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K.H.O.

Bell man holes

16 posts in this topic

and whos been under one?

K.H.O.

They keep the gold there, plus the bodies of convicted phone phreaks.

More seriously:

Mostly splice points and branch points for F0 (main distribution lines from the central office) in cities with the underground plant. Mainly they provide access for pulling new sections of cable and for splicing in the new cable or bridge tapping it to local F1 feeds. Many have fiber splices in them today.

I've been in one exactly once, way, way back when, when I was one of the last participants in a program (for people a particularly cushy part of The Phone Company) where you spent two weeks learning the basics of various craft jobs. The manhole I was in was dark, smelly, and dirty.

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This is on the same subject... I've heard "rumors" that there can be toxic gas build up in manholes, is there any truth to that? Do precautions need to be taken if venturing into one?

Not that I'm really concerned, in florida we don't have manholes, mostly because as soon as you dig down 8 feet you hit the water table :)

-Dr^ZigMan

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I was also under the impression that all the wires under there were covered in beeswax or something of the sort? Is this true?

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Explosive gasses can build up (methane, etc) and the O2 level can also become dangerously low. This is why you'll ALWAYS have air pumped in, and an explosive gas meter monitored by someone at street level. There are other dangers, too, like electrical lines, crossed wires with electrical lines, seriously large and poorly-socialized vermin, and plenty of things to trip over, fall into, or hit your head on.

Don't screw around in manholes, and if you aren't going to follow that advice, at least don't screw around in manholes without taking the same precautions that the people who are paid to be there always take (including a fresh source of pumped in air, toxic/explosive gas monitoring, protective boots and goves, hardhats, use of only explosive-atmosphere-approved lighting and electrical devices, and someone up on the street whose entire job is to make sure you're ok and to monitor the gas meter and air supply).

And yes, some metalic multipair cables are packed in wax, although there are synthetic sealants used as well (especially in splices).

Edited by albertterego
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Drop a match in before you go... That'll take out the explosive gas... and everything else :P

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This is on the same subject... I've heard "rumors" that there can be toxic gas build up in manholes, is there any truth to that?  Do precautions need to be taken if venturing into one?

Not that I'm really concerned, in florida we don't have manholes, mostly because as soon as you dig down 8 feet you hit the water table :)

-Dr^ZigMan

actually where i live in tampa we do have manholes. but there all next to busy roads.... so i dont venture in them, even though i want too.

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i went into one about 6 years ago. it's not very pleasant. lots of leaking water, dirt, rodents, and the smell was awful. i'm not sure about gases, but there were some very foul smells! here is something on manholes from textfiles. the article mentioned manuals being in the manholes. i didn't see any manuals, but i did see some maps. if someone does come across some manuals, scan them and post them. :voteyes:

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Several months ago, a crew was pulling fiber through the Bell System manhole by my office on Sunset Blvd in West Hollywood; I ran outside and snapped a photo of the contents:

manhole1.jpg

Fiber, copper, and splices. Dull dull dull.

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Wow, yours are clean! My local ones are all pretty dirty, and aren't nearly that deep.

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Wow, yours are clean! My local ones are all pretty dirty, and aren't nearly that deep.

I think this was outside Strom's office, which has some hefty data going into it. Plus, LA is a pretty dense area, your area might not be as crowded. In Boston I've seen really really big, to really really little.

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Wow, yours are clean! My local ones are all pretty dirty, and aren't nearly that deep.

I think this was outside Strom's office, which has some hefty data going into it. Plus, LA is a pretty dense area, your area might not be as crowded.

We had at least the following when I worked there:

- at least one DS3 for data for the office (each floor may have had its own individual DS3)

- a DS3 or two for the data center

- a point-to-point DS3 for voip calls between the Sunset office and the Wilshire office (we were transitioning to a Cisco Callmanager setup)

- what I'm assuming is a DS3 for the legacy Avaya Definity system

- plenty of analog circuits for various things

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The ladder looks like it's sitting in water.

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The ladder looks like it's sitting in water.

There was no water at the bottom as far as I remember.

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It might be really pocketed concrete.

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This is on the same subject... I've heard "rumors" that there can be toxic gas build up in manholes, is there any truth to that?  Do precautions need to be taken if venturing into one?

Not that I'm really concerned, in florida we don't have manholes, mostly because as soon as you dig down 8 feet you hit the water table :)

-Dr^ZigMan

There is natural (methane) gas that accumulates in some manholes.

Two summers ago one exploded here and they had to close down the highway until morning until they fixed it. In another instance, a sewer cap was thrusted up into the air, through a persons windshield and into their head. Incase you don't know, those caps weigh around 200 pounds or more, and it's a miracle the dude survived without permanent damage. Besides this, there's not anything down there to suit most peoples interest, and it's dangerous.

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