actually have a 13.8 switch on the corner of my property...and it is just a padlock on it. Never thought of some guy throwing a switch like that. I would shit my pants in the control room til I figured that one out! LOL.
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Let's say you have a crew from PA working on a break in the line.  They're up there fixing it, but unbeknownst to them, a crew from NJ is half a mile away fixing another break.  The NJ goes to close switches and blows the PA guy right off the fucking pole.  That's the part I don't get...




Holy fuck, that's  not how it works. Not at all. Switching is very complicated and coordinated. Nobody wants to kill a lineman. Thats my worst nightmare.

Posted Via AR15.Com Mobile


I am more concerned with a customer that has seen a switch on his street operated numerous times over the years by a lineman restoring power and thinks he can do it too. Most are only locked with a little brass lock. Nothing for small pair of bolt cutters won't handle.



You know, I never thought of that, I actually have a 13.8 switch on the corner of my property...and it is just a padlock on it. Never thought of some guy throwing a switch like that. I would shit my pants in the control room til I figured that one out! LOL.


It really is amazing you dont see more incidences of assholes opening and closing switches around town. People drive by and dont even think twice
Link Posted: 7/3/2015 12:16:08 AM EDT
[#48]
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It gets really tough when we have to underground it.  It seems the linemen never bury the poles right.

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As a T-Line engineer, that was lulz.  It's a good thing people aren't just throwing switches and cooking people a state away.



Still don't know why t-lines need engineers. It's poles and wires people. Put the big end in the ground and hang wires on the little end. Geez.





It gets really tough when we have to underground it.  It seems the linemen never bury the poles right.



I shudder to think about UG transmission. I've had to encase 15kV in a sub and it was bad enough. Uncommon for subs since the whole point of having a fence is so you don't have to bury the stuff.
Link Posted: 7/3/2015 12:38:20 AM EDT
[#49]
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On the topic of safety...

I can get on my soapbox about unions with the best of them. I've worked with linemen all over the country - some IBEW, some not. The IBEW crews are overwhelming more skilled and safer in their work practices than the non-union guys.
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It's the same sort of deal in the machining industry. I work at a non union shop. The #1 rule is don't get hurt, but get the job done as fast as possible. The focus is not on safety, but rather, not getting hurt. Safety and not getting hurt are two drastically different concepts.

Several of my classmates from technical school work at union shops. Safety is their #1 priority. If safety slows the job down, then so be it. They can't leave work with blood on their fingers with out filling out a report. We don't have that.

It's a night and day difference from what I am used to. I'm used to non union management. If you say the job was done right, then it was done right. If you get caught spinning up a web of bullshit, or wasting time, you are gone. No questions asked. The manager comes out with a red sheet of paper, and you pack up your shit and go. I can't even imagine an evironment where safety is everything. Safety is an abstract concept for us. People rarely get hurt at work. It's usually the shop idiots and wild men that slice themselves. Their behavior begged for it at some point. My union buddies look at me like I'm crazy when I say this.
Link Posted: 7/3/2015 1:02:09 AM EDT
[#50]
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Truth.  One power company guy from Ohio fixed my toaster.  
 
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There is no personnel management at all. They just drive around and fix stuff at will


Truth.  One power company guy from Ohio fixed my toaster.  
 


How big was this damn toaster?
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