Where to Start if there are Power Poles on Your Private Property
Understanding and dealing with power poles on private property.
Property owners in Australia are responsible for the electrical assets on their properties. That includes everything covered by their electrical network – from powerlines to power poles. As an accountable resident, it is your duty to make sure that all your electrical assets are identified and maintained well.
Unfortunately, not everyone is aware of their responsibilities regarding the electrical assets within their properties. Read along if you think you may have power poles in your property, but you do not know where to start.
Your Electricity Network
There are numerous arrangements for electrical provision to businesses and homes across Ausgrid’s distribution areas. Given these, it’s not surprising that people may be confused regarding which electrical assets are theirs to maintain and which ones fall under Ausgrid’s responsibility.
Knowing more about your electricity network is the first step to understanding what to do with your electric assets, including power poles. Here are some items you should know about:
· Connection point
This is the location where your provider joins your electrical network. The connection point is the midpoint between the distribution main and the point of attachment in a residential property.
· Overhead powerlines / underground cables
These power lines carry high-voltage electricity to residential areas and business centres.
This type of equipment is used in power pole line technology to support electrical equipment and power lines. This is also known as the telephone pole cross arm and power pole cross arm, which is often used on overhead lines.
· Power pole
A power pole is a post or a column that is used to support overhead power lines and electrical cables.
Ausgrid is responsible for maintaining the electricity network in the street, as well as supplying electricity to the connection point on your property. However, property owners are in charge of making sure that their private electrical assets past the connection point are maintained and/or upgraded (when necessary).
Hazards you should avoid when it comes to power poles
If you have a power pole installed on your property, you should make sure that you are aware of the hazards that come with it. They should regularly be inspected, as accidents and lack of maintenance can lead to damaging electrical accidents. Here are some hazards you should look out for when you have your own power pole:
· Be wary of trees located near powerlines
There’s no problem with having trees within your property, but it can become a bit of an issue when they are located near or beside your power pole. You should remember that your power pole holds your overhead power line. When tree branches move or grow too closely, it can mess with the cables of the power lines. Additionally, when natural weather patterns like strong winds and rain suddenly arrive, there’s a higher chance that trees and their branches can tangle with or damage your powerlines.
· Avoid vegetation near power poles.
As much as possible, you should avoid having plants and other forms of vegetation near power poles. These are fire hazards, and they will fuel a fire when live accidental sparks happen.
· Refrain from placing power poles and power lines near each other.
If you need to have multiple power poles and powerlines in your property, try to place them a good distance from each other. You should avoid clashing power lines as that could lead to accidents.
· Make sure the powerlines on your power poles are not hanging too low.
If powerlines hang too low, they can cause bushfires. Additionally, low wires may breach the safety requirements for the minimum height for overhead power lines. Always check if your powerlines are hanging lower than usual.
· Look out for rotting/rusting power poles.
When power poles break unexpectedly, they bring down the powerline they’re supporting. That is an accident everyone would like to avoid, as it does not just affect you but also the neighbours you are sharing distribution of the main powerlines with.
Always inspect the power poles and see if there are signs of deterioration, especially below ground. You should also make sure that your power poles are strong enough to withstand strong storm conditions.
What should you do if you have private power poles?
If you have private power poles, you should be aware of your basic responsibilities. Here are some of the things you should do as a private pole owner:
· Conduct regular inspections.
You should conduct regular inspections regarding the state of your power poles. Look around and see if there are hazards that you should attend to. Check and see if there are repairs that should be done. Make sure that you do regular inspections before every bushfire season, after major storms, or if there’s any damage that should be attended to.
· Contact licensed electricians to inspect your power poles.
It would be more practical to contact a licensed electrician to do an inspection on your power poles than doing it yourself. An expert electrician will be able to see and review all small details you may have missed. They’d make recommendations on what maintenance or repair requirements are needed.
· Reach out to a tree trimming contractor.
Trees are major hazards to powerlines. To prevent accidents, it would be useful to have a tree and vegetation trimming contractor. They’ll be able to make sure there is proper clearance between tree lines and power poles to avoid accidents.
What happens if there’s a fallen power pole or powerline in your property?
Do not go anywhere near the fallen power pole or powerline. Try to have at least eight metres of distance between you and the fallen power pole. If you don’t know if the powerline is live, keep your distance to avoid being electrocuted or sparking accidental fire. Call your licensed electrician immediately so that they can attend to your fallen power pole.
Install and maintain your private power poles with Real Electrical Solutions
If you have damaged poles in need of repair or maintenance, do not hesitate to reach out to Real Electrical Solutions. We are electrical contractors servicing clients from Newcastle, Maitland, Central Coast and the Hunter region.
Let our qualified level 2 electricians keep you, your family, and your property safe from deteriorating power poles. Contact us on 0403306842 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to know more.