Why are inspections of consumer power poles being conducted, and what is their purpose?
Western Power is currently conducting inspections of private consumer power poles through contractors. This initiative is believed to be a response to the Parkerville Fires from a few years ago, demonstrating a commitment to enhancing safety measures.

What are the inspections looking for, and what types of notices might be issued?
During these inspections, evidence of non-compliant poles, particularly those showing signs of rust and damage, is sought. Recommendations are made accordingly. There are two types of notices we have seen:

1. This notice does not include a specific timeframe.
2. This notice specifies a timeframe within which the works needs to be completed as soon as possible

How are these notices recorded, and what implications do they have for homeowners?
The notices issued during the inspections are recorded against your meter number, each of which has its individual serial number. If a pole poses a risk, particularly due to rust and damage, and no action is taken, Western Power may hold the homeowner responsible for any resulting repairs.

While there haven't been reported cases of liability enforcement to date, the extensive inspection efforts suggest a proactive approach to prevent potential issues. If your pole remains non-compliant, Western Power may hold you liable in the future for any damage caused to the grid, this may include replacing transformers with after hours crews to restore power which could easily cost into the hundredsof thousands.

The inspections are likely aimed at avoiding such scenarios and ensuring the safety of the entire power network.

1. Who owns and is responsible for power poles on my property?

Short answer: If it's on your property, it's generally your responsibility. While the network operator owns and is responsible for most power poles, those on your property become your ownership and responsibility.

2. Why do we have a power pole on our property instead of a direct connection from the far side of the street?

In compliance with various regulatory documents such as WAER, WASIR, and AS3000, there are specific requirements that contractors must adhere to. Maximum span distance and height considerations play a role in determining the placement of power poles. If your property is on the far side of the street from the main overhead network cables, there's a good chance the pole on your property is a consumer pole, and its installation aligns with these regulations.

3. Where can I find information about the regulations governing power pole placement?

The guidelines for power pole placement, including maximum span distance and height, are outlined in Section 3 and on Page 9 of the WA Electrical Requirements 2023. Additional details and visual references can be found in the provided screen snippet.

WAER 2023 Link

If you have a Green dome out the front, it means you have underground and you should not receive a notice.

Every Job is different but we can give you some indicative idea of costs.

For a firm written price your welcome to get in contact with use and arrange a free onsite visit.

The kick in the pants is that Western Power charge between $625 and $655 to temporary disconnect your power and then reconnect once the new pole is in place.

For a single dwelling
A full day for at least 2 of our staff.
A Truck and often Hiab + operator
The Pole itself - Western Power approved
8-10 Bags of concrete
Possibly a new connection point and bull nose on your property's eves
Plus paperwork, notices and making bookings and dealing with with Western Power
Removal and disposing of the old pole
Possibly a couple of hours the following day for the reconnection (if it cant be done on a single day)

An Indicative price for a single dwelling with a standard pole (no meter panel) starts at$2850 plus the applicable Western Power fee.

If you share the pole with an adjoining property or if this is a Strata Pole, then cost is shared.

Before reading this look at the next tab below and the Photos.

1. Can we find someone to repair the pole?

While it's possible to find someone to repair the pole, it's important to note that this exercise appears to involve Western Power passing liability to homeowners.

Accepting liability for repairs entails significant risk, in essence you haven't done what western power has recommended and gone your own direction.

The expected lifespan of a pole is approximately 10-15 years, and assuming this liability for repair to an existing pole such an extended period may not be feasible for Greener Race but maybe to you and other people willing to conduct a repair.

2. A new pole and not a repair, especially for minor issues like surface rust?

Agreed, it does seem excessive, especially for something as seemingly minor as surface rust. However, without concrete evidence beyond a photo from the contractor conducting inspections, it's challenging to gauge the extent of the damage and if a repair was completed correctly. If you know an engineer that will sign off on a repair then they would be in essence accepting the liability.

3. How can we prevent a similar situation in the future?

New installation standards now mandate the inclusion of a concrete cap at the base of the pole during installation. This measure prevents the pole from coming into contact with damp ground, significantly reducing the risk of damage.

Additionally, we use top-quality galvanized poles to ensure durability and reliability, avoiding the issues associated with cheaper alternatives.

A few photos of what lies beneath the ground. What appears to be surface rust only is actually far worse. Normally we have to cut the the pole down, this one took nothing more than a single person to give it a push.

Left much longer there is a almost certain chance this would have failed and caused power outages and possibly a fire.

Yes your power will be off

We need to arrange with Western Power a temporary disconnection and reconnection to ensure everyone is safe while the work is being done.

Depending on you situation your power maybe off for up to 36 hours, often its much faster though.

Same day  reconnection is possible in some situations.

If we can position the replacement pole next to the existing pole prior to Western Power disconnecting then often we can get it done on the same day and your will only be without power for a few hours.

Longer than a day, why does it take so long?

Western Power crew will generally arrive around 800 AM and will often do the last reconnection by 4 PM. Sometimes they are running late or we can't get a booking to later in the morning.

The is a lot of work involved. Often not enough time to get the old pole down, new pole into position and ensure the concrete has started cured enough to keep the pole in the correct position, we can't use rapid set concrete so it takes time.

If the Pole has a switchboard or meter enclosure mounted this adds more time before reconneciton can occur.

This is why we generally say that for a pole that can not be pre installed before disconnection expect 24-26 hours with out power

We offer obligation free quotes

Troy one of our Electrical Contractors will come to your property and asses your particular requirements and answer any questions you may have. From this we can provide a formal written quote.

Get in Contact with us