Hello Dahl family!
Please forgive the length below, but I wanted to cover all bases or potential misunderstandings about the power line(s) running over the sheds that Chris expressed concern about. I’ve highlighted some things, not to be obnoxious, but to help you read over my wordiness faster. Thanks for bearing with me. When a neighbor touches upon safety topics it immediately becomes a potential negligence concern we have to follow up on, so, even though we were told theses types of lines were meant for this type of contact with trees around a year ago, I have met again with Duke Energy again today, to make absolute sure, so we can all rest easy.
In short, there is no safety concern, but they will get cut nice and early (by me, unfortunately) in 2022. There is nothing out of the norm and no need for immediate action. It could get way more grown and make way more contact before there would be any safety concern, but I will stay ahead of things and be proactive and cut them very early, in the first quarter of 2022 sometime.
Here are all the details, thanks! —
Dear Dahl Family,
Thanks to Chris for expressing his concern for safety regarding the trees around the power lines leading to my extended service pole. I have met again with a Duke Energy representative today around 12:30 PM today Dec. 17, 2021, this time with Ruben (a crew foreman who handles this area’s vegetation for Duke). This one spoke very clear English and was bright and thorough. I may have called Chris outside, too, but his truck was gone so I assumed he was at work.
Everything Ruben said about these lines back here mirrored the same things the last guy told me when he was cutting around the 13,000-volt lines (out closer to the street) around a year ago, with one exception:
That previous guy was more specialized for the higher-voltage lines out close to the street and didn’t know as much about the responsibility of 220v lines back here – he had said it was not yet time for “routine maintenance” back there, whereas this, more clearly-spoken rep confirmed the line running above my sheds is actually my responsibility 🙁 because they go to an “extended service pole” serving only my house and no others. That makes it my responsibility.
But based on what Ruben said, there is no need to do it this winter. Nevertheless, I will likely trim the branches he pointed out to me in the first quarter of 2022 to stay proactive and get it out of the way.
Here is what Ruben said and/or confirmed:
There is no need for concern at this time and no immediate need to cut it this season. These types of lines back here are not the type you have to worry about minor contact. They aren’t concerned until they are actually pushed considerably out of alignment.
The only one carrying power is the thick bundle (the other little lines are not power or dangerous, like old phone and old cable TV signals).
That Duke power bundle meant for one house only carries 220v to 240v – not 13,800v to 500,000v like the lines out at the street, like Chris described electrocuting the lady who stepped out of her car. No, don’t touch it or step in a puddle with it in the unlikely event a hurricane downs it and it stays live, but it is 60 to 2000 times less voltage and will not behave like that tragic story.
If you look at the sag in the thick bundle as it goes out to the big transformer on the pole closer to the road, there is still almost all of the slack remaining. That line is actually designed to take a bunch of stress push out of alignment taking up that sag before they actually get concerned. It is a wrapped bundle and designed for substantial contact with trees, unlike other types of lines.
No amount of trimming is really going to make a difference in the event of a major storm taking them down. He said (to paraphrase best I can), “If we worried about that we’d have to cut down half the trees in the county – you’d have to take out the whole trees. These branches that are due to be cut… maybe in 2022 or so, are not to keep storms from whacking the lines down – it’s just to keep them from growing until they place a ton more stress on the line than is there at this point. You barely have contact here. Almost zero alignment effect. Contact is no problem (these lines back here are meant for vegetative contact). With these lines (just the thick bundle) you don’t worry about contact – just alignment changes and stress taking slack out of the line, of which there is almost nothing going on here, yet. Very, very minor beginnings of push in one or two places. No need for concern anytime very soon. I can talk to your neighbor if you like.”
Nonetheless, in the first quarter of 2022, when I get a chance, I will have them turn the power off and I’ll spend a couple days cutting branches and cutting them up and getting rid of some. It is my responsibility and will be major work and I cannot afford to do it immediately, as it is not a safety concern at all even in 2022.
Thanks – I appreciate your concern. Thanks for looking out. We value our positive relationship with you and don’t want you to worry.
P.S. Ruben Pansegrouw the Duke Energy Vegetation Management crew foreman and customer consultant’s personal work cell is (727) 258-1090 if you want to double-check anything I’ve relayed or if you had any additional questions while the visit is still fresh in his mind. My address is 13527 Interlaken