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SDG&E hoses down their lines

The dust and junk that build up can cause an arc

Blasting water on electrical lines is not a bad thing. - Image by Rick Geary
Blasting water on electrical lines is not a bad thing.

Matthew Alice: A while ago I saw a high-powered hose being sprayed on high-voltage electric line harnesses. Is this bad? I also saw heavy cables being laid into the concrete at Lindbergh Field in a big square grid. Is this to melt snow? And what does “Del Cerro” mean? — Mark Harbison, San Diego

A man burdened with great bewilderment. Confusion at every turn, apparently. Come out from under the bed, Mark. Here are your answers. First, blasting water on electrical lines is not a bad thing. It’s kind of the Ma Alice approach to house cleaning. When enough crud builds up, put out the cat, hose the place down, and start over. According to SDG&E, the dust and junk that build up on the lines and ceramic insulators can cause an arc across the insulator. The current will flash to the ground and cause a fault on the line, which will knock out power. And of course the power will go out in the middle of a big football game or a really gripping episode of The Nanny and everybody will start booing the utilities and yammering on about how much better things were in the good old days. To save us from all that reminiscing, SDG&E hoses down the lines. As for cables in the concrete, unless we’re planning to get many, many tons of snow in one huge flake whomping directly on Lindbergh, it’s no snow plan. It’s just reinforcement for all the heavyweight traffic. And Del Cerro? Cerro is Spanish for “hill.” Del means something like “Republicans and lawyers and various other rich people who live on the....”

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Blasting water on electrical lines is not a bad thing. - Image by Rick Geary
Blasting water on electrical lines is not a bad thing.

Matthew Alice: A while ago I saw a high-powered hose being sprayed on high-voltage electric line harnesses. Is this bad? I also saw heavy cables being laid into the concrete at Lindbergh Field in a big square grid. Is this to melt snow? And what does “Del Cerro” mean? — Mark Harbison, San Diego

A man burdened with great bewilderment. Confusion at every turn, apparently. Come out from under the bed, Mark. Here are your answers. First, blasting water on electrical lines is not a bad thing. It’s kind of the Ma Alice approach to house cleaning. When enough crud builds up, put out the cat, hose the place down, and start over. According to SDG&E, the dust and junk that build up on the lines and ceramic insulators can cause an arc across the insulator. The current will flash to the ground and cause a fault on the line, which will knock out power. And of course the power will go out in the middle of a big football game or a really gripping episode of The Nanny and everybody will start booing the utilities and yammering on about how much better things were in the good old days. To save us from all that reminiscing, SDG&E hoses down the lines. As for cables in the concrete, unless we’re planning to get many, many tons of snow in one huge flake whomping directly on Lindbergh, it’s no snow plan. It’s just reinforcement for all the heavyweight traffic. And Del Cerro? Cerro is Spanish for “hill.” Del means something like “Republicans and lawyers and various other rich people who live on the....”

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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