Rogue Magazine Strategic 3 Reasons Why Wood Power Poles Need to Be Upgraded

3 Reasons Why Wood Power Poles Need to Be Upgraded

3 Reasons Why Wood Power Poles Need to Be Upgraded

Conventional old-school-style telephone poles are surprisingly durable, which is exactly why they’ve been consistently used since the 19th century. Traditional wooden construction offers plenty of flexibility when it comes time to mount hardware and cables onto them. Most importantly, they’re easy to drill holes into whenever new fasteners have to be put on.

Eventually, they will wear out and need to be replaced. Keep an eye out for any of these three signs that a pole will need to get swapped out for something more modern.

1. Some Structures May Buckle Under the Weight of Multiple Services

Originally, utility poles only ever carried legacy telegraph lines. Utility companies have leveraged them as a way to deliver electrical current as well as cable and even Internet connectivity to individual homeowners. Each additional type of service makes the physical load these poles are under that much heavier.

To make matters worse, most newer subscriptions require a large amount of insulation. High-tension lines aren’t insulated, since it’s assumed that nobody could ever make a connection between them and the ground. Network solutions and residential power systems all need healthy amounts of insulating material. Inclement weather can make this insulation weigh even more, so it’s important to upgrade poles that weren’t originally designed to carry the number of lines that they now have to play host to.

2. Utility Poles are the Weak Link When it Comes to Hardening the Grid

Pundits have long talked about how fragile the electrical grid is and how dramatic steps have to be taken in order to harden it. Unfortunately, telephone poles are the weak link when it comes to providing services to subscribers. By replacing them with high-test steel structures and protecting these new pylons with cathodic coatings, engineers can improve the longevity of individual grid sectors.

Storms could potentially be getting stronger. As extreme weather events happen more frequently, it’s going to be important to protect the grid from their effects. Accidents and other maladies are always a threat as well, so it’s vital that individual poles are built as strong as possible so they don’t fall victim to some sort of issue. Grid-related issues are even more apparent on poles installed in areas that suffer from the aforementioned problem of putting more services on a single distribution network.

3. Avian Damage Can Become Commonplace

Woodpeckers and sapsucker birds may start to attack wooden utility poles if insects make nests in them. In one case, these birds causedover $1 million in damages to a local electric distribution system. Whenever utility poles start to show signs of serious insect infestation, they have to be replaced. Concrete or wrapped wood construction might help to stave off this kind of damage in the future since poles made from these materials won’t usually attract the kind of bugs that birds dine on.

No matter what problems might be apparent with a particular utility pole, it’s important to replace it as soon as someone reports it to avoid service interruptions later on. Prompt replacement ensures that any potential hazards, such as structural weaknesses or electrical faults, are addressed before they can cause significant issues.

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