Utility maintenance workers from Osmose Utilities Services, Inc. are working in Arlington Heights and other suburbs to inspect utility poles for Com Ed.
According to Osmose, the keys to pole inspection are identifying decay, measuring defects and estimating the percent remaining strength to determine pass/fail. Osmose introduced StrengthCalcTM and LoadCalcTM software to increase the precision of these calculations.
Pole inspection methods include the following …
Visual Inspection, or Visual and Sound-is suitable for identifying gross defects visible above the ground level.
Sound & Bore-allows the inspector to bore inspection holes after hammer sounding identifies areas where decay is suspected. A shell thickness indicator may be used to measure internal decay.
Partial Excavation Plus Sound and Bore-allows the inspector access to a portion of the pole below grade, helping to identify external decay and termites.
Excavation to a Depth of 18″ to 24″ Plus Sound and Bore-allows the most complete access to the decay-prone region of poles, where moisture and oxygen encourage decay.
Electronic Inspection Devices-these instruments typically depend on theories, such as frequency or time of flight of a sonic wave, or physical characteristics such as hardness to identify anomalies. The Shigometer differs from others in that it can identify early stages of decay, but it is not a pass/fail device.
Crews in the area usually dig up an area of dirt around the pole and inspect the pole below grade. Some work involves drill in backyards. Crews are not trimming trees.
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