Truck hits Power Pole.... Thousands of Smart Meters... Wait for it... Explode

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by BTPost, Mar 31, 2015.

  1. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    STOCKTON (CBS13) — A power surge left thousands without power for most of the day in Stockton after smart meters on their homes exploded on Monday.

    The explosions started after a truck crashed into a utility pole, causing a surge around 8:30 a.m. on Monday morning.

    When the customers in more than 5,000 homes get their power back on will depend on how badly damaged their meters are.

    Neighbors in the South Stockton area described it as a large pop, a bomb going off, and strong enough to shake a house.

    “The neighbor across the street, his meter doesn’t look as bad but his receptacles are all blackened.” said Brad Abernathy.

    PG&E says a dump truck crashed near its Alpine substation on Arch Road. When the truck hit the utility pole, the top wire fell onto the bottom wire, creating a power surge.

    “The top lines are considered our freeways. The bottom lines are our distribution lines taking power directly to homes,” said PG&E spokeswoman Brandi Ehlers. “So when the two collide, they’re at different voltages and the higher voltage wins out, causing an overload.”

    Power is expected to be back to most customers by Monday evening, but the damage varies by home.

    Only in Kommiefornia is this Ironic....
    Motomom34 likes this.
  2. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    Wouldn't this have blown things that were plugged in? We have surge protectors that are plugged into the outlets but that must have been quite the surge.

    5,000 homes. That is quite a few homes so this was quite big. Makes me wonder. Also why not surge protector where the power goes into the homes. I do wonder if this have ever happened with the old meters.
  3. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    It is the Surge Protectors, in the New Smart Meters, that EXPLODED and violently, from the reports.....By Exploding, that used up much of the Surge Energy, that was incoming, but it also Destroyed the Meters, and shutdown the Power for each of those Homes. The SubStation involved ALSO has surge protectors, that are Reset-able, and after the Line is repaired, they can be reset. HOWEVER that will do nothing for the possible Pole Transformer damage and the blown Smart Meters. Those will need to be replaced on an Individual Basis.... Weeks likely.....
    Yard Dart likes this.
  4. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    So....if there was ever a need to shut down local power due to tyranny, all we would need to do, would be run a van into a pole?:eek: no transformer sniping? No chainsaws on power poles? No explosives? [LMAO]
  5. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    No actually if you read the Article, the HVAC 150KV Line at the Top of the Pole, Broke, (The one that feeds the subStation) and fell down and hit one of the Output Lines from the subStation (usually lower than 15KV) and sent a "Surge" thru all the subStation Output Lines, that then "Zapped" Pole Transformers, and Smart Meters, that were fed by that subStation..... The subStation Auto Surge Protectors likely saved the subStation Transformers, from harm. (as they are supposed to do)
    If you really want to cause this kind of issue, just take a chunk of Large Chain, and chuck it over the subStation Fence, right onto the Input Feeds, to the subStation, and hope the vaporized chain particles, do NOT blow your A$$ into next Sunday.... Because there will be a LOT of Molten Metal Flying around, (Hundreds of feet) as soon as it lands..... Not advocating this "Action"... Only Stating FACTS.....
    VisuTrac, Yard Dart and kellory like this.
  6. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    actually the thought of an arrow drawing a string drawing a rope drawing a chain had already occurred;)
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2015
    Yard Dart likes this.
  7. azrancher

    azrancher Monkey +++

    Actually on the reservations here in AZ the indian youth used to use a bow and arrow trailing a thin piece of picture hanger wire, and at night just for the fireworks, would shoot over the high voltage transmissions lines, poof. The power crews never could find the source of the outages.
    kellory likes this.
  8. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    Yes, but for a heavy burn, a chain would handle the load longer;)
    I thought about 1/8" cable as much lighter. But the cable would burn much quicker.
  9. azrancher

    azrancher Monkey +++

    It doesn't take much of a fault before the OCBs trip and disconnect the load.
    Cruisin Sloth likes this.
  10. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    I don't know the full limitations of the power towers, nor their full abilities to accept a full short from crossed wires, but I do know, I would get only one shot at any one location, so it's go big or go home.
    I'd rather overkill, than not even be noticed.
  11. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey

    Dead short from High Voltage supply line to the substation, then across the output to the homes. No chance for any trip to work in that amount of surge and time.

    Last edited: Mar 31, 2015
  12. VHestin

    VHestin Farm Chick

    Definitely won't be getting a smart meter in that case...we have (drunken) idiots driving into poles frequently enough around here. Not frequently as in like once a month, and only once that I remember that actually caused an outage, even without smart meters, just something I'm not willing to risk. Besides, I don't like the idea of devices smarter than me.
    Motomom34 and Yard Dart like this.
  13. azrancher

    azrancher Monkey +++

    I would have thought that the fuze on the pole, would have blown before damaging any transformers.
  14. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    Fuses take Seconds to Blow, as they are Thermal Devices..... Surges may be Milliseconds, and they can push serious amounts of Power thru devices in that time.... Which is why Surge Protectors make Great Fireworks in eating up that amount of energy before it gets to other things.... The longer the surge, the farther it travels down line, and the more stuff gets smoked....
    kellory and Yard Dart like this.
  15. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Electricity travels nearly the speed of light in wires. It will be thru a fuse and headed down wire before the fuse even starts to heat up. Know also that fuses are designed to handle the voltage on the line plus a safety factor, so if you drop 13KV on a (say) 440 volt fuse, it's all over but the sparking.

    Without going into too much detail, I was standing next to a cabinet with a 700 v fuse when it exploded. Had it not been in a 1/4 plate cabinet , it would have put a hurtin' on me. As it was, the cabinet bulged ---. Never did find out what caused the spike.
  16. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey Moderator

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  17. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey

    Was once standing beside a 440Vac 3 phase 200 amp fuse/disconnect box.

    Some fool on the pier wanted me to turn it on to test it. It had flooded when the dry dock sank during a storm. The box was overhauled and megged "good", I still did not trust it.

    No I said, you turn off your end and then I'll turn on the disconnect.

    Then you can turn on your end.

    Done Deal. It blew the door of the latched 200 amp fused disconnect that I was 10 feet from, that would be 10 feet to the side of......

    The door landed in the middle of the floating dry dock, 40 feet over and 40 feet down.

    Safety First.

    And some wonder why I am a bit hard about doing things right.
    Tully Mars, kellory and Yard Dart like this.
  18. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey Moderator

  19. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey Moderator

    We had a project to repair a vacant facility that was hit by copper thieves. They stole all the cabling and electrical wiring within the building and we had to rebuild it for a new tenant to occupy. We re-fed a 100 amp panel and when we went to flip the breaker to power the panel, it blew. Apparently a small piece of copper from the thieves actions had slipped into the busing and was not noticed during re-wiring. The insurance inspector had required us to re-use the old panels instead of replacing them. We had an immediate arc flash about 10 feet straight out from the panel can....... Fortunately myself an another guy were standing off to the side of the panel about 15 feet, while another electrician reset the breaker in another room. It was "exciting" to say the least........... :eek:
    HK_User and kellory like this.
  20. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    My dad was a contractor on a shopping mall, that had it's own power feed from grid power. (Don't remember the name of the little substation) that blew up.
    It turned out that the power buses were aluminum, and aluminum flows under pressure. The contacts were installed tight, but loosened, and the result was a dust explosion that blew the walls out.
    The power company tried to blame the contractors for the error, but got caught in a lie when they supplied copper replacement parts, due to a known problem with the aluminum buses.
    In the end, the power company that supplied the original parts paid for all.
    HK_User likes this.
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