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  1. Default Current in CATV Coax

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    Every once in a while, I get sent out because a Cable TV technician will refuse to work on a residential cable drop due to him picking up current on it. Up until a week ago, every single one of these calls turned out to be B.S.

    Last week I get one, and the Cable wire is burned up at the splitter on the side of the house. First I'm thinking lightning damage but I start looking into it and the home owner comes out and tries to "HELP ME". I'm kinda tuning the guy out when he says his lights get bright once in a while. I get my ladder on the side of his house, and open up the bugs where my service drop connects at the weather head. Sure enough, the neutral connection is loose and who ever did it, never cleaned the "green" copper oxide off of the wires. It looked like a recent service change.

    So the neutral is either high impedance or non existent, the house is grounded poorly and all that unbalanced current between the two hots ended up in the shield of the cable wire looking for a return to ground.

    I guess some cable guys got rapped as of late and they are putting a clamp on meter on stuff before they take it apart.

  2. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by in the bucket View Post
    Every once in a while, I get sent out because a Cable TV technician will refuse to work on a residential cable drop due to him picking up current on it. Up until a week ago, every single one of these calls turned out to be B.S.

    Last week I get one, and the Cable wire is burned up at the splitter on the side of the house. First I'm thinking lightning damage but I start looking into it and the home owner comes out and tries to "HELP ME". I'm kinda tuning the guy out when he says his lights get bright once in a while. I get my ladder on the side of his house, and open up the bugs where my service drop connects at the weather head. Sure enough, the neutral connection is loose and who ever did it, never cleaned the "green" copper oxide off of the wires. It looked like a recent service change.

    So the neutral is either high impedance or non existent, the house is grounded poorly and all that unbalanced current between the two hots ended up in the shield of the cable wire looking for a return to ground.

    I guess some cable guys got rapped as of late and they are putting a clamp on meter on stuff before they take it apart.
    Had that not too long ago. TC came in as a single service, get there and customer says his light are flickering. Then says CATV guy got poked when trying to disconnect the ground block from the service drop.

    It was easy to spot, neutral jumper on to the secondary was broke. Customer says the lights have been flickering for months.

    Some never call.

    Even better. Customer sees crew out working, and for years has had an on going problem where his lights would only come on at night. Old 2 wire service. Whoever hooked it up, hooked it to the street light circuit.

    Oooo k.

  3. Default

    Oh man does this sound familiar!!!! We get quite a few of these calls. The CATV company around here has a nasty, lazy habit of grounding the CATV loop to the meter box. Either with a hose clamp around the entrance cable hub, or this little piece of crap connector that hooks onto the corner of the meter box cover. They are "supposed" to use their own ground, similar to what the phone company does. If the customer loses the neutral from the utility end, the shielding will then become the neutral for the entire house. I've even found 120V on the shielding outside at the splitter, due to a shorted out TV inside of the house. Of course that's after the splitter has burned up. Then the meter gets booted. I just smile when the homeowner asks me if our company will pay for the burned up TV.

  4. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by rcdallas_ View Post
    Even better. Customer sees crew out working, and for years has had an on going problem where his lights would only come on at night. Old 2 wire service. Whoever hooked it up, hooked it to the street light circuit.

    Oooo k.
    How do you go for years with only having power at night? I'd be calling the first morning!

  5. Default

    as they say different strokes for different folks

    any more with all the advanced metering/ams you'd get the call even if the end user doesn't dial down.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    if it was any of your business you would know
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    Current will always find the ground. Good chance the bad neutral was in a house down the street.... most touch potential on grounded objects seem to end up an open or high impedance neutral someplace other than the "hot" house.

    A few years ago a company I worked for was sued. The lineman in that utility simply did not understand grounds and bonds...they habitually cut phone and CATV bonds from pole bonds.

    One day Cable guy cut his bond wire off some pole equipment and got in series across the open point. Seems Our guys had cut every foreign bond for blocks and we had an open neutral at a loaded transformer bank in that alley. The CATV bond was the only "good ground" around and it was the current source that killed him. Stray current from electric distribution is a big deal.. bonding and grounding are required to prevent it from showing up places it should not be felt

  7. Default

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    Guess I don't have a clue as to why someone would just go around cutting grounds. Some just better off turning a wrench.

    Never verified for myself, and if I remember correctly but one smart man Danny Brown once said on a wye delta bank, you can have the imbalance but won't have any return current back on the neutral, something about it getting lost in the delta.
    Last edited by rcdallas_; 10-06-2015 at 09:23 PM.

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