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DC Power Outages

Discussion in 'The OT' started by RasputinAXP, Jun 30, 2012.

  1. Jul 2, 2012 #41 of 101
    WestDC

    WestDC Well-Known Member

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    Just as everyone else has in their chosen profession.
     
  2. Jul 2, 2012 #42 of 101
    Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    We didn't get rated in any order when I went thru my electrical apprenticeship, but I can tell you that more than 50% of electricians aren't worthy of the title.

    Guess it varies.

    Rich
     
  3. Jul 2, 2012 #43 of 101
    4HiMarks

    4HiMarks Hall Of Fame

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    The blame lies with Samuel F. B. Morse, inventor of the telegraph and the binary language (or is it tertiary?) which bears his name. When it came time to start laying telegraph cables all over the country, he discovered how much burying cable would cost and almost gave up on the whole idea. Then one night as he was going to sleep he noticed the glass knobs on his dresser and remembered glass was an electrical insulator. So instead of insulating the whole wire to bury it, they just had to put up poles and insulate the contact points. After that, the poles were already there, even...
     
  4. Jul 2, 2012 #44 of 101
    WestDC

    WestDC Well-Known Member

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    I rest my case :)
     
  5. Jul 2, 2012 #45 of 101
    Cholly

    Cholly Old Guys Rule! DBSTalk Club

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    Buried lines aren't an assurance that you won't lose power during a storm. At some point, the lines have to be above ground. Our subdivision has all buried lines,but they are supplied from above ground lines coming from the nearby substations.We went dark for 55 minutes last night. Not at all bad, but it didn't take my next door neighbor more than five minutes to haul out his generator and fire it up. :lol:
     
  6. Jul 2, 2012 #46 of 101
    Nick

    Nick Retired, part-time PITA DBSTalk Club

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    Years ago, I put Georgia Power's emergency number in my cell. After about 4-5 min into an outage, I make the call. I tell people about it and their stunned reaction is, "Well I never would've thought about that!" <dumbass> I suppose they try to look up the tiny mouseprint number in the dark or by flickering candlelight. Speaking of which, I use LEDs for emergency lighting instead of candles, and I alway keep plenty of fresh batteries on hand.

    Even though most meters around here have been changed out for 'smart' meters which are self-reporting, I still make the call. The amazing thing is that some people don't even bother to make the call during a blackout. I just don't understand people like that. :shrug:
     
  7. Jul 2, 2012 #47 of 101
    SayWhat?

    SayWhat? Know Nothing

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    ^ They know it's out before you have time to make the call.
     
  8. Jul 2, 2012 #48 of 101
    Nick

    Nick Retired, part-time PITA DBSTalk Club

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    ^ Never state the obvious. :rolleyes:

    I'll have you know that I have been awarded GPC's 'Conscientious Customer of Merit' (CCM) award three times for being being the first to report! It's like a "Busy Box" for grownups.
     
  9. Jul 3, 2012 #49 of 101
    wilbur_the_goose

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    Thank goodness you don't live in CT. I think the whole state was dark for a week after a hurricane last year.
     
  10. Jul 3, 2012 #50 of 101
    davidjplatt

    davidjplatt Legend

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    When this storm came through, there were winds in excess of 70 MPH - basically a hurricaine. The difference between a hurricaine and this type of storm is that you have advance warning of a hurricaine.

    We have had hurricaines and tropical storms come through this area (Northern Virginia) a number of times over the last several years. I have never lost power from one of these storms for more than 15 to 20 seconds. I happen to live in an area with underground utilities. That seems to be one of the biggest factors in these outages - no power lines to go down when a tree falls.

    Dominion Power and NOVEC (both power companies in No. VA) seem to do an exceptional job of restoring power when it goes out. I feel for people in DC and MD because they have PEPCO. PEPCO has been chronically bad having power outages and restoring power after the outages. Dominion and NOVEC have an excellent record. I think we have had about 2 power outages over a few minutes only twice in the last ten years. One was about 3 hours and the other was about 16 hours. The 16 hour outage was when a transformer took a direct lightning strike.

    The big thing people are failing to realize is these storms and outages are acts of god. The biggest factor seems to be if there are underground utilities it is less likely to be out due to weather.
     
  11. Jul 3, 2012 #51 of 101
    4HiMarks

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    I am in MD, but fortunately we're close enough to Baltimore that our service comes from BGE, a division of Constellation Energy. We have underground lines and almost never lose service - not during Isabel, not during Snowmageddon, none of it. But this time we did. Thankfully our power was restored around 7pm yesterday.
     
