Utility Service Problems In Older Homes

Our home was built in the 1950s and has overhead utilities. In other words we have telephone poles in our neighborhood and some of the homes have low high-voltage wires going to them. My neighbors haven't had any problems dealing with the lower hanging high-voltage electrical wires, but I have seen a few large trucks nearly get zapped.

Most of the homes in our neighborhood have changed out their electrical service panels to larger ones, because the older ones were extremely dangerous. The one that we have in our home doesn't even have a main breaker on it. In other words, there’s no way to shut the power off to the entire home, unless you shut down each individual breaker.

Now that brings me to another problem, you need to be extremely careful working around the electrical high-voltage bus bars inside the service panel. I accidentally brushed one of the grounding wires up against one of these high-voltage bus bars and ruined the grounding wire. I'm not going to tell you what happened to the bus bar, but there a mark on the bus bar now, to remind me what happened, every time I look at.

If you are planning on changing out your electrical service panel, you're going to need to check with your local utilities provider, to make sure that everything is going to work fine. We wanted to put a larger service panel in, but can't, because the service wires will need to be changed that run from our home to the high-voltage electricity lines, connected to the telephone poles.

If you have an older house, check with your neighbors to see what kind of upgrades they've made. Usually if they were allowed to put larger electrical service panels in their home, you can to. Be careful working around older homes, usually their electrical systems aren't as safe as newer ones.