Reasons to Choose a Steel Power Pole

May 16, 2018

Homeowners across Australia may choose to have power poles on their properties as a private source of electricity. Power poles come in various heights, strengths, and materials with 3 types of power poles to choose from. These are galvanised steel, hardwood timber and titan composite. However, one of the leading contenders in this space is the steel power pole.

History of the power pole

Power poles first made their way onto the scene back in the 19th century after the invention of the telegraph. Samuel Morse, an American inventor, later expanded telegraph systems across America, which increased the demand for power poles, all of which were made of timber at the time.

The steel power pole was the next type of utility pole to be erected across the world, with Australia gaining particular attention for our patented Stobie pole, a utility pole consisting of two vertical steel posts with a concrete slab between them.

Steel Power Pole

The switch from timber to steel

As strong and readily available as timber is for power poles, there are some drawbacks which caused utility companies to seek alternatives like the steel power pole.

  • Timber is prone to infestation and decay.
  • The material is not suitable in coastal regions where there is a lot of moisture in the air and ground.
  • Fire resistance is limited.

The galvanisation process

A steel power pole goes through a process where it is immersed into a bath of galvanising solution. This is called “hot dipping” and gives the pole some of the protection and benefits it has today.

Advantages of a steel power pole

The steel power pole is the answer to many of the issues the timber power pole faces.

Improved reliability and consistency

The problem with a timber power pole is that you can never be entirely sure of the material’s consistency and reliability. The quality of timber varies from tree to tree, meaning that when it is used in construction, the product will also vary in quality. Steel, on the other hand, is a manufactured product which must meet stringent specifications. This means a better quality and more trustworthy pole.

Long lasting

You can expect a steel power pole to last you 10-15 years. This is of course dependent on the conditions of installation.

Steel Pole Installation

Termite and fire proof

A steel power pole is not susceptible to rot, infestation, or fire. The steel material means you do not have to worry about those pesky termites eating and destroying your pole. Something that can’t be said for a timber power pole.

Better for the environment

Another important consideration is the impact utility poles have on the earth. As it turns out, a steel power pole may be better for the environment overall than its wooden counterpart, particularly when it comes to CCA-treated timber poles.

  • Less disturbance to our forests’ terrestrial biome.
  • Less disruption to forest inhabitants.
  • Reduced levels of greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Lower risk of untreated waste.
  • When the life of a steel power pole comes to a close, this non-toxic material can be easily recycled into brand new steel products.

Cables run inside the pole

Cables can be run inside of a steel power pole as opposed to along the outside, unlike other types of power poles available today. This will definitely be more favourable with any neighbours, and will be less obtrusive to any views.

Can be painted

Appearances are subjective, but many prefer the look of a steel power pole to a timber utility pole. The steel can be painted to suit the colour scheme and architecture of a property making it a more attractive alternative. For example, a deep green colour will match the trees and bushland around the property.

Smaller dimensions

Dimensions of a steel power pole are smaller than timber. A steel pole starts at 114mm x 6.5m and don’t usually go higher than 7.2m.

Cheaper to install

The cost of a steel power pole is generally cheaper. Starting from $599, as opposed to timber starting from $799 and titan starting from $1320.

Easier to install
There is no question that a steel power pole weighs less than a heavy timber pole, making it easier to transport and install, particularly in tight spaces. As it is a manufactured product, the steel pole can arrive pre-drilled to meet company or municipal standards, which again significantly shortens the installation time of the pole.

Maintenance of your power pole

It is important to remember that maintenance of your power pole is the homeowners responsibility. The Ausgrid website states:

“Property owners are responsible for the electrical assets on their property beyond our connection point, including all private power poles, powerlines and pole-top fittings.”

Steel Power Pole diagram

Installing a steel power pole

This type of electrical work can only be carried out by a Level 2 Accredited Service Provider or ASP. Level 2 electrician are fully licensed to work on the Ausgrid and Endeavour Energy Network Areas.

Not sure which power pole is right for your project?

The steel power pole is an attractive choice for many reasons, but it may not be the best type of electricity power pole depending on a variety of factors.

To learn more about your options, we welcome you to arrange a consultation with one of our accomplished Level 2 electricians at Everest Electrical. Serving the Sydney area for over 20 years, we understand the unique issues and conditions local communities face and will provide you with a thorough assessment to help you determine which power pole is right for your project.

We invite you to call our Everest Electrical team today on 0410 229 139.

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