When it comes to underground service repair, you need an established, competent, and professional company to help you in an extremely time sensitive manner. There are not many companies on Long Island that have the equipment and manpower to troubleshoot and repair underground services. Whether it’s residential or commercial, we can have a crew dispatched and working on repairing your service within a few hours.
We are EXTREMELY experienced in dealing with underground service repairs, very possibly the most experienced on all of Long Island.
How do you know your underground service has failed?
You probably already know this which is why you found this page to begin with. Typically, you completely lose power, or you lose power to half of your electrical panel (one of the two phases). You’ve called PSEG (because that’s free!) to diagnose the issue and see if it’s a problem with their equipment. They’ve dispatched a crew to your home, checked their end, and your meter and then filled you in with the bad news. Your underground service has failed and there’s nothing they can do for you.
How do we repair it?
1). First we disconnect the service from PSEG, this typically happens with our boom trucks. Sometimes the service connection is in a property box on or off your property in which we will work with PSEG to disconnect from their equipment. In other events, we need to climb the poles and use insulated equipment to disconnect from the service.
2.) Next, we come in with sophisticated tracing equipment that will find the exact path of the cables and then pinpoint the break (or breaks). This equipment is very expensive and potentially dangerous to operate as it sends extremely high voltage through the compromised cables (this is why we need to disconnect on both ends first).
3.) After the break or breaks are found, we need to excavate the breaks to repair them. Keep in mind this could be underneath a driveway or parking lot in a commercial setting. Oftentimes we can hand dig to the break. In some areas where the ground contents are extremely dense and the cables are excessively deep, we need to call in our excavation team with backhoes.
4.) Breaks are then repaired with splicing and fusing kits. Depending on the nature of the break, the underground wire may need to be extended. After repairs, we reconnect your service to PSEG and test your service equipment and then fill in the excavated holes.
Some worst case scenarios we have seen:
1.) Underground service is compromised in multiple locations and needs to be replaced
-In this event we would work with PSEG (if permitted by them) to give you temporary power until a new underground service can be installed.
2.) Underground service is completely gone
-This happens in some cases and is referred to by some as “burn-back.” Again we would try to give you a temporary service if possible until a new underground service can be installed.
3.) Neutral failed first
-In the event that the neutral conductor (grounded conductor in electrician talk) failed first, there’s a good chance you’re going to need a few new appliances. Some have protection built in to protect against this, but it is very common to see appliances such as microwaves, toasters, etc. and electronic devices such as televisions and computers to become immediately overloaded.
If you’re simply reading this article and are not in the situation of needing your underground electrical service repaired immediately, this reinforces the idea to have a standby or automatic standby generator at the ready if you have an underground service. Your generator could still power your home even if your service is compromised.
Costs: This all sounds pretty expensive, and it can certainly get costly. However, the good news is that your homeowners insurance can cover underground service repair and even replacement in some cases depending on the nature of the break. Keep this in mind!
For more information on Underground Service replacements and installations, click here:
Underground Service Installation
If you have an underground service that has failed and need immediate service, call us at 631-242-2970 Monday-Friday 7am-4pm.
If you need service outside of this time frame, please email us at PLESELECTRIC@gmail.com and include “UNDERGROUND SERVICE REPAIR” or something like it in the subject line. We WILL get it and call you back as soon as possible.
In addition, our contact form is here:
Here are some pictures from a recent underground service repair: