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Care issues for Jameson Safe-Stik poles

Richard Tregoweth - Thursday, December 06, 2012

NZ vegetation management regulations require pruning poles (used around electrical lines) to be “Dry” tested every six months and “Wet” tested every two years. Earlier in the year the testing level for fibreglass pruner poles was raised from 45KV to 75KV.

Since raising the NZ electrical rating Jameson JE Series poles have regularly failed to test on two counts:

  • 1) Some poles failed the ‘Dry Test’ due to moisture build-up in the pole
  • 2) All poles (to date) have failed the 2-year ‘Wet Test’ due to lack of water repellent coating on the pole.

Jameson NZ importer Aorangi Merchants have this to say: After two months of testing and trials we have managed to resolve these issues.

All Jameson JE Series Safe-Stiks need to be coated with a specific Hot-Stick lacquer, applied either before dispatch from our warehouse or by TexOnSite (nationwide) before initial testing.

Due to more stringent NZ requirements, all fibreglass poles, whether certified as Hot-Sticks or simply just a Lay-up stick for use near live wires (Jameson Safe-Stiks are certified as Lay-up sticks), need to be dry tested every six months and wet tested every 2 years.

Because Jameson poles are not made to the same specifications as Hot-Sticks, they do not have a water-repellent coating applied from new. Lack of waterproofing on the outer skin of the pole may have contributed to the rise in failures due to moisture build-up inside the pole. 

Aorangi representatives believe the moisture build-up in the failed poles is not the result of water ‘wicking’ through the internal foam but instead, moisture absorbance through the outside skin when the pole is exposed to damp conditions.

The Aorangi Merchant tests demonstrate that Hot-Stick lacquered Jameson JE Series Safe-Stiks will pass the required New Zealand standard. 

Previously failed JE Series poles can be rejuvenated by applying a coating of lacquer (providing the pole is not split, fractured or in any way structurally damaged, and have been dried beforehand in a suitable dryer/dehumidifier).

Nationwide pole testing provider TexOnSite is authorised to apply Hot-Stick lacquer to the Jameson poles and test when complete."

All future Jameson JE Series Safe-Stiks sold through Treetools will be pre-coated with Hot-Stick lacquer before sale. This treatment will result in a slight price increase.

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