power line

Angela woke up thinking, "what's that weird noise?"

Shortly after, the power went out, and the crew arrived.
They insulated the overhead lines with rubber tubes.
Then they replaced the "High Voltage" sign with a shinier one.

Next they replaced all the wiring going into and out of the breakers.
They polished all of the parts with a wire brush first.
The old wires were attached with bolted clamps.
The new ones are crimped on.

I guess you don't want to be too close when you throw the switch!
The big white things are insulators; electricity flows through
the removable metal bars.

"The cable melted because it got too hot," he said.
"25,000 volts. Probably too many hair dryers."

The power came on as soon as he pushed the last breaker in.
Then I discovered that my DSL router was fried.
It was the only thing not on a surge supressor.
I was without internet for two whole days!
Let that be a lesson to you all.

Tags: ,

31 Responses:

  1. drbrain says:

    I like how it reads like a children's book.

  2. catenoid says:

    Jamie, you seem more cheerful than usual. You've also been without internet for two days. I don't think this is a coincidence.

  3. What is that? Is it a plasma arc?

  4. bdu says:

    Let that be a lesson to you all.

    That the internet is a much better place without JWZ mucking about?

  5. I was begninning to wonder where you were... I suppose this is a passable excuse for not posting to LJ... A phone post would have been nice.

    • jwz says:

      I have no tags for this! "robots"? "doomed"?

      • Duh! "High voltage"! "Warning"! "Lesson"!

        • relaxing says:

          Each year of already-tagged posts represents increasing resistance against creating new tags. It means acknowledging that either your classification scheme was flawed, or you have weblogged an event so novel that nothing prior to it could share its classification.

      • edlang says:

        I was going to suggest that you use similar tags to this story line but I note that you neglected (or at least, didn't trust anyone else) to tag those, too!

        The men appearing outside your window will continue until your morale and your tagging abilities improve.

  6. strspn says:

    I could have used those gloves and that insula-rod-thing. While working on a 240V three-phase breaker last year, I got knocked out cold, and ended up with an absurdly expensive paramedic visit bill.

    When I came to, I had a seriously different outlook on life. Far beyond anything most religious nuts describe. I was going to travel the world, I decided. But my mindset all went back to the usual same-old when the bill arrived.

    Electricity is too complicated. In the utopian future, everything will be powered by compressed air.

  7. autopope says:

    You have overhead power cables?!?!?!?

    How dangerous! How quaint!

    • jwz says:

      We fear change out here in the Colonies!

    • pyrop says:

      We've got nothing on Japan in terms of sheer overhead wires, though.

    • quercus says:

      Can you imagine the Great British Workman standing for all these overhead cables, rather than burying them as the good McAlpine intended?

      No shovels to lean on!
      No red-and-white striped tents to brew tea in!
      No good disruptive digging to be done!

    • boggyb says:

      They're quite common in some areas here (south .uk). Rural areas tend to have overhead 3-phase distribution (usually the 3 phases plus ground uninsulated running vertically above each other on the poles, and what's basically a large twisted pair running from that to the house. Sometimes the phases are insulated and bundled together instead). You also get plenty of the 11kv lines aroud (there's one that goes over the river behind the house), and there's the *big* pylons as well in places. It's only really in urban areas where all the wiring is underground, and even then it's common for the phone wiring to trundle underground, then go overhead for the last length to a house from the pole.

      Oddly enough, no-ones ever considered them to be dangerous round here. We've got more dangerous stuff anyway, like a third rail distribution system for railways.

  8. boggyb says:

    There's some impressive high-power arcs 'n' sparks stuff over there.

  9. luminalflux says:

    Way cool plasma arc pictures.

  10. I was awakened one fine day by a power line failure outside my house. It was far past daybreak, maybe 10:00, and the light form the electrical arcs was obliterating the sun's shadows, replacing them with its own, razor edged, horizontal ones. Heady times. Eventually the power company showed up, but not after it had lit a tree on fire.

    Sorry, no pictures.

  11. jkonrath says:

    When I was a kid, living in one of those middle states, a squirrel happened upon one of those big transformer things that hang from a telephone pole that look like a big cylinder of sorts. It stepped across it exactly the wrong way and exploded, with a sound something like a hand grenade, spraying pieces of transformer and squirrel in aerosol form all over our back yard, as power for the whole subdivision simultaneously went out.

    Unfortunately this was a decade or so too early for me to get any digital photos, so your story is much cooler.