Ladder for working near WRAPPED electrical wires

I need to do some painting and gutter repair in the vicinity of our aeriel service entrance.
I have called the electric company and they will be WRAPPING the wires with insulation.
Do I still need to use a non-aluminum ladder or will the wrapping protect me? (as long as I don't do something really dumb...)
(note I asked the electric company but because of liability concerns they couldn't advise me either way -- gotta love our litigious society...)
Thanks
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Typically the overhead service drop conductors are already insulated. I would have some concern if they are not. It would certainly be safer if you can get a hold of a wood or fiberglass ladder, but I would be more concerned about handling an aluminum leader or gutter near the wires. Do wear gloves
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RBM wrote:

Disclaimer: Not having seen your particular situation there could be unknown issues.
As noted, the service drop conductors are normally insulated to begin with. When the utility "wraps" them they usually drop on the same heavy orange rubber sectional insulating sleeves they use on the primary lines which run 100X+ the voltage of your service drop.
The most significant risks to watch out for would normally be:
- Ladder stability / falls
- The possibility of hitting the insulated service drop cables with a gutter section (or similar) sharp enough to cut through the insulation and make contact with the wire.
A non conductive ladder, preferably fiberglass, though dry wood is adequately non conductive for residential service drop voltages of 120V to ground.
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FWIW I prefer wood ladders although a lot of contractors now prohibit anything but fiberglas on job sites. Apparently they are concerned about wood ladders cracking and causing incidents for which they may be held liable. I think this may also be a current OSHA requirement.
nate
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I wonder how long until we start seeing carbon fiber ladders...
R
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RicodJour wrote:

That would be so freakin' cool... you'd cry the first time you spilled paint on one though :)
nate
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Nate Nagel wrote:

Not sure you'll see one, I suspect carbon fiber would have conductivity issues. Wouldn't put it past some Chinese company to produce a Faux carbon fiber stepladder for the home market though. As for crying, I just don't get that attached to material things. When I put the first good scratch in my new truck it was just a "now it's a real truck" moment.
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Paint? Near my six thousand dollar ladder?! You must be crazy. I only take it off of the living room wall over the couch to show people at parties, and I make them wear gloves when they touch it.
R
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wrote:

LOL!
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blueman wrote:

Accidents happen, sometimes they're dumb mistakes, other times, well, it's just an unforeseeable accident.

If the wires are wrapped, the odds of getting fried are low, but since the outcome of coming out on the losing end of those odds is the same - you're likely dead - why would you take the risk?
Don't be this guy: http://www.joetedesco.org/cgi-bin/photoalbum/view_photo/1202690
R
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blueman wrote:

Borrow a fiberglass ladder. It's not worth taking chances.
A friend once contacted the supply lines behind his house with an aluminum ladder. He spent many weeks in the hospital. Don't be like my friend. I remember a newspaper story from my home town about elementary kids chasing a rabbit into a 6" aluminum irrigation pipe at a school playground. They lifted it up to dump the rabbit out, but didn't watch the power lines. They didn't live.
I've (accidentally) grabbed hot wires while standing on a fiberglass ladder without noticing they were hot. It's not pleasant when I'm on an aluminum ladder.
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Steve Bell
New Life Home Improvement
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only use a fiberglass ladder........ safety first
ask the power company if they can temporarily disconnect you at the street.
power off will be safer, and run extension cord from friendly neighbor if you need power.......
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Fiberglass is probably your best choice. I knew a man that got zapped on an aluminum ladder--he did not survive. Ladders should be regularly inspected for wear and damage.
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