Good luck with contractors. This is why so mnay of us do it ourselves.
Most of the contractors here will come out, discuss the plan for an hour,
measure up, promise to get back to you in a few days with a quote and never
contact you again.
I discussed this with a local building supply store manager and he told me
Three local electricians at the counter talking.
"I have to run over to the Miller's house to quote wiring it"
"I have already given them a quote from my company"
"I did too!", pipes in the third.
"Oh well, I'm not likely to be the cheapest so I guess I'll skip that one"
The other thing that happens is before a job starts, or in themiddle of the
job, a larger home builder calls and they magically disapear. The larger
builder has lots more jobs coming (hope, hope) and guess who gets dumped in
Quality? There is no guarantee except to never pay more than 50% before th
job is complete. Hold it back!!! Anytime I have paid 90% or 100% the
contractor suddenly starts whining about how big the job was or that he has
other things to do and the quality goes down the toilet, 5 min after the
cheque is handed to them...no cashed. This has happened with some large
chain store installations here and I am currently involved in a legal action
with one right now. (yup 90% paid)
On another note:
Hydro One (formerly Ontario Hydro) has a protective metering standard
voltage of 70 volts. It is felt that 70 volts would not likely be as likely
to kill, or even harm badly, a person in a contact type accident. The
metering standard is all 120v equipment but they go to great lengths to
break this standard with many protection and metering pieces of equipment.
Another advantage is that the phase to phase voltage (shifted 30 degress) is
120v and that can be useful in this same field.
Of course for flash faults the transformers to do this voltage level shift
have such low capacity that faults would be limited to a few hundred amperes
and a safe level (won't melt you wrench in your face) This would be the case
of your Comcast scenario also.
I couldn't locate the thread, but last fall, I described a 3' by 2' by
2' metal box, with "ALPHA" marked on it, on my utility pole, and even
posted a picture in an effort to try to figure out what it was. I also
mentioned it had a circuit breaker in a box underneath it (and I wanted
to know what the darn thing was for). I now understand these boxes
exist across the nation and I now have the answer in case you may have
one in your locality:
The boxes are 120v to 90v transformers owned my Comcast. Each one can
support approximately 10 customers (that each have an approximately
12"x5"x2" silver metal box attached to the Comcast line). A Comcast
technician explained to me that purpose is that the Comcast technicians
do not need to be licensed to work with 90v as they would if they worked
with 120v equipment. The circuit breaker is for the transformer box, of
course, and the extra meter is so that Comcast can be billed for the
electricity that their transformer uses.
And that's the rest of that story...good day!
BTW, Comcast's strategy (of going to 90v) appears to me to be an
interesting example of what I call "angle shooting". I don't know
enough to say whether it is in the spirit of the law or not. Isn't 90v
equipment just about as potentially harmful to life and property as 120v
BTW2, I asked a Comcast technician (I had 3 out last week) why they just
threw my cable-splitter on the ground under my house when they installed
my service. He said that's just the way they install them. I said, "What
, I said if I installed it I would have mounted it
somwhere...". That word is very powerful. Before I contract people to
work on my home I may talk to them about craftsmanship--that way I may
be able to get things finished to my level of expectation rather than,
in some cases, the minimum level that gets the contractor out the door.
I only mention this to help empower anyone else who may prefer more
control over the way his or her work is performed by a contractor. It
seems that if the contractor agrees to perform at a certain level of
craftsmanship then the customer is empowered compared to if the
contractor merely agrees to get the job "done". I haven't actually
tried this technique yet, but it occurred to me after my conversation
with the technician about the cable-splitter.