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:
- The life expectancy of an underground line is about half an overhead line.
- Underground lines are buried in a trench 24 – 48 inches deep depending on voltage and location.
- 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.
- Underground lines take almost twice as long to fix when damage occurs due to difficulty locating area of fault and excavation processes.
- 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.