Stealing Electric

 
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Old 02-08-2007, 11:51 AM   #1
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Stealing Electric


A good friend of mine went out on a call the other day for a women who was complaining that some of her lights are flickering. He said when he got there it looked to him like the whole house was flickering. He said he took the cover off their relativly new SQareD Panel and it looked clean. He then noticed that it looked like the insulation was all torn up on the service entrance where is came in through the block wall. He went outside to see if he could see damage on the outside and while he was out there, the women said the flickering stopped for the 1st time in 2 days. She asked him if he had found the problem. He walked back in the house and the flickering started again. After a few minutes he discovered that if he was standing in front of the service entrance outside the lights seemed ok. If he took one step away the flickering would start again. He was about to tell the lady she had a wire cut underground, when he noticed the top of one of those large gray plastic enclosures sticking out of the dirt. He dug around it a bit, saw that the service cable was running through it, so he took off the top. He said it looked like someone had tried to bypass the electric meter by digging up the under cable before it gets to the meter and running it to the new panel. The women had just moved into the house a few weeks earlier, so this had been done by a previous homeowner. The meter was no longer being bypassed as it looked like it was just reconnected to the meter in a hurry before the house was sold. Have any of you guys ever seen anything like this before? He has been doing residential electric for 20 years and never has never seen someone try to bypass the meter.
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Old 02-08-2007, 11:56 AM   #2
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Re: Stealing Electric


Did the place smell like mould, as in for a grow-op?

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Old 02-08-2007, 04:18 PM   #3
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Re: Stealing Electric


The house next door to me is still vacant, as the owner is in jail. This has been a few years now. He did this exact thing to grow pot in his house. He nailed some spikes into the URD to steal power.
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Old 02-08-2007, 04:55 PM   #4
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Re: Stealing Electric


Don't these people know that flourescent light's are the best for growing weed, and they use hardly any power.
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Old 02-08-2007, 06:11 PM   #5
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Re: Stealing Electric


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Originally Posted by Sparky Joe View Post
Don't these people know that flourescent light's are the best for growing weed, and they use hardly any power.
Speaking of which, have you guys ever seen these pics of someone who had a clandestine operation and probably got caught due to his utility bills.

http://www.ebaumsworld.com/tags/pot-bust/
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Old 02-08-2007, 08:54 PM   #6
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Re: Stealing Electric


That is an awesome looking set-up;
I'm truly inspired, in fact I've already started digging my escape tunnel, just typing here to take a 'breather'
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Old 02-08-2007, 09:03 PM   #7
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Re: Stealing Electric


A lot of them get taken down around here in the GTA (Greater Toronto Area).

They even had an old Molsons brewery cranking out plants for a while.

http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNew...ub=CTVNewsAt11
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Old 02-08-2007, 10:10 PM   #8
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Re: Stealing Electric


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Originally Posted by BuildingHomes View Post
A lot of them get taken down around here in the GTA (Greater Toronto Area).

They even had an old Molsons brewery cranking out plants for a while.

http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNew...ub=CTVNewsAt11
I remember when that story broke! That was a good one.
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Old 02-09-2007, 12:17 AM   #9
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Re: Stealing Electric


So this poor lady may have bought some drug kingpin's house. Oh my God. I wonder if people knock on her door looking for weed. Does the Electric company eventually figure out something is not right on that xformer? I imagine the meter reader would scratch his head if the meter was dead and the lights were on inside.
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Old 02-09-2007, 03:34 AM   #10
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Re: Stealing Electric


I have seen in Detroit where people will do some of the craziest things, This woman didn't pay her bill, so DTE comes out and removes the meter. so she has her friend hook it back up, they used copper ground rods cut to size then they pushed the rods into the clip for the meter. DTE comes out disconnects the lines at the pole, she gets her friend to climb the pole and hook back up. again DTE comes out and remove the line from the pole. only way DTE could stop this woman. Years ago there was a car dealer who had the electrians by pass the meters well they closed them down after a few months.
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Old 02-09-2007, 03:29 PM   #11
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Re: Stealing Electric


Never say you've seen them all!

A homeowner in California was concerned with two
"funny looking" black wires in the attic of his newly
purchased home. The former tenants must have had a
cash crop. They tapped the "drip loop" at the service
drop prior to the meter.

Fortunately, no one was ever injured and the new
property owner had it promptly brought to code!

Photo for distribution courtesy:
Joe Tedesco, NEC Consultant
www.joetedesco.org

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Old 02-09-2007, 05:35 PM   #12
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Re: Stealing Electric


Quote:
Originally Posted by robertc65 View Post
So this poor lady may have bought some drug kingpin's house. Oh my God. I wonder if people knock on her door looking for weed. Does the Electric company eventually figure out something is not right on that xformer? I imagine the meter reader would scratch his head if the meter was dead and the lights were on inside.
If they were smart about it, they wouldv'e still left the meter hooked up and just done a parallel tap.
That way the meter would still see something so the power company wouldn't know, and they'd be getting about half their power for free (percentage free depends on the tap size)

Last edited by Sparky Joe; 02-09-2007 at 05:40 PM.
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Old 02-15-2007, 09:36 AM   #13
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Re: Stealing Electric


Since they have to tap into the service while it's still hot, I imagine a few cultivator / amateur electricians have maybe met their creator in their pursuit of free electricity. I wonder if they make good fertilizer. Ha ha.
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Old 02-15-2007, 12:04 PM   #14
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Re: Stealing Electric


I had my towns water dept. come out and investigate my water usage a few years ago. When I was working and remoldeling my house I would us very little water (showers, laundry done elsewhere). They checked the meter and did some flow test and were all set. The guy was nice enough to tell me how to by-pass the meter and some stories of catching people.
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Old 02-15-2007, 09:14 PM   #15
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Re: Stealing Electric


We used to talk about how you could put a pipe T in your soffit and run your wires to a panel in your attic. Split some heavy loads through a contactor that is controlled by a breaker in your lower panel so that if the meter was pulled the contactor would drop and there would be no load. It would work, but I never heard of anyone trying it.
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Old 02-15-2007, 09:20 PM   #16
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It would work, but I never heard of anyone trying it.
Is that one of those things you can upsell your customers on?
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Old 02-15-2007, 09:30 PM   #17
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Re: Stealing Electric


I don't know about the newer meters but the old were magnetometers and pretty easy to fool with heavy permanent magnets. The ones from OMC 35A alternators fit the can almost perfectly.
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Old 02-16-2007, 09:41 AM   #18
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Re: Stealing Electric


If you are planning to retire in Mexico this may be a good service to provide your customers.
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Old 02-16-2007, 08:13 PM   #19
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Re: Stealing Electric


I remember when I was a kid I had a friend that would hit his electric meter with his tennis shoe, quite hard to stop it from spinning! We wer e in like 6th grade..............
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Old 02-24-2007, 06:13 PM   #20
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Re: Stealing Electric


Before I was old enough to know better I hooked up a friend's house on a "split feed". There was a master cutoff switch installed in the twenties before the meter. I put a tap on the switch from behind, through the wall and out of sight. It ran the stove, A/C, dryer, and water heater, everything else was metered. The previous owner had never used much electricity and had it cut off several times for getting behind on the bill. So when my buddy moved in the power company suspected nothing. Four home owners later the power company figured it out.
I am proud of this evil! I drilled trough the wall and attached coupler nuts to the screws that held the wires in place, then put screws on the couplers. Instant tap! I covered the whole installation with enough silicone rubber to be safe and hide my tracks. Then I put a subpanel over the whole mess. I should be writing movie scripts!

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