More ‘contact voltage’: 5 West Seattle/White Center locations

(Photo by Deanie Schwarz, added 5:04 pm – the 1721 SW Roxbury pole)
Seattle City Light has published another update today about its ongoing systemwide streetlight inspections in the wake of “contact voltage” that killed a Queen Anne dog and spooked one in High Point. On Monday, three more West Seattle discoveries were listed; today, SCL announced five more spots were found in our area. From their online update:

Locations where the latest contact voltage was discovered were:

* 1721 SW Roxbury Street [map], 111 volts, a faulty ballast assembly was replaced …
* SW Avalon Way and 35th Avenue SW [map], 104 volts, bad wiring was repaired
* SW Holly Street and 31st Avenue SW [map], 107 volts, a faulty lamp head was replaced
* 4115 SW Arroyo Drive [map], 84 volts, a faulty ballast assembly was replaced
* SW Arroyo Drive and 39th Avenue SW [map], 98 volts, power was disconnected, repairs pending

City Light’s update also says that West Seattle testing has been completed. Their contractors have made it to 37 percent of the city’s streetlights so far.

6 Replies to "More 'contact voltage': 5 West Seattle/White Center locations"

  • Mookie January 5, 2011 (2:22 pm)

    What’s with the faulty ballast assemblies? Were they installed incorrectly, or were they defective components from a supplier? Sheesh. I’m glad the West Seattle testing has been completed, and hope the rest of the city gets checked quickly.

  • Electrified January 5, 2011 (3:41 pm)

    Curious: I assume there should be no leakage of voltage, but at what level does it become dangerous? Dog vs. human, etc.

  • Wendy Hughes-Jelen January 5, 2011 (3:57 pm)

    I won’t be at rest until the entire city has been completed, and wonder about other cities as well.

  • gms January 5, 2011 (6:38 pm)

    I suppose its mostly due to moisture infiltration to street lighing and ballasts and insulation failures. They are testing voltage but not practical to test the potential amperage, which that is the killer. The easiest cure is to replace or properly insulate the part that is leaking voltage.

  • Seattle DogSpot January 6, 2011 (7:07 am)

    City Light considers anything over 50 volts dangerous, but I don’t know if that’s some sort of standard or just their own.

    These “isolated incidents” sure are piling up.

  • Nathan January 6, 2011 (11:33 am)

    It’s the amperage that is damaging and usually fatal, not the voltage. Most people live after getting hit with a 10,000 volt tazer since the amperage is measured in miliamps or thousandths of an amp. No one is going to live if they have a 10,000 amp current run through them even if it’s only a few volts.

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