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John807 Offline OP
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Greetings,
We work with a day camp that has several poles on their property that were installed in the '70's Verizon abandoned the poles and cable that serve "house" phones on the property. We have been maintaing the phones and cable. The question came up how long the poles should survive and who can test poles. Here I don't think they test them anymore they just wait for them to fail.
Thanks


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25-37 year according to the experts.


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Osmose Utilities Services, Inc tests them for the utilities but I seriously doubt that you will get them to test your few poles even if you could afford it. Your best bet is to go by what they look like and what they sound like when you smack them with a hammer. I notice that Osmose bores something like a 1/2" hole at a 30 degree angle down into the buried butt just above the soil line. I presume that's to sample the chips from the center of the buried part of the pole for rot.

-Hal


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As I recall we used to take a long thin screwdriver and jam it into the pole at ground level, at a 30-45 degree slope (down). If it penetrated the wood to any more then a fraction of an inch we called the pole bad and had the experts evaluate it.

Sam


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John807 Offline OP
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Thanks Sam that hit a nerve.


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You may want to check with your local electrical utility. Up here Manitoba Hydro says that they will do private pole testing and replacements.

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What Sam and Hal said are both legitimate ways to test. We'd dig down about 10 inches use an 18" bit and dill at an angle to the center of the pole than you'd just make sure there's was no rotten wood in the shaving. Or do as Sam stated. I can't remember how often we did it though, it wasn't really a routine thing, I think mostly if you suspected a pole as getting bad. There's still solid poles around here on old abandon railroad lines that I know have to be 70-80 years old that still look solid. How do I know, well I'm an old phone guy, you can figure the rest.


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Back in the days when we actually climbed poles, if there was any doubt, we'd use the hammer test. Take your standard 2 lb. hammer from your toool belt and give the pole a good whack. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to tell a good sound from a bad one. Then climb as appropriate.

The official pole testing of recent decades is probably more accurate and certainly more legal friendly.

Jim


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