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Old 12-10-2011, 08:49 AM   #76
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Help! Glowing spot at bonding screw


Unbelievable. I've never read anything like this before. The Detroit PoCo is a disgrace to the industry. Keep the kids out of the basement as long as your plumbing is energized....

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Old 12-10-2011, 10:47 PM   #77
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Our power company would be out same day. No question about it
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Old 12-12-2011, 12:52 PM   #78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kwilcox View Post
Unbelievable. I've never read anything like this before. The Detroit PoCo is a disgrace to the industry. Keep the kids out of the basement as long as your plumbing is energized....
Hehe... well, that's easy since we don't have a basement. The house is over a dirt crawlspace and has been standing since 1917 without a foundation.

So today, I went to work, then came home to see if I could work from home and keep an eye out to make sure the job got done right. When I got here, there were 4 trucks out in the street and the new service drop was already finished, they were just wrapping up some tree trimming.

I shut off my main and pulled my jumper wire to verify that the open neutral had been cured, and it had. So I put the jumper back to keep everything safe, looked outside to make sure I had proper garage clearance and that was good.

So ultimately, it seems I finally got the right people out to make the PoCo's part of the system right.
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Old 12-14-2011, 07:47 PM   #79
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Been following your situation. Glad DTE finally got it sorted out. I see from your experience and other's comments that DTE is as bad as my experience with them.

They let a 50,000 volt line keep my back yard on fire for 72 hours this summer, no exxagerating. (I'm not sure I have the exact voltage correct, but the order of magnitude is correct. It was a subdivision primary transmission line. And they knew this.)

You might remember a horrendous storm in early July this year. One of my neighbor's trees came down, snapping one of the primary transmission lines that runs along our back yard. I never got them to tell me precisely how much voltage it runs, but they confirmed it was tens of thousands of volts, and researching online it looks like those are usually 50kV. One end fell into our back yard, dangling on the fence, trees, and shrubbery. We were going outside to check the house for storm damage, and I heard that horrible electrical arcing sound.

DTE's emergency line was only accepting automated calls, so called 911. Within a few minutes, the arcing quickly set the shrubbery on fire, despite everything being soaking wet from all the rain.

The fire department came out, and an hour later said their dispatcher was still on hold trying to get in touch with a person at DTE, about my fire and two others in Westland due to downed wires. Apparently DTE has an unlisted phone number for city dispatchers to be able to call - this way, the city dispatcher can sit on hold for a longggg time to speak to someone, but it at least doesn't say they're only accepting automated calls and hang up on the person. They gave me this number, and said I could try calling them too.

I'm a squeeky wheel, so I was calling the DTE city emergency line every 1-2 hours, after my last conversation with them. That night, hold times were over an hour each. They kept saying for 72 hours they couldn't give an ETA to get the line shut off.

Each time I spoke with them, I asked for a supervisor. I explained I knew a lot of people were without power, and I wasn't asking to have my power back -- I just wanted the line turned off. I explained that my backyard was on fire. I explained that it was dangling on a metal fence, and that everyone has metal fences linked together in my neighborhood, so there was an electricution hazard even like 10-20 houses away.

No line crews showed up, but a few DTE workers who weren't line workers came by to see the fire, and verify that the situation was really bad.

DTE supervisors kept blaming it on dispatch, saying they were sending in escalated priority tickets, but that dispatch kept sending out non-line workers and ignoring the tickets.

Fire department finally left about 6 hours into the fire, saying they couldn't sit there the whole time that it burned. They of course can't use water to fight it, and said all they could do is spray foam on our house if it got significantly closer to the house. Luckily the fire never got closer than 8-10 feet.

Fire department told us to watch the fire, and call back if it got closer to the house. So, my wife and I got to take shifts watching the line for 72 hours making sure the house didn't burn down, while frantically making phone calls to supervisors at DTE begging to just have the line shut off.

All this, while DTE was busy at work in my subdivision getting the rest of the neighborhood's power back on. I'd even drive by DTE trucks, begging them to shut it off, and they all said they had to follow the tickets in order given by dispatch, while they saw smoke off in the distance. The head line crewman that eventually came by said quite a few things about DTE that I can't repeat. He was very upset about the non-important jobs they had been having him do for the past few days when this was still going on.

Here's a link to a video I shot when it had just about started. It got much worse, but I didn't shoot any additional video.

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Old 12-14-2011, 08:05 PM   #80
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Help! Glowing spot at bonding screw


All I can say is WOW!

I glad all you had was a fire and no one got hurt!
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Old 12-15-2011, 01:19 AM   #81
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That's unbelievable! I can't imagine that a situation like that could occur in the United States. That line was almost certainly 7200V, not higher - but an incredible hazard nonetheless.
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Old 12-15-2011, 08:12 AM   #82
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A single 7200 volt primary is one line of a 12,500 volt 3 phase primary system. It is not unheard of for the primary system to be in the 30 to 50 KV range phase to phase in which case the single primary would be around 17,000 to 29,000 volts phase to ground.

If the pole top insulator for the primary suggests a pine cone rather than a mushroom then there is a good chance that the phase to ground voltage is over 15 KV.
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Last edited by AllanJ; 12-16-2011 at 10:38 AM.
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Old 12-15-2011, 11:10 AM   #83
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Help! Glowing spot at bonding screw


Picture came out pretty bad through a window, but gets the job done. Looks to be a pinecone style to me.

Almost all of the rest of our neighborhood got power back before the line was shut off. Strangely, to me anyway not having a great understanding of the grid, they got everyone else power except for one neighbor on one side, and two neighbors on the other side, with that line in that condition.


Last edited by darlingm; 12-15-2011 at 11:13 AM.
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Old 12-15-2011, 05:37 PM   #84
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that is totally unbelievable. around here we ran 13.8 kv. 7.2 near the salt h2o. the closest thing i ever saw was an arc on a 3 ph pole in a driving rain. the trouble man could not open the switch from the ground, so he went up in the bucket w a sledge hammer. I was inside watching. it was lighting up the sky.

i think dept public utilities needs to see that video.
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Old 12-15-2011, 07:29 PM   #85
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Help! Glowing spot at bonding screw


That size insulators could possible handle up to 14,400/25,000 Volts. But probably not 50,000.

Most neighborhood distribution systems operate at 7200/12,500 Volts.
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Old 12-16-2011, 09:22 AM   #86
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File a complaint with the Michigan Public Service Commission, it's the state regulatory agency responsible for holding public utility companies accountable to customers.

http://www.michigan.gov/mpsc/0,1607,...415---,00.html

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