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Are these cracks in the service drop in need of new insulation/replacement?

If an ignant was touching the mast and this insulation would it arc thru and cook the ignant?

No. Maybe just send him to the bathroom if the wire was wet. Old guys like you and I, it could kill...if wet.

Marc

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Ignant = someone who knows better but does something really stupid anyway.

If I saw those entrance conductors in that bad a shape, I'd probably put it in the report. The insulation is there for a reason; if it's compromised or failed, bad things can happen.

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I agree. I'd be hitting it with 3M tape and it'd be fine.

I'd never say that in a report though. It's just setting oneself up for some cavalier asshole to slam the stupid home inspector. If Mr. Cavalier wants to do it, cool.

I don't know what it's like elsewhere, but a lot of the union guys just lay in waiting for HI's to say something they can contradict to make us look like dorks.

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Did someone (CF?) advocate taping a service conductor with a potential from the pole of about 3000 amps? [:-crazy]

Don't do that. Spray some liquid tape on it maybe, but I would not touch it.

The available amperage shouldn't be an issue.

Just to be clear, there's not a "potential" of 3000 amps. There's a potential (at the most) of 240 volts. A well taped repair would be fine.

In many (most, in my area) cases, the splices at the weather head are only taped to begin with. Taped repairs in this location are fine.

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Did someone (CF?) advocate taping a service conductor with a potential from the pole of about 3000 amps? [:-crazy]

Don't do that. Spray some liquid tape on it maybe, but I would not touch it.

The available amperage shouldn't be an issue.

Just to be clear, there's not a "potential" of 3000 amps. There's a potential (at the most) of 240 volts. A well taped repair would be fine.

In many (most, in my area) cases, the splices at the weather head are only taped to begin with. Taped repairs in this location are fine.

LIQUID tape sprayed from a metal can? Even if the liquid tape is not flammable (which I suspect it is) it is almost certainly conductive while in the liquid state. I would be far more comfortable using non-conductive tape!

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Did someone (CF?) advocate taping a service conductor with a potential from the pole of about 3000 amps? [:-crazy]

Don't do that. Spray some liquid tape on it maybe, but I would not touch it.

The available amperage shouldn't be an issue.

Just to be clear, there's not a "potential" of 3000 amps. There's a potential (at the most) of 240 volts. A well taped repair would be fine.

In many (most, in my area) cases, the splices at the weather head are only taped to begin with. Taped repairs in this location are fine.

There's enough amperage to supply 5 or 6 homes, no? OK maybe it's 1200 amps. When the linesman makes that connection, power is turned off at the transformer.

I have never even seen Liquid Tape so I wouldn't know if it is scary to use. I am just saying don't touch the service drop.

OK, I seldom disagree with y\all, but in this matter, you who would take hold of a live SEC are mistaken, sirs.

[:)]

Put it this way, where is the breaker to protect the cable from over current? It is at the transformer and it is not a whimpy little household breaker either.

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Did someone (CF?) advocate taping a service conductor with a potential from the pole of about 3000 amps? [:-crazy]

Don't do that. Spray some liquid tape on it maybe, but I would not touch it.

The available amperage shouldn't be an issue.

Just to be clear, there's not a "potential" of 3000 amps. There's a potential (at the most) of 240 volts. A well taped repair would be fine.

In many (most, in my area) cases, the splices at the weather head are only taped to begin with. Taped repairs in this location are fine.

There's enough amperage to supply 5 or 6 homes, no? OK maybe it's 1200 amps. When the linesman makes that connection, power if off at the transformer.

I have never even seen Liquid Tape so I wouldn't know if it is scary to use. I am just saying don't touch the service drop.

The available amperage isn't the issue. If you touch a wire, it only takes a fraction of an amp to kill you. 10 amps is just as deadly as 3,000 amps.

With regard to electrocution or shocks, a bare conductor at the drip loop is not any more dangerous than a bare conductor at a table lamp. Either one can kill. The amount of available amperage doesn't make it worse. (Think of it like drowning. You're just as much at risk of drowning in 10 feet of water as you are in 3,000 feet of water.)

The voltage is only 120 volts to ground or to the neutral, or 240 volts between the two hots. Deadly, yes, but not enough to jump out and grab you (as it might be when over 600 volts). If the service conductor insulation is still substantially intact, then deep cracks can be repaired with tape. While I'm sure that it would be wise to cut power from the transformer, I don't know any electricians who would actually do that for this kind of repair.

