fiber cable

When power outages occur, there is often discussion about why overhead powerlines aren’t put underground. Here are 5 facts you may not know about underground power lines:

  1. The life expectancy of an underground line is about half an overhead line.
  2. Underground lines are buried in a trench 24 – 48 inches deep depending on voltage and location.
  3. Although protected from the wind, ice and tree damage, underground lines are more vulnerable to flooding or digging damage, and can still fail due to equipment issues or lightning strikes.
  4. Underground lines take almost twice as long to fix when damage occurs due to difficulty locating area of fault and excavation processes.
  5. An underground line is expected to be six to fifteen times the cost (depending on voltage) of an overhead line due to time, materials, process and the use of specialized labor.

Click to compare underground and overhead lines.