As unfortunate as electrical horror stories can be, it’s important we learn from them and grow wiser. The aim of this blog is to educate you on the importance of monitoring your homes private power pole. We will take you through some personal horror stories involving power pole neglect and pass on some wise information.
By reading this blog, you will be able to take one step forward in providing a safe environment for yourself and your loved ones.
My Private Power Pole?
This diagram from Western Power’s website shows the separation between private assets and network assets.
While the Network Cable is owned and maintained by Western Power, the Private Power Pole and your Main Switchboard is your responsibility.
These power poles hold up the Ariel cable, which carries a whopping 240 Volts. If this were to take a dive a 240V current can be redirected into your property or surrounding features (fence, shed, gate, etc.).
Power Poles and Electrical accident stories
Only a couple months ago, a friend of mine had a scare. And the first warning sign was the neighbours’ cat.
Just before falling asleep, himself and his wife would always hear the next-door neighbour’s cat trotting along the tin roof. On its usual night-time adventure, no doubt. However, this night was different. Instead of hearing the short burst of trotting. It would take a few steps and hop. It did this until completely hopping off the roof.
Around the same time they started hearing a low buzzing sound coming from outside.
The next morning, my friend was cleaning his porch with a high pressure cleaner. He came to the end of the porch, where the Ariel Cable fed into the house. Fortunately, the high pressure cleaner’s cable wouldn’t let him reach the end of the porch.
He yelled out to his wife “this high pressure cleaner should have more cable. I can’t reach the end of the porch!”.
His wife came out ready to respond, but when she looked over she noticed their private power pole was radically tilted to one side.
It turns out the pole was rusted at the base. As a result, the pole fell to one side. This left the Ariel cable partially pulled out of the roof. It was left Suspended and hanging.
They called in a Western Power employee straight away. They shut-off the power and a licensed electrician came in to repair the pole the next day. It turns out electricity was being sent into the grounding system and the roof was live with a medium electrical charge.
Had my friend reached the end of the porch and pressure cleaned the underside, he would have been shocked. Fortunately, no harm was done.
Excluding the cat. It hasn’t run across their roof ever since. The neighbour also told them it’s been sulking with a limp lately.
Who knows why…
Corroded Private Power Poles
These stories are quite prevalent around the coastal Great Southern, where soil can be quite acidic and saline. Power pole corrosion can even happen inland. Especially near salt plains.
We at Power 4 All have come across numerous private poles with rusted out bases. These photos were captured on two fairly recent jobs. As you can see the soil salinity has corroded the base of the pole.
The structural integrity of these poles have been compromised and left the clients home at risk.
Solutions for Rusting Power Poles
The Department of Commerce states a couple solutions that can mitigate salt corrosion. These solutions are also deemed cost efficient:
- Epoxy Paint: This is a tar based paint that coats your pole’s base. It minimises corrosion and extends your poles service life up to 25%. Adding this to a new pole is always best, but can be added to existing poles.
- Treated pine poles: These poles have a longer service life than steel. Installing these are good for those who want to invest in their property and save in the long-term.
The safest way to act on these solutions is to call a licensed electrician. This way the electrical safety procedures are followed. However, if you want to apply these solutions personally, call you licensed electrician for advice at the very least.
If you find yourself in danger!
Unfortunately the human body is a great conductor of electricity. We can’t end this blog without giving you advice on the best way to act if your private power pole were to take a dive.
Here’s a short animation that shows you the safest way to act in live electrical accident.
Contact us for a check-up!
Power 4 All Electrical strive to empower and protect the community. Call us now or request a quote no strings attached.
We can check up on your Power Pole’s structural integrity and give you a 100-point safety check.