Electricity from the grid is transported either via overhead or underground lines. And while newer suburbs and areas of dense population sport underground lines, overhead powerlines are still a common sight in Sydney and Central Coast suburbs. Connecting your home to the electricity supplier’s network via overhead power lines are still the most cost-effective method of supplying power to your property.
Overhead Powerline Installation, Repair & Replacement
Overhead power line installation, replacement and repair are jobs only Level 2 electricians are qualified to undertake. All overhead powerline repairs require disconnecting the property from the electricity supplier and reconnecting them again once work is completed. This is something a general electrician is not qualified to do.
Overhead powerlines can become non-compliant in a number of ways and need to be repaired or replaced. When new structures are built or the land is elevated, your overhead cables may no longer meet the minimum safety clearance. Strong winds and heavy rainfall can cause them to collapse and the Australian sun can degrade the insulation around the cabling.
If you are unsure if your overhead cables are faulty or damaged, Izco Electrical can provide you with a comprehensive safety inspection to ensure your wiring is safe and compliant.
Relocation of Your Home’s Point of Attachment
The point of attachment is the place in which your overhead cable is connected directly to your property. You may be renovating and need your point of attachment moved to make way for a verandah or intending to install a swimming pool in which case you will need to ensure there are no electrical cables running overhead to comply with legislation. Izco Electrical can advise you on any necessary compliance requirements and assist you in relocating your home’s point of attachment to a more convenient location.
Overhead Power Lines vs Underground Cables
The Australian government has conservatively estimated the cost of relocating all existing overhead powerlines underground at approximately $50 billion. However, in most Australian states, it is compulsory for new, outer suburban subdivisions to be built with underground cables with an estimated 150 000 and 200 000 new homes connected to underground power supplies each year throughout Australia.
Underground cables offer less chance of damage during extreme weather events, provide no hazards to low flying aircraft or wildlife, and have a much nicer visual impact on the area. The downside of underground cables are the excessively expensive material and construction costs, damage being harder to locate and repair, and susceptibility to flood damage. In existing residential areas digging trenches where roads, driveways and old trees are located is an expensive and destructive prospect. And due to geographical, space and congestion restrictions, underground cables may not be able to be installed at all.
Overhead powerlines come with their own set of pros and cons. While affordable, easy to construct, and easily accessible for repairs, overhead lines have a higher chance of being damaged in storms, easements may be required underneath and vegetation needs to be cleared for maintenance. One major advantage of an overhead power network is the short time it takes to fix damage powerlines and restore power to homes.
Advantages of an Overhead Wiring System
The advantages of an overhead wiring system far outweigh the pleasing aesthetics of underground powerlines. Overhead powerlines are a significantly more cost-effective method of supplying your home with electricity from the network.
Overhead power lines have lower upfront installation costs, have a much longer lifespan than underground lines and there is no excavation required to install them. In addition to the savings in installation and replacement costs, overhead lines do not suffer from water ingress issues and do not fall victim to home handymen forgetting to ‘dial before they dig’. Fault finding times are reduced and it is both quicker and cheaper to fix faults in the line due to ease of access.
In addition to all this, the future costs of upgrading to three-phase power down the track are also dramatically reduced.
What to Expect
Izco Electrical’s licenced Level 2 electricians will meet with you at your premises to carry out a risk assessment and site inspection, discuss the process of installing overhead powerlines to your point of supply in detail and provide you with a free quote based on the work that needs to be carried out. When you are ready to proceed with connection, a time that least disrupts your schedule will be arranged for installation.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are overhead power lines dangerous?
Electricity, by its very nature, is dangerous. But living without it is something not many of us want to contemplate. So the real question is, are overhead powerlines more dangerous than underground powerlines? And the answer is no. There are risks unique to both methods of supply, however overhead lines are no more dangerous than underground lines.
“Connecting our new home up to the grid was a simple process with the Izco team at the helm.”
“Izco helped me work out the cheapest method of connecting my home to the overhead powerlines in the street. A real relief to my tight budget!”