Safe to paint around these wires???

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  #1  
Old 09-07-12, 08:11 AM
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Safe to paint around these wires???

I'm almost done painting my house, but I'm afraid I'll die if I go near these wires. Are they safe to paint around as long as I dont grab them and the ladder doesn't touch them?

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Old 09-07-12, 08:23 AM
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In theory, yes but Mr. Murphy likes it when people get near these kinds of things.

I wouldn't get near them.
 
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Old 09-07-12, 08:28 AM
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So I guess I'd have to have to call the power company and have them shut it off? Im wondering how much that'll cost me.
 
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Old 09-07-12, 08:41 AM
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I've painted around wires like that before but was never crazy about it. You don't have to worry about the cable or phone wires, just the electrical service wires. If you have the service turned off - make sure they do it at the pole or the wires to the meter will still be hot. If you end up leaving the power on - be extra careful!
 
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Old 09-07-12, 09:51 AM
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Are you working off a wooden or fiberglass ladder? If not, stay well away from them. The real danger in working around an electrical service lies in being grounded, via a metal ladder, while close enough to have your body or the ladder come in contact with the wires.
 
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Old 09-07-12, 11:02 AM
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I did it twice, and was really nervous both times. I have a fiberglass extension ladder. Moved the ladder into position, got up on it and then planned out every move of my hand at every angle I would be using, even pretending I was dipping the brush in the paint bucket – even thinking about what would happen if I lost balance a little (really shouldn’t happen though). Would I reflexively grab the wire?

But I guess the best advice is from the professional painters since they must encounter this all the time.

Good luck!
 
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Old 09-07-12, 11:24 AM
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You can call the power company and have them put temporary rubber insulating sleeves over them. While they're doing that, you can ask them to re-insulate the connectors and inspect the wires for any cracking or other damage.

Couple that with a fiberglass ladder and a cool head and you'll be ok.
 
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Old 09-07-12, 11:25 AM
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O/T but Geezze what a totally crappy looking feed. How far is your meter from that? Is your breaker box outside or inside? Of course I don't like houses without overhangs either. Makes every thing look unfinished so that may be making it look uglier to me.
 
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Old 09-07-12, 11:29 AM
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Now that you mention it, it looks like the support standoff is about to pull right out of the house. Tell them to fix that too while they're there.

And isn't there something saying that a power drop can't be that close to a window??
 
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Old 09-07-12, 11:46 AM
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Agreed that the anchor looks to be very unsecure and if it pulls out the triplex will fall.

Clearances from windows that open are covered under the NEC. Windows that do not open do not require the same clearances.
 
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Old 09-07-12, 11:52 AM
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.... and that appears to be the side of the window that opens. I don't know if reaching out thru the window to paint would have any advantages or not. I have laid on the roof before and reached over the edge to paint. Can't say enough, however it's done - pay attention and be safe!
 
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Old 09-07-12, 11:54 AM
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Looks like SE. I know it is legal but it would have looked better with conduit then turned it straight up and ended it about two feet above the roof.
 
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Old 09-07-12, 01:28 PM
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Clearances required near windows is 3'. This does not apply to conductors above a window. (225.19(D)(1)exception (2008)

You can paint near the service drop but caution is highly recommended. You likely do not need to have the power company turn off the service, they could just install insulated blankets over the wires. You should only use a fiberglass ladder around these wires. NEVER an aluminum one. Those wires are, more or less, unfused.
 
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Old 09-07-12, 05:48 PM
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So I guess I'd have to have to call the power company and have them shut it off? Im wondering how much that'll cost me.
In my area once a service is turned off, it takes a permit and wiring approval to get it turned back on and that means bringing the service up to current code. I'd just be careful and have the drop and drip loops covered with an insulating blanket. There may be a charge from your poco for that service.
 
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Old 09-07-12, 06:27 PM
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My neighbor successfully did a similar paint job, but he may have been in "overkill safety" mode:
He was on a fiberglass ladder, using brushes attached to a 3 foot long wooden dowel ( as a handle extender), and he wore knee high rubber boots, rubber gloves,...and a scuba wetsuit!!!
It looked funny, but he did the job, and did it without incident.
I guess that you can't be too safe!
 
