Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Electric Service Remount

As talked about before, the bracket for my electric drop appeared to have ripped out at some point and reattached - but not to a stud. Tearing off the layers of siding revealed just how poorly attached it was. I removed the siding except what was under the bracket and then started hanging the new siding. Once I was sided up to the next nearest stud towards the front of the house, I was able to make the switch to a new bracket.

old bracket

I pre-drilled and threaded in the new reinforced ceramic bracket. Next I hooked on a new tension clip to the bracket. Then laying the bracket on the guide cable (also the neutral wire for the service drop) I slid in the tapered mating piece. As tension is applied to the bracket, the pulls the taper closer making a tighter grip to the cable. It's a simple and really reliable design. Once the new mounting was complete I was able to remove the old bracket and the siding underneath it. Fair warning though, extreme caution needs to be taken when working around a service. One bad move can leave you a toasty critter and there is no breaker out on the street lines to blow if you do short something out! Usually the wire, the tool, or you will become the failing point to break the circuit if something bad happens.

I still need to put a service weather head on the cable. Right now it just has a "gooseneck" head, where they just bend the cable over to keep water from getting in the cable where the sheathing is cut to expose the individual leads. A weather head has a mounting screw and keeps the top of your cable more secure.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Running Out Of Time

My work schedule gets crazy again starting Oct 25th, so basically I have till then to get as much done on this side as I can. After that it will be pretty much dark when I get home (and probably won't feel like doing much!). The corner is stripped down and papered, plus the belt trim is stripped - so now I can start to shingle the corner and get the front finished. I started yesterday and have three rows done up to the porch roof along the side. The next level will start wrapping around the front. I have a few batches done so we'll see how far I get today, but the limiting factor on time again will be how fast I can get more batches painted....

I ran into a problem with the service cable. It appears that at some point in the past it was ripped off the house and then remounted about 6 inches away. The problem is they didn't his a stud! As I started prying hoping to work some of the siding out from behind it and be able to leave it in place - the entire bracket started moving - yikes. So I just worked around it for now leaving it everything in place. The sheathing is pretty thick, but with all the material between the bracket and the sheathing I don't think it grabbed to much wood. So my electrician buddy told me a trick to switch the triplex (wires coming from the pole) to a new bracket without having take on the full weight of it. It's a good 100 feet run to the pole, so I doubt I'd be able to hold on very long let alone try to fish onto a new bracket. I get into this more when I actually do it.
Another issue I had to finally deal with was a 1 1/2 inch conduit run that went from the service panel, up the outside wall along the service cable, then down along the belt trim and poke into the house in the from bedroom and the back bedroom/2nd floor kitchen. There were 5 circuits total which had to be disconnected from the main panel and pulled back to where they went back into the house on the second floor. Then I was able to remove all the ugly conduit. Two circuits were dedicated to outlets probably for window AC units, so I just eliminated them. Three others feed the third floor which was semi redone before I bought the house. Two of these seemed to power most of what I'm using up there, so I temporarily made a junction box in the front bedroom and powered these two a new feed I ran to power the front bedrooms. When these rooms are gutted I can run the lines up to the third floor and to the closet where the central AC will be and a sub panel.