Cable replacement FAQ

Find answers to frequently asked questions about SRP's cable replacement and maintenance process. Need to get in touch? Give us a call at (602) 236-2112 or send us an email.

Access

Crews will need to gain access to some properties. If access is needed to get to equipment in your yard, you will be contacted via letter, door hanger or phone call. When the actual work needs to be performed, a crew member will knock on your door and announce his or her intentions prior to entering a property.

Your lock may have been cut off by the crew in order to gain access to your backyard. If there is an electrical cabinet in your backyard, it is necessary to have access to the equipment possibly during the Design Phase and required during Phase 1 and 2 of the construction processes.

Every attempt will be made with the property owner; however, in the event that the homeowner is unresponsive to requests regarding access to the property, SRP has no other option than to remove the lock. SRP will however replace the padlock with an SRP padlock and give the customer a key.

SRP field personnel may need to access the property again in the future in order to maintain and/or operate the electrical cabinet in your property. Again, SRP will make an attempt to contact the property owner prior to entering property.

No. You will be notified when the crew will need to access your yard, and you will also be provided a timeline when the work will commence. Is it likely that your yard will need to be accessed on two separate occasions — once for conduit installation and another time for wire installation. If you need the schedule and/or duration of the work to be performed, please contact the Public Involvement Agent listed on your construction phase letter for specific detailed information.

Yes. If you have outdoor pets or specific instructions on entering your property, please contact the Public Involvement Agent listed on your construction phase letter so that access to your property can be coordinated to meet your schedule. The field crews will always knock on your door to let you know when they need to enter onto your property.

Yes. In the event that your driveway is blocked, please feel free to address field personnel, and they will move their equipment immediately. If you do not see any field personnel in the area, do not hesitate to contact the Public Involvement Agent listed on your construction phase letter.

The field personnel are sensitive to this scenario and will be sure to check with homeowners should there be a need to park equipment near any driveway for an extended period of time.

Outages

It is possible that a line may need to be de-energized during conduit installation (Phase 1) as the crew performs work near existing energized lines. You may be affected with a momentary outage; however, in most cases this will be for a very short period of time until work is completed at this location.

It may also be necessary for an outage during Phase 2, as the new wire gets installed and connected. If an extended outage is required, SRP will notify affected customers two days in advance of the planned power outage.

If you have a medical condition and depend on a medical device, please contact the Public Involvement Agent listed on your construction phase letter for specific detailed information.

The Agent will direct you on how SRP can note your account with specific information regarding your medical condition. If your account contains this information, special attention will be given to you if there is a need for a planned outage in terms of the notification process.

Digging

It is possible that digging may take place at these locations. All underground utilities are painted so that the designer can choose a path of least resistance and without conflict to other existing underground structures for the new underground electrical lines.

If you would like to know more details concerning digging or excavations on or near your property, please contact the Public Involvement Agent listed on the letter you recently received, and the designer will contact you with this information. View this PDF Document is a PDF to identify which utility corresponds to each paint color.

Here's an example of what the paint markings look like:

Examples of bluestake markings. There is one green and one blue marking, side-by-side, painted adjacent to a street curb.

There may be two separate instances that paint markings are painted on the ground. The first time occurs during the Design Phase. The colors for this process follow the established blue stake color codes done by a private utility-locating contractor of SRP.

During this process, you will notice a pink dot on the end of each paint mark denoting that the markings are not official blue stake. The designer utilizes these markings for the cable replacement design. Once a project reaches Phase 1 Construction, another set of paint marks are painted, which are the official blue stake markings required for excavation work. During this process, each utility owner in the area will mark their utilities.

It is important for this entire process that the paint markings last throughout the design and construction phases. These marking tend to stay visible up to two years or longer. We ensure that paint marks are minimal so that we impact our customers' properties as little as possible.

Potholing is the process used to verify location and depth of bluestaked facilities. This picture shows an example of the process:

Photo of pothole site in a neighborhood. A square cutout hole with barricades nearby.

Here is an example of a repaired pothole:

A photo of a repaired pothole. The hole has been filled with a material closely resembling the street.

Both methods are used for a cable replacement project during the process of installing underground electrical conduit. The method for conduit installation is primarily dependent upon the type of soil conditions for the area of the project.

When present soil conditions indicate a harder soil content, trenching is the best method for installation. Conversely, when softer soil content is present, the guided bore method is most appropriate.

The trenching method is labor intensive, not as cost effective and can have a greater impact to the general public when compared to the guided bore method. With the guided bore method, excavations or bore pits are still necessary but are minimal and required only where the bore begins and ends.

There may be additional bore pits that are dependent upon the distance of the bore, change in angle, or curvature of the conduit alignment. The guided bore machine is similar to a large scale drill bit and is used to drill, then pull in the spooled conduit.

Here are photos of some of the equipment used in the cable replacement process.

Trucks used for potholing:

Two trucks used for potholing.

Horizontal boring machine used to install conduit:

Photo of horizontal boring machine atop a gravel-covered slope.

