Bury the lines

Discussion in 'Computers and Stuff' started by Ian Gills, Jan 29, 2011.

  1. Ian Gills

    Ian Gills Senior Robin Hood Guy

    Messages:
    2,780
    Location:
    USA
    We had a bad winter storm this week, when over 100,000 lost power, and now I hear there is another on the way.

    Even I lost internet.

    The problem....messy, overhead lines.

    Why won't you bury them?

    Are you too cheap or are you all union?

    This really is a no-brainer and it seems only the linemen are doing well because of it.

    Bury the lines and we're all be good.
  2. mcconnellplumbing

    mcconnellplumbing Scotsman

    Messages:
    43
    Location:
    Wellston, OK
    Simple formula. Buried lines are more expensive to bury and install. They are harder to replace. They are subject to damage along the entire length (other diggers, moles, excavation, erosion, electrolisis, etc. They do not disipate heat as well when they are buried. Buried cables mean higher electric bills. Take your pick.
  3. Ian Gills

    Ian Gills Senior Robin Hood Guy

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    Higher bills.

    You get far less power cuts in countries with buried lines.

    The number of outages in the US is like living in Africa.

    Although I take your point about more heat. 110 volts is a pig.
  4. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    northfork, california
    The buried cables can be HUGE voltages. Some are water cooled.

    Most all phone lines are ALREADY buried.
  5. SteveW

    SteveW DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,052
    Location:
    Omaha, NE
    Fixing outages is much quicker with overhead vs. underground lines. Would you like to be without power for a week while an underground break was traced, excavated, and fixed?

    Also, I do think there is the small matter of size. The UK is about the size of the state of Oregon. To bury all our overhead power lines would be a monumental task.
  6. Ian Gills

    Ian Gills Senior Robin Hood Guy

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    Location:
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    You sent a man to the moon didn't you?

    So, do it. Stop being afraid of some hard work and no excuses. The simple fact of the matter is that with buried lines outages would become a thing of the past.

    There would be no long delays in restoring power since the power would not go out in the first place.

    The only places I have ever lived where I have experienced power outages were America, Africa and England in the 1970s (when our lines were last overhead too!).

    Bring out the shovels.
  7. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

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    You foreigners have no problems spending my money :cool:
  8. SteveW

    SteveW DIY Senior Member

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    1,052
    Location:
    Omaha, NE
    Yeah, and we're still kinda tired.

    Can't we do this burying the power lines thing later?
  9. Ian Gills

    Ian Gills Senior Robin Hood Guy

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    Location:
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    Buried lines are so clean and tidy. This overhead stuff you have here is just so tangled and messy.

    Plus you have to be careful with metal ladders.

    With this next ice storm coming, overhead cables have had their day.
  10. Ian Gills

    Ian Gills Senior Robin Hood Guy

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    I still think a neatly dug trench is the best place to put anything American.
  11. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
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    Location:
    northfork, california
    It's all about the heat dispersal. And the cities are already so congested underground that adding electric would be suicide.

    Read the New Yorker by candlelight when the overheads are down. Pretend its 1650 in some foggy English village, the melody of the millers waterwheel sloshing away nearby. Call in a strapping tart for a bit of diversion.
  12. Ian Gills

    Ian Gills Senior Robin Hood Guy

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    Location:
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    I cannot stand all this "victimhood" and "sense of entitlement".

    Too hot? Too crowded underground? Too expensive? Too much work?

    Boo hoo.

    Just do it. Man Up America.
  13. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

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    Location:
    northfork, california
    "I takes a village" to man up America. The villages are gone. The teeming masses in the city won't take a 3 year tear up of their street - the SUV gets too dusty, and a 30 second wait is cause for a shooting.

    When an overhead goes down, its hours to find and fix. When the underground wire melts, its days and weeks.

    I would love to man up America. But the closest we have come is the prison gang chainsawing brush along my mountain road.

    Chaingangs. Use the VAST prison population and show them how good it is to sweat for a reason other than a hold-up or a shank fight.
  14. Ian Gills

    Ian Gills Senior Robin Hood Guy

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    Location:
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    I think taxpayers should pay hardworking American workers to do it.

