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Homeowners not happy with new Dominion Power installation

An email circulating from a homeowner on 28th Street has a direct complaint about recent work that Dominion Power has done:

Dominion Power has been up in our neighborhood repairing and replacing their utility lines and poles. They are upgrading the wattage or something and instead of replacing the utility pole in front of our house to accommodate the upgrade, they put in a shoddy, jerry rigged contraption that looks like a goal post! It’s cheap, with PVC piping to “cover” the steel tether line. There are also strings and lines that have been shoddily strung onto this thing. […]


After all the work that we have done in our community to preserve and clean it up and make it a better place and Dominion comes in and puts this atrocity in front of our house destroying our property values and curb appeal. […]


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anonymous 11/17/2011 at 8:56 AM

Want to force Dominion to update its grid around you? Go solar with net metering. Do it now before Dominion tries to get the General Assembly and SEC to make it illegal.

ray 11/17/2011 at 9:00 AM

This is a disgrace. Domionion puts a goalpost in front of my home, I’d be pissed. I’m sure Tom Farrell, the Chairman of Dominion, doesn’t have something like this in front of his abode south of River Road in Henrico.

This is the type of thing that needs coordinated community response and is a logical thing for the CHA to address.

By the way, Dominion has a huge public relations/lobbying division. Did they send any of their representatives to Church Hill to tell us what they were planning on doing? Did they solicit the views of the the Church Hill community or was their attitude we can do whatever we like up there, so the hell with communicating with the residents there.

I’m sure this isn’t the way they approach things in Windsor Farms, of course.

I’m sure

Observer 11/17/2011 at 9:41 AM

I’m not a huge fan of Dominion (especially their seemingly ever-increasing utility rates and lovely service/environmental charges) but this installation seems rather typical for the area. There is a pole much like this one on the street outside of my house. The guy wire is there to keep the pole from falling into your house (which would REALLY hose your property values!) and those PVC covers are there to keep you from getting easily injured by the steel cables. Pretty standard if you ask me.

And honestly, if the upgrades help keep our power on, maybe they aren’t such a bad thing!

Phil 11/17/2011 at 11:20 AM

This is …. wow… ridiculous.

Nordy 11/17/2011 at 11:48 AM

This is a common pole configuration and I am sorry the homeowner is sheltered so much as to not realize it.

But if you are that upset about it, I suggest you start a movement and occupy Libby Park.

crd 11/17/2011 at 12:31 PM

This was taken down yesterday (Wednesday, Nov. 16).

Bret 11/17/2011 at 1:21 PM

I think they’ve got a good point, but are overreacting at this stage. I think Dominion probably just throws up whatever they can cheapest and 99% of the time no one complains, so until they prove to be jerks about it I can’t blame Dominion either for just trying to do something on the cheap. Hopefully once they voice their concerns to Dominion they will address them. I’d give Dominion the opportunity to make the citizen happy first before making it public, then if they refuse, do what you need to.

Jason 11/17/2011 at 1:28 PM

I believe that’s a grounding wire. Typically they run diagonal to the ground which makes them face magnets but this set up keeps it up and out of the way.

Brian 11/17/2011 at 1:31 PM

Dude it’s a ground wire. The PVC is there to protect you from electrocuting yourself should you decide it’s a good idea to hold onto that thing when there’s a fault somewhere in the system. The ground is necessary for the efficient flow of electricity.

If you’re so worried about your property value, why not pay for underground wiring to your house?

BAC 11/17/2011 at 11:37 PM

About a year ago Dominion put in a new telephone pole at 22nd and Marshall but never removed the old one…so both sit next to each other within two feet. They tore up a large amount of brick which was then piled up next to the bus stop and they never returned to take up the old pole or even to patch the brick. So, a year later the bricks have been taken and there’s a patch of dirt on the sidewalk. I’m sure Dominion has a policy to patch things after their work however it needs to be enforced…and maybe I need to raise some hell with them so they know about it.

just a neighbor 11/18/2011 at 12:26 AM

I wish more wires in the city had those “shoddy covers”. It wasn’t terribly long ago that a man was riding down 25th, wrecked on his motorcycle, and died from hitting one of those wires that wasn’t covered.

