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Okay, before anyone panics, these photos were actually taken right around last Thanksgiving... I don't think I ever posted these to VMF but I thought you guys might get a kick out of them.

A large branch from our neighbors tree came down during a particularly violent windstorm one night just before Thanksgiving of 2002. Fortunately, the power line running from the street to our house broke the fall, and the steel support cable that the power line was wound around managed to support one end of the tree, keeping at least some of the weight off the mustang. The tip of the branch came down on the hood, bending against it's own weight, and caused some minor scratching and a dent to the windshield trim. There was quite a bit of weight applied to the Mustang, but it was pretty evenly distributed because of the structure of the branch.

Our whole electric service box was also ripped off the side of the house, along with phone and cable. Strangely enough, the power lines themselves stayed connected despite extraordinary stress, fraying the cable slightly but not shorting or arcing.

The silver lining of the whole affair was that (a) the neighbor finally agreed to pay the $$$ to have the tree removed (we hated that damn tree) and (b) I got to upgrade the service panel from 125 amps to 200 amps. Whoo hooo!

You can see the whole photo set here.

http://homepage.mac.com/jester/.Pictures/Photo%20Album%20Pictures/2003-08-08%2022.31.22%20-0700/Image-6A7D3E97CA2A11D7.jpg

http://homepage.mac.com/jester/.Pictures/Photo%20Album%20Pictures/2003-08-08%2022.31.22%20-0700/Image-6A7D9FE2CA2A11D7.jpg

http://homepage.mac.com/jester/.Pictures/Photo%20Album%20Pictures/2003-08-08%2022.31.22%20-0700/Image-6A7DD889CA2A11D7.jpg
 

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OH MAN!!!!! I know exactly which storm THAT was. Glad things turned out OK!
 
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WOW MAN. Thank goodness you were lucky, and had only minor damage. Things like that is why I drive my car, I would really cry if something happened to my car and had not gotten to enjoy it as much as possible.
 
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I thought it was pics of JohnPro hiding from the cops. :D :D :D

Opps, there I go again. That was a joke, John. ::
 

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Fords solution to the need for new war machines. The Camo-stang :D (camo as in camoflague...) . Im glad your car wasnt seriously hurt.
 

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I would have hated to find my car like that.... Wow, glad it turned out ok.

Maybe a bit off topic.... But it's something I've always wondered about and never really understood.

Why is it that in America many houses have the power, phone and cable boxes outside the house? In almost every gangster movie, someone just cuts the power from outside and that's that? Piece of cake.

Here in Holland, you will never (at least I've never seen it) find any phone, cable or powerboxes on the outside of the house.

Forgive me if I'm wrong, maybe I'm just influenced by movies too much, but can you tell me if I'm right and why it is done that way?

Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Why is it that in America many houses have the power, phone and cable boxes outside the house? In almost every gangster movie, someone just cuts the power from outside and that's that?
There are a couple of reasons, but it isn't always quite so cut-and-dried. Generally speaking, the electric meter will be on the outside of the house so that the electric meter reader guy can go house to house and get a reading in order to bill you for the electricity you've used. The same goes for the gas meter. Sometimes, the gase meter will be in the basement near a basement window, and the meter reader must peer through the dusty window in order to get a reading.

Sometimes the breaker (or fuse) panel will be on the outside of the house (as is the case with my house) but more often the breaker panel will be on the inside of the house somewhere. Even on my house, there's a sub-panel inside the house that was put in during a remodel.

Also, I believe that the electric wiring code in the U.S. requires an external cutoff switch so that power can be completely and totally disconnected and there won't be any question whatsoever as to whether any of the wiring inside the house is "live" or not. If any of the wires ran through a wall before getting to the cutoff switch, one could not be totally certain just by looking at it that there weren't other parts of the circuit that weren't live.

The phone box is on the outside of the house so as to provide a division of responsibility between the phone company and the homeowner. Since the deregulation of the US phone system in the 80s, the phone company is responsible for the wiring on the outside of the house and the homeowner is responsible for the wiring inside the house. The "Interface Box" is the point at which responsibility changes. It also makes it easy to troubleshoot the source of any problems, as modern interface boxes have a modular jack, just like inside the house, that can be easily disconnected.

Cable TV almost always runs from the phone pole to the house and then directly into the house, usually without any extra boxes. Sometimes there will be a splitter somewhere on the outside of the house to run cable TV to more than one location inside the house.

Occasionally, in some neighborhoods in the U.S. you will see electric, phone, and cable TV running underground, just like water and sewer. I would imagine this is much more prevalent in very densely populated cities like Manhatten, but much less common in less dense areas.

Hope that clarifies things somewhat.
 

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Isn't it true that in Europe that most meter readers must enter the house? I seem to remember this from British comedy shows....
 

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Hey Midlife,

You are correct, for certain readings, the meter reader has to enter the house... In my reply to Jester I go into it a bit more...
 

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Ok, so now I understand a bit better... Though it does seem that your way of wiring is easier for crooks to get to.

Here in Holland practically everything comes from underground. The phone cables, the cable TV, electricity...everything.

As far as I know all houses except for some in very rural areas, are connceted like this. We have a water meter usually near the front door under the floor that is accessed via a trapdoor. We have a "fusebox" usually in the central hallway, nicely put away in a closet. This is equipped with an "earth leak" swith... That doubles as a central power shutoff. But the wiring up to there can only be shut down by the energy company. Cable and phone usually come in one of the walls that is closest to the street, but not always.

In Holland therefore it is very common for the meter man to just ring the bell and upon permission from the home owner enter to get the readings. I also believe that as a home owner you are obligated to let the man do his job.

In this age of computers, 85% (in my region) of the readings are taken by the home owner himself and then called in to a computerised system. So we don't get meter readers on the doorstep anymore. Maybe once in a while to check that the readings you enter are not false...

So I can see some advantages to the way it is arranged in America, but also some for ours. I do understand that America is huge and that it would be impossible to put all wiring underground. But I hope it is not as easy as it looks in the movies to disconnect your phone, power and everything else...I think that would be a scary thought to me...

Thanks for explaining!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
But I hope it is not as easy as it looks in the movies to disconnect your phone, power and everything else...I think that would be a scary thought to me...
In most cases, yes, it is about that easy to cut services from the outside of the house. At least for things like phone and cable TV. Electric service panels can usually be locked, though, and the conduit carrying the power lines is usually heavy gauge metal. Even then, cutting power lines would be somewhat hazardous to a burglar's health. Even if they managed to cut the wires without killing themselves, our burglar alarm (and probably most burglar alarms) has a battery backup that can keep the siren going for quite some time.

Plus, there's always cell phones. ;)
 
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