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45 Faulty Light Poles Found in Seattle

January 12, 2011 Leave a comment

SEATTLE, WA¬†— Seattle City Light has uncovered more shock hazards from faulty light poles.

Crews inspecting metal light posts for shock hazards in Seattle found 45 problems, some with street light poles and others involving traffic signs.

Inspectors registered 100 volts coming off a faulty pole at one intersection in the International District. Another pole at Boren and Marion had voltage in the 105-volt range.

It was 90 volts that electrocuted a dog in Queen Anne. Sammy died Thanksgiving Day when he stepped on an energized sidewalk plate. Crews blame a lack of grounding and a pinched wire.

After several other complaints, the city hired two contractors to inspect all of the utility’s 30,000 metal poles and ground plates.

“We wanted to get it completed as quickly as we could, and we felt if we divided up the city between two different contractors, we probably could accomplish that in a quicker period of time,” said Suzanne Hartman.

The quick inspection process has cost the utility $300,000 so far.

“It’s not expensive when you consider the long term benefit for the customers and the city,” Hartman said.

But the city hasn’t yet added up the cost of overtime for city light crews making rounds with the inspectors and making repairs.

The inspectors, who look for anything above 30 volts, have found 45 shock hazards, more than half of which were emitting more than 50 volts.

“About half of the ones that we’ve discovered with the elevated voltage — we’ve been able to repair right on the spot. And the other half — we’ll have to come back and do something more extensive,” Hartman said.

Hartman says anything not yet repaired has been de-energized or turned off until it is fixed.

Story via KomoNews.com

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