How to Brace an Electrical Pole
You must consider several factors when setting electrical poles. First and foremost, electrical poles must be solid enough in the ground to withstand the weight of the wires and the hardware they hold up. It is also important that the poles be solid and strong enough to support the increased weight of the wires under wind and ice storm conditions. Another factor to consider is that electric wires expand in warm weather and contract in cold weather causing variable load conditions.
Dig the hole 4 feet deep with a diameter twice that of the pole. Be sure to meet or exceed the local building codes when setting an electrical pole.
Hammer four stakes in the ground 20 feet from the pole, 90 degrees apart. Place the electric pole in the hole. Temporarily anchor the pole to the stakes in four places, tying guide ropes near the top of the pole.
Mix fast-setting ready-mix concrete with water in a wheelbarrow and back-fill the hole around the pole with concrete or a suitable composite filling. Follow the specific instructions on the package of the concrete or composite material for best results.
Place a ladder against the electric pole. Drill a hole in the pole and place an anchor eye bolt in the hole. The anchor bolt should be adjacent to the pull of the electric wires for added support.
Hammer or thread the eye bolt stake into the ground 20 feet from the pole adjacent to the pull of the wire it will support. Align the ground eye bolt with the eye bolt installed into the pole.
Stretch and attach a guide cable from the eye bolt on top of the pole to the eye bolt on the ground stake. The electric pole should now be able to withstand the expected load and elements. Secure the guide cable to the eye bolts with cable clamps.
- Most eye bolts only need a small starter hole and thread into the pole with the large wood screw on the other end.
- Instead of concrete, you can use a composite filler designed to adhere to a pole.
- Enlist the aid of a helper who can summon help in case of an accident.
- Always wear safety glasses when working with power tools.
- Wear a hard hat when setting and servicing an electric pole.
- Never attempt to service an electrical pole with live electric wires attached.
Teeter Allen Morrison has been writing for more than 20 years. His work has appeared in Peterson Publishing's "Stock Car" magazine's Technical section and he has authored some popular articles for various websites. In earlier years Morrison accepted an engineer apprenticeship with the Local Iron Workers Union. He is a graduate of Writer's Digest University.
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