power company temporary repair to get 120/240V from 120V

An engineer client told me about his dad’s power problem at 2am during very cold weather. One of the underground hot conductors burned out going to his house. The power company came out with what they called a “regenerator” on a handtruck. It was actually a 180 degree phase shift transformer with the primary connected to the good leg and neutral. The secondary connected to the other house leg and the neutral. This provided the full 120/240 service at enough current capability until they could send out the repair truck.


I am just wondering why it was so important to use it rather than wait for repair.

Likely that a 240 v heat pump system was the only heat in the house.

Another problem that occured recently to someone I know a few hours away, her meter panel fried at one incoming leg, the power company declined to repair it because it had been double tapped. They cut off both incoming legs up at the roof mast and left her in total darkness, they (actually a subcontractor for the power company) handed her a business card with an electricians name on it and said they would come back and reconnect the feed when repairs were finished. The electrician and helper worked at night during the cold snap and had to come back for a 2nd trip for some reason, the bill was $1700.