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Galaxyhunter

Impressive Power of Electricity

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Galaxyhunter

Last Wednesday afternoon, I setup my CNC to run a part that was to run until midnight.  Then Thursday morning I got to work to find my CNC machine had stopped in the middle of the program.  Well this was nothing new, the machine about once a year seams to hiccup & stop for no reason.  The boss had stopped at my machine ( Wednesday evening) to find it not moving so he shut down all the power to the machine & compressor. So Thursday morning I go to start my machine to find a drive fault error.  This is new, I figured that something had happen to the control panel $$$$.   So I start programing my next job.  About a ½ hour later, the apprentice comes in & tells me his machine wont start & it was giving him the same error code.  This tells me there is an electrical problem.  I go the Bridgeport & flip the power switch and the motor is making a lot of noise.  I have heard this before & knew it was Single Phasing, meaning we lost one leg of our 3 phase power.   About this time I see the boss drive up, So I went and told him about the problem.  He calls the power company & they are there in about 10 minutes.  One man in a pickup based bucket truck goes the poll with the transformers, gets his fiberglass poll and lifts himself up to the transformers.  He picks off a squirrel that had decided to cook himself.  He moves to the poll that has the - I'm thinking it is the main fuse to the transformer - and has to go to the top of the buckets reach. With his fiberglass poll, he goes to install a new fuss.  He hooks the bottom in & the instant he pushes the top in, it detonates. All that was left was a yellow debris cloud.  Now the bang it made was louder then any gun I have ever heard.  People came running out of buildings to see what was going on.  I have to say that the lineman must of had this happen to him before because he never flinched.   The pic below is the ( for lack of the proper term ) fuss.  about 6 - 8 inches long & 3/4" diameter.

post-4769-0-08979600-1507083913_thumb.jpg

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Steed

We used to call those "Cut-outs", but they are in fact a fuse.

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Monkeytrucker

We used to have a "hot stick" in the oil field. You quickly learned that they can POP when you put the drop out back up. 

 

Being our power lines here in the country and exposed to lightning and tree limbs makes outages happen often and when our power here at the house drops out for the 3 rd time (autorecloser will not try to reset after 3 times) we know we are going to be out for a while.  First thing we do is go outside and listen for the oil pump jacks running.  If they are then it is usually the drop out at our transformer.  If they are not running I drive the power line back several drop outs.  If I spot one down it helps get the power company linemen who have to drive 30-40 miles to get here will at least have an idea of where the fault is.

 

It is fun when the power company works on your 3 phase lines and somehow gets two wires swapped around.  All of your equipment runs backwards.  

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Galaxyhunter

When the fuss detonated,  the lineman said that there must be a problem with an (I believe he said) arrester ?? at the transformer, and that he would have to call a different crew.  That there needed to be more than 1 crewman (safety) to do that job & that his bucket truck didn't reach the transformers anyway.  About 10 minutes later, 2 more bigger trucks arrived.  The power was restored in about 20 minutes.  Back when I used to play a lot of softball,  I played with a few linemen for Com Ed.  They said that squirrels is a common problem. If the fuss blowing up is the effect when squirrels short themselves across the transformers,  Then I have heard that in my little village about once every other year. It sounded basically like the fireworks bombs that go off.

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Monkeytrucker

Our electric co-op nailed a band of slippery black plastic around every transformer pole in their area of service.  That alone saved a bundle in "Racoon outages"

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