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Did someone (CF?) advocate taping a service conductor with a potential from the pole of about 3000 amps? [:-crazy]

Don't do that. Spray some liquid tape on it maybe, but I would not touch it.

The available amperage shouldn't be an issue.

Just to be clear, there's not a "potential" of 3000 amps. There's a potential (at the most) of 240 volts. A well taped repair would be fine.

In many (most, in my area) cases, the splices at the weather head are only taped to begin with. Taped repairs in this location are fine.

There's enough amperage to supply 5 or 6 homes, no? OK maybe it's 1200 amps. When the linesman makes that connection, power if off at the transformer.

I have never even seen Liquid Tape so I wouldn't know if it is scary to use. I am just saying don't touch the service drop.

The available amperage isn't the issue. If you touch a wire, it only takes a fraction of an amp to kill you. 10 amps is just as deadly as 3,000 amps.

With regard to electrocution or shocks, a bare conductor at the drip loop is not any more dangerous than a bare conductor at a table lamp. Either one can kill. The amount of available amperage doesn't make it worse. (Think of it like drowning. You're just as much at risk of drowning in 10 feet of water as you are in 3,000 feet of water.)

The voltage is only 120 volts to ground or to the neutral, or 240 volts between the two hots. Deadly, yes, but not enough to jump out and grab you (as it might be when over 600 volts). If the service conductor insulation is still substantially intact, then deep cracks can be repaired with tape. While I'm sure that it would be wise to cut power from the transformer, I don't know any electricians who would actually do that for this kind of repair.

I can't agree, Mycroft. While I do agree a table lamp can kill someone, in fact they say 1/10th of an amp can cause the heart muscle to spasm out of control. But we are talking a massive surge of power from a huge power source.

E X I = P. 120 volts X 1000 amps = 120,000 Watts, and that is enough juice to light up the neighborhood.

A cordless drill battery doesn't give you a shock, but a car battery sure can. The higher amperage overcomes the resistance of your skin, especially when you're out in the boat with wet hands.[:-party]

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E X I = P. 120 volts X 1000 amps = 120,000 Watts, and that is enough juice to light up the neighborhood.

The amount of wattage that's available is unimportant. If you connect a 60-watt bulb directly between one of the service conductors at the drip loop and the neutral conductor, it will only draw 60 amps, just as it would in a table lamp. The lack of an overcurrent protection device won't make it draw more. It doesn't matter how many are available. Likewise, if you touch the hot wire and the neutral at the same time, the resistance of your body will limit the amount of wattage that flows though you. I don't know what the number is - it might not even be calculable, but it will be a fairly small number, certainly not enough to trip a breaker even if there were one.

The only difference between touching a bare wire on a table lamp and a bare wire at a service drop is that there's an overcurrent device on the table lamp. That overcurrent device will do nothing to prevent you from being electrocuted. By the time enough current flows through you to trip a circuit breaker, you'd be fried. It might not even trip then.

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Did someone (CF?) advocate taping a service conductor with a potential from the pole of about 3000 amps? [:-crazy]

Don't do that. Spray some liquid tape on it maybe, but I would not touch it.

The available amperage shouldn't be an issue.

Just to be clear, there's not a "potential" of 3000 amps. There's a potential (at the most) of 240 volts. A well taped repair would be fine.

In many (most, in my area) cases, the splices at the weather head are only taped to begin with. Taped repairs in this location are fine.

There's enough amperage to supply 5 or 6 homes, no? OK maybe it's 1200 amps. When the linesman makes that connection, power if off at the transformer.

I have never even seen Liquid Tape so I wouldn't know if it is scary to use. I am just saying don't touch the service drop.

The available amperage isn't the issue. If you touch a wire, it only takes a fraction of an amp to kill you. 10 amps is just as deadly as 3,000 amps.

With regard to electrocution or shocks, a bare conductor at the drip loop is not any more dangerous than a bare conductor at a table lamp. Either one can kill. The amount of available amperage doesn't make it worse. (Think of it like drowning. You're just as much at risk of drowning in 10 feet of water as you are in 3,000 feet of water.)

