You probably don’t pay much attention to the utility poles found throughout Nodak’s service territory, but did you know these tall structures are the backbone of our distribution network? Strong, sturdy utility poles ensure a reliable electric system, which is why we routinely inspect the thousands of poles found on our lines.
Throughout the year, our crews check poles for decay caused by exposure to the elements. They know which poles are oldest and conduct inspections through a rotational process. Typically, a standard wooden distribution pole is expected to last more than 50 years. Occasionally, poles need to be replaced for other reasons besides decay and old age. Weather disasters, power line relocation, car crashes and machinery damage are potential causes for immediate replacement.
When a pole needs to be replaced, crews will start the process by digging a hole, typically next to the pole being replaced. The depth of the new hold must be at least 6 feet of the new poles height. Next, the new pole must be fitted with bolts, crossarms, insulators, ground wires and arm braces – all of the necessary parts for delivering safe and reliable electricity. Then, crews safely detach the power lines from the old pole. The new pole is then raised and guided carefully into position, and the lines are attached, leaving the new pole to do its job.
So, the next time you come across a Nodak crew replacing a pole, use caution and know that this process ensures a more reliable electric system for you, our members.