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How Do Transmission Lines Work?

Transmission lines are a vital component in the modern electric system. But what are these lines? How do they work? And what measures help ensure they keep working? The Critter Guard team works with transmission lines every day, with intelligently-designed line- and pole-protecting systems to help prevent rodent damage to the lines, which can cause power outages. We know these lines are crucial and to not overlook them until it's too late.

transmission lines strung between utility poles and electric pylon trusses

What Are Transmission Lines? 

Transmission lines are the cables you see running alongside the road or across fields, carrying electrical signals from a power source and into homes and businesses. The towers that carry the transmission lines are called pylons. There are a variety of types of transmission lines, depending on the kind of signal you want to send. The conductive wires of the lines are commonly made from aluminum, which is great at transmitting the signal and is inexpensive. Transmission lines can be underground, but they are more often found overhead.

Why Are They Important? 

Transmission lines provide a pathway that brings electricity from the source (a substation or power plant) and into businesses, homes, and other buildings that need to use the electricity. If there are issues with the transmission lines, then electricity won't reach the end user. For homeowners, that can mean no heat or other necessary utilities. For business owners, no electricity could mean they may be unable to process sales or provide services, leading to a loss of income.

How Are They Protected?

Transmission lines need to be protected. A common source of damage is lightning strikes. Conducting cables protect transmission lines by intercepting the lightning strike, bypassing the transmission line, and dispersing the charge safely into the ground.

The other major source of transmission line interruption comes from small animals, which conducting cables can't directly protect against. Rodents and squirrels often use overhead transmission lines as a path of travel. Most of the time, this won't hurt the transmission line or the animal. However, occasionally the animal will inadvertently complete the electrical signal and end up electrocuted, taking the transmission line down with it. Additionally, the little rascals may chew and claw at these electrical components. Safety measures like the Critter Guard's Line Guard system can help prevent that from happening.

Are you experiencing issues with small animals shorting out or damaging your transmission lines and causing your electricity to go out? Get in touch with our experienced team to learn more about how our innovative products can help protect transmission lines and prevent power interruptions.

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