Help idenitfy Weatherhead problem

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  #1  
Old 12-12-14, 07:50 AM
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Help idenitfy Weatherhead problem

Hi, lights have been flickering for a few weeks now and today I noticed what I believe to be a problem with the weatherhead. I'm no pro, but I'm pretty confident with electrical work inside the home. Outside, I know enough to know not to mess with it and I will be hiring a pro, but want to better understand the nature of the problem.

Questions
1. Can you confirm there is a problem and describe the nature of the problem? The "U" attachment seems to have broken off.

2. My responsibility to fix or power company? (I'm pretty sure it's mine).

3. I don't know the hardware involved, but it seems to me some kind of bolt holding the "U" in place has rusted off, or maybe I have no idea what I'm talking about. The question is, will the electrician need to have the power turned off to fix this or will this just require a mechanical connection? Or even in the case of mechanical would you always just turn the power off for safety?

4. I am going to get on this immediately, but how bad does it look? Am I endanger of something snapping or losing power any minute?

5. Any ball park idea what I should expect to have to pay to have this fixed? I haven't really had to call an electrician before and I know they deserve fair pay, but I don't want to get gouged.

Pictures:

http://i971.photobucket.com/albums/a...atherhead4.jpg
http://i971.photobucket.com/albums/a...atherhead3.jpg
http://i971.photobucket.com/albums/a...atherhead2.jpg
http://i971.photobucket.com/albums/a...atherhead1.jpg

Thanks!
 
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  #2  
Old 12-12-14, 08:00 AM
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In the picture... you have a service hook issue. That is the power company problem.
The actual weatherhead is your responsibility.

Call the power company, emergency repairs, and tell them your service drop is detached from the house.

Name:  weatherhead1.jpg
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  #3  
Old 12-12-14, 08:05 AM
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I would start by having the power company remake their connections and remount the drop. The splice on the neutral could be bad, but can't really see it for sure on the picture. In my area it is the homeowner (or their electrician) mount the insulator on the building, and the power company will mount the drop and make the connections at the weatherhead.
 
  #4  
Old 12-12-14, 08:27 AM
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Thanks guys. Great help. I'll call the power company a little later this morning.

ipbooks... I got a little confused by your response because of the terminology. Are you also saying this would probably be the power company's responsibility?

Is this kind of repair going to require the power to be shut off? With holidays I'm trying to anticipate down time.

Better closeup of the weatherhead:
http://i971.photobucket.com/albums/a...ix/closeup.jpg

Can you tell any more about the neutral?

I'm definitely getting occasional flickering on multiple circuits, although I wouldn't say all circuits. I'm trying to determine as best I can ahead of time if I'll need to only get the cable reattached or if I'll need electrical work done as well. Is there anything that would help me determine if there was a bad neutral connection other than physical inspection?
 
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Old 12-12-14, 08:39 AM
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I got a little confused by your response because of the terminology. Are you also saying this would probably be the power company's responsibility?
It could be some of each. For example if they need to remount the service drop (cable from the pole), you will probably be responsible for mounting the insulator post securely on the structure; the power company would then be responsible for attaching the drop to the insulator and connecting to your service entrance riser cable.

I don't see an obvious bad connection, but you can't really tell from a distance unless the thing is sparking or has burn marks. When the power company comes out they will probably undo and redo the connections to see if that fixes it. No more than a few minutes downtime.

If you do end up needing to hire an electrician to repair something power would probably be off no more than a few hours.

Is there anything that would help me determine if there was a bad neutral connection other than physical inspection?
If the neutral is completely bad, you will have unequal voltage between the two hots supplying the panel and ground. It's normally 120V on each hot. If the neutral is bad you will have unequal voltages that add up to 240V (e.g. 100V and 140V). Flickering and dimming are symptoms of a broken hot or neutral, brightening lights are a classic symptom of a neutral problem.
 
  #6  
Old 12-12-14, 09:02 AM
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Thanks again for your time and advice.

Regarding the neutral, I did notice running the Microwave last night that there seemed to be a little bit of power issue. The light inside would softly dim or you could hear it humming harder and softer at times. I would say it was a very slight flux in power.

Also, one of my GFCI outlets tripped in the basement.

So if I get the service hook securely attached and all the problems go away, should I assume I'm okay or would you still have the neutral looked at?

I just called the power company. I was able to show them the photos and they are sending a guy out in the next couple hours. I'll post back and let you guys know how things turned out. I'll mention the neutral and see if he can tell anything by looking at it up close.
 
  #7  
Old 12-12-14, 09:59 AM
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It could be some of each. For example if they need to remount the service drop (cable from the pole), you will probably be responsible for mounting the insulator post securely on the structure; the power company would then be responsible for attaching the drop to the insulator and connecting to your service entrance riser cable.
The service hook (hook, knob or insulator) is handled differently by various power companies. I know of one municiplaity where the power company assumes responsibility for older installations, but requires the homeowner's contractor to install all insulators or hooks on new installations.
 
  #8  
Old 12-13-14, 11:52 AM
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UPDATE:

Power company came and replaced a wire and removed the old "tuning fork" style attachment. They said these were used in the '40s so it must have been the original. However, "tuning fork" attachment was just hanging there and was serving no purpose.

All in all, there really didn't seem to be anything to fix, although he did replace one wire and remove the old "tuning fork" which was doing nothing.

I't s a day later and I don't think this fixed anything. The Power Co worker told me to give it a week or two then call back if I'm still having trouble and they would put some kind of voltage meter on it to make sure it's nothing on their end.

I'm going to start a new topic describing the problem which seems to have now gone beyond simply fixing the service hook.

Here are a couple of new photos of the work that was done:
http://i971.photobucket.com/albums/a...ix/newwire.jpg
http://i971.photobucket.com/albums/a...x/newwire2.jpg


NEW THREAD:
http://www.doityourself.com/forum/el...ml#post2360646
 

Last edited by petethebuilder; 12-13-14 at 12:21 PM.
  #9  
Old 12-13-14, 01:15 PM
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Thanks for the update and the picture. The POCO recrimped the neutral.... so that eliminates that as a problem.

I've already responded in your new thread. I'm going to close this one as this thread is complete. If you disagree just PM me.
 
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