Home Repair: Hawaiian Electric, Hello?

Written by Burl on April 28th, 2010

Thar she goes …

This is not good. Can you tell what’s going on here? This is the electrical hookup between my house and the utility pole on the street. It’s only a year old, as I had a new 200-amp box installed. This was partly at Hawaiian Electric’s request, as they wanted a meter they could read from the street. But about a month ago, I noticed that the cable TV connection was hanging loosely, and I looked up and saw that the electrical standpipe was at an angle, with the bottom pulled away from the wall mount.

I attempted to rehang the cable connection, but it was about a foot too short. What the heck? So I stood back and took a look. Everything was taut, when there should be some slack in the incoming lines. Clearly, the utility pole had shifted, away from the house, yanking on the lines.

I called Hawaiian Electric and asked them to take a look. I don’t know if they ever did, because I never heard back. I called my electrician — Chris Richardson, a superb guy — and he also called Hawaiian Electric, with the same lack of response.

Yesterday, it was in the shape shown in the photo. The top screws have pulled out completely, the bottom screws are partly out, the entire standpipe is being wrenched from the meter, bending it, the wooden footing for the braces has been splintered and smashed. Add a little more pressure on the unit, and the entire cable will pop, dropping a live electrical line on the street and destroying my expensive meter box. While there is relatively little damage so far, the situation is potentially deadly. Who’s liable?

Not good.

I called Chris back, and he got on the horn with Hawaiian Electric, apparently stressing the public-safety issue. This morning, there was a wooden stake driven in my yard, with a note saying PUT NEW BRACE HERE. So, someone from HECO had finally stopped by and taken a look. They might be putting an additional brace in my yard — do they have a legal variance to do that, willy-nilly? — or replacing the old brace. In either case, their solution is to yank back on the utility pole like a bowstring, putting additional stress on the wooden pole. HECO must own stock in utility-pole manufacturers. Stay tuned.


5 Comments so far ↓

  1. gigi-hawaii says:

    When I blogged about BOH’s poor customer service, I got some attention from them. I believe someone at corporate communications read my blog post and contacted the branch manager as well as the customer service manager to get in touch with me and do what I asked.

    Don’t be surprised if something similar happens with HECO.


  2. gigi-hawaii says:

    In fact, the cusotmer service manager TOLD me that someone at Corporate Communications HAD READ MY BLOG!!! So that’s how I know what happened.

  3. Primo Kimo says:

    Th power of the monopoly.
    “We don’t care, cuz we don’t HAVE TO!”

  4. gigi-hawaii says:

    So what’s the status, Burl? Say something!

  5. Primo Kimo says:

    NOW that comment is warranted.

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