6am I live in Southern California, so I fly up and work either 10 days out and four days in, or I work four 10s and go home on the weekends. We started the day at 6.
8am We turned off the power in Hurstwood, in Burien; we have to plan for power outages in the neighborhood we’ll be working in. If we give them enough notification, people are pretty good about it.
8:30am The cables we work on are high voltage, the ones that go from transformer to transformer. It’s not the cable that goes from the transformer to your house; those are 120 or 240 volts. The lowest I’ve dealt with 7,000 volts.
We inject fluid that goes to the strand of the conductor, and it treats the insulation from the inside out. We can warranty it for up to 40 years. They don’t even expect brand new cables to last 40 years, so we make them better than brand new.
5pm We took a three-hour break. I went back to my hotel and did paperwork, basically. I took a bit of a dinner break, relaxed, put my feet up.
8pm With Seattle City Light, our agreement is that I cannot take businesses out of power in the daytime. So I did residential during the day, then I did a combination residential and business at night. I met the crew, we did a safety brief, a job brief, got everything prepped.
9pm At 9, we were able to turn the power off. We took roughly 1,000 people out of power that night along Ambaum Avenue in the city of Burien.
Midnight I think my first break came around midnight. I sat in the truck with the light on and caught up on paperwork that I have to continuously do. We drink a lot of coffee, a lot of water, a lot of juice. Not too much energy drinks, because those kind of make you giddy. And when you’re working with high voltage, you need to be really focused on what you’re doing.
6am We restored power at 6am. We did nine cables that evening and 12 during the day. I actually enjoy working at night, because there are fewer distractions, you can focus more on the job at hand.
Published: January 2013