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Sound Reinforcement - Forums for Live Sound Professionals - Your Displayed Name Must Be Your Real Full Name To Post In The Live Sound Forums => AC Power and Grounding => Topic started by: Jim Layton on August 21, 2016, 12:39:08 pm

Title: Temp power hook-up demonstration on This Old House
Post by: Jim Layton on August 21, 2016, 12:39:08 pm
I'm no electrician and don't play one on TV. Does this look ...real?

https://youtu.be/ldNfNj44FIQ (https://youtu.be/ldNfNj44FIQ)

I also found this Philly IBEW video...which implies what everyone says here.  Don't play with live wires.

https://youtu.be/X6NHLZRAsgA (https://youtu.be/X6NHLZRAsgA)
Title: Re: Temp power hook-up demonstration on This Old House
Post by: duane massey on August 21, 2016, 12:53:43 pm
I've watched electricians do this many times. Won't do it myself.
Title: Re: Temp power hook-up demonstration on This Old House
Post by: Cailen Waddell on August 21, 2016, 12:56:32 pm
I'm not an electrician either...  And I wonder about the ethics of skipping the meter in the example video from ToH.  That said, I have never seen power shut down before the meter in a residential situation.  Typically it is done hot afaik. 


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Title: Re: Temp power hook-up demonstration on This Old House
Post by: Jamin Lynch on August 21, 2016, 01:01:48 pm
I guess getting a small generator for power tools was out of the question.

And the home owners can't go without power for a while if it only takes about 5 hours to install the new box?

Seems like it would be safer than connecting live.
Title: Re: Temp power hook-up demonstration on This Old House
Post by: Mike Pyle on August 21, 2016, 05:06:31 pm
I noticed Mr. Electrician make a big deal out of the fact he was standing on a fiberglass ladder, but then passed a conductive coupling to the interviewer who was standing on an aluminum ladder.
Title: Re: Temp power hook-up demonstration on This Old House
Post by: Rob Spence on August 21, 2016, 05:29:43 pm
I noticed Mr. Electrician make a big deal out of the fact he was standing on a fiberglass ladder, but then passed a conductive coupling to the interviewer who was standing on an aluminum ladder.

Yes, but the coupling isn't energized and he wasn't touching a live connection.



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Title: Re: Temp power hook-up demonstration on This Old House
Post by: Rob Spence on August 21, 2016, 05:32:04 pm
I guess getting a small generator for power tools was out of the question.

And the home owners can't go without power for a while if it only takes about 5 hours to install the new box?

Seems like it would be safer than connecting live.

Replacing the service means connecting live no matter what. There is no individual disconnect at the poco and they are not going to drop the whole street just to change a service.


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Title: Re: Temp power hook-up demonstration on This Old House
Post by: Rob Spence on August 21, 2016, 05:35:37 pm
I'm not an electrician either...  And I wonder about the ethics of skipping the meter in the example video from ToH.  That said, I have never seen power shut down before the meter in a residential situation.  Typically it is done hot afaik. 


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If I did services all the time I think I would have a meter box with CS in and out so I could transfer the meter and avoid the ethics issue.

On the other hand we are likely talking about a buck or two of usage for the day (being actually 1/3rd of a full day.



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Title: Re: Temp power hook-up demonstration on This Old House
Post by: Brian Jojade on August 21, 2016, 05:37:18 pm
I don't know where to start on that whole setup. WOW!!!  Nothing about that seems right. Bypassing the meter completely?  Yikes.

The argument that power is needed in the house is a bit strange too, as their power tap is just external for some power tools.  The house is still without power unless they run a bunch of extension cords.

Either the power was off at the pole, or the load was already disconnected at the breaker panel, as you would probably have seen a spark when cutting a live wire under load.  I especially found it exciting that he started by cutting the neutral wire to 'get it out of the way'  LOL.  Electricians.....
Title: Re: Temp power hook-up demonstration on This Old House
Post by: Rob Spence on August 21, 2016, 05:43:52 pm
I don't know where to start on that whole setup. WOW!!!  Nothing about that seems right. Bypassing the meter completely?  Yikes.

The argument that power is needed in the house is a bit strange too, as their power tap is just external for some power tools.  The house is still without power unless they run a bunch of extension cords.

