Case Studies 11.23.2016

A Major Southeast Texas Utility

A major Southeast Texas utility found itself facing a growing problem with cable and copper theft. Local copper thieves had developed a highly sophisticated—if dangerous—approach to breaking through the company’s Schedule 80 PVC telephone pole risers in order to reach the bare neutral copper cable inside. Rented bucket trucks gave them the illusion of authority, and nylon rope was used as a makeshift saw, allowing them to cut through the thick PVC pole risers and strip the costly cable from within. Between January and September of 2015, expensive-to-replace cable was being lost at a rate of 10,000 feet a month.

CHALLENGE
The company needed to replace the damaged pole risers with something impenetrable. Galvanized rigid steel was an option, but it came at a higher cost and a heavier weight, which would increase installation time and costs, and the possibility of injury in the field. They needed a tough, lightweight solution that would stand up to time, weather, and of course, thieves.

SOLUTION
The company reached out to Champion Fiberglass for a recommendation, and began extensive and intense testing on the replacement recommendation—6’ XW HazDuct Conduit. The first four utility poles with test pole risers have withstood all conditions, from cable theft attempts and random vandalism to environmental saline-and-water conditions present in a southern coastal town.

RESULTS
Champion’s fiberglass pole risers are now the go-to replacement for all the company’s damaged or vandalized utility poles. Because this solution is lightweight enough to facilitate easier, less-costly installs, yet strong enough to stand up to even the most innovative cable thief, the number of fiberglass pole risers is continually growing across Southeast Texas.

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