Spooled conduit used by boring machine:

Large red spools of conduit.

Equipment used to pull wire into conduit:

Yellow wire-pulling truck next to a shipping container.

Cranes used to install and move equipment:

A large truck and orange crane in a neighborhood.

No. Cable replacement jobs are done in two phases — one phase for trenching and digging and another phase for pulling new wire and setting equipment. In many cases there are a few weeks in between the two construction phases, which depends on when Phase 2 construction activities begin on the overall project.

Yes. At the end of a project, our team is dedicated to restoring a site to its former state as best as possible. Here are a few before and after photos of sites during construction vs. after restoration:

A photo showing an SRP job site prior to completion of the job. It is surrounded by yellow caution tape and cones, with mounds of dirt in several places. A second photo to the right shows the site completely restores back to its original state. A second series of photos showing an SRP job site prior to completion of the job. It is surrounded by yellow caution tape and cones, with mounds of dirt in several places. Another photo to the right shows the site completely restores back to its original state.

Construction

Depending on the overall size of the project, a cable replacement job can take up to three months for the conduit installation (Phase 1). Once the conduit has been installed, the wire installation usually starts within two weeks. Wire installation activities can take up to one month to complete.

If you would like more detail regarding the time frames of the cable replacement job in your area, please contact the Public Involvement Agent listed on your construction phase letter.

This may occur when equipment is susceptible to rust and other damage from sprinkler systems. Continued exposure of water on a daily basis can lead to outages, equipment failure in extreme cases and costly replacements of rusted facilities.

Two options are available to avoid this. The first involves SRP adding dry-landscape around the device. The second option is to retrofit the equipment with a stainless steel facility.

If there is no availability for a stainless steel application, the area will likely require dry landscape. Dry landscape includes a concrete curb, decorative rock around the facility and adjustment to the sprinklers to spray away from the facility.

During the Design Phase, the designer is responsible to identify these types of access and encroachments scenarios and have them addressed prior to the start of construction. During construction Phases 1 and 2, access to the cabinets is necessary for the installation of conduit into the cabinets. Conduit installation may occur via the front and/or sides of the cabinet.

Over the years, various items have been placed around the electrical cabinets and without SRP's knowledge. SRP standards require that there be 12 feet in front and three feet on the sides and rear of clear working space at each electrical cabinet so that our field personnel can maintain and operate the electrical cabinet in a safe manner.

Safety of SRP's field personnel is a high priority. We make every effort to ensure this safety by eliminating tripping hazards and various obstacles within the working spaces.

As operational improvements have been made on the equipment, so have improvements to the safety of our field personnel accessing the cabinets. In most cases where there was one electrical cabinet and now there are two, the additional cabinet allows safer operational practices while isolating or de-energizing underground lines and performing routine maintenance.

Before the addition, isolating or de-energizing underground lines while working in the electrical cabinets was much more labor intensive and extremely dangerous.

During the design process, the designer notes clearance violations. If there is a transformer that is within 10 feet of a flammable structure, vent, window, door or opening, the designer has two options to address this issue.

  • The electrical box or transformer can be relocated to another location to a minimum distance of 10 feet away from the items listed above.
  • If SRP's land department is unsuccessful in receiving a signed easement from the property owner for the new location, then a block wall or firewall must be constructed around the transformer.

The purpose of the firewall is to provide a protective barrier between the transformer and structure, should the transformer fail. There is flammable oil in the transformer, which the wall would help safely contain.

Yes, however there are specific guidelines you must adhere to, including guidelines by the city or municipality you reside in as well as any HOA or architectural governing boards that may have to approve the color based on the surrounding color schemes of your home and/or property.

Please contact the Public Involvement Agent listed on your construction phase letter for specific detailed information and guidelines before painting the electrical cabinet.

Resolving issues

Our Public Involvement Agent will distribute a series of letters which contains the SRP Public Involvement Representative responsible for your project. Please contact the Agent listed on your letter to get your concerns addressed in a timely manner.

Restoration and/or repairs can occur during the Phase 1 or Phase 2 construction processes. If repairs are scheduled to be completed during Phase 1 and have not occurred, it may be that the job is large and the crew has not made it to your area yet.

Or, if Phase 1 construction is complete and there are outstanding repairs, the crew working on Phase 2 construction activities may have to perform additional work at these locations. When all work on Phase 2 is completed, all disturbed areas should be restored to previous conditions prior to construction.

You can see before and after restoration photos in the answer to the question, "Does SRP make an effort to restore the site after digging and construction?" within the "Digging" section of our FAQ.

If you have now noticed damage to your landscaping, vegetation, sprinklers, drip systems, etc. please contact the Public Involvement Agent listed on the series of letters you received throughout the cable replacement project.

Prior to the start of construction, SRP crews and sub-contractors will video record the area that will be directly impacted, as well as beyond the construction extents to ensure that all of SRP's crews can validate responsibility to damages that are a result of construction on the cable replacement project.

Should you have any issues, please contact the Public Involvement Agent listed on the series of letters you have received throughout the cable replacement project.

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