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Topic Title: Lamp post maintenance
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Created On: 20 February 2013 11:12 PM
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 20 February 2013 11:12 PM
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Davesparx

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Joined: 30 October 2009

Evening all. We have taken over the maintenance contract on a private estate that has its own lamp posts lighting the car park area. After carrying out some basic testing we found that two of the cables powering the posts have gone down. My question is in two parts really. The first part is would the landlord have a duty of care to keep drawings of where the underground cable routes are on their land? They have no idea when the posts were installed or who carried out the work. The second part is none of us have specific permits / certificates to work on lamp posts. Do we still require the permits if its private land? We have installed them before without issue but thought it might be worth a mention! We have tickets for cherry pickers but not the road furniture ones. Cheers all, Dave.
 20 February 2013 11:43 PM
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sparkxelectrical

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If they're DNO supplied you need the relavent certification and DNO authorisation to work around their equipment (cut out)
 21 February 2013 09:32 AM
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AJJewsbury

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Presumably if Dave's been testing the lamppost supply cables, then they're not directly DNO-fed?

Can't the cables be traced using a CAT or similar? What sort of "estate" is it? If it's a fairly modern build might the cables just be in the "standard" supply positions under pavements?

- Andy.
 21 February 2013 10:02 AM
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OMS

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Originally posted by: Davesparx

Evening all. We have taken over the maintenance contract on a private estate that has its own lamp posts lighting the car park area. After carrying out some basic testing we found that two of the cables powering the posts have gone down. My question is in two parts really. The first part is would the landlord have a duty of care to keep drawings of where the underground cable routes are on their land?

They would, yes - you may recall a recent case where the owners of a car sales site werer prosucuted for not providing information to a guy erecting a pallisade security fence - he put a breaker through a live 11kV cable. They have a duty under several dircrete but linked bits of legislation all under the HASAWA umbrella (EAWR, CDM etc) - but as the appointed contractor, don't forget you guys have duties as well.


They have no idea when the posts were installed or who carried out the work.

Not unusual - although to be fair, finding the cables and mapping the installation shouldn't be that difficult - it's a bit of estate street lighting - the biggest problem will be if they have used joints rather than loop in and out cut out assemblies.

The second part is none of us have specific permits / certificates to work on lamp posts. Do we still require the permits if its private land? We have installed them before without issue but thought it might be worth a mention! We have tickets for cherry pickers but not the road furniture ones. Cheers all, Dave.

You don't specifically need permits, although your own H&S procedures should reflect generally the outcomes that permits would achieve wrt to EAWR, working at height etc



One thing to be aware of is the problem of corrosion of the column roots - you may need to consider NDT on the roots to determine capability for access to the lanterns (ie a complete prohibition on ladder access) and the more specific risk of overturning. There are a huge number of columns out there that only stand up by a wing and a prayer - it's an area that many public lighting providers and the ILE are quite concerned about.

I've no idea what you've been contracted to do, but if it were me, I'd be wanting to know what I was getting into and advising my client accordingly - ideally you want them to pay you to provide a report on the system highlighting any shortfalls (corrosion, lantern condition, maps of cable routes, illuminance (or luminace) deficiencies etc) before you accept the responsibility that a maintenance contract transfers to you


Regards

OMS

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Failure is always an option
 21 February 2013 10:49 AM
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normcall

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They are a nightmare. I had to 'condemn' most of the lighting columns in our High Street after the Chamber of Commerce employed a 'member electrician' to fit the Christmas lights. As the Council wouldn't give them a grant, they dumped all the lights in the council yard - thinking the Council would just give in! They didn't and my name was mud for a couple of years but I did get the County highways engineer and lighting inspector to agree that I was right. The first year we only had about a third of the lights working and took us/me the next year to sort the rest out.
The good thing is they now have annual inspections (why never before??).

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Norman
 21 February 2013 03:15 PM
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Ricicle

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Apart from looking at the base and a few taps with a hammer is there an 'official' way of deciding whether or not a lamppost is going to fall over soon eg metal imaging etc ?

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 21 February 2013 04:41 PM
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sparkxelectrical

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most employ a system called Relative Loss of Section measuring - works by measuring the thickness of the metal at all points in the root of the column.
Most street lighting contractors can get it done for you
 21 February 2013 06:58 PM
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Davesparx

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Thanks for all the replies chaps. It is 10 lamp posts in a car park next to small unit on private land. Not DNO supplied. SWA from main DB into what we presume are joint boxes or some kind of "T" section as the posts are all single supplies. We are now responsible for all maintenance so renewing son's and sensors etc. All of the posts have an adaptable galv box with 1 x SWA into it and a standard Lucy cut out. Is it possible to hire some equipment to see how / where it is jointed? Andy mentioned something called a CAT? many thanks, Dave
 21 February 2013 07:15 PM
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davettherave

