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Old 05-16-2014, 07:38 AM   #1
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What just happened?


Last evening I was out in the back. A ways back behind my property line there are some power lines that run along side a huge field. The trees have branches that have gone through the power lines. This makes it very easy for the squirrels to transition from tree to power line to tree. There were 2 squirrels running around in the trees and power lines, right about where the pole is that holds up the power lines.

Suddenly, I heard a loud pop! It sounded like someone took a large diameter tree branch and snapped it right off of the tree. I quickly looked over and saw a squirrel falling from the tree / power lines. It hit the ground with a bouncing thump and was not moving. I'm sure it was stone dead before it hit the ground.

I gave it a minute to see if it would recover before I walked over. It never moved. I poked at it with a stick and verified that it wasn't getting back up. I couldn't find any external injuries on the squirrel. No wounds, and nothing looking burnt.

Did this squirrel just get electrocuted? If so, how is that possible? It was the weirdest thing. One moment they were running around, and then POP! One died.


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Old 05-16-2014, 07:55 AM   #2
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What just happened?


Those power lines are uninsulated.

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Old 05-16-2014, 07:57 AM   #3
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What just happened?


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Those power lines are uninsulated.
Are they supposed to be insulated? Maybe the squirrels chewed through the insulation? What if a tree comes in contact with the uninsulated line? Is this something I should inform the power company about, or maybe have them cut back the trees?
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Old 05-16-2014, 08:34 AM   #4
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What just happened?


Not supposed to be insulated. If the squirrel was only on the line it would be fine, but the tree gave it a path to ground so it likely got electrocuted.
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Old 05-16-2014, 08:35 AM   #5
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What just happened?


What just happened?-trans.jpg
One night I looked out my window and saw this transformer glowing orange and in flames. I called PoCo and they came out and found a big golden eagle dead up there. After that they put the raptor protection up. It is the long insulator. I think they also put a jacket on the wire leading down to the transformer.
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Old 05-16-2014, 09:07 AM   #6
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What just happened?


Arizona and New Mexico had serious problem with hawks and eagles getting electrocuted on older transformers---thousands of poles were fitted with new insulation--much like the ones Robpo pictured---

Nice to see our winged friends safe and healthy---
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Old 05-16-2014, 09:15 AM   #7
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What just happened?


Quote:
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Attachment 84956
One night I looked out my window and saw this transformer glowing orange and in flames. I called PoCo and they came out and found a big golden eagle dead up there. After that they put the raptor protection up. It is the long insulator. I think they also put a jacket on the wire leading down to the transformer.
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Arizona and New Mexico had serious problem with hawks and eagles getting electrocuted on older transformers---thousands of poles were fitted with new insulation--much like the ones Robpo pictured---

Nice to see our winged friends safe and healthy---
Curiosity.... Can anyone explain what a raptor/bird protector is... how it works..... or maybe how a bird can straddle two lines....

Is it just insulation sheath.
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Old 05-16-2014, 09:41 AM   #8
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What just happened?


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Curiosity.... Can anyone explain what a raptor/bird protector is... how it works..... or maybe how a bird can straddle two lines....

Is it just insulation sheath.
I think all they did was make this insulator longer and insulated this wire. the wing span on the eagle was over 6ft.
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Old 05-16-2014, 09:45 AM   #9
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Raptors like to perch and even build nests on top of transformers--

Old transformers have two uninsulated wires on top--close enough together that a bird can touch both with its wings opened--and get killed.

Simple plastic insulators are wrapped around the wires---some conservation groups paid for these, until the insulators were mandated by the states---
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Old 05-16-2014, 10:21 AM   #10
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What just happened?


If the voltage is high enough and the humidity is high electricity can jump thru air and the squirrel can complete a circuit between two lines.

I would call the power co and let them know of the branches. If they break and cause the lines to touch you can get a huge power surge or other problem and damage to your house/tv etc. Mom has a couple in the yard and they come trim them for free as preventative maintenance.

We have the same problem with Bald Eagles and power lines in British Columbia. They are huge and so is their wingspan.
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Old 05-16-2014, 11:43 AM   #11
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And squirrels are DUMB. I had one do a kamikaze routine down a 8" square masonry chimney and get stuck in the furnace vent. Had to pull the dumb thing out with needle nose pliers. No power lines or trees close, he just decided to look down and take a dive I guess.
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Old 05-16-2014, 11:48 AM   #12
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What just happened?


Squirrel related outages are very common around here. No group is stepping up to take an interest either. The carnage is deplorable.
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Old 05-19-2014, 11:46 AM   #13
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Old 05-23-2014, 12:24 PM   #14
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What just happened?


I contacted the power company in charge of the lines here about the trees since they aren't on my property. Waiting to see if they actually come cut them away.
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Old 05-23-2014, 12:32 PM   #15
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What just happened?


I think if the branches are close enough to the power lines that a squirrel can complete the circuit, that's a pretty dangerous situation. On a wet windy day it could be a person that gets electrocuted from standing near the tree when a branch blows into contact with the line. Just from the potential difference in the ground between your left and right leg, you can get a shock. Good that you called the power company.

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