Powercut Waiting To Happen

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We live in what is locally dubbed (powercut alley) a lot of our problems are caused by trees growing through the overhead powerlines.

When our substation was renewed and the overhead 11KV powerline was refurbished and some of it being buried we thought our problems were over.It was for a year and now the powercuts are back.

At the moment our there's a big bunch of conifer trees growing thought the powerlines and that line has broke twice previously on that section so we are waiting for it to break again.


I did report this on a saturday afternoon at 8pm the same day the repair crew turned up outside my house and they told me it needed urgent attention that was last november and nothing has been done to date.

Back in 1998 a sycamore tree grew through the line under the repair barrel in pic 2 and the line broke our power kept going off and on and a fire engine went up our road.
I went and had a look what was happening it was the power line landed in a bush arcing buzzing then there would be pauses when the auto re-closers would cut the power and then re-close bringing the power back on thus setting the bush on fire and a field next to it full of dry wheat.
The fire brigade contacted the DNO and they said they could not shut the power down until an engineer arrived which would be a few hours.

So after the refurbishment they didn't do a good job of hanging the cables and those cables are 51 years old thats when this line was erected.


Can you imagine the possible consequences of this situation like kids love climbing trees.




Andy View media item 30188
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Andy
 
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We had problem with trees attacking an aerial cable carrying 4 phone lines that was on the electricity pole for the 230volt supply to the houses. That took a few months before the trees were cut down.

There was a long waiting list for tree surgeons who were authorised to work close to the electrical cables even though they were de-energised while the work was carried out.

A 10 metre high tree touching an 11Kv power line might have a voltage gradient down the branches and trunk of 1000volts per metre. That would be a hazard to someone at ground level if they were touching the tree when the branch touched the 11Kv cable. That might encourage the DNO to react a bit quicker.
 
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I did point out that the trees was on private property and it could be dangerous if someone was to touch the trees.

I do know the line was there before the trees were planted and it astounds me why people plant under power lines because trees only go one way and that is up.

Some years ago they put part of the line underground across a golf course and someone on a JCB and cut through the cable.

We have suffered brownouts and it funny when you wonder why some things work SMPU's and other things powered by transformers don't.

My UPS tells me when there's something wrong brownouts/surges and course loss of power.

Andy
 
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The biggest problem with tree clearance is getting permission from land owners to cut them.
I suspect your case is the one that was in the press recently so am sure the DNO knows of it.
 
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The biggest problem with tree clearance is getting permission from land owners to cut them.
I suspect your case is the one that was in the press recently so am sure the DNO knows of it.


I was thinking about permission but the property is also on the same supply as us so they are causing themselves to loose supply that is if they are aware of the problem.

My security cameras have also flickering of all the street lamps on two occasions and the voltage went just low enough for the cameras to stop working only a few secs the pc being kept up via the UPS during the early hours and on both occasions it was windy.

So my theory is it's burnt off a bit more of the conifers and i assume the voltage will be in the region of 3500v line to earth.

I don't know anything about an press article about this though.


Andy
 
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have you pushed the HEALTH AND SAFETY case, DNO's will put anything off but if you use the old H&S chestnut and keep copies of letters/emails quoting the "DANGEROUS" word sent they may have a duty to act, especially if you copy in your local council etc . The excuse they may give us that it involves a PLANNED SHUTDOWN, and notices with a certain time frame have to be sent out..... but if its an EMERGENCY then they can act straight away!!
 
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OK how to do it

1/ Put your complaint/concern in writing to the DNO (email will do)

They are obliged to answer within a specific period (check on their website under guaranteed standards)

2/ When they do reply if you are still concerned escalate the matter to the electricity regulator.

(The regulator will NOT get involved until you approach the DNO in the first instance)
 
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Thanks for the info Westie i'll try that as when i spoke on the phone to the DNO i pointed out all i wanted is to prevent an uncontrolled powercut 3-6hrs for a broken cable as opposed to a controlled powercut during the day.


Thanks paul for that info.


Andy
 
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I wrote out an email and submitted it and was it was too long so i had to cut bits out and rewrite some of it as it did not say there was a character limit on the web page.

Anyway i received a phonecall this morning so i explained the problem and Electricity northwest is sending someone out today to look at it.

They did not know that a team had been out to look at it last november so we will wait and see what happens.

Edit,12:30 have seen the electricity northwest vehicles going up the road so they looked at it again.

Andy
 
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Grrr got in the shower yesterday after a few mins at 15:30 shower went off so got dried and of corse it was another powercut so phoned eletricity northwest and was told it will be around 19:00 before supply is restored it wasn't the cable in the pics.

At 17:30 phoned again to get an update and was told 21:00,So my neighbour phoned me and told me that they told her it will 01:00 so i phoned back and they said 01:00 is a worst case scenario and it will probably be around 21:00.
The woman i spoke to also said they had got 20 customers back on supply but 107 customers (us) are still off.
I did mention the tree problem and i was considering making a complaint and other customers are considering a petition anyway she told me someone will contact me.

At 20:30 the lights came on for a second and went of again this happened about 5 times and then again for 5 secs and went off again at 20:40 supply came back on and stayed on.
At 21:00 i got a call from eletricity northwest i think it was an engineer but i couldn't tell what he was saying at first because of bad reception on the mobile phone.
Anyway he asked me about the conifer problem and told him that i reported it twice and it's been looked at twice and i saw it arcing at a distance of 300 yards when it was windy last month.
So i said i presume that it will be put on a tree cutting excersise then he said it's too late for tree cutting as they only do it during the winter because of wildlife (birds nesting) something i had not thought about.

So he did say they would let me know what they are going to do about it.

So it looks like we will have to put up with it and by next year there will be more than the conifers causing problems as there are more trees close to the line.

I now need a bigger battery for my UPS so i can run a tv off it and it's a good job i have a gas cooker unlike my 91 year old neighbour who has an electric one. :(
 
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I'll have a look at our logs on Monday and see if I can find out some more for you.

Gooing back to you first post
I did report this on a saturday afternoon at 8pm the same day the repair crew turned up outside my house and they told me it needed urgent attention that was last november and nothing has been done to date.

can you recall the exact date as I can't find any trace of this job.
 
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Following the gales we had on the 11/11/10-12/11/10 we had a power outage on the 12/11/10 at 10:10 for a few secs then at 20:10 to 22:30 and then at 01:00 to 02:00.

I reported the tree problem on saturday afternoon 13/11/10.

I uploaded the pics on this thread on photobucket and provided a link in my email but was told they could not access it for some reason.

http://s593.photobucket.com/albums/tt15/radioredcat/Power Lines/

Our line runs from billinge switch to crawford village and is around 3 miles long and is partially buried at the golf course not long after it was buried someone dug through the cable with a JCB that was another long outage.

Andy
 
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Cheers, I'm in a meeting with senior managers next week so I'll have a chat.

They are correct about the photobucket access, full internet access is restricted. I'll download them and send them to the section that deals with tree clearance.
 

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