My New Telephone Poles!

As you may remember, the car accident on April 15, 2012 completely “took out” the telephone pole on the corner which is opposite my house, and that telephone pole had to be replaced by PECO Exelon.

Since then, the telephone pole on my corner (which had been supported by a guy wire) [circled in magenta below] started to significantly lean/tilt. I’ve drawn a red rectangle to give better perspective on this leaning, and notice that the rectangle is parallel to the street sign in the background (to give a good sense of correct vertical orientation).

Telephone pole on corner leaning tilting sagging (click to see full-size)

As you can see below, the leaning telephone pole resulted in the wires over my residential driveway also sagging, to an unsafe 8 feet 9 inches. 😥  You can get a sense of the low height, my GAFFER Transit Connect van has a body height of 79.3 inches (6 feet 7.3 inches) and only two feet of the yardstick is visible.

Gaffer Van Low Wire with Yardstick

In fact, when we had an air conditioner repairman (with a large work truck) here, and he tried to back out of the driveway, the ladder on top of his truck snagged the wire.

So, how high SHOULD the wires over a residential driveway be?  I found the concise table below in this presentation by Cascade Range Chapter of the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers.  NESC is an acronym for the National Electrical Safety Code, available from the IEEE Standards Association.  Although the word “electrical” is in the title, the NESC applies to BOTH electric supply AND communication lines.

Vertical Clearances of wires over a residential driveway

Details concerning the 15.5 foot vertical clearance can be found here:

  • NESC Part 2 “Safety Rules for the Installation and Maintenance of Overhead Electrical Supply and Communication Lines”
  • Section 23 “Clearances”
  • Subsection 232 “Vertical Clearances of wires, conductors, cables, and equipment”
  • Table 232-1 “Vertical clearance of wires, conductors, and cables above ground, roadway, rail, or water surfaces”

Kind of like an iceberg, you don’t really realize how long telephone poles are, because a significant portion is below ground, but my new telephone poles are around 45 feet long!  For purposes of scale, notice the yardstick (circled in magenta) on the middle right!

My two new telephone poles on the ground

Those two new telephone poles were delivered Thursday September 6, 2012 and are scheduled to be installed by PECO Exelon on Wednesday September 12, 2012.


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