Power Line to my house was broken

   #1  

EddieWalker

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Next door to me is a natural gas line with a tap that the gas company is currently working on. They are in the process of running a new gas line down the road and in the evening, they park the excavator inside the fenced area around the tap.

Yesterday I went out front to mow the weeds along the road and at the entrance to my place. While mowing, I noticed a cable hanging on my fence. It was so out of place that I just mowed around it while processing what it was. It took me a good ten seconds to comprehend that it was the bottom power line to my house. It was broke pretty clean, and just guessing, it happened exactly over the gate into the fenced area of the gas line tap.

I called 911 and the fire department was there in ten minutes. The Chief said it was the neutral line and that it wasn't hot. I could keep mowing and the power company would be out later to fix it.

Since I still have power at my house, I guess it's not that big of a deal. But what I don't understand is how do I still have power at my house? Top wire is hot, bottom wire in neutral. But if you don't need the bottom wire, why have it?
 
   #2  

4570Man

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On older houses the neutral and the ground were bonded anyway. I assume it must be running into the ground for it to continue working.
 
  
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EddieWalker

EddieWalker

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I built the house in 2005, which is when the power lines where installed. There is a ground line coming down the pole where the transformer is. Is that's all that's needed?
 
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4570Man

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How are the lines installed where they were able to break just one. Aren’t they in conduit?
 
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4570Man

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Usually there’s a ground wire on the electric pole. Is it possible that’s what they broke vs the house neutral wire?
 
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that it was the bottom power line to my house.

How are the lines installed where they were able to break just one. Aren’t they in conduit?
Overheads between poles are not in conduit and are separated by several feet. Usually the two primaries tie in to a transformer at some point and pick up the neutral in a triplex cable, so I guess it depends on what got snagged and where. In some cases there may be three singles coming to the last pole nearest the house with the lowest/bottom being the neutral.
 
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4570Man

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Overheads between poles are not in conduit and are separated by several feet. The two primaries tie in to a transformer at some point and pick up the neutral in a triplex cable, so I guess it depends on what got snagged and where.

I missed that part I was assuming it was an under ground wire that was broken.
 
  
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EddieWalker

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Not sure if I understand what you guys are saying. There are two power line cables running down the road to my place, and then into my land, where they end at the transformer. In this picture, you can see the Gas Line Tap Station with a truck in there delivering something. I asked those guys if they knew anything about the broken cable, and they said no. The excavator is a Cat 315 with rubber tracks. They block the highway with company trucks when it crosses the road to where they are working. Then they bring it back every evening. In the air, you can see just one power line cable. To the right, you can see a power pole that is coming to my house. My place is to the left of this.

166497436_10225544174973930_5629852802343077557_o.jpg

When mowing along my fence, this is the power line that I saw, but didn't comprehend what it was at first. If you look close, you can see where the break is. Just guessing, there appears to be enough cable laying there that it lines up perfectly with the middle of that gate opening. I never went down the road to look at the other end of the power line.

166194419_10225544173453892_6154776026974680650_o.jpg

I always thought they carried somewhere around 14,000 volts through them, and then the transformer dropped it down to 240. I also thought that both power lines where hot. The Chief of the Fire Department told me that the top line was hot and the bottom was neutral. I guess he's correct because I still have power to my house with just the one power line. I just don't understand how this works and was hoping somebody could explain it to me in simple terms that I will understand.
 
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Your service neutral wire might be tapped on the other side/line of the pole.You should also have a copper down ground wire running down the transformer pole to some ground rods next to the pole.You should also have a ground rod driven in by your meter socket ..
 
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coobie

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Please STAY CLEAR of that primary Neutral wire as it can still have a potential of back feed from another upstream or down stream source..Power banks and such ..The power company should get that fixed ASAP..
 
 
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