Sunday, July 24, 2016

The installation of a pole

We have an outbuilding that will be Marc's workshop when it is finished, for his motorcycle projects and other projects that he works on.  It's not as big as he would like, but it will serve the purpose. Unfortunately, it isn't presently insulated, nor is it heated.  He needs to complete the insulation and heat the building so that he can use it year-round for his projects.  We determined that the electrical panel that services the house is already full, so there wasn't sufficient power available for him to heat the building with the electric type of heater that he would like to use.  So, he decided that he would have a new, separate electric panel installed on the outbuilding, and that required the installation of a pole so that the wires could be brought to the building for the separate panel.  Here, almost all electric wires are overhead.  I much preferred the underground ones in Iowa (which gets just as cold as it does here, so we ought to be able to do it here, but we don't.)

In any event, two men arrived to install a pole.  I didn't actually know they were coming that day, so it was a bit of a surprise to me.  I was hanging out the laundry when I saw them come around the corner to announce to me that I had to move the truck out of the way so they could bring their equipment up the driveway to install the pole.  I dutifully made space for them, and decided I might as well follow the proceedings.

First, they unloaded the pole from a trailer.  Those poles are big!

It was deposited on the ground in front of the outbuilding.  Then they had to move the vehicle into position to use the auger to drill the hole.

That wasn't a particularly easy operation because:

  • the space is narrow
  • the pole had to be installed on a slope
  • there is an existing power wire to the outbuilding from the house that operates the light switches and the couple of outlets that are already there, and it was in the way of the boom
So, the whole operation proceeded with a lot of delicate manoeuvring to get things in the right place. First, the boom was moved around (here you can see the light coloured wire between the house and the outbuilding).

The boom had to be positioned under the wire, and then the auger was released.

Positioning the auger over the spot where the hole was to be dug was very tricky.

Mr. Beard had to finagle it into place.

Finally, the drilling proceeded.  Then they discovered there were some large flat rocks supporting the slope that needed to be moved.  Mr. Beard to the rescue.

Normally, they would use a longer attachment above the auger, but because of the confined spot, they had to keep adjusting the position of the auger on the arm as it went.  It went down...

...and down...

...and then back up again, bringing loads of earth with it.

Loads and loads!

Normally, they just wiggle the auger a bit and the dirt comes off, but because of the wire overhead, they couldn't do that, so Mr. Beard had to shovel all the dirt off the auger bit by hand.

They repeated this several times.  Oh, I forgot to mention, the birch tree was also right in the way, presenting yet another obstacle for the workers.

Eventually, the auger bit was down 6 feet into the ground, and they detached it, leaving it in the hole, and then putting on a different bit for putting in a guide line post.  That was a very deep hole.

Here goes the guide post.

At that point, I had to go in and get some work done, so I missed the actual removal of the auger from the hole and the placing of the pole in the hole.  I came back out to find that the post was in place and being tamped down.  On the picture below, you can see the metal rope around the middle of the pole, which was used to lower it (over the wire) into the hole.  In this picture, the metal rope is being lowered by the boom.

Mr. Beard stepped up again and released the loop so the metal rope could be wound back on to the winch on the boom.

They wound it up onto the winch you can see in the picture below, and that was it!  Pole installed.  Now we have to wait for NB Power to come and install the line to the new pole.

Meanwhile, Marc is beginning work on the inside of the building to get it ready for insulation. Eventually, it will be a great workshop!


Michelle said...

It looks like a GREAT workshop, with overhead door, human door and nice windows! And that was quite an operation to place that pole.

Chris said...

Awesome! Your husband is going to be one happy camper.

Underground utilities is available almost anywhere in the US. Usually its the more expensive option however. Costs quite a bit more than just having a pole set. In smaller communities, installing the overhead utilities is seemingly the primary order, unless a specific request is put in for underground service. They just cook it on the sly if you don't ask. Much easier and much quicker for them. And when you put a bunch of men together, you know they typically don't ask women what it is they might prefer. smh LOL!

Your post is so timely, I preparing to build my larger workspace as we speak. Being in the waits for years!! Thanks for sharing.

porkpal said...

A very skillful installation! Our power company would probably have just taken down the line and left you without electricity for days.

I really liked the pictorial blow-by-blow account too!