Either the power was off at the pole, or the load was already disconnected at the breaker panel, as you would probably have seen a spark when cutting a live wire under load.  I especially found it exciting that he started by cutting the neutral wire to 'get it out of the way'  LOL.  Electricians.....

I expect they threw the main switch in the basement first. 

I also expect they ran some extension cords for the freezer and fridge.

What bothered me is there is no ground mentioned.



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Title: Re: Temp power hook-up demonstration on This Old House
Post by: Jamin Lynch on August 21, 2016, 05:57:59 pm
Replacing the service means connecting live no matter what. There is no individual disconnect at the poco and they are not going to drop the whole street just to change a service.


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But isn't it the responsibility for the PoCo to get power to the meter and then downstream of the meter it's the homeowners responsibility?

Seems like the PoCo just could pull the meter which would shut off power to the main panel.
Title: Re: Temp power hook-up demonstration on This Old House
Post by: Rob Spence on August 21, 2016, 06:18:18 pm
But isn't it the responsibility for the PoCo to get power to the meter and then downstream of the meter it's the homeowners responsibility?

Seems like the PoCo just could pull the meter which would shut off power to the main panel.

Two things...
Pulling the meter doesn't help if you are replacing the meter box and wires up the side of the building. You missed that they are replacing the service with a whole new one.

The home owner is responsible for supplying everything attached to the house except for the strain relief for the cable from the pole. The poco only supplies the cable from the pole to the house where it then ties to the service entrance cable (the thing on the side of the house.
An exception is underground services.


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Title: Re: Temp power hook-up demonstration on This Old House
Post by: Stephen Swaffer on August 21, 2016, 06:24:24 pm
I've cut live wires and made them up before-I am an electrician (even the State of Iowa says so).  I would usually try to do this from my bucket truck-easier and safer.

I wouldn't do this without at least leather gloves (OSHA says voltage rated , too).
I wouldn't have an aluminum ladder within 100 yards-they couldn't afford a 32' fiberglass to do it right?
The main CB should be off first, then pull the meter.  Even then the ground is the last one cut.
Bypassing the meter would upset the POCO-would you walk out of the store with "just a little bit"?
Around here, the POCO disconnects and reconnects without charging-but probably not without a meter.
Rob is right-even temp power requires a complete ground system-ie 2 ground rods.
Probably number of other things I do almost subconsciously to make sure this won't be my last time doing this that I haven't mentioned.

Why waste time watching these morons?  I doubt this was actually live for the demo. Do they put anything you can actually rely on, on their show?  This is just asking to get someone killed.  Yes, people can do this safely-if you have to ask, I doubt that the group that can do this safely includes you.


(Rob is correct as far as the demarc point-although Co-ops sometimes are a little different..  Pulling the meter is a double check to make sure nothing is loading the circuit-something I can see while working.  Not that I don't trust others, but when it comes to my personal safety, I don't.)
Title: Re: Temp power hook-up demonstration on This Old House
Post by: Jamin Lynch on August 21, 2016, 06:40:40 pm
Two things...
Pulling the meter doesn't help if you are replacing the meter box and wires up the side of the building. You missed that they are replacing the service with a whole new one.

The home owner is responsible for supplying everything attached to the house except for the strain relief for the cable from the pole. The poco only supplies the cable from the pole to the house where it then ties to the service entrance cable (the thing on the side of the house.
An exception is underground services.


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Gottcha

I saw that, I was thinking the meter box and conduit was up to the PoCo to take care of.

Thanks
Title: Re: Temp power hook-up demonstration on This Old House
Post by: Jerome Malsack on August 21, 2016, 07:10:00 pm
This is another item that should have been in AC Power and Grounding ?
Title: Re: Temp power hook-up demonstration on This Old House
Post by: Bob Leonard on August 22, 2016, 12:58:00 am
I've done this a few times, but always with rubber gloves. I've replaced the service in my own house twice up to the weather head, and have worked with a close friend who is a licensed master on this type work a few times as well. It's not an uncommon practice and he did the job just as I was taught. I don't get the reason for not bringing in a jenny though. In every case where I've upgraded or replaced a service we brought in a jenny to use while the main panel was replaced. And Rob is 100% correct in his statements above.

