This week I spent much of my time getting situated in the office. At first we were not sure which office I would be best suited to be working in, but by Thursday I was settled into the Redmond office that was really nice because it is 5 min. from my house.
Much of the work I did was basic database entry stuff. Essentially I entered in O&M jobs, which are basically small maintenance jobs on existing power/gas services, into a large database. This database was then submitted to my supervisor who then sent it out to the fleet center to have the crews start to work on the jobs. After a few days of doing the data entry I received my first drawing assignment in which I was instructed to draw a map of an intersection that had a BO pole on it. A BO pole is a Bad Order pole that basically needs to be removed. This drawing was not done on a computer, as I did not have access to one with AutoCADD on it. So I drafted this drawing by hand. Once I finished it I submitted it for approval and then mailed it out for a city permit.
By Friday my orientation was wrapping up and I was informed that they
hoped to have my computer station, with AutoCADD.
Weekly report #2
June 24th - June 28th
Coming into work today I found that a new computer was on my desk and it had AutoCADD installed on it. This was great because now I could really get into drawing the larger projects. In fact I received my first really large job. It was a 4-pole replacement job, which included a replacement of the existing overhead electrical services. The job was up in Kenmore, right in front of the Jr. High School. I visited the site to get a sense of what the construction would be like.
After visiting the site I went to work on the drawing. Basically what this requires is pulling all the existing maps in the area of the job site and then finding what services are going to be interrupted by the work you are planning to do. So for this job all of the existing services are overhead services, hence the poles, so I did not have to worry about any gas services. To get the drawing started I had to get a background drawn. A background is basically the property lines and the road right of way.
After drawing the background I gave it to the engineer who then red lined it, meaning he made changes and added notes etc., and then I fixed those things and we sent it out for permitting. Basically the drawing is done from here.
I also entered a few more data entry type things and at the end of the
week received a few more drawings that I was not able to start on because
I had to attend a few more orientation classes that basically got me familiar
with the company, Potelco. The classes just informed me about how long
Potelco has been around and what Potelco’s mission was.
Weekly report #3
July 1st - July 5th
This turned out to be my first real week. I had a job last week that I worked on, but this week has been much different. This week I have had several different drawings that seemed to just appear on my desktop. I basically took the top one and started to draft it. During the rest of the week I tried to work on each one a little bit each day. Some of the jobs I had received became a "Hot", which means they were important to get done, as we were ready to go out into the field and start the construction. The jobs that get "hot", get moved to the front of the line and I have a shorter time table in which to get them done.
The jobs I worked on this week are as follows:
Chaffey home was a simple job in which I scanned an existing map and drew some new services lines over the top of it. It basically took me an hour and a half to construct and send out for permit.
Lake Washington Technical College is a job I did to basically set up some temporary service for the school while we did some other work to expand out services in the same area. Again, this turned out to be a rather simple job that did not take me very long to construct.
The Burger King vault job is kind of a funny job. The problem here was a vault lid that was on the edge of the entryway to a Burger King. The Burger King is right by a large construction site for a new building in Bellevue and what was happening was the construction crews were going to lunch or just getting some food and would drive these huge trucks into the parking lot. Upon doing so they would clip the edge of the curb and slowly over time jostled the vault lid around and basically destroyed it. So we had to go in and replace it with a new more solid vault lid and re-position it in the ground so that larger vehicles would not damage it.
This was a fairly productive week and I did get a lot of drawing experience.
I have yet to try out Microstation, the other drafting program Potelco
uses but from what I have seen and heard around the office it is not the
Weekly report #4
July 8th - July 12th
This week I received another new job from the major project team. This job was for Boeing and it basically was supplying power to an expansion they were doing on their property. They were going to create a new street and build two new buildings for more development. This job had 5 different sites where we were installing several different things. For the most part we were putting in transformers and Junction vaults to help supply power to the new buildings. We also needed to tap into the gas main that runs a block away from the new street. The main was about 400 feet to the west of our job site which means that we are going to have to dig a long new trench to bring gas service down to our site. In the long run gas service saves a ton of money; so while it will be expensive to dig this new trench, it will pay for itself many times over during the next few years.
I spent a bulk of my time working on this job. A major project job is top priority because those jobs are where we really make a lot of money. One other drafter and myself worked on this job and we burned it out by Thursday. It was sent out to permit and to Boeing for approval. Later in the week, Thursday afternoon, I went to downtown Bellevue to pick up a check for work to be done on a job I began to draw. The check was for $150,000.00, definitely the most money I have ever had in my possession at one time.
Drafting in AutoCADD requires time more than skill. The new version is really user friendly and after now 4 weeks I have found that I finish jobs fairly quickly. The long part of my work is basically trying to understand what each different individual wants on their drawings. Different people like the drawings to look a certain way. I have also tried to use Microstation but have found that I do not like it. AutoCADD is much more efficient for my purposes.
Finally this past week I also began to engineer a job. Now I was not able to put much time into it as the major project took up most of my time, but next week we will see if I am able to engineer a job by myself.
Weekly report #5
Date: July 22nd - July 26th
This week I get to really get into the job where I have the opportunity to do some of my own engineering. This job, West Hill Place, is a new service plat. It’s about 30 lots that are being built, and I needed to lay in new electrical underground service and new gas service. What I needed to do is decide what type of service I was going to provide for these new houses. Different transformers provide different amounts of power. I had to figure out how many transformers I was going to need as well as how many hand holes, a service T basically, I was going to use. I found that a 37.5 KVA transformer could serve up to 8 lots. I use a table provided by Potelco to help justify the amount of lots I would serve from each transformer.
I had to lay out where these transformers would go as well. The placement is key because the farther away from the lots you are serving, the longer trenches you're going to have to dig and that costs more money. After careful consideration I decided to use three transformers and 7 hand holes. I will be including pictures of my drawings and this particular drawing I am pretty proud of. It took a lot of time and my individual input was large. I sent it out for approval and many people were surprised I was able to engineer a job like this after only a few weeks of job experience.
Other than this job I have started on a few other small ones that only take a few hours to complete at most. Basically they are transformer upgrades. A lot of new houses are going in along Lake Sammamish and none of these houses, as you can imagine, are of the smaller size. These are all pretty much mansions and require a large electrical load to keep powered. So every time a new one goes in we pretty much have to run out there and install a new, larger transformer to give them the power they require.
I also this week went out into the field, over in Kirkland, and hung
about 25 outage signs. Usually you just go and hang a notice on the doors
of the affected houses, but this time I was stopped several times because
the owner was home and people are not usually to happy to have their power
cut. I had to explain what was being done and exactly how long their power
would be cut. Most people understand but occasionally you get an irate
customer who I then refer to my supervisor.