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Wooden vs Steel Power Poles – Which is Better?

Power poles are installed by a Level 2 Electrician and come in timber or steel. These two different types of utility power poles both have their positives and negatives. These will influence which one is best suited for specific people, their needs and where they live. The Local Electrician offers our private power poles services where our experienced electricians will install both steel poles and timber poles. 

Private power poles come in either timber or steel each having its own benefits and disadvantages. Steel power poles are more eco-friendly, aesthetic, less obstructive, cheaper, termite-proof and longer lasting. Timber utility poles are more flexible with sizing, safer with conductivity and offer a more natural look. Overall steel power poles are the favourable choice for private power poles but timber in specific citations will be the better utility pole.

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Are Steel or Wooden Power Poles Better?

Below is a guide and comparison of the two different types of power poles which can be installed on properties. 

Steel Timber
Lifespan 10 to 15 years 15 to 30 years
Average Cost of Purchasing the Pole $800 – $1000 $1000 – $1200
Average Cost of Installing and Connecting the Pole $2500 – $5500 $7000 – $14,500
Average Cost of Installing and Connecting the Pole with a Meter Box $4500 – $8000 $9000 – $14,500
Cables’ Location Inside the pole Outside the pole
Sizes 3m to 8m 5m to 11m
  • The more suitable choice not requiring trees
  • More modern look, blending into more properties
  • Easier to install as it is lightweight
  • Cheaper to initially purchase, install and repair
  • Are termite-proof
  • Can be painted different colours to fit in more with the surrounding area
  • Less obstructive due to smaller size
  • More range or flexibility of sizes
  • The timber aesthetic can appeal to specific people
  • Longer lifespan and often does not need us much maintenance 
  • Worse in salty areas, such as near beaches, as the salt can eat away at the steel
  • Not suitable for areas where the overhead service lines need to run high as steel poles are often shorter than timber
  • Heavy in weight due to uneven surfaces and the larger diameter
  • Installation cost is often more due to the heaviness and height of the pole
  • More expensive to initially purchase, along with installing, repairing and replacing it
  • Not suitable for areas that are near groundwater or have high moisture levels. The timber can easily stay damp after it has rained leading it to rot
  • Can be affected by termites which is never good

What are Some Common Problems with Power Poles?

There are many different types of common power pole problems that can occur at any time:

  • Slacking or fallen wires
  • Knocked over or fallen poles
  • Trees and other vegetation interfering with the wires
  • Cables clashing against each other often causing sparks
  • Wires, power lines or poles hanging too low
  • Poles being corroded, rotten or infested with termites

For more information on common power pole problems, we strongly recommend reading our blog which contains further details.

What are Private Power Poles?

Private power poles are power poles but installed on private property that connects the utility’s electricity supply to the building. Private poles are connected to the electricity network cables but the property owner is responsible for cables and networks beyond that connection. They are mainly used on private property to direct the power supply to different parts of the place. They support powerlines, can run across different properties to different places and need a level 2 electrical contractor to work on them.

What are Some Responsibilities with Private Power Poles?

The main responsibility of property owners and their private power poles are to have regular electrical safety inspections. These include after major storms, if there is any suspected damage or at least once a year. A certified level 2 electrician will perform electrical work with these power poles knowing all the safety rules and regulations. This includes installing, repairing and replacing them and also organising tree-trimming services when needed. 

When a person does not properly take care of their private power poles then they can be issued a private power pole defect notice. Read our blog ‘what is a private power pole defect notice’ to know more about why they can be issued and what to do with them. 

Expert Power Pole Services for Sydney

The Local Electrician offers the best power poles electrical services where we will complete a wide range of work. As an accredited service provider in Sydney, we offer trusted level 2 electricians to work with private power poles. Each electrician is fully qualified in the field, has completed all necessary training and works professionally throughout each service.

We offer our power pole services to all of Sydney, from the Eastern Suburbs to South Western Sydney. Our Emergency Electrician services are also offered to every local for us to operate 24/7 on any electrical job.


For trusted level 2 asp electricians in Sydney to work with both timber and steel power poles trust The Local Electrician!

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Our skilled electricians are qualified to carry out any electrical repair or installation within Sydney. We strive to deliver absolute customer satisfaction by offering electrical services that are affordable, safe and long lasting.

Hamish Baker