Ameren CILCO Complaint - Overpaid union utility worker abuses his power instead of doing his job
ILLINOIS -- I recently installed a new 200 amp electrical service to a mobile home at 100 W. Pearl St., Lot 13 in Farmington, Illinois. I have been an electrician for many years and have installed many of these throughout Illinois and Indiana. The service man from Ameren CILCO, I'll call him Mike Doorknob since I can't mention his real name here, would not hook up the line. He first said it was because I had used two 4 ot wires and one 2 ot wire instead of all three 4 ots. I explained to him that this was the current national electrical code for a 200 amp residential service. After much debate, he sat in his truck on the phone for quite awhile, and then he got out and re-inspected the entire job. He then changed his reason for not hooking up the line and said it was because the wire was direct burial wire going from the meter socket up the pole in conduit and that it couldn’t handle the heat. We debated again as I explained that the insulation was rated at 167 degrees, which is well within code. The small 2 ot compressed CILCO wire he was to hook it up to feeds over 20 mobile homes in that community and would blow like a fuse before there was ever that kind of heat in my job! He argued and said that he wouldn’t hook it up even if I was to show him in the National Electrical Code that it was ok.
I received a call later that day from an engineer from CILCO apologizing for Mike Doorknob’s actions and said that he should have hooked it up. I had already purchased more wire (three 4 ot wires, not direct burial) and was redoing the line going up the pole, so it was a little late -- hundreds of dollars late. Another CILCO service man came out the following day and hooked it up. He stated that he would have hooked it up and also that he spent a lot of time following up on Mike Doorknob’s jobs and completing them after Doorknob pulled this same kind of stuff.
I have looked at CILCO’s web site describing what they expect for this type of installation. All it says is to go by the National Electrical Code and that they will not be responsible for basically anything and everything. I am not positive but I believe that since Doorknob has put himself and CILCO (since he represents them) in a position of inspector and requires materials and workmanship which are not specified in the National Electrical Code that CILCO will now be liable for the installation. I don’t expect there to ever be any problems with the installation, but I intend to inform CILCO that because of his actions that they are now responsible for the integrity of the electrical installation to this residence.
On another similar note, I installed another 200 amp service a few weeks later at 100 W. Pearl Street, Lot #19 in Farmington, IL, just a few houses down from the one mentioned above. Mike Doorknob was dispatched to hook it up on Monday and never showed up. I called and was told he had been there at 1:00pm and to check the breaker on the pole. I informed CILCO that I had been there the entire day waiting for him and that he had not been there and it was not hooked up. Finally, after many phone calls, I got through to CILCO that it was in fact NOT hooked up. They sent another service man out that night to do it. It turned out to be the same guy who follows Doorknob around doing his work during the next shift. He completed the job in a few minutes, probably much less time than it took Doorknob to pencil-whip it in his mobile computer when he lied and said he had been there.
It appears to me that CILCO has an employee who would rather sit in his expensive air conditioned truck and play with his cell phone and computer rather than get in the bucket and do his job. I guess you can get by with that when you’re union and work for a monopoly.