Power Up

New Cottage in the Woods - Lowering the power transformer.This week was a dynamic step forward in establishing the reality of the dream being real. In December of last year I wrote a check for almost $7,000 to PGE, our local utility company, for power service line extension. I was reluctant to blow the underground conduit with power cable. There would be no turning back.

It was time.

Almost 4 years ago, I installed a three foot deep 2″ PVC conduit with a PGE approved splicing vault halfway down my easement road to the new building lot. It was inspected, buried, and essentially forgotten.

When the company inspector came out and asked a bunch of questions, we were ready with the answers as we’d resolved these issues four years earlier. He approved it and said it was ready to run the line.

It was time.

Pulling the wire through the power transformer.One morning the crew showed up with a boom truck, and two equipment transports/tool rigs. The neighbors were notified about interruption of their power, and we were off.

Our first problem came when it was discovered that I’d forgotten to install a pull string in the first run of the conduit from the existing power vault. Oops.

There was some complaining from the crew, but a quick phone call to dispatch brought a shop vac to the site in short order.

Primary transformer pit hooking the wires together along the road.They hooked the mouse up to the pull string, started the vacuum up…nothing.

The debate was on as the crew discussed the different theories on how to handle this incomplete line. The consensus was to apply more suction. Water came out of the conduit, and finally the mouse appeared. I was greatly relieved.

As I watched this crew work together, I was impressed with their attention to their specific duties, and collaborative coordination. No wasted motion, no idle talk, and their ability to anticipate the needs of each other was fascinating. Safety seemed to be the unspoken mantra. Get the job done and do it with precision, with double-checking of all connection work.

We had problems with pulling the coaxial power line down to the transformer location. A couple of pulleys failed during the final pull, but the crew was able to improvise a solution, their ingenious skills constantly tested.

Workman standing in the lead splicer pit.The job was done.

It was time.

The site is electrified. It’s alive.

It is time.

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