We just had hurricane force winds and a tree fell over and it ripped
down the overhead wires to my barn. This is after my electric meter
so I am responsible, the electric company only repairs BEFORE the
meter. The insulator broke and the top half of the 1 1/2" service
entrance pipe was ripped off the barn and bent way over. We spent
most of the night cutting up the tree and freed the wire. Not able to
get parts, I hooked the cable up to the metal bracket that remains of
the insulator using a piece of chain hooked to the end loop piece on
the triplex that normally goes around the insulator. With a friend,
we tried to bend that steel conduit straight, but it's near impossible
by hand. We got it a little straighter, but not very good.
Is there any way to straighten that conduit? I'd rather not have to
replace it. I should mention that the power did not go out and no
wires were broke or separated. It just destroyed the insulator and
bent that entrance pipe. I'd like to just replace the insulator and
bend that pipe straight again. The insulator is easy to replace, but
getting that pipe back straight seems to be a big problem. No, I do
not have a pipe bender for 1 1/2". Just for 1/2" and 3/4".
On Sep 30, 2:44 am, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
I would replace the conduit and wiring, the wiring may have been
damaged and could cause a short and fire in the future, espically
since serice entrance cables arent fused.
this may be covered by homeowners insurance, and upgrade to 200 amps
if your service isnt already that
The pipe bent, but did not kink. The insulator and top pipe strap
were ripped off the building, the pipe bend both to the right and
outward from the wall at the second (middle) strap. I dont think the
wires were damaged since there was no kinking. Actually this service
entrance *IS* fused. There's a box under the meter on the power pole,
where there are two 200A cartridge fuses (400A Service). From there,
the power goes three ways. 1. the house 2. the barn 3. the garage
(two separate triplex cables to the garage and barn, plus an
underground cable to the house). Each building has it's own main
breaker. This is typical wiring on farms.
As for insurance, the deductible is much more than what it would cost
to just buy new conduit, insulator, etc.... No sense even turning it
in, because that will just give them a reason to raise my rates.
Another question. My present conduit is 1 1/2" rigid steel, not
threaded galvanized pipe. I know that most new construction these
days uses that gray plastic conduit. I could use that, but what would
happen if a tree fell and I had that plastic stuff? Seems that there
would have been more damage since that plastic would have shattered.
I'm hesitant to use that as a replacement if I cant get the steel one
straightened, or just buy new steel pipe.
On Sep 30, 2:49 pm, email@example.com wrote:
re: "...gray plastic conduit. I could use that, but what would happen
if a tree fell and I had that plastic stuff?"
Ahh, but you no longer have a tree to fall on it... or do you?
If the danger of a tree falling on the new service entrance no longer
exists, why not use whatever is easiet to obtain/install?
On Fri, 30 Sep 2011 13:49:37 -0500, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Overhead masts are required to be Rigid metal or intermediate metal
conduit. I bet you will find it is threaded into the hub on top of the
box too, I would open the disconnect, take the wire out of the pipe
and replace it. Then reattach the drop with new hardware. A new stick
of rigid is not that expensive and this shouldn't take an hour to do.
I would take the 4 screws out and remove the hub to unscrew it. That
is easier than trying to spin a bent pipe that will probably hit on
something before it comes loose..
Yes, it's just attached to the side of the barn, not a mast. There
are other trees that could fall in the future. I'd have to take down
a lot of trees to prevent it, and am not about to do that, although I
intend to trim a few of them.
Actually, I need to correct myself too. It's 1 1/4" (not 1 1/2"), and
it's threaded pipe, not EMT. I was dealing with this in the dark last
night, using tractor lights and flashlites. Now I did a better
inspection in daylight. The wires do not enter directly into the
breaker box, there is a LB elbow where it enters the wall. That part
is all ok. Actually, I think I could leave the bend to the right just
like it is, if only I can bend the top of the pipe so the head sits
flat against the wall again.
It's all one piece of pipe, but it does turn at the LB and the head
will come off too. Now that I really checked it over, I know I will
have to just remove the connectors where the triplex connects to the
cable inside the pipe, and should be able to unscrew the pipe from the
LB, inspect the wires, and as long as they are ok, just slide them
into a new piece of pipe and thread it in, along with the head.
It looked a lot worse when everything was a tangled up mess, as least
now I have a plan. I suspect the wires are ok inside the pipe. The
bends are gradual, not sharp or kinked. The triplex was not damaged
where the tree was against it either. It's nearly 100 feet from the
pole to the barn, so there was a lot of length to take up the slack.
The wooden pole also had a slight bend toward the tree, but went back
where it should be as soon as we got the tree off the wires.
On Sep 30, 9:15 pm, email@example.com wrote:
depending on the triplex size..... 1000 lbs to 4000 lbs "rated
strength" (whatever that is)
On Sep 30, 2:49 pm, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
The service head was yanked down suddenly by the force of the tree
falling on it -- the wire must be inspected to make sure the
is not damaged along its entire length...
The exterior cable could have damaged insulation which would let
water inside the cable and cause issues -- the cabling inside the
conduit could have been pulled hard enough and far enough to
have loose connections to the service panel...
You should have a licensed electrician do the repairs and sign off
on it being properly repaired and functional... You worry about
what it would cost to make an insurance claim now when you
have legitimate storm damages -- just wait until you have a fire
because you skimped on doing the prudent and proper repairs
after your electrical service was damaged by that falling tree --
the insurance company will ask how the conduit got bent, or
why such a short piece near the top was replaced and will
then ask who did the repairs... You might find that your very
expensive future electrical fire might not be covered because
your deductible is too high to properly fix some storm damage
caused by a tree today...
Get better insurance with a lower deductible for property damage
On Sep 29, 11:44 pm, email@example.com wrote:
Since all of the damage is downstream of the meter....... throw the
main breaker (if that kills power to the damaged section) or pull the
Now that the damaged section is de-energized
I assume its 1-1/2" rigid conduit, ie "pipe like" material
If the conduit is only 1" you should be able to straighten it using a
stout workbench & a bench vise.
1) disconnect the wiring and pull it out of the conduit (examine the
wiring for damage, replace if compromised)
2) disassemble the conduit run to free the bent section
3) if the damaged piece is short & 1-1/2" dia, it's going to be tough
to straight with a hickey (sp?) type bender.
If you have a large arbor press or a hydraulic press frame you
should be able to apply enough force to straighten the conduit
without collapsing it
If this process fails.....use Hank's suggestion >>>>> muffler shop,
local blacksmith or welder.
But you have to have the damaged section "uninstalled" so you can work
on it. Trying to straighten while still part of the system would be
On Fri, 30 Sep 2011 20:12:29 -0400, "John Grabowski"
As fas as I know, the SE cable is only made for systems up to 60amps.
Unless they changed that in recent years. My panel is a 100A in this
barn, which is all it needs. Either way, SE cable would cost much
more than a new pipe. As long as my wires are ok, and I bet they are.
But that is a good suggestion.
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