Ice On Power Lines Is A Weighty Subject

When it comes to getting electricity across power lines and into homes, ice can be a force to be reckoned with.

Ice On Distribution Lines
Ice can quickly lead to broken power poles and other pole equipment. Ice can also make falling tree branches 30x heavier and much more likely to break power lines.

On a 300-foot span of 1-inch thick power lines:

  • 1/2 inch of ice adds 281 pounds of weight
  • 1 inch of ice adds 749 pounds of weight
  • 2 inches of ice adds 2,248 pounds of weight

When Ice Melts
Melting ice can cause power outages. If ice on the bottom (neutral) line melts before the lines above, it can cause the lines to touch.

Other Ice Facts

  • Damage can begin when ice exceeds 1/4 of an inch
  • 1/2 inch of ice can cause a line to sag up to 12 inches
  • Pressure can also be caused by a broken tree limb
  • Both ice and melting ice can cause power outages