Salty poles burn again in Cleveland : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Salty poles burn again

Friday, March 17, 2000

Utility-pole fires caused electric power failures in Beachwood, Richmond Heights, Maple Heights, Parma and Strongsville yesterday.

About 4,900 Beachwood and Richmond Heights residents were without power from 4:51 p.m. to 5:34 p.m. yesterday, said Cleveland Electric Illuminating Co. spokesman Todd Schneider. Blackouts in the other communities were briefer and affected fewer customers.

The power failures were caused by road salt on the poles drawing electricity into them and setting them on fire. Salt was blamed for similar problems in late January.

-- Martin Thompson (, March 17, 2000


How does salt get up that high to mess with the powerlines?

Most power poles have ground wire running up them, so why should salt make a difference? The poles have ceraminc insulators, too, so why is juice flowing through the poles. This also implies some unlucky soul who leans on a salted pole will be zapped (maybe even killed).

A "ground wire" is a wire that runs from the earth (ground) all the way up to the top and (normally) above the pole, this will allows lighting to "miss" the power lines and go to ground -- thus avoiding the frying of the (local-we hope) power grid.

-- perry de fuzzy (, March 17, 2000.

This also happened in MN a while back. Here is the link.


-- Martin Thompson (, March 17, 2000.

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