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Depth to bury a pole #68504
08/09/06 12:38 PM
08/09/06 12:38 PM
Bill39  Offline OP
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 75
Indianapolis, IN, USA
Is there a rule of thumb on how deep a power pole must be buried?

Is the burial depth more dependant on the height of the pole or the weight at the top of it(example:transformer, capacitors, etc.)?

Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades
Re: Depth to bury a pole #68505
08/09/06 01:49 PM
08/09/06 01:49 PM
energy7  Offline
Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 58
Oxnard, CA, USA
Weight downward on a pole is not a problem. Figuring worst case of about 600 lb./ (NTS-1991) for wood, bearing on 1000 lb./sq.ft. soil (UBC, IBC); weight, even with XF's, cap's, etc. is well supported.
Resistance to overturning (lateral resistance) is a big deal. Wind load, seismic motion, and conductor tension are the factors, and must be calculated based on location (wind & seismic), soil type, and other factors that our engineers just snowed me with when I asked.
POCO's have standards that are well overdesigned for their areas and equipment, and are the closest to "rules-of-thumb" around.

Re: Depth to bury a pole #68506
08/09/06 01:56 PM
08/09/06 01:56 PM
iwire  Offline
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,391
North Attleboro, MA USA
You can also find that type of info out in the Linemans and Cablemans Handbook.

Some libraries have it or you can buy it.

Lineman's and Cableman's Handbook

[This message has been edited by iwire (edited 08-09-2006).]

Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician
Re: Depth to bury a pole #68507
08/09/06 04:30 PM
08/09/06 04:30 PM
carjam  Offline
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 12
GrandBlanc, MI U.S.A.
I just set a 12 foot pole in a resi yard. The electrical inspector told me that ...i believe building code (not for sure now) for every 4 ft of pole you go 1ft deep. So i went 3 ft. deep seemed pretty sturdy to me.

Re: Depth to bury a pole #68508
08/09/06 05:01 PM
08/09/06 05:01 PM
122ss  Offline
Junior Member
Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 4
Purdum, Nebraska, USA
I asked the power co. that provides service in my area and they told me 10 percent of pole length plus 2 feet.

Re: Depth to bury a pole #68509
08/10/06 01:47 AM
08/10/06 01:47 AM
e57  Offline
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 2,876
I have only set a few and it was a long (15 years) time ago. 6' for a 40' pole on straight runs, turns/angles deeper.

Taller poles are deeper ~8-10'.

I think the American Electricians Handbook also has some info in it.

Mark Heller
"Well - I oughta....." -Jackie Gleason
Re: Depth to bury a pole #68510
08/10/06 04:06 AM
08/10/06 04:06 AM
Trumpy  Offline

Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,260
SI,New Zealand
As Energy7 mentioned above,
There are a few variables involved in the seating of a pole.
There is no way that there can be a formulaic way of calculating the depth for all situations.
Depending upon where you are in the world and the soil type and so forth,
It's a mine-field, it also depends upon what you are going to use the pole for.
We have used the formula 10%+ 2ft, with standard poles and have had them fall over when the ground freezes and then thaws, causing frost-heave.
My opinion would be, ask your local PoCo Lines Division.
And don't, set the pole in concrete, you are just looking for disaster, if you get bad frost levels and the pole is under any sort of strain.

Re: Depth to bury a pole #68511
08/10/06 08:10 AM
08/10/06 08:10 AM
electure  Offline

Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 4,279
Fullerton, CA USA
As Energy7 mentioned above,
There are a few variables involved in the seating of a pole.

Yup, you need to take the conditions into consideration. [Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

Re: Depth to bury a pole #68512
08/10/06 02:00 PM
08/10/06 02:00 PM
Nick  Offline
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 599
Riverside, CA
Let me guess. Huntington Beach a little north of the pier south of the dog beach?

Re: Depth to bury a pole #68513
08/10/06 08:16 PM
08/10/06 08:16 PM
e57  Offline
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 2,876
There are some in the Stinson/Bolinas lagoon... Hwy #1 in Marin.

Mark Heller
"Well - I oughta....." -Jackie Gleason
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