    And they can change the sections that run across private property while they are at it....again at taxpayer expense.

    Criminals will hardly do a quality job. So don't cheap out.

    This would also be a good time to get everyone on the grid and public sewer. No more wells or propane tanks.

    I want to see wood cabins fit for habitation. Not just any standard. American Standard.
  15. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    northfork, california
    The English were masters at making the criminals do reasonably good work. Did a pretty good job in Australia.

    The gang here cutting wood could just as well follow behind and dig a trench. The ACLU would have a field day.

    And the backfillers can be the 18 through 21 year olds in REQUIRED public or military service for 2 years. Now we are starting to build a village with buried utilities.
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2011
  16. Ian Gills

    Ian Gills Senior Robin Hood Guy

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    Location:
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    I am still not sure that I feel comfortable using unpaid labor to do skilled work like that.

    Let's use tax dollars. That's what taxes are there for.

    Like you, Ballvalve, I also feel a little sad that the English no longer run the show here.

    We did send a few miscreants here, however. From which, some of you may well be descended.

    The criminals we sent to America were, of course, not our brightest and best. Many were sold as servants as soon as they landed here (unlike in Australia where they were made to work in the penal colony). In buying them, owners looked for particular skill sets that they could use on their plantations.

    Not a great start...
  17. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    northfork, california
    http://www.alwaysonsale.com.au/aos/products/21222-fatal-shore-the-hughes-robert/

    While the power is out, read "Fatal shore", you can find it for a few bucks, I would guess. One of the best reads on Englands colonization.

    And the Aussie unfortunates were also often sold and rented to the landowners, if they survived the passage, the sodomites, and the first hundred lashes.

    I have not found any writing on Englands criminal transport to America, outside of one nice Three stooges episode.

    Perhaps we are descended from them.

    http://www.onceuponatimebooks.com/si/_bf_mon0000162384.html

    Here is an epic read for 100 pennies. Books are going out of style. And note the heading photo on the link.
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2011
  18. JuanSigned

    JuanSigned New Member

    Messages:
    28
    Location:
    Utah
    So, in a previous life I did worked for the power company maintaining all of those dang above ground power lines. I was one of the guys that fixed the lines when the tree branches knocked them down. My company would have buried the lines in a heart beat, but the cost would have been ASTRONOMICAL!! For the few power outages that could have been prevented by burying the lines we would have had to dig up every backyard in the city, and reinstall every house's power box. (and as you well know once you modify something you have to bring it up to current code) Oh, and those same power poles also carry everyone's phone and cable service. So all of that would have to be buried as well. But, even back then, 30 years ago, all of the new neighborhoods were being built with underground power.

    I decided to quit when, like the days before it, I was 40' in the air in a high lift bucket truck, looking at a high tension line only a few feet away. I realized that I could touch death without even trying. Be thankful someone will do that job. I have done it and I am thankful.
  19. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    3,833
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    I live 14 kilometres from town so nothing out here is buried except for the last 300 feet from the pole to my house. I much prefer the clean look of no overhead wires.

    My internet comes to me through the air and so doesn't rely on wires. Mind you, without electricity the batteries in my UPS and my laptop will run down as too will the UPS on the WISP's tower. I work in IT and am on-call 24/7 every other week so I need VPN access back to my place of work. The first thing I do in a power outage is to VPN in to see if the outage afected the town also, and whether the backup generators started.

    The electrical utility here is pretty good at recovering from lightning induced outages and reclosers take care of most of them. It's the trees falling onto lines and the drivers plowing into the poles that cause the extended outages. While I have a genset for backup power, the WISP tower does not, so once their UPS depletes, I can no longer access the internet and cannot VPN to mey network. Mind you, once the tower UPS depletes, my cellphone also stops working so I tend not to get so many calls.
  20. Ian Gills

    Ian Gills Senior Robin Hood Guy

    Messages:
    2,780
    Location:
    USA
    There is no excuse not to bury lines in urban areas, and that includes the burbs. I think overhead high voltage lines should also be buried in rural areas of scenic beauty.

    The taxpayer should pay. And it should be Federally mandated.
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