Any fellow electrical workers out there?

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Kev83
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Any fellow electrical workers out there?

Postby Kev83 » Wed Apr 10, 2013 9:04 am

I do high/low voltage underground inspection and repairs in DC for the electric company there. I was wondering how many other guys are out there in similar fields? If you're like me you come across all kinds of stuff including historic/out of date devices that have been abandoned or are no longer in service and are truly a part of history and that also tickles my nerdy history bone. Lately I've come across quite a few really neat (in my opinion) finds that I've taken pics of. If anyone is interested in seeing them, let me know and ill post pics and descriptions. If not, hey I get it, rusty old turn of the century electrical devices aren't the most exciting topic.

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1965ford
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Postby 1965ford » Wed Apr 10, 2013 10:16 am

Turn of the century, from 1995 - 2005? That does not sound very exciting.

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1965ford
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Postby 1965ford » Wed Apr 10, 2013 10:17 am

I work for an electric Co-op in GA, but I do not get outside much, fly a desk most days. I would be interested in seeing the pics, some of my coworkers would find them interesting as well.

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Kev83
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Postby Kev83 » Wed Apr 10, 2013 10:39 am

1965ford wrote:Turn of the century, from 1995 - 2005? That does not sound very exciting.
Haha.. You got me! I should've said turn of the 20th century. Posting pics shortly

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Kev83
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Postby Kev83 » Wed Apr 10, 2013 11:08 am

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This isn't quite turn of the century but is a 1930s era 100kva transformer on a 4kv system thats been long disconnected. Note the lead feral style hookups

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These are in the same underground vault and are also on 4kv system. The larger is a 15kva and the two smaller ones are 10kva. Secondary voltage of 120/240

These photos below are of an original late 1800s to very early 1900s street car power system. The first is when it was mounted on the wall where it seems much larger than it actually was and the last photos are after we removed it. It operated on a 500 volt system

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Looking inside this device you can see the slots that the fuses went into and the bracket attached to the inside of the door which held them in place. Once the door is pulled open it separates the fuse from the connection. I must say fuse protection and fault control devices have come a long way since then.

The final photos are of a 500kva subsurface network transformer and is powered by 13kv primary voltage and has 277/480 for secondary. Not extremely old but from 50s era. It uses a mole style hookup with an old glyptol tape job. This is actually in use and in good condition.

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If you zoom in on the network protector you can see the install date hand written and the initials of the person who installed it. Anyway, I hope those interested enjoyed the pics!

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Postby tonydahose » Wed Apr 10, 2013 11:52 am

I hate working with/near electricity. I am guessing it started when i saw my dad trying to replace a light switch that was still hot, I was 6 years old. His pliers made a connection and they shot out of his hand and when I inspected them, one tip of the needle nose pliers had melted off. Ever since then, I just do not like it, even when I am wring stuff around my house. At work we have to ground out the El train in the city when we have an incident with it, I have no idea how many volts/amps it is but it is alot. All i can say is I am glad I am not the new guy anymore. That is his job now :) . Cool pics, I'll run into the burning buildings, you play with the live wires :D .
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Kev83
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Postby Kev83 » Wed Apr 10, 2013 12:13 pm

tonydahose wrote:I hate working with/near electricity. I am guessing it started when i saw my dad trying to replace a light switch that was still hot, I was 6 years old. His pliers made a connection and they shot out of his hand and when I inspected them, one tip of the needle nose pliers had melted off. Ever since then, I just do not like it, even when I am wring stuff around my house. At work we have to ground out the El train in the city when we have an incident with it, I have no idea how many volts/amps it is but it is alot. All i can say is I am glad I am not the new guy anymore. That is his job now :) . Cool pics, I'll run into the burning buildings, you play with the live wires :D .
I learned very quickly to highly respect electricity and work safely and properly. Oh and by the way I'm also a volunteer firefighter. I was a suppression lieutenant for several years. So glad to meet a fellow brother! Stay safe! Everyone goes home

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Postby tonydahose » Wed Apr 10, 2013 3:27 pm

A man of many talents :D , You stay safe as well.
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Postby The Mastiff » Wed Apr 10, 2013 4:55 pm

Growing up as a kid in Ohio we had the B&O, and the remains of the Canal & Towpath on our property. The old telegraph was sitting unused for decades so we began collecting the glass insulators.

I recall getting a good collection going , some of the insulators were worth good money. Unfortunately my father decided to take them from us and sell them to keep the money himself. I'd probably still have them. They were all dated and like coins it was fun seeing different years in the 1800's, early 1900's, different colors, even misprints, inverse , backwards, etc. which, like coins, could bring some of the best prices.
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Postby syphen » Wed Apr 10, 2013 6:11 pm

I started out in the field but got in to operating.

