The follies of knowing too much (electrical work)

In the past I have installed electrical outlets and wall switches for either relocating power for a wall mounted TV or Home Automation.

The company I work for use to have an Electrical division but things didn’t work out so they closed it and a couple of the Electricians switched over to the Low Voltage side and over time they all had left to go work for other Electrical groups and companies.

We attend to do Pole Camera systems for home builders and developers and these poles need power and since we don’t have any trained Electricians on staff anymore I fit the ticket because I can tell the difference between AC lines and have common sense to trip the breaker.

My task for the day was to route power from a construction site grade Power poles to three Camera poles. How it is laid out is you have the Power Transformer that the city/county installs that connects to the power grid. The electrical contractor taps into that Transformer and puts in a 4×4 with a metal box that has two 15amp rated circuit breakers and two 15 amp GFI outlets so when the property is under construction the other trades can use their power tools. I had to tap into the power pole and run some 2 conductor (three if you count the ground), run it in conduit to the Camera pole and terminate it with it’s own outlet. Seems simple until you open up that breaker box. You got 100amps if not more of power coming from that transformer to that breaker then a Bus bar for the Neutral and Ground. Good thing I have a fibreglass hammer and a super long flat head to get the knockout out of the way to run my conduit into it. I was three inches from the line that comes in from the Transformer.

Needless to say I survived and I don’t plan to do that again. The boss was a little upset it took me all day to do those three. I had to remind him I am not a trained Electrician, I’m a hobbyist at best.

So take my word, don’t let your Boss know you can handle minor electrical stuff or he will throw you to the wolves.


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