The power grid is a sensitive and vital part of our lives. The old suburban infrastructure on our Northern Beaches is a problem during the fire season and severe weather. This is because power lines can be hit by trees or even burn and fall off. These unsightly events can lead to days without electricity.
The good news is that you can easily switch your power supply to an underground system. Unfortunately, fewer than 7% of Australian homes have this kind of installation. The only thing standing in the way of achieving this goal are some simple steps and a little know-how about how underground electric networks work.
Underground power lines are safer than overhead wires for many reasons. Not only do they provide better insulation against power surges, but they also don’t get in the way of other utilities like telephone and cable connections. The decision to opt for underground power lines should depend on several factors, including:
- How close you live near trees that could fall onto utility poles during a storm
- If there is already damage caused by storms around your property
- The cost of installation
- Other factors unique to your situation like soil composition
If you’ve been considering converting your overhead power line system underground and want a professional opinion about how it will affect your property, Everest Electrical can offer some insight.
Benefits of Using Underground Power Lines
When it comes to the electrical grid, there are a few different options when it comes to the types of power lines used. There are overhead power lines, which use utility poles to hold up wires that deliver electricity to homes and businesses. There are also underground power lines, which bury cables beneath the ground.
Underground power lines have a number of benefits over traditional above-ground lines. Here are some benefits of using underground power lines:
- Increased safety – trees or debris will not be able to bring down power lines
- Increased security – an underground system is not as visible and can’t be tampered with as easily
- Increased reliability – underground systems are less likely to be damaged in severe weather conditions
- Increased efficiency – underground cables lose less power over long distances than their above-ground counterparts
Is There a Reason not to Switch to Underground Power Lines?
The only potential downside to underground power lines is the initial installation cost, which can be more expensive than traditional overhead lines. However, this cost can be offset by the benefits of having an underground system.
If you’re not sure whether or not you should switch to an underground power system, contact your local electrical utility provider. They will be able to help you decide if an underground system is right for your home or business.
Here are some other reasons why you should not switch:
- Problems with aerial power lines can easily be located and fixed.
- Aerial power lines are cheap and easier to maintain.
- If you do not have a power line pole right at your house.
- Underlying topography may cause underground power lines to be very expensive
- The target area is prone to floods such as the coastal areas of New South Wales.
- Presence of many underground utilities that need to be avoided
The Process of Switching to Underground Power Lines
The first option for running underground power to your house is the Underground Overhead Connection, which involves an electrician installing a completely new connection and adding it into their network. This can be costly but will provide you with cleaner lines than those of other options available on the market today- not only does this keep out dust by being neatly tucked away from sight, but they also help reduce energy costs in general because there’s less wear.
A more affordable option is the half overground/half underground system. You can run the line under your property, rather than having utility poles on it which means that only part of your space will need excavation and installation for this type of power station. This will involve adding a private power pole to your property. This option is more affordable, hence more common.
In order to solve your electrical issues, you will need the help of an experienced Level 2 Electrician. The licensed professional can get permits and obtain permission from neighbours before they start work on a 500 mm deep trench that runs between their pole and meter. This is because this kind of power line may cross driveways and footpaths. This makes the process lengthy and complex; however, a good electrician will make the process seamless.
Getting the installation of underground cables is a time-consuming and expensive process. Whether you choose the first or second option, the electricians installing underground cables will need to coordinate with your local utility company in order for the process to go smoothly. The entire process can only cost you less if the local utility company has a special deal on an entire neighbourhood.
From this point, the process becomes easy:
- Whether you have a single-phase or three phase connection, the cable will run in conduit from either your network pole or private property line. You can opt for either type of installation
- A direct cable connection will be done to your meter.
- If you’re getting phone and cable service on the same pole, it’s important to ensure they are both connected through an underground conduit. This will keep them safe from things like falling trees or other above-ground issues that can happen in your area.
- Make sure power is disconnected while making the cable connections and reconnected to your home again. The hottest part of summer may not be ideal for this work.
Overhead power lines are a great way to keep the ground around your home clear of any obstacles, but they can be dangerous. Trenching into an underground line could cause serious problems for you and others in close proximity! Make sure that when choosing where these go down there is room between other utilities like water pipes or gas lines before starting construction on topsoil.
Today, you can have access to electric power anywhere there is an outlet. A Level 2 electrician can help you decide whether to move your power lines underground and within a budget. The benefits outweigh the disadvantages of having an underground power line system. If you need an underground power line installed in your home, Everest Electrical can help. Contact us today for an evaluation and protect yourself from blackouts as a result of natural disasters such as storms and earthquakes.