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Iam always doing private lamposts.

pass them my way if you like! lol

I do am off my lamppost ladder!

dave
 21 February 2013 07:24 PM
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OMS

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Originally posted by: Ricicle

Apart from looking at the base and a few taps with a hammer is there an 'official' way of deciding whether or not a lamppost is going to fall over soon eg metal imaging etc ?


try here


OMS

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Failure is always an option
 21 February 2013 07:40 PM
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OMS

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Andy mentioned something called a CAT? many thanks,


CAT = Cable Avoidance Tool

Equipped with a tone generator clamped to a known end of the cable, you can scan the ground and listen for the signal - useful for tracing cables, for sure

Regards

OMS

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Failure is always an option
 21 February 2013 08:52 PM
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SKElectrical

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Originally posted by: OMS

CAT = Cable Avoidance Tool
you can scan the ground and listen for the signal - useful for tracing cables, for sure

OMS


You can hire from HSS, god knows how much they would cost to buy.

Do they work on dead cables too?
 22 February 2013 09:19 AM
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OMS

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Yes - have you not come across CAT and Genny before ?

Regards

OMS

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Failure is always an option
 22 February 2013 09:20 PM
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peteTLM

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Originally posted by: SKElectrical

Originally posted by: OMS



CAT = Cable Avoidance Tool

you can scan the ground and listen for the signal - useful for tracing cables, for sure



OMS


£500 last time i had to look



You can hire from HSS, god knows how much they would cost to buy.



Do they work on dead cables too?


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Lack of planning on your part doesn't make it an emergency on mine....

Every man has to know his limitations- Dirty Harry
 23 February 2013 03:38 PM
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sparkingchip

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I was in my van eating a sandwich and drinking a coffee sat outside a job watching a guy coming down the street a few weeks ago carrying out lighting column inspection and test.

The process appeared to be:

1. Hit it with a hammer.

2. Place a tester against the metal work, which I assume was a Relative Loss of Section measurement. Though this was at waist height rather than a the base where I would expect such a test to be carried out, presumably to save kneeling down.

3. Take the cover plate off and look inside, there did not appear to be much in the way of electrical testing.

It certainly did not appear to be over demanding apart from the walking involved.

When I was in the Isle of Man last year we had a meal with some of my brothers friends who are involved in a dispute with their local council. A street lighting column fell over bringing down part of their garden wall, they paid themselves to rebuild the wall and are now seeking repayment from the council, who have not just put their hands up and admitted liability. So problems do occur!

Andy

Edited: 25 February 2013 at 09:25 PM by sparkingchip
 25 February 2013 09:27 PM
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sparkingchip

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This has been lost with the recent spate of pulling up old posts to add adverts by our new friend in India, so I thought I'd pull it back to see if you agree my assessment of the I&T process is correct.

Andy
 25 February 2013 09:41 PM
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slittle

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The skill there of course Andy is to have a highly tuned ear to listen to the ring of the metal work when struck in exactly the correct manner with the hammer


Stu
 25 February 2013 10:08 PM
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peteTLM

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Originally posted by: slittle

The skill there of course Andy is to have a highly tuned ear to listen to the ring of the metal work when struck in exactly the correct manner with the hammer





Stu


BT do the same test but on timber poles. From what i remember, the hitting was done no more than 1ft above the ground.
Would the lesser density hollow metal pole ring true when hit at 5ft? probably, probably a useless test at that height.

Dare i say that lamp post testing has now joined the ranks of PAT testing stick a sticker on it, its ok, brigade?

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----------------------------------------
Lack of planning on your part doesn't make it an emergency on mine....

Every man has to know his limitations- Dirty Harry
 25 February 2013 10:31 PM
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sparkingchip

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along with using a pole with a cup on top of it to listen for water leaks and wheel tapping on the railways, it is of course highly skilled!

Andy
 26 February 2013 09:12 AM
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OMS

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Did it occur to you Andy, that the inspction may well have been on the swage joint that connects the thinner vertical tube section to the larger diameter root and column base.

Why would you think the structural assessment would involve electrical testing ?

Columns generally have two failure modes

1 - the root at around ground level

2 - the column swage joint

most columns suffer from the former, only selected (and usually known) columns suffer from the latter - it depends on how the relative parts were swaged - in some (notably BSC) columns, it created a water trap that allowed rusting through from internally.

As I said, column stability is a major concern of the PL sector - and for good reason in may cases I've seen. Why do you think street lighting PFI schemes exist - it's a transfer of risk and reward from public to private sector at a time when public sector has no money but appaling legacy issues on columns/lanterns.

And all that without even beginning to address the issue of "low impact" columns.

regards

OMS

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Failure is always an option
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