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Old 09-07-12, 07:57 PM
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You're right, guys. It's a crappy feed and it is against code, which leads me to my next question.

How was the power company able to hook this up if it's against code? I have no idea how much it would cost for them to move it, but do you think if I called them up and told them to move it somewhere else that they would charge me?
 
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Old 09-07-12, 08:15 PM
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You'd be amazed at the things that were gotten away with back in the day. There's a pole in my backyard that serves the entire block (8 houses).. My back door neighbor's drop from the pole to the house is done with SE, not triplex. Figure that one out.. And that's not the only house in town done like that, I've seen many.

Basically you'd have to pay an electrician to do a proper service mast (it will have to meet today's code, and the power company may require a specific meter pan different from what you already have if they are migrating to Smart Meters), and coordinate with an inspector to approve the work and the power company to move it over. You wouldn't have to pay the power company, but it could easily be a grand to the electrician.
 
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Old 09-07-12, 08:22 PM
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I have no idea how much it would cost for them to move it, but do you think if I called them up and told them to move it somewhere else that they would charge me?
That isn't their equipment. It's yours. The handoff is at the weatherhead. They should make the anchor secure (I think). After that, it's all yours.
 
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Old 09-07-12, 09:29 PM
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Actually I'm not sure the anchor is theirs either. It is after their connection and if it was mast mounted the homeowner generally supplies the mast don't they?
 
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Old 09-07-12, 11:37 PM
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Technically it's before the connection, so the responsibility should be on the POCO. The neutral always hits the anchor before the bolt connectors. I mean in nitpicky terms you do own the anchor point itself, whether it be a mast or what the OP has, but seeing as you have to call the POCO to fix it anyway, it stands to reason that they can just reattach it.
 
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Old 09-08-12, 05:42 AM
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Actually I'm not sure the anchor is theirs either. It is after their connection and if it was mast mounted the homeowner generally supplies the mast don't they?
Yep, that's the question. That's why I said "I think." This is a case for asking, not assuming, when talking to the POCO, it seems to me.

There is an anchor ahead of the splice and the mast, but that anchor is on the house, so...
 
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Old 09-08-12, 10:27 AM
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using brushes attached to a 3 foot long wooden dowel


I'm doing that next time!
 
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Old 09-08-12, 01:27 PM
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Originally Posted by zoesdad View Post
I'm doing that next time!
Fiberglass, not wood. Just like the ladder. Wood can absorb moisture which makes it conductive.
 
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Old 09-08-12, 03:09 PM
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I'm not sure they make a fiberglass roller pole [well some are half fiberglass, half aluminum] so you'd pretty much have to use a wooden pole BUT if the pole has been kept dry, it should be ok. Some block brushes have handles that screw out and will accept a roller pole but it won't give you a good angle. There are adjustable brush holders that clamp onto a brush handle on one end and the roller pole on the other. That should work well. The good ones are made of plastic and steel but I think the cheap ones are all plastic.
 
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Old 09-08-12, 04:20 PM
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Just use PVC pipe. Get it large enough to jam the handle in. You could even put a nylon bolt through the pipe and handle and secure with a nylon nut. You could also use a heat gun to slightly flatten the end of the pipe.
 
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Old 09-08-12, 05:35 PM
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You're right, guys. It's a crappy feed and it is against code, which leads me to my next question.

How was the power company able to hook this up if it's against code?
Lets see... the knob is above the window, and the weather head is above the window. Did anybody read my post?

The power company does not care. If the inspector signs off on it, they will hook it up.
 
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Old 09-08-12, 07:49 PM
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Originally Posted by marksr View Post
I'm not sure they make a fiberglass roller pole [well some are half fiberglass, half aluminum]
I know they make all-fiberglass handles for pushbrooms, and that's the same thread.. Won't be extendable but 5 feet is usually enough...
 
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Old 09-09-12, 05:52 AM
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Didn't know they made fiberglass broom handles..... and I thought I knew it all

I wonder if the threaded pvc connectors would work - are the threads the same?
 
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