Am I going to die (old high voltage cable content)?

  • This topic has 17 replies, 12 voices, and was last updated 4 years ago by  igm.
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  • Am I going to die (old high voltage cable content)?
  • Premier Icon tomd
    Subscriber

    I’m clearing up a bit of our garden and buried under decades of leaf mulch was an old concrete plinth and a stub of some old HV cables. The neighbour who’s been there since the 1960s said there used to a transformer there, hence the plinth and cables.

    The cable stub is kind of in the way, it would be good to cut it down further so I can level the area off. I’m fairly sure it’s disconnected but something is stopping me taking a cutter to it for fear of going up in a blue light. So, anyone got any opinions on how deadly a course of action it would be to cut it? Or if it was live would already have been fried digging around it?

    Premier Icon iainc
    Subscriber

    Tom – phone Scottish Power, they will come and make safe, especially if you suggest to them it might not be….

    Premier Icon igm
    Subscriber

    As iainc advises get your local DNO out. Where there are dead cables there are often live ones close by.

    They should look after you; they shouldn’t charge.

    PS Cougar, current detection won’t work even if it is live given that photo – there’s no circuit, but there is just every so often still voltage.

    Premier Icon tomd
    Subscriber

    Cheers for the tip called SP networks and they’re hoping to have someone out tonight. Apparently it does sound dodgy. Also if you have any kids <5 or old folk in the house it makes it more of an emergency!

    marcus
    Member

    I’lld be more worried about all the PCB’s in the ground surrounding it. 😉

    enfht
    Member

    Try licking it. Can’t be any worse than a 9v battery.

    jambourgie
    Member

    I’lld be more worried about all the PCB’s in the ground surrounding it.

    Printed Circuit Boards?

    Pakistan Cricket Board?

    Premier Icon igm
    Subscriber

    Poly chlorinated biphenyls

    Poly chlorinated Biphenyls

    Nasty stuff

    matt_bl
    Member

    Polychlorinatedbiphenyls

    Matt

    [edit] not even second! Generally not good, highly fat soluble and some take a massive amount of time to breakdown. Not that mobile, which can be a mixed blessing.

    Premier Icon tomd
    Subscriber

    Update: Engineer for SP came out and declared it to be properly dodgy (turns out they take reports of HV cables sticking out of the ground seriously)

    He was really surprised, thought the call out was a joke, didn’t expect to find 11kV cables sticking out the ground behind a cottage. They’re send a crew to dig it up tomorrow.

    Premier Icon tomd
    Subscriber

    Re. the PCBs, probably but the area is getting covered over once I’ve cleared it.

    Premier Icon tomd
    Subscriber

    More folk have turned up from SP with the archive drawings and found the other end. It’s definitely dead so I’ve been told to chop away!

    timba
    Member

    Plant a few more, you’ll get the landscaping done

    ajc
    Member

    Always better safe than sorry. Demolished a house once near a railway, found a cable like yours and was told by UK power network it was definitely dead as it was marked on their drawing. 25 ton tracked machine went to dig it out, followed by large bang and very unhappy machine driver. Personally I’d get them to do the cutting.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    That’s what I call a response!

    Premier Icon igm
    Subscriber

    As a DNO employee, I’m with ajc. SP are trained in dealing with cables you’re not. Chances are it’s dead – but I can think of examples of “dead” cables that actually turned out to be nothing of the sort. The records are good but there are hundreds of thousands of assets installed over a 100 year plus time period. They are not perfect.

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