The difference between power lines and telecom lines

Know what’s high and low on the pole

Looking up at many power poles in PEC’s service area, you are likely to see a lot of lines. Some of these are our electric lines, but these poles often also carry telecom wires that bring cable and telephone services to our members’ homes. Knowing how to differentiate between the two will help you to know who to call if you spot a problem.

Electric wires will often be higher up on the pole. These lines are attached to the pole with insulators that prevent electricity from burning the pole.

Underneath our lines, cable and phone lines can usually be seen attached to the pole directly without insulators. These lines operate at much lower voltages and can continue to function even if trees are growing into them or if they’re on the ground.

Telecom lines can also be carried on their own poles, separate from poles carrying power lines. These are often smaller than power poles and carry no equipment, such as transformers or insulators. You can tell a pole is PEC’s by locating the PEC pole number that is attached to it.

PEC does not operate or maintain telecom lines that are attached to our poles. And while they operate at lower voltages than power lines, telecom lines can still be dangerous, so it’s important to stay at least 10 feet away if you see an issue.

If something is wrong with the pole itself or the electric lines, please report the issue to PEC at 888-883-3379.

Downed power lines can carry an electric current strong enough to cause serious injury or death. If you see a downed line, call our emergency report line immediately: 888-883-3329. If telecom lines are the issue, contact the local phone or cable provider.

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