Learning to climb:
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Staring down some wilderness and a 44kV line.
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Tower painting.. terrible job. Paint is thick goopy epoxy based stuff.
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Walking through your standard Transformer station 230kV - 44kV
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Pretending to do what the old station operators used to do! Hah!
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I got some great pics of old indoor switch gear from the 30's-50's and some early 25hz equipment somewhere. Love that old stuff - the new stuff is NOT built the same.
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Postby Kev83 » Wed Apr 10, 2013 6:19 pm

Agreed syphen! I've seen 70-75 year old networks including 4kv systems with stof boxes, which they don't even make any more that are kicking *** still long after the newer higher voltage stuff has failed. I don't get much above ground because I specialize in underground but when I do I love going to the switch yards and watching them break loads on the 200kv lines and watch the fireworks.

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Postby syphen » Wed Apr 10, 2013 6:24 pm

Well, if everything is done right... There shouldn't be fireworks! ;)

I've seen some underground stuff that failed and blew the manhole covers off 20-30' in the air. I always give my head a shake when you see cars driving over these old vaults and stuff.
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Kev83
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Postby Kev83 » Wed Apr 10, 2013 6:34 pm

Well what I mainly mean by fireworks is the arc you get when they switch. Yeah all I do I go down into the underground vaults in sidewalks/roadways and anywhere else they can cram them. I look for insulation damage, faults and other safety issues and then make the repairs. I also do a little engineer work when a system needs overhauling and the grid needs to be reworked. I love the job and it doesn't hurt I'm in the nations Capitol every day and get to see all the sights and people watching for free. Although traffic has my blood boiling most days. Haha

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Postby Donut » Wed Apr 10, 2013 9:31 pm

I do more "end of the line" design work. Basically everything from the power company down the line.

We do a little bit of 4k distribution work where the owner owns distribution lines.

I've seen some old stuff, but nothing THAT old. Thanks for sharing.
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Postby BAL » Thu Apr 11, 2013 4:20 am

Great pics for everyone, thanks for sharing.

What's funny to me is that one day sometime in the future, people will look back at
what we have now and shake their heads and wonder why lines of any kind had to
be ran.

I remember back in the late 80's telling people that computers would take over the
world one day and everyone would have their own personal computer. People laughed
at me. I only wish that I could have somehow, made a monitary advancement from
my thoughts.

Good stuff guys, thanks for doing the work in the electric field that you do. I lost my
best friend in 1984 when he was trying to save a fellow co-worker when they were
working for an electric company.

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Postby phillipsted » Thu Apr 11, 2013 7:52 am

My Grandfather was an electrician in the SeaBees during WWII. He told me lots of cool stories about wiring lights on runways that had been freshly hacked out of the jungle on remote Pacific islands. Even though he was an electrician, he carried an M1 Carbine as part of his EDC kit.

TedP

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Postby SpyderNut » Thu Apr 11, 2013 8:16 pm

My father was a Journeyman lineman for NIPSCO (Northern Indiana Public Service Company) for 28 years. He started his career working in the Gary, Indiana area and then took a bid to come out to the east side of the state when I was just a young kid. He had a lot of interesting stories that he liked to share about when he was just a young buck starting out. For instance, my Dad’s direct supervisor was Marine Corps veteran who, according to my dad, was one of those types of guys who would eat grenades for breakfast and then go out and run 10 miles before going to work. As the story goes, my father was just staring line school and was learning how to climb a pole with gaffs. The Marine supervisor was also wearing climbing gaffs and was apparently trying to show the trainees how not to accidently gaff themselves in the foot/leg as they were climbing. By some fluke at that particular moment, the supervisor accidently gaffed himself directly through the side of his heel. :eek: The razor-sharp gaff sang right through his Chippewa line boot and directly into his foot. Without batting an eye, Dad said that the supervisor calmly took out a few cotton swabs and soaked them in a vial of antiseptic and then stuffed them right through the hole in his boot. The supervisor then proceeded to commence the training.

Sadly, my father had a terrible accident in June of 2001 (he was accidently electrocuted while he was working to install a service to a new medical office) and he passed away in July of 2001. My dad’s coworkers were very supportive to my family following his passing. Talk about a great group of guys.

Stay safe,

Michael
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Kev83
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Postby Kev83 » Fri Apr 12, 2013 6:29 am

Thanks for the replies guys! I'm sure your family members were great men and everyone was better for having known them. It's sad to hear about line of duty deaths and just brings to light no matter how safe we are and assume to be an accident can occur. I have luckily have had the blessing of working with lead men who have been in the field for 40 years or more and it's great to get the knowledge of the old school guys. I've been in the field for a little less than 10 years and learn something new on a regular basis from these guys. I'd take real world, back breaking, blue collar field experience over book learning any day!

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Kev83
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Postby Kev83 » Wed Apr 24, 2013 9:58 am

Here's a few more items I've come across today

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The area I'm working in still has a lot of old 4kv left in it. Here's a 1940's 50kva transformer still working

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This is a 4kv stof box.. Basically a device used to shut down the load side of the transformer. A switch, more or less.

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This pic here is of a very old most likely late 1920s or early 1930s era 100kva transformer. You can see the water line on the transformer from how deep the water was before we pumped it out. It is badly rusted and will be replaced soon.

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Postby psimonl » Thu Apr 25, 2013 7:41 pm

Even if I am not in that field of work, that is pretty amazing stuff....
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