#1 CAUSE OF BLACKOUTS

IMA SOL MAN

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
May 18, 2023
Messages
2,126
Location
The HEART of the USA.
Just digger fade and shifting soil.
1695584921139.png
 

Monocrom

Flashaholic
Joined
Aug 27, 2006
Messages
19,555
Location
NYC
I'll also add that in large cities a lot of power infrastructure is buried underground. They haven't gotten to lots of eastern Queens yet, but it's supposedly going to happen here too. In rural areas, given the smaller number of people served per mile of power line, it's just not cost efficient to bury it.
Excellent point that I unfortunately missed.
 

bykfixer

Flashaholic
Joined
Aug 9, 2015
Messages
20,212
Location
John 3:16
Excellent point that I unfortunately missed.
The big power company in my area is burying out lying lines so that when a big storm hits they can focus on the larger lines where more $ are lost while the power is out.

Between the cost of keeping easements cleaned, tree hugger regs and crews fixing the over head lines after a storm they figure burying in the long run is less costly as well.
 

bigburly912

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Aug 12, 2015
Messages
3,361
Location
Virginia
The big power company in my area is burying out lying lines so that when a big storm hits they can focus on the larger lines where more $ are lost while the power is out.

Between the cost of keeping easements cleaned, tree hugger regs and crews fixing the over head lines after a storm they figure burying in the long run is less costly as well.
Underground is astronomically expensive and harder to repair when there is damage. Throw in the problem that nobody can get padmount transformers right now and you are in a bit of a pickle. Would be nice if we could go all underground but it's just not feasible most of the time. Louisville or Lexington was looking into it a few months back and it was billions of dollars for a problem section they had. 😐

One day……
 

idleprocess

Flashaholic
Joined
Feb 29, 2004
Messages
7,197
Location
decamped
Underground is astronomically expensive and harder to repair when there is damage.
My neighborhood is underground. They replaced the transformers and intermediate wiring in 2021 and each ~120' wire pull took the better part of a day. Somewhat disappointed that the old 50KVA transformer in front of my house serving five other locations was replaced with ... a new 50KVA transformer. Ah well.
 

IMA SOL MAN

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
May 18, 2023
Messages
2,126
Location
The HEART of the USA.
Underground is astronomically expensive and harder to repair when there is damage. Throw in the problem that nobody can get padmount transformers right now and you are in a bit of a pickle. Would be nice if we could go all underground but it's just not feasible most of the time. Louisville or Lexington was looking into it a few months back and it was billions of dollars for a problem section they had. 😐

One day……
Wait, what? Why can't you get pad mount transformers now?
 

bigburly912

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Aug 12, 2015
Messages
3,361
Location
Virginia
My neighborhood is underground. They replaced the transformers and intermediate wiring in 2021 and each ~120' wire pull took the better part of a day. Somewhat disappointed that the old 50KVA transformer in front of my house serving five other locations was replaced with ... a new 50KVA transformer. Ah well.
Wow. 6 houses on a 50kva? Do you all have heat pumps? No hard winters or hot summers? Honestly it's probably the only thing they could get. I'd love to see a LD sheet on that.
 
Last edited:

IMA SOL MAN

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
May 18, 2023
Messages
2,126
Location
The HEART of the USA.
Seems like I heard recently that all the new housing developments in my town are going with buried power lines. I guess that is the new thing aesthetically. Our town is trying to improve its image, and attract people and businesses, so I guess that is part of it. I need to check on that, but it sounds right.
 

idleprocess

Flashaholic
Joined
Feb 29, 2004
Messages
7,197
Location
decamped
Wow. 5 houses on a 50kva? Do you all have heat pumps? No hard winters or hot summers? Honestly it's probably the only thing they could get. I'd love to see a LD sheet on that.
Dallas area. Mild winters, intense summers. HVAC abounds - I've got a 5 ton compressor, most neighbors have multizone setups with two smaller compressors. Oddly enough other streets have 75KVA units serving 4 locations.
 
Joined
Mar 12, 2010
Messages
10,050
Location
Pacific N.W.
Seems like I heard recently that all the new housing developments in my town are going with buried power lines. I guess that is the new thing aesthetically. Our town is trying to improve its image, and attract people and businesses, so I guess that is part of it. I need to check on that, but it sounds right.
Almost all of the power lines where I live are buried. I've only needed to utilize my generator twice since 2000.
 

bigburly912

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Aug 12, 2015
Messages
3,361
Location
Virginia
Most are. It's really the best way to go. It would be nice if anytime there was a gas line or water line project they'd dig a little extra and run some conduit for cable pulls.
 

bykfixer

Flashaholic
Joined
Aug 9, 2015
Messages
20,212
Location
John 3:16
I've seen the conduit get placed but not the cable pulled. Sometimes when the gubment has a capital improvement project they pay to have "future" items installed like conduits for electricity and communication lines. Also casings for future water/sewer lines crossing main roads.
 

IMA SOL MAN

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
May 18, 2023
Messages
2,126
Location
The HEART of the USA.
I've seen the conduit get placed but not the cable pulled. Sometimes when the gubment has a capital improvement project they pay to have "future" items installed like conduits for electricity and communication lines. Also casings for future water/sewer lines crossing main roads.
Seems to me that putting such things in place would save time and money down the road.
 

jtr1962

Flashaholic
Joined
Nov 22, 2003
Messages
7,502
Location
Flushing, NY
I've seen the conduit get placed but not the cable pulled. Sometimes when the gubment has a capital improvement project they pay to have "future" items installed like conduits for electricity and communication lines. Also casings for future water/sewer lines crossing main roads.
They did that on my block a number of years ago. Still waiting for the buried lines....
 

bykfixer

Flashaholic
Joined
Aug 9, 2015
Messages
20,212
Location
John 3:16
They did that on my block a number of years ago. Still waiting for the buried lines....
I did a project in a small town a few years back and the concept had been devised 25 years prior. Some 7 years after the right of way two blocks away was acquired and conduits were built. See, the concept was sound but the funds were lacking. A new city council was voted in but they had other priorities. Yet another council later there were some grants given by the state government to upgrade the lines to underground so they bought right of way, buried conduits and ran out of money.

The next decade they hired a consultant to find federal grant monies for various things like pollution reduction and block grants to improve down town. That was partly how they moved the overhead lines to underground. More money was found to improve two city blocks. When I arrived the overhead utility lines had been buried and the street was getting a face lift. When that was complete the consultant was tasked with trying to build phase 3, another city block but those lines were still over head.

Another council was elected and they decided to revamp another part of downtown instead. An old shopping area where the lines had been buried decades before. The consultant went to work for another small town in another state.

I guess what I'm saying is it's not as easy as just deciding to move things underground. It took $5 million to relocate the lines underground and $1 million to revamp those two blocks. Those two blocks were lawyers, a courthouse and a hardware store. The other area was all retail centers. Probably a better bang for the buck for that town.
 

Dave_H

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Nov 3, 2009
Messages
1,312
Location
Ottawa Ont. Canada
The number of outages in my area with above-ground, caused by tree branches etc. falling, is
small; even compared to areas with buried wiring, for whatever reasons.

Dave
 

bigburly912

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Aug 12, 2015
Messages
3,361
Location
Virginia
The number of outages in my area with above-ground, caused by tree branches etc. falling, is
small; even compared to areas with buried wiring, for whatever reasons.

Dave
Maybe not a lot of straight line winds in your area or your utility is smart enough to keep their right of ways clean. Most don't
 
Top