When Power Lines Are Down: Repair Steps Your Power Company Takes

When your power goes out, you generally assume that it will only be out for a few minutes. When it is out for more than twenty minutes, you should contact the power company to alert them to the problem. They may be unaware that there is a problem. Additionally, if you see a power pole down anywhere in your neighborhood and that is the cause of your power outage, don't go near it. Power poles are not electrically grounded, and therefore you could be electrocuted. Call your power company. Here are the steps the power company will take to ensure your safety and get your power back on.

Securing the Area

The power company will take special measures to rope off the  downed power pole so that it cannot hurt anyone. Then it will engage the local police to help them reroute traffic around and away from this area. Once drivers and pedestrians are blocked from the scene, the crew will begin the repair and power pole replacement process.

Turning off the Power to Live Lines

The next step in removing the danger for the workers is to turn off the power to the live lines laying on the ground. This is generally done through the nearest electrical relay box or through the conductor boxes on the tops of some poles. After the power is cut completely, the workers can begin to pick up the lines and disconnect them from the downed pole.

Disconnecting the Lines and Looping Them Up

Next, the crew will disconnect the lines from the downed pole and loop them up so that they are not touching the ground. They will either thread them through by pulling the lines up from the ground with a winder, or loop/wind them from the ground and then temporarily attach the loop to the tops of the two poles on both sides of the downed pole. 

Removing the Old Pole and Installing the New One

Finally, the old pole is dug up out of the ground and hauled away. Cement is poured into the hole to create the means to hold the new pole in place. The new pole is inserted into the wet concrete and hole in the ground and secured upright by tension lines until the cement hardens and cures. Once the tension lines are attached, it is safe to connect the electrical lines to the top of this power pole replacement. The power is turned back on to make live wires again, and your power is restored.