Want to see a masterpiece in residential wiring? Have Rob post a picture of the service he installed for his own house. LED lighting in the cable chase and everything nice and neat.
Title: Re: Temp power hook-up demonstration on This Old House
Post by: Mike Sokol on August 22, 2016, 10:51:23 am
There's another real danger not mentioned by anyone yet. If you're up on a ladder tall enough to reach the second story of a building and you get any kind of shock at all, you'll most likely fall from the ladder. That's a LONG way down and will likely result in at least breaking a few bones and maybe worse.

Secondly, there's no over-current protection on that feeder wire, so it could go up in smoke if the conductors were shorted with a shovel or by being run over with the metal tread from a bulldozer or whatever. 

I do think that a DIY show airing a video that amateurs will likely emulate is a bad idea. The electrician seems awfully calm and complacent to be connecting to a hot wire with his bare hands while up on a tall ladder.

Here's the right way to run temp power for a construction site: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TM6b96v-4r0
Title: Re: Temp power hook-up demonstration on This Old House
Post by: Stephen Swaffer on August 22, 2016, 12:48:47 pm
The other thing that can startle you and cause you to lose your balance is arc flash.  Its unlikely to be explosively dangerous in this situation for a number of reasons, but it will be very noisy and bright if the hot and neutral touch and it will keep going most likely til the wire burns away enough to disconnect.

Even though its not recognized as a shock prevention measure by OSHA, I personally prefer to wear a heavy cotton long sleeve shirt-less exposed skin to inadvertently touch something.

I rarely bring in a genny to replace a panel/service.  Fridge and freezer should be good for a few hours, make sure batteries for tools are charged and a good LED headlamp are all you really have to have.
Title: Re: Temp power hook-up demonstration on This Old House
Post by: Jonathan Johnson on August 23, 2016, 12:54:40 pm
I do think that a DIY show airing a video that amateurs will likely emulate is a bad idea.

The thing is, TOH is no longer a DIY show, and it's really not even marketed as such. It's more about home design and showing the process that professional contractors go through. It's very rare for the homeowners to participate in the renovations they feature. What they show tends to be an overview, leaving out a ton of detail. The sad part is that viewers will interpret what they see as "I can do that!" even though they often don't have the training, tools, or experience to do it safely, correctly, or successfully.

The companion show, Ask This Old House, is the one billed as a DIY-type show. On ATOH, they do simple projects with the assistance of the homeowner. With few exceptions, these projects never take more than a day, and they include a lot of detail that's glossed over in the main TOH show.

EDIT: Not excusing what they did. Just pointing out it's not the DIY show everyone thinks it is.
Title: Re: Temp power hook-up demonstration on This Old House
Post by: Chris Hindle on August 23, 2016, 01:36:51 pm
The thing is, TOH is no longer a DIY show, and it's really not even marketed as such. It's more about home design and showing the process that professional contractors go through. It's very rare for the homeowners to participate in the renovations they feature. What they show tends to be an overview, leaving out a ton of detail. The sad part is that viewers will interpret what they see as "I can do that!" even though they often don't have the training, tools, or experience to do it safely, correctly, or successfully.

The companion show, Ask This Old House, is the one billed as a DIY-type show. On ATOH, they do simple projects with the assistance of the homeowner. With few exceptions, these projects never take more than a day, and they include a lot of detail that's glossed over in the main TOH show.

However someone wants do describe it, showing that little stunt on TV was irresponsible.
Never mind that the entire capacity of that line is now available for <whatever> in that spider box.
Sure, nothing will likely happen, but maybe Murphy is in town this weekend.

Chris.
Title: Re: Temp power hook-up demonstration on This Old House
Post by: Corey Scogin on August 23, 2016, 01:46:19 pm
I can't believe it's ever OK to do that work hot...not when there's a bare grounded cable 6" away that could be struck by a hot at any moment causing an arc flash.
Since when is using a fiberglass ladder sufficient for isolating one from shock? They're fiberglass in case of accidents, not to enable hot work.

