05 June 2008
When I was transferred from Drew to Jay and began working on the rigid conduit in January, it became our crew's responsibility to handle the shutdowns of certain substations so that we could prep gutters and such for the eventual splicing-in of power from the condo tower. This was out last one.
It was the XBH substation, the first I'd done as a journeyman. We had our normal 02h00 start time, but this one was different because of the fact that it was the emergency power, which meant that once we shut it down, life safety went offline. Fire alarms, magnetic doors, security...maybe I'm a geek but I thought that was incredibly exciting. In F-Card class we learned that if the life safety went down, security personnel had to be posted at every floor of the tower and at various exits, plus within a certain distance of one another, so that if a fire did start, they could scream out approved warnings in lieu of the sirens and such that a fire alarm system would be capable of doing. I secretly wanted to sneak about and search for the security personnel posted here and there, but that wouldn't have been looked upon favourably.
So, after the shutdown from central plant, Jay radio'd that it was clear. I donned my 11 cal/cm2 hot-suit (very sexy, people!) and with Victor's guidance I used the hot stick and grounded it all out. This was the sixth one so really, it was no different other than the whole life safety aspect of it.
It totally kicked ass though. Emergency power was out for three hours; aside from a few girls wandering aimlessly from the clubs into the dimmed restrooms, no one noticed. I was told a long time ago that an electrician did the job correctly if no one notices anything. After five years in the trade, I know that to be true.
It's sad I won't do another shutdown again anytime soon. I think that kind of thing is loads of fun. Sure, it's dangerous (a few thousand volts) but I seriously dig it. Not quite as kickass as photovoltaics...but not too many notches below it, either.