The voltage is only 120 volts to ground or to the neutral, or 240 volts between the two hots. Deadly, yes, but not enough to jump out and grab you (as it might be when over 600 volts). If the service conductor insulation is still substantially intact, then deep cracks can be repaired with tape. While I'm sure that it would be wise to cut power from the transformer, I don't know any electricians who would actually do that for this kind of repair.

I can't agree, Mycroft. While I do agree a table lamp can kill someone, in fact they say 1/10th of an amp can cause the heart muscle to spasm out of control. But we are talking a massive surge of power from a huge power source.

E X I = P. 120 volts X 1000 amps = 120,000 Watts, and that is enough juice to light up the neighborhood.

A cordless drill battery doesn't give you a shock, but a car battery sure can. The higher amperage overcomes the resistance of your skin, especially when you're out in the boat with wet hands.[:-party]

John K, you're wrong. A car battery won't shock when any battery of the same voltage doesn't, other conditions being identical.

Marc

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Did someone (CF?) advocate taping a service conductor with a potential from the pole of about 3000 amps? [:-crazy]

Don't do that. Spray some liquid tape on it maybe, but I would not touch it.

The available amperage shouldn't be an issue.

Just to be clear, there's not a "potential" of 3000 amps. There's a potential (at the most) of 240 volts. A well taped repair would be fine.

In many (most, in my area) cases, the splices at the weather head are only taped to begin with. Taped repairs in this location are fine.

There's enough amperage to supply 5 or 6 homes, no? OK maybe it's 1200 amps. When the linesman makes that connection, power if off at the transformer.

I have never even seen Liquid Tape so I wouldn't know if it is scary to use. I am just saying don't touch the service drop.

The available amperage isn't the issue. If you touch a wire, it only takes a fraction of an amp to kill you. 10 amps is just as deadly as 3,000 amps.

With regard to electrocution or shocks, a bare conductor at the drip loop is not any more dangerous than a bare conductor at a table lamp. Either one can kill. The amount of available amperage doesn't make it worse. (Think of it like drowning. You're just as much at risk of drowning in 10 feet of water as you are in 3,000 feet of water.)

The voltage is only 120 volts to ground or to the neutral, or 240 volts between the two hots. Deadly, yes, but not enough to jump out and grab you (as it might be when over 600 volts). If the service conductor insulation is still substantially intact, then deep cracks can be repaired with tape. While I'm sure that it would be wise to cut power from the transformer, I don't know any electricians who would actually do that for this kind of repair.

I can't agree, Mycroft. While I do agree a table lamp can kill someone, in fact they say 1/10th of an amp can cause the heart muscle to spasm out of control. But we are talking a massive surge of power from a huge power source.

E X I = P. 120 volts X 1000 amps = 120,000 Watts, and that is enough juice to light up the neighborhood.

A cordless drill battery doesn't give you a shock, but a car battery sure can. The higher amperage overcomes the resistance of your skin, especially when you're out in the boat with wet hands.[:-party]

John K, you're wrong. A car battery won't shock when any battery of the same voltage doesn't, other conditions being identical.

Marc

Marc. I have a good memory. In 1991, I was standing in salt water, leaning into the boat and wiggling battery terminals. Felt a nasty jolt. Are you telling me you will feel that from a flashlight or a drill? If you drop a wrench across car battery terminals, what happens? But I shouldn't have brought DC into the discussion.

Arc welding with an AC welder is an example of low voltage and high amperage, and as we know, that arc can melt steel in an instant.

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The car battery analogy is badly flawed when compared to household wiring. However you're just as likely to be shocked by any 12 volt battery. You were bitten because you were covered with very conductive salty water. I've been stung by one of my spare camera batteries that was in my pocket when my hands were soaking wet, and it's only 3.7 volts with some tiny amount of amperage. (It felt like I was being stung by a wasp.)

The voltage determines how hard the electricity pushes through you. The amperage is limited by your resistance. Once you pass a certain threshold, additional available amperage doesn't make the shock any worse.

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Marc. I have a good memory. In 1991, I was standing in salt water, leaning into the boat and wiggling battery terminals. Felt a nasty jolt. Are you telling me you will feel that from a flashlight or a drill?

