Utility line questions

  1. What is the purpose of the thing that looks like a slotted metallic diamond draped over a power line about halfway between poles?

  2. What is the tear drop-shaped loop thingy in lines that I sometimes see close to the pole? It looks like its about two feet across and is situated parallel to the ground with + shaped brace in the center of the loop.

Educated guess: I believe it’s simply to provide some separation distance and to keep the lines from touching each other.

More of a WAG: Just some spare line to provide some slack in case a pole needs to be replaced? Also, when installing a line, it’s easier to gather up the slack into a loop than to resplice the conductors if there is some slack in the line.

These de-resonate the span of line, so it doesn’t break in the wind. If there is only one, it will be placed at a non-integer fraction of the span…not 1/2 way, not 1/3, etc. this prevents moving a resonance from the fundamental to a harmonic. Usually there is more than one, and the break the line into lengths that “fight” each other.

I think these are service loops. Basically in case they need some slack in the line at some point in the future, or possibly done to take up line stretch.

Aaaah, a de-resonator. I should have known that! Makes perfect sense. Service loops? I just saw one midway between two poles but I’ll buy it, for now. I need to take a closer look.

I always figured those were for slack, but I kept meaning to ask here. It make sense. There’s a LOT of wires in those phone wires you see overhead. Add an extra 20 feet now and then if it breaks you only have to make one set of splices instead of two. In fact, if you look, you’ll usually seem them in pairs about 15 feet apart.

phone and cable utilities use service loops frequently because the cables are smaller.

I’ve always seen these called “snow shoes.” Snow shoes allow for a 180° turn in a cable with a controlled bend radius. They are used to leave a extra length of cable, generally fiber, to allow a device on the strand to be brought down to the ground for servicing without disconnecting it.