JMW 11/18/2011 at 8:56 AM

While I agree that the new work is shoddy and Dominion has probably taken the easy and cheap way out. You can’t expect the city to care. We used to live on the first block of Chimborazo Blvd. which is still original cobblestone but come time for them to “patch” potholes, they would dig up the bricks and neatly stack them on the curb then dump the black top “patch” in. They would never replace the bricks and had no intentions of doing so. Instead of just digging up the bricks, leveling dirt and then replacing the bricks. They leave the bricks and now you have a nice black splotch in the middle of a historic road. The city could give a crap about asthetics, they only care about cost.

Luke 11/18/2011 at 9:18 AM

A flimsy plastic cover would not have made much of a difference in the injuries that motorcyclist sustained. Probably no difference at all.

Alex 11/18/2011 at 12:58 PM

I know it’s never going to happen but I’d love to see Dominion take the wires underground on the Hill. The neighborhood would look a lot more beautiful if we didn’t have all the poles around (particularly since the jerry-rigged ways that they have installed are pretty hideous looking). The current poles are also very close to the street so it’s hard to avoid hitting them when parking.

In the meantime, I wish we had one of these in front of my house. I could use it to practice kicking soccer balls through…

Bret 11/18/2011 at 1:02 PM

That was before I moved here, but I was told he was running from the police. I don’t think a thin plastic cover would really have much effect in a high speed motorcycle crash anyways.

crd 11/18/2011 at 1:19 PM

#10 BAC – if it’s a phone pole, then the phone company put it up, not Dominion. Let’s not give them credit for all wiring, after all the phone companies and cable tv companies also run wires. That said, yes, you do need to call them up – you might find that they need to be prodded, or that they didn’t install it to start with. Either way, a call would be a good idea. Please post back with your results, thanks.

sunny 11/18/2011 at 3:19 PM

#14 Be careful what you wish for….

Just a neighbor 11/18/2011 at 6:44 PM

Probably true. He was going very fast, but in an accident, the plastic would likely be less damaging to the body at the normal 25 mph limit. I’m sure they don’t just put it up to piss of neighbors.

diana 11/19/2011 at 9:17 AM

that’s Laura and Jim Daab’s house.

s.kelly 11/19/2011 at 9:01 PM

In the picture I do not see a transformer, based on that and the distance from the pole, it is not a ground wire. It is a guy wire to keep pole from shifting or leaning. The pvc is not to protect from shock, but to keep stray strands from cutting someone or the like

Ugly, but if they did not need it they would not have put it. Underground would be great, but imagine the amount of inconvenience while they work and the cost. It would show up in your bill.

Mark S Lindsey 11/20/2011 at 12:42 AM

It’s actually a guy wire used as a brace. Pretty common practice to keep the telephone pole upright and, in this case, eventually being pulled to the left of the picture.

You will typically see these where power lines change direction, cross a street or have a very long distance between it and the next power pole.

They ground the guy wires to assist in electrical distribution, but more importantly, to bleed off stray voltage that could potentially shock someone that touches it. Technically, there should be no shock hazard as it is a ground wire, not a line voltage wire.

crd 11/21/2011 at 12:24 PM

Regardless of the purpose (although it clearly sounds to me like a guy wire from posts #20 and 21), it is gone now. Was taken down the day after it went up. It’s history in this location, and short-lived history at that.

Ray 04/09/2017 at 9:02 PM

Does Dominion shoulder the cost of replacing a power pole even if it is needed for just one customer?
Could not omit the “@” (to keep robots out); have added an “s” before the “.com”; remove the “s”


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