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Posted By Topic: Working in pillars?

May 31 2015 16:22

Hi all, first time poster here

Have a job Tuesday replacing consumers overhead mains with underground.

As farmy boss (sigh) has rung the distribution company and as far as they are concerned the house already has underground wiring.

So, boss wants me the run cable, open pillar, pull fuse, remove overhead and re terminate the new cable into the pillar.

It\'s all easy stuff however to my understanding is common sparks can\'t open a pillar under any circumstances?

Just want to double check as I don\'t want to kick up a fuss if I\'m wrong, but if I\'m right then he can do it himself if he wants to break the rules.

Cheers all

May 31 2015 17:36

if its a private pillar, then you can do it without issue, just take the correct safety precautions. is my understanding. but different lineco\'s probably have different rules.

May 31 2015 17:50

Thanks for reply, what do you mean by private? I believe this one is question is out on the road. My thoughts were that we can\'t work on anything beyond the consumers mains

May 31 2015 18:33

if its on the road, then it most likely wont be private, so no you cant make those connections. Private pillars are ones on private property - they are sometimes just a join point, and there most likely will be a icp fusing point at the street. In my area the local lines co has handed the ownership of private pillars back to the property owner and they will charge the property owner for any work on them.

May 31 2015 19:10

If the pillar is out on the road then I suspect that it is the property of the local lines company and entering into the pillar is interfering with the network and will only result in trouble for you.
Contact your local lines company to confirm the status of the pillar. If you have the ICP number for the connection it should not take long to get the position clarified.
If the lines company get involved by providing the isolation then you can pretty much guarrantee that they will insist on an inspection before re livening.
This will be because you have worked on the Mains.
Not because you have converted from O/H to U/G.

Jun 01 2015 07:52

ESR 35 \"must not interfere with works\" without permission / authority / emergency.
Supply fuses are fittings of works.
So is the section of mains from point of supply to boundary.
So No; don\'t touch the pillar; or the mains, without talking to the network operator.

disconnecting / connecting at pillar is live work, and live work is pretty much banned by ESR 100.

You need to have all the appropriate PPE; and since it\'s work n network fittings there will be not just permission to obtain but work procedures to follow and paperwork to complete; all set by network.

A network may also require an inspection for the \"installation\" part of the work; This sort of requirement should be in writing, typically as part of their terms & conditions of supply, or a \'network connection standard\' cited by the terms & conditions.
Whether that\'s because they recognise the risk of reversal, and consider that it outweighs the fact that replacement is classified as low risk PEW; or whether it\'s just bum-covering; doesn\'t really matter. Arguing isn\'t going to get them to co-operate.

You\'ll also need to consider how, and when, you test.
Eg you\'ll still have meters connected, which tends to upset IR tests between conductors.


Jun 01 2015 18:44

One would hope that there is an isolator in the meter box that is the point of connection for the mains. Makes testing easier for the most part and allows metering contractors to isolate without having to enter pillars or climb poles or do that weird dance with a stick to remove the O/H pole fuse if they don\'t want to climb the pole.

While I recognise that the mains are replacements the whole methodology of the installation has changed, arguably for the better with generally less connections to make the phase transposition error, the network company call center will only hear the word mains and that will trigger the Inspection requirement, right or wrong.

And you are correct there is no point arguing with them if you wantt the power back on any time soon.

Jun 01 2015 20:48

\" if they don\'t want to climb the pole.\"

Or if they aren\'t authorised to climb.