  12. Jul 3, 2012 #52 of 101
    Herdfan

    Herdfan Well-Known Member

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    I told my neighbor yesterday evening when he was helping me unload a 17kw generator from my trailer that I was actually doing him a favor as I knew that as soon as I got it hooked up, the power would come back on.

    Sure enough, I was within a hour of firing the generator up this afternoon when power came back. Oh well, at least I will have it next time. And there will be a next time. On average, we are without power about a week a year. Out power is fed up a mountain in the middle of a forest with those scrawny tall pine trees. All it takes is a good wind or heavy snow to come down on the lines and there goes the power for a day or two.
     
  13. Jul 3, 2012 #53 of 101
    jacksonm30354

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    If it the line from the pole to the house I call, but if it's the line on the street I don't. Georgia Power has said for years in local news reports there is no need to call; they already know about it. :)
     
  14. Jul 3, 2012 #54 of 101
    wilbur_the_goose

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    We had a similar storm in metro Philly 2 or 3 years ago. I actually saw it coming on the weather radar from my office at work and called home. Told my wife to head to the basement to our room with the pipes and heat pump (lots of steel).

    It was awe inspiring, but terrifying at the same time. At work, we thought the building would be demolished by falling trees (it was at 1:30 PM). It was as dark as it is at 9PM during the summer.

    My wife was fine, but we lost power for 6 days. Ours was restored by a crew from South Carolinia, and we made it a point to stop and thank every crew we could.
     
  15. Jul 4, 2012 #55 of 101
    1980ws

    1980ws Legend

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    My power story: 4 hurricanes in 2004. Lost power Hurricane 1 for 10 days (had cable then - yuck). Went to Home Depot for long extension cords as neighbor had a generator & was letting me run some lights and fan. The store just got in a shipment of generators (7000kw) and I bought one.

    The problem. No gas stations had power so no gas. Also could not find gas cans to save my life. So this generator was useless to me for H1.

    Solution. When available I bought 5 - 5 gallon gas cans. I fill them up in July and park them in my shed. Bought a siphon kit. When a hurricane is in our path, I fill up my 3 cars. I figure I then have on hand about 70 gallons of gas at my disposal.
    Electrician set up a plug in my circuit breakers so I can run generator from back screened porch to my CB and power the whole house. Charted wattage use of all appliances and pool so I can flip breakers or unplug. I can run everything except central air. Next major outage I will buy room A/C for some cooling. Filling up the generator is a pain in the arse but beats the alternative. Bought light weight storm panels for all windows and garage door braces. I figured I have just insured my self to never have to use any of these. :lol:
     
  16. Jul 4, 2012 #56 of 101
    TBlazer07

    TBlazer07 Grumpy Grampy

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    My kids still have no power and they are being told "hopefully sometime between this Saturday and NEXT TUESDAY!! They live in off RT 7 in Vienna VA a few miles from Tysons Corner. They (and their 2 dogs) are at a friends home for the duration. Really Crazy. Oh, their wiring is all underground!
     
  17. Jul 4, 2012 #57 of 101
    Herdfan

    Herdfan Well-Known Member

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    Teays...
    Underground wiring is only beneficial in a localized situation. Power companies bring power back in a top down fashion. First they get power to the substations and get that station back online. Some get power from this step, some don't. Then they work on main distribution lines online. Some more will get power from this step. Then they start on transformers. More get power. They they get to small clusters of customer outages where a tree may be on a line in a neighborhood. So if you are in a neighborhood with underground, you most likely got power back in one the earlier stages.

    So if there is no power to the underground system, it doesn't matter that it is underground. Being underground just means you most likely won't have a localized outage.
     
  18. Jul 4, 2012 #58 of 101
    SayWhat?

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    Problem there is gas begins to decay after about 30 days and may become useless, or even worse, damage any engine it's used in. Using something like StaBil will help extend the lifespan, but it still needs to be rotated every few months. I try to keep 20-30 gallons on hand for use in mowers and other yard machines as well as the generator.

    If you have a generator, it needs to be run for a few minutes every month or two.
     
  19. Jul 4, 2012 #59 of 101
    Rich

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    The last big project I was involved with was getting the feeder cables (huge cables) out of our tunnels and up on poles. Plant was built in 1936 and everything underground was pretty much shot. That was about 1992-3. Lasted underground a little less than 60 years.

    Putting the lines underground might be pleasing aesthetically, but a future generation will pay a high price for it.

    Rich
     
  20. Jul 4, 2012 #60 of 101
    Rich

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    Good post, right on the button!

    Rich
     

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