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Old 06-11-2009, 11:30 AM   #1
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Utility pole transformer replacement (pics) - Not quite DIY


My local POCO, LIPA, woke me up this morning with the sound of a crane in my backyard. They also had a brand-new transformer with them.

I'd never seen them change one out before, so I thought you guys might be interested in some pics. I had a pretty good view from my bedroom window..





















And that's when I had to leave for work.

This actually did not knock out power to my house. I was on that transformer until yesterday when they replaced the low voltage lines, and now apparently I'm being fed by a transformer that's upstream, to the right of these pics.

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Old 06-11-2009, 06:19 PM   #2
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Utility pole transformer replacement (pics) - Not quite DIY


I've been the guy on the pole a few times. I like it a lot better if the top of the crane is above the top of the pole, the further the better. It's much easier to position the transformer if you have some line between the crane and the hook. Winching a transformer up a pole with no crane is quite a chore. That transformer likely weighs about 600 lbs.

That transformer is known as a 'single bushing'. The hot side of the primary (high voltage) side is the insulator on top. The other side is connected to the case, which is connected to the primary neutral. These transformers can be used only on a system where the primary neutral is grounded.

The other type is a 'two bushing'. It has two insulators on top, and can be used with a primary hot and a grounded neutral, or two primary hots.

It's sort of hard to read, but it looks like a 50 KVA, 13,200 volt primary. The secondary is 120/240. If this is so, the primary full-load current is 3.8 amps. The secondary current is 208 amps.

Climbing a pole like that is a bit uncomfortable until you get used to it. Your lower back, knees and ankles will be rather sore for a while. In this case, the top power line is the one with the voltage in it. The lower one (the one the orange hot-stick is hanging from) is grounded.

Rob

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Old 06-11-2009, 06:26 PM   #3
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How strange... there appears to only be two guys watching the guy on the pole. Usually, there's at least four guys doing nothing.
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Old 06-11-2009, 07:24 PM   #4
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It's much easier to position the transformer if you have some line between the crane and the hook. Winching a transformer up a pole with no crane is quite a chore. That transformer likely weighs about 600 lbs.
The guy operating the crane was definitely new, or at least new to that equipment. A few times he extended the boom without playing out line and almost got the shackle caught in the top pulley (I'm not up on crane lingo, so hope you get the idea...)

I don't think they could have put the boom far enough above the high-volt line to clear the transformer.. Looked to me like the boom was too short. The crane operator got the old xformer out pretty smooth, but he dropped the new one a few inches onto the low voltage lines trying to squeeze it through.. I saw the guy on the pole wince a little, and it shook pretty good.

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It's sort of hard to read, but it looks like a 50 KVA, 13,200 volt primary. The secondary is 120/240. If this is so, the primary full-load current is 3.8 amps. The secondary current is 208 amps.
Yup, it says CP3[cutoff] / 50+.. I just checked the full-size pics.

208A @ 240V?? That sounds small, considering many of my neighbors have 200A service and CAC. Though they were doing this work because our area would get frequent voltage drops (my lights dimmed when the neighbor's CAC compressor kicked on). They replaced all the low-volt wiring, and added a transformer down the line, splitting the block betw. that one and the one in the pics.

Thanks for all the info!

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How strange... there appears to only be two guys watching the guy on the pole. Usually, there's at least four guys doing nothing.
Heheheh, so true.

