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Protecting Hardwood poles from ground rot and decay
Protecting Hardwood poles from ground rot and decay
In some countries hardwoods are readily available at low cost and are used in place of preservative softwoods for applications such as fencing and utility or power poles. In the case of power poles the cost of repair or replacement can be high when they rot through at ground level. The consequences can be serious if the pole breaks and falls, at best a power cut at worst injury, electrocution or fire as the high voltage cable hits the ground. So even with hardwood poles utilities are always looking at ways to make their wooden poles last longer and reduce risk.
Recent trials in Austria using Polesaver ground line sleeves have proven to be a real hit in giving extra protection at the vulnerable ground line section of the pole.
In this case the poles used are made from durable a chestnut, these electricity poles are prepared with the minimum of preparation, the bark is removed and the pole is left to dry before being used. 
The application of a bitumen lined ground line sleeve to the pole keeps the causes of rot and decay out of the pole and will typically have the effect of doubling the pole life from around 15 to 20 years out to around 40 years plus representing a big saving to the utility in the long term as well as helping to keep the lights on.

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