My local PoCo has disconnects before most pole transformers I notice these days.
Title: Re: Temp power hook-up demonstration on This Old House
Post by: Chris Hindle on August 23, 2016, 01:54:58 pm
I can't believe it's ever OK to do that work hot...not when there's a bare grounded cable 6" away that could be struck by a hot at any moment causing an arc flash.
Since when is using a fiberglass ladder sufficient for isolating one from shock? They're fiberglass in case of accidents, not to enable hot work.

My local PoCo has disconnects before most pole transformers I notice these days.

In my area, those are fuses.
Had one blow a couple of years back. Pretty significant "Pop" from outside as the lights died.....
Chris.
Title: Re: Temp power hook-up demonstration on This Old House
Post by: Jonathan Johnson on August 23, 2016, 02:28:37 pm
I can't believe it's ever OK to do that work hot...not when there's a bare grounded cable 6" away that could be struck by a hot at any moment causing an arc flash.
Since when is using a fiberglass ladder sufficient for isolating one from shock? They're fiberglass in case of accidents, not to enable hot work.

My local PoCo has disconnects before most pole transformers I notice these days.

Many times that transformer supplies multiple residences. I'm guessing they didn't want to inconvenience the neighbors.

There's no problem doing hot work, providing you have the proper PPE for such work. The handles of most pliers and screwdrivers aren't voltage rated. I didn't see much for proper PPE in this video. And having untrained personnel anywhere near is a really bad idea.

The crews from the local utility do hot work all the time -- on the primary lines feeding the transformer. Of course, they have proper tools and PPE for hot work. And they do disconnect the power to the lines for major repairs.

Where I live, the local utility doesn't require metering temporary construction power under certain circumstances. But that temporary power doesn't include a spider box hooked directly to the transformer; it's usually an installed overhead service on a temporary pole or an underground service to a pedestal.

Even when you're working between the meter and the service equipment, you can't always pull the meter to disconnect power. If it's a CT meter, then there may be no cutout between the transformer and the service equipment. That's the way my place is set up, and it bugs me because it complicates replacement of the panel in my shop. One of these days I'll post a picture of it for your entertainment. You'll shudder.
Title: Re: Temp power hook-up demonstration on This Old House
Post by: Rob Spence on August 23, 2016, 04:01:58 pm
I can't believe it's ever OK to do that work hot...not when there's a bare grounded cable 6" away that could be struck by a hot at any moment causing an arc flash.
Since when is using a fiberglass ladder sufficient for isolating one from shock? They're fiberglass in case of accidents, not to enable hot work.

My local PoCo has disconnects before most pole transformers I notice these days.

As mentioned above, except in rural locations, there are multiple houses on a transformer and in some areas, multiple transformers.
Disconnecting would involve going to where the street connects to the next major one and killing the whole area. Not happening for one house.

I agree that doing this for tv with not only another person nearby, but obviously a camera operator there too was a bad move.

I suspect they would have just left the power off while replacing the service but they did mention there was something going on in the house that needed power.



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Title: Re: Temp power hook-up demonstration on This Old House
Post by: Stephen Swaffer on August 24, 2016, 12:56:19 pm
Something going on that trumps safety?  If power is an absolute must (medical equipment?) then the best solution is a Honday inverter (to keep noise down for neighbors).

Even without a disconnect, the POCO can easily cut the drop to this house at the pole and resplice later.  That eliminates hot wires anywhere near where you are working.  Very handy if you have to replace the mast, or want to put siding where the house knob is, etc.

Came across a quote yesterday I really like:

"Safety procedures get old-but so do those that follow them."
Title: Re: Temp power hook-up demonstration on This Old House
Post by: frank kayser on August 24, 2016, 06:14:01 pm
As mentioned above, except in rural locations, there are multiple houses on a transformer and in some areas, multiple transformers.
Disconnecting would involve going to where the street connects to the next major one and killing the whole area. Not happening for one house.

I agree that doing this for tv with not only another person nearby, but obviously a camera operator there too was a bad move.

I suspect they would have just left the power off while replacing the service but they did mention there was something going on in the house that needed power.

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TV lights for the show?
Title: Re: Temp power hook-up demonstration on This Old House
Post by: Mike Sokol on August 25, 2016, 08:32:14 pm

TV lights for the show?
Oh the irony...  ;)