I give them credit though, the guy in the green vest actually came to my door yesterday (when they were replacing the lines) to tell me that they'd be doing work, and that my service would be disconnected. Nice guy too; put up with my questions. They cleaned up pretty good too.. The guy dropped some wiring scraps from the pole into my bushes -- they're gone now.
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Old 06-11-2009, 08:25 PM   #5
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How strange... there appears to only be two guys watching the guy on the pole. Usually, there's at least four guys doing nothing.
They don't work for GA power!
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Old 06-11-2009, 08:41 PM   #6
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208 Amps for a 50KVA Transformer doesn't jive (It don't Jive.) Sorry! It certainly does! At first glance it looks impossible! But when you take a calculator (or figure it in your head) you see that it checks out! Using the formula I = P over E. It's funny, I've installed many 200 Amp. Services (in Comm./Ind. applications) using a 75KVA transformer!!!
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Old 06-11-2009, 09:40 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by spark plug View Post
208 Amps for a 50KVA Transformer doesn't jive (It don't Jive.) Sorry! It certainly does! At first glance it looks impossible! But when you take a calculator (or figure it in your head) you see that it checks out! Using the formula I = P over E. It's funny, I've installed many 200 Amp. Services (in Comm./Ind. applications) using a 75KVA transformer!!!
A 3-phase 75 kVA transformer delivers the same amount of amps at 208 V as a single phase 50 kVA transformer: 208 A.
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Old 06-11-2009, 10:17 PM   #8
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Wish they would come replace my xformer
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Old 06-11-2009, 11:07 PM   #9
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We used climb utility poles like that during training in the Seabees. In school there'd be about 40 poles spread out about 6 feet apart from each other and we'd climb up there and throw volley balls around. If you dropped the ball or made a bad throw you'd have to "look, lock, drop" your way down to retrieve the ball, then climb back up. We did this for weeks at a time.

Micromind, I was under the impression that a 13.2 kv distribution line would be more likely found in an industrial neighborhood and something like 4160 is more commonly used in residential neighborhoods.


By the way, nice pictures for discussion.
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Old 06-11-2009, 11:47 PM   #10
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Utility pole transformer replacement (pics) - Not quite DIY


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We used climb utility poles like that during training in the Seabees. In school there'd be about 40 poles spread out about 6 feet apart from each other and we'd climb up there and throw volley balls around. If you dropped the ball or made a bad throw you'd have to "look, lock, drop" your way down to retrieve the ball, then climb back up. We did this for weeks at a time.

Micromind, I was under the impression that a 13.2 kv distribution line would be more likely found in an industrial neighborhood and something like 4160 is more commonly used in residential neighborhoods.


By the way, nice pictures for discussion.
Let me expand a little more related to the 13.2 KV now it is a common distribution line voltage the 4160 /2400 volt is typically found in older distribution area that slowly dropping out the only time we will see that voltage is primary feed to large commercal/ industrail user { especally true with very large service entrance set up and common to have a tranfomer inside the electrical room }

And the 13.2 is pretty much stanard voltage however there are few other voltage close to this number IIRC 12.2, 12.6, 14.8 KV's yeah some actally run much as 28KV as well all it depending on where the grid run.

Merci,Marc
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Old 06-12-2009, 07:51 AM   #11
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Utility pole transformer replacement (pics) - Not quite DIY


I live in a somewhat rural area. The primary out here is 7200.
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Old 06-12-2009, 07:56 AM   #12
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I don't understand. There are only 3 men. If the city was doing that there would be 7 workers, 3 engineers and they would still get it wrong.
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Old 06-12-2009, 03:06 PM   #13
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You just gotta love pole and transformers in the middle of back yards.

That jib crane truck is way cool though. I've never seen one like that before?

Was this by your house Scott?
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Old 06-12-2009, 03:12 PM   #14
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That jib crane truck is way cool though. I've never seen one like that before?
Agreed, very cool. Looks almost small enough that you could rent one at HD!

I'm pretty sure they use it exclusively for backyards and tight areas -- it fit nicely between the two houses when they were leaving, and went around shrubs/etc pretty good.

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Was this by your house Scott?
Hah, yes. The service drop going to the bottom of the first pic is mine.. The guy on the pole could see into my bedroom if he turned around.. Good thing I thought to put pants on before taking the pics.
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Old 06-12-2009, 08:18 PM   #15
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You'd be amazed at what can be seen from the top of a pole, or in a bucket truck!

Not just houses either.

Rob

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