Electricians are capable of working under the rain, snow, or even storm. However, it strictly requires a lot more preparation and skills to the repairmen than a normal nice weather day. Therefore, except for extremely emergent situations, they are advised to put off the work, because after all, fixing the grid isn’t worth the risk.
Any competent electrician will wait for inclement weather to pass (unless he’s tasked to a job, such as a lineman) and then they will continue to perform the electrical repairs that they have begun.
We do not normally work in the rain, unless there is power off. Obviously working in inclement weather during outages requires a bit of
What are the risks of working under the rain, snow or storm for electricians?
Water conducts electricity
We all know that weather and electricity are natural predators. It is basic kindergarten knowledge that you should not plug something into an outlet with a wet hand, or use electrical equipment under a downpour. Although distilled water for medical purposes is not conductive, water we see everyday highly is.
During a big storm, when every square inch of your protection suit is wet, water is everywhere. Therefore, your whole body becomes a giant conductor that would be a fast lane for electricity to run.
A lightning bolt is so powerful that it can light up a whole town for a day. When lightning strikes, it can kill any living thing including insects, animals, or even people within a 10-foot radius.
Lightning strikes prefer the shortest path, so the electricity pole, which is higher than most things in town, would be a great candidate for lightning to strike. It, then, poses a much more serious problem than water conductivity previously mentioned.
Electricians can’t see in the rain
Rain comes with the clouds. The clouds prevent direct sunlight from reaching the ground. Therefore, to a precision-required job like electrical engineer, that’s not enough lighting. Electricians, to work in situations like that, have to be equipped with flashlights, torches, or other lighting devices in order to just see what’s going on.
The storm wind
Seemingly to be the least concerned problem, the wind can actually affect how electricians do their jobs. Their job is to ensure that they connect the right wires with the right tools, but the wind makes it so much harder to really focus on the thing. The wind can partially slow down the progress, or sometimes, completely keeps the task from being done.
Normal wind from the rain wouldn’t be much of a concern to electricians; however, strong wind from a storm would be a real obstacle to anyone.
The snow cold
It is impossible to fix an electrical grid in minutes. In fact, it might take electricians up to a few hours to a day to get the lines working again. However, it would never be a good idea to climb onto a pole and stay there for a day during the storm, so it’s another big problem.
The snow can not only distract the work, bother the electricians, but also cause health effects to them. Staying under the cold for long might cause hypothermia, which might eventually lead to permanent body disability, or even death.
To conclude, the cold, along with the four above-mentioned problems, are the main risks that electricians have to prepare to confront what comes with the bad weather.
What do electricians need to do to work under the storm?
Try to avoid as much as you can
In most cases, electricity can wait. Therefore, it is always recommended that you postpone the work for another few hours or even a few days. Getting the job done in nice weather should ensure productivity, and mostly the safety of the workers.
Electricians need to think very thoroughly before making a decision if the rain is pouring or coming soon. Here are the things that you have to make sure of:
- Make sure that you have to work as little as possible with electricity during a downpour.
- Make sure that you have enough time to cover all the open wires before the rain comes.
- Make sure that you have thought of the most severe circumstances with lightning, wind, or even tornadoes.
And here are the list of some emergency situations that electricians would try to work during bad weather:
- Life or lives of someone depends on electricity, for example, a surgery or CPR procedure.
- Serious army work that might affect millions of people.
- To prevent even more severe disasters, for example, fire or nuclear reactors.
Isolate the area
If something is required to be fixed in the rain, it should be a severe fault. Modern electricity systems are usually equipped with a circuit breaker. A circuit breaker would automatically turn the grid off, or open the circuit technically, to completely prevent any more damage to the infrastructure.
If the circuit breaker has not been automatically triggered, electricians have to ensure that they have manually shut down the live current before touching the wires. Otherwise, it would seriously threaten the lives of the repairmen.
When the grid is successfully fixed, the circuit will be closed again by hand.
Get themselves prepared
Normal electrical work requires lots of tools, but bad weather electrical work requires even more tools. Electrical workers have to spend time thinking about all the bad risks that can happen during the repair session and prepare the tools for that. Here is the list of essential tools to have during a rain fixing:
- Wire strippers.
- Safety belt.
- Electrical tape.
- Cable cutters.
- Raincoat or thermal coat.
- Voltage tester.
They also need to review all the precautions, the safety tips for them to assess the risk when something unexpected occurs, and here are the checklist questions:
- What is the expected result of the fixing session?
- What is the worst thing that can happen to electricians and the system?
- What would workers do if the weather goes worse than expected?
- In what situations can the workers abort the mission?
Ready to work
When everything is well prepared, electricians can now start to get the job done. During the work, electricians also have to try to be sensitive to the situation. They should know if the weather is going better or worse to flexibly adapt their working methods to the context. It is also recommended that there be at least two workers working together at the same time to avoid unwanted accidents.
When it comes to bad weather and electricity, all of us are afraid. However, to professional electricians, working under the rain, snow, or storm is possible. It requires much more attention and preparation to the workers in order to conduct the mission safely and effectively.
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