Wood Pole Line Management

Hydro inspects and treats well over 2,000 wooden transmission poles in a typical year. It’s part of our annual program for early detection of deteriorated poles and other power line components to avoid safety and reliability issues, and identify poles that are in the early stages of decay so that we can take corrective action.

The useful lives of wooden poles can be extended by retreating them with special preservative so that they better withstand the elements and things like fungi and insects that can eat away at the wood over time. Some poles reach a point where they eventually need to be refurbished or replaced.

With nearly 26,000 poles spanning approximately 2,500 kilometres of wooden transmission lines across Newfoundland and Labrador, we schedule the sections to be inspected each year based on the dates and results of past inspections.

The wood pole line management plan helps optimize the service life of power lines, saves costs by deferring rebuilds, and avoids unplanned outages that could result from having damaged structures. It’s another component of Hydro’s annual capital investment program aimed at ensuring our electricity assets are kept in good, reliable operating condition.

A wooden pole damaged by woodpeckers.
A line worker applies preservative treatment at the top of a wooden transmission pole near the crossarm connection.
Poles undergo destructive testing to ensure they’re designed to withstand harsh conditions.