Safe to work near external power in to house?


Hi,
Our house mains comes in via a wire on the corner, just under the guttering. This connects to one of those big pot insulator things, then goes around half of the house, down and into the main fuse board inside.
The down pipe is blocked that is next to where the wiring connects to the house.
Would it be safe to put a ladder near to/against the point the big wires attach to the house?
I know this is a daft question, but I was stood there with an aluminium ladder in pouring rain and howling wind, trying to place it on the *other* side of the downpipe (i.e. the one not near the leccy in). This gives about 1/2 inch of wall "spare" on the corner of the house.
I chickened out half way up - what looked like heavy duty electricity on my right and what was certainly a nasty fall if the ladder budged 1/2 inch to the left. If it's safe to put the ladder near or against it, I can whip up now and do the job. If not, looks like I'll have to call someone out.
Thanks.
Mark S
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Mark Stephens wrote:

If the cable from the pole is very obviously insulation-covered, (as from your description is probably the case), then it will not present a shock hazard. The insulator would date to earlier days when bare copper wire was used.
A link to a photo or two of what you have would help.
I used to have a *pair* of uninsulated copper stranded wires going to insulators on the house - joined there to a pair of insulated wires that were clipped along the wall before going into the house.
I kept my ladders well away from that lot.
They were replaced by a *single* insulated cable, going, uninterrupted, from pole to service fuse. A short, "finger-trap", braid over the insulated cable now goes to the insulator.
That cable is perfectly safe to touch - I have done so for much of its length, fastening plastic spikes to stop birds sitting on it and giving me a car to wash...
--
Sue











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Thanks. I'll try to get a picture today before I go any further (or nearer!)
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"Mark Stephens" wrote:

It will be 240 volts in an insulated cable, therefore providing the insulation has not been damaged it is quite safe to work near it or to touch it.
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DIY wrote:

Best way to test it is to get some dispensable relative to touch it whilst you stand at a safe distance.
Mike
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Got the wife to go up the ladder :)
Thanks for the advice - not quite done the job, as something is stuck fast in the drain - but the wire was safe.
Thanks again all.
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guttering.
about
my
up
About three years ago while working on a roof repair off a scaffolding next to the mains external electric supply, just as you discribe in you mail. The local electricity supply company representative came on site. He immediately ordered me down gave me a lecture on the danger of working next to the cables which were about a metre away from my reach, He informed me that the power can jump that far. He told me that I wasn't to go up on the scaffold again until the cables had been insulated by there overhead employee, or he would have me prosecuted under Health and Safety law. When I was allowed back on the scaffold the wires had been covered with a thick polystyrene sleeve similar to a heating lagging sleeve. If you are not sure ask the local electric board
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"keith_765" wrote:

The sleeve is to prevent accidental damage to the cable that might breach the insulation. It clips onto the last couple of metres of cable to the anchor point on the property, but nothing is applied to the cable AFTER the anchor point where the cable is fixed to the wall before it enters the property. If domestic supply of 240volts can jump through intact insulation on the cable bringing power to the building (but only the airborne section, not the cable that is fixed to the property), what is to stop it jumping through the much thinner insulation on the cables carrying 240volts inside the house? Elf n'safety strikes again!
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scaffold
allowed
the
insulation
section,
That exactly what they did. The first 2m. I always thought it was to stop getting a shock from the cable
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snip
Also to stop any lightning strikes further down the line jumping through the 204V insulation and onto nearby workers.
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"Ian_m" wrote:

Bizarre.
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