No. There's extra resistance in the circuit when the voltage source is a 12 v cordless drill battery and that extra resistance is inside the battery. A current calculation considers only voltage and resistance values and smaller batteries have higher resistance than larger ones. In engineering terms, it's referred to as 'internal impedance'.

If you drop a wrench across car battery terminals, what happens?

That's because the combined resistance of the wrench and voltage source is lower than a body.

But I shouldn't have brought DC into the discussion.

The choice of DC or AC has nothing to do about it.

Arc welding with an AC welder is an example of low voltage and high amperage, and as we know, that arc can melt steel in an instant.

Arc welding with an AC welder is an example of a low voltage source with a very low internal impedance. It can deliver high amperages with little loss of output voltage.

A current in a closed circuit is proportional to the vector sum of the voltage sources within it and inversely proportional to the total circuit impedance.

The terms 'current capacity', 'current potential' sometimes come up in conversation for reasons of convenience but it's misleading to the less informed.

Marc

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The car battery analogy is badly flawed when compared to household wiring. However you're just as likely to be shocked by any 12 volt battery. You were bitten because you were covered with very conductive salty water. I've been stung by one of my spare camera batteries that was in my pocket when my hands were soaking wet, and it's only 3.7 volts with some tiny amount of amperage. (It felt like I was being stung by a wasp.)

The voltage determines how hard the electricity pushes through you. The amperage is limited by your resistance. Once you pass a certain threshold, additional available amperage doesn't make the shock any worse.

If you short the camera battery with a piece of wire does it burn a mark on the contacts? Not even if it was 12 v, but do that on a car battery and it starts to weld. But you are correct and I said this above, DC is not house wiring, a poor analogy.

Standing on the roof of a house, you are relatively well insulated from the ground and you could apply 120 volts to your hand and not get a shock, ok. If you tried to tape the wire while standing on a metal ladder you could die. If, standing on the roof, your foot slipped and you grabbed the mast with your other hand you could die. That was the scenario that Denny was picturing. The breaker at the transformer will not trip because it is rated for whatever, a large amount of current.

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Marc, I was posting before I read that.

Carry on then. I have a huge respect for high voltage, as I have played with tube audio for many years and felt the sting of 400 volts, luckily just between palm and wrist.

Getting back to the service conductors, y'all are saying that they are no more dangerous than household wiring, but I do not accept that. There is no limit to the current. If high amperage was irrelevant, you could carry an arc welder around in your shirt pocket.

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. . . Getting back to the service conductors, y'all are saying that they are no more dangerous than household wiring, but I do not accept that. There is no limit to the current. If high amperage was irrelevant, you could carry an arc welder around in your shirt pocket.

There are several ways in which the lack of overcurrent protection at the service conductors is more dangerous than it would be on the load side of the service. But all of them have to do with objects other than a human body. Conductive objects that have low resistance will allow huge currents to flow through them. Our bodies aren't like that. We die long before a 15-amp circuit breaker will trip.

  • The only difference between the electricity at the service wires and the electricity at the household wiring is the presence of circuit breakers.

Circuit breakers don't prevent people from being electrocuted.
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. . . Getting back to the service conductors, y'all are saying that they are no more dangerous than household wiring, but I do not accept that. There is no limit to the current. If high amperage was irrelevant, you could carry an arc welder around in your shirt pocket.

There are several ways in which the lack of overcurrent protection at the service conductors is more dangerous than it would be on the load side of the service. But all of them have to do with objects other than a human body. Conductive objects that have low resistance will allow huge currents to flow through them.

Such as a wrist-watch band, or a screwdriver in your paralyzed hand, welding you to the mast with 1000 amperes. [:)]

And another thing [:)], dry skin is a poor conductor, and blood is a pretty good conductor, and it is easy for Mr. Handy to cut himself up there, fumbling with tape and a knife.

Our bodies aren't like that. We die long before a 15-amp circuit breaker will trip.
Yep.

  • The only difference between the electricity at the service wires and the electricity at the household wiring is the presence of circuit breakers.

Circuit breakers don't prevent people from being electrocuted.

So true, Jim. Agreed.

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After all this I want to clarify what is in the OP picture.

Is it what I call the service lateral before it connects with the service entrance at the mast head?

That's what it looks like to me. In which case it's nobody's business but the POCO.

What I see damaged all the time is the outside bundle wrap of the SEC, but that is past the meter base.

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