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Working Near Powerlines – Everything You Need To Know

Overhead powerlines are what transport electricity over long distances which a Level 2 Electrician is qualified to work on. Only a level 2 electrician is certified to operate on these systems because of their characteristics and are more dangerous. Here at The Local Electrician, we offer Sydney with professional level 2 electricians who can work on overhead powerlines expertly. Repairs, installations and all other work related to overhead powerlines can be performed by the specialists here with us.

Overhead powerlines will be worked on by licensed level 2 electricians due to being a more advanced electrical system. Operating with powerlines, both low voltage (less than 1,000V) and high voltage (greater than 1,000V), require exceptional care. Moreover, working with legal requirements, safe distances and also proper tools and techniques are all included in the process.

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Working Near Overhead Powerlines and Networks

An electrician with a level 2 licensing is the only person who is allowed to work on overhead powerlines. This is because they have trained longer than regular electricians and have gained the qualifications to work on more advanced systems.

These systems are what transmits power over distances through towers or poles. They are often lower-cost methods to transport electrical power and come in many different materials. Wood, steel, aluminium, concrete or reinforced plastics are used for the pole where aluminium or copper are applied for the wires.

When working on the overhead powerlines each electrician will follow the Safe Work Australia and WorkCover NSW Codes of Practice. Additionally, knowing the requirements which Ausgrid has placed when working near powerlines are also kept in mind when operating.

Low Voltage Overhead Powerlines

For an overhead powerline which is lower in its voltage levels, less than 1,000V, here are the general rules which electricians follow:

  • Utilising all their knowledge and skill gained from the ‘WorkCover Code of Practice – Work near Overhead Power Lines’
  • Cable covers are used to temporary cover low voltage mains which are directed by the Network Operator. The authorised electrician will complete this while extending them over 5m from the construction site. The electrician purchases them and are not used for reliable insulation but for clarity that the area should be cleared.
  • The cable covers, which are temporary, must be inspected each day there is work. Likewise, if they have been moved from their original spot them the Network Provider will need to move them in the correct place.
  • 3,000mm is the minimum safe distance when working with low voltage, which should be followed during the whole process. Though, if a risk assessment with non-conductive tools has happened then the minimum distance is 1,000mm. Scaffolds, cranes and operating plants are all excluded from this, however.
  • If the distance cannot be maintained then the mains would be isolated during the work. But if the mains being isolated is a negative step then Ausgrid would explore other options. The electrician will pay for the expenses of moving the main if it needs to be done.

High Voltage Overhead Powerlines

Overhead powerlines that are high in voltage, such as over 1,000V, then there are additional steps carried out, including:

  • Working with the ‘WorkCover Code of Practice – Work near Overhead Power Lines’ is also included in the process
  • For cranes and any other mobile plants that are used, a minimum distance of 3,000 – 8,000mm will need to be maintained. If low-conductive tools are used, as well, and a safety assessment has happened and is successful, the minimum distance can be from 1,000 – 2,000mm. Also, cranes, scaffolding and operating other mobile plants are not included in this.
  • In regards to the mains, when the distance rules are followed they should be isolated as well. Similarly, when this is actually a detriment to the task then Ausgrid will find other alternative paths. The electrician will have to pay for the additional isolation movements

General Rules with Overhead Powerlines

When operating with an overhead powerline level 2 electrician will follow these safety precautions:

  •  Planning the job in advanced helps with a more smooth process and provided more clarity. These plans may include when to disconnect power to how equipment, such as cranes, will be transported to the worksite.
  • Setting up all plant equipment, including cranes, cement, tip trucks, work platform, far from the powerlines
  • Tiger tails and cable covers are not insulators which should be remembered at all times
  • Ensure the distancing of the wires is kept consistent throughout the whole task
  • Using a map which is up-to-date that showcases safe traffic points and the powerlines
  • If a high load is included that creating a map of the safe path away from the powerline is developed
  • Have an observer there to ensure that the whole process is safe, including clearances between people and machines from the powerlines

Level 2 electricians working on overhead powerlines will always operate safely and make sure to follow guidelines, utilising their expertise. The task is extremely dangerous due to the nature of the electrical system so it is guaranteed that the electrician will work responsibly.

Accredited Level 2 Electricians

The Local Electrician has been working as a level 2 electrical provider for Sydney for over over 25 years. Each qualified electrician is able to work on overhead powerlines with ease and will always work safely. Additionally, our team are expert when completing any task related to an overhead powerline, utilising advanced tools and techniques.

We can work across all of Sydney, including Greater Western SydneyEastern Suburbs and Northern Beaches, on overhead powerlines. Also, our Emergency Electrician team are here at help with all electrical emergencies experienced anywhere within Sydney at any time. Likewise, if wondering why a level 2 electrician is needed to work on an overhead powerline, read our blog describing why a level 2 electrician is different.

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Working all over Sydney on overhead powerlines – contact The Local Electrician at info@thelocalelectrician.com.au. We promise that our certified electricians will operate safely, skillfully and professional throughout the whole process. Due to the task and electrical system benign dangerous we always focus, work effectively and ensure that all is safe.

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Our Services

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