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Standard User MrBeeline
(committed) Wed 18-Oct-17 22:05:41
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Advice required... storm damage


[link to this post]
 
Not sure if this is appropriate for this forum. I'm really considering this as a broadband issue, as that's what I primarily use my line for. But I suspect there will be some knowledgeable folks that could offer assistance. I've tried GOOGLE in general. But there seems to be a fair bit of conflicting advice.

As I'm sure most folks will be aware. Some parts of the country were hit by a pretty bad storm last Monday evening. Dumfries and Galloway being one of the worst hit. I believe gusts of 76MPH were recorded locally.

Rural property. Line come in underground, to a pole on my property (it says 1956 on it) and has many (at least three) "D" for dangerous red disks pinned on it. HUGE (read 80ft high +) Oak tree a few yards from it (tree is probably some 200+ years old), so must have been there since the pole was erected. Almost certainly erected by hand, as there's never been any vehicle access to that part of the grounds. Line then goes from the pole to my property (around 15/20 yards).

Monday night, a rather large branch of the tree (the size of a decent tree in itself!) comes down and takes the overhead line with it. Openreach turned up today (well withing 48 hours.. well done there). And makes a temporary fix. Basically spliced a new section of cable to the old bit. The end at the pole was apparently undamaged. The pole is even more wobbly now then it was before, but still standing. Phone line now OK and internet back up.

The Openreach techie (nice chap) said there would not be any charge for the work done so far. But seemed unsure who's responsibility it was to make a permanent fix. So he phoned his supervisor. Who said I needed to phone my "provider", who I assume is BT (that's who the phone is through). He seemed to be implying, that the work for a permanent fix, would be at my cost!

The logical thing to do (at least to me). Is get rid of the pole (I'll soon chainsaw that sucker for them). And continue the underground cable up to the house (I'm assuming it will be armoured). Don't even mind digging what I'm assuming will not have to be either a very deep, or wide trench. Not even sure why they did not do this in the first place. Even back in 1956, it was plain daft to put a phone pole up and run an overhead cable.

So... anyone got any experience of this sort of thing? Prefer to get my ducks in a row, before phoning BT.

Thanks in advance.

----
Mike

Edited by MrBeeline (Wed 18-Oct-17 22:10:08)

Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Wed 18-Oct-17 22:15:19
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Re: Advice required... storm damage


[re: MrBeeline] [link to this post]
 
If your tree caused damage then your bill to pay is likely rule.

What exactly happens depends on the survey, if the repair is using waterproof enclosures and wiring is not in danger of being broken by something else even the temporary fix might soldier on for another decade.

You digging and installing ducting as per specification of developers guide would be a way to reduce the cost if they decide to bill and its large. That said if just 15 to 20 yards a simple armoured cable dug in would probably do. Just be sure to mark path to avoid accidents with digging in the future.

A lot will depend on what is arranged via provider with Openreach around making the temporary repair permanent, and that will mean discussion with surveyor who is likely busy with others, so might not be too rapid.

The author of the above post is a thinkbroadband staff member. It may not constitute an official statement on behalf of thinkbroadband.
Standard User MrBeeline
(committed) Wed 18-Oct-17 22:42:09
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Re: Advice required... storm damage


[re: MrSaffron] [link to this post]
 
Thanks for that. Appreciated.

Current temporary fix, is cable from pole now just runs across the ground to the house, with a joint at each end of the spliced in bit of cabling.

As you say, could last for another decade or more.

I'll give BT a phone and see what they say then.

Thanks for your advice.

----
Mike


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Standard User Zarjaz
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Thu 19-Oct-17 06:05:47
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Re: Advice required... storm damage


[re: MrBeeline] [link to this post]
 
The sticking point for Openreach is the D pole .....

They cannot climb it, and replacing it will have to be done completely by hand, this at a time when their pole erection team are very busy ....

Did the pole used to have your power cables on it too perchance ?

Standard User eckiedoo
(fountain of knowledge) Thu 19-Oct-17 07:10:10
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Re: Advice required... storm damage


[re: MrBeeline] [link to this post]
 
Who owns the oak tree and the ground its trunk sprouts from?

Whilst it seems likely to be your property, you should check your Title Deeds to be absolutely sure, either way.

Is there any form of Tree Preservation or similar Orders involving it, given particularly its age?

-----------

Given your pole estimate of "around 15/20 yards", it appears that the pole itself could be a direct threat to your buildings etc - worth checking your (house) insurance.
Standard User MatHal
(newbie) Thu 19-Oct-17 10:39:21
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Re: Advice required... storm damage


[re: MrBeeline] [link to this post]
 
It may well be that Openreach will say that the tree was yours and therefore the damage is your responsibility. I would take anything the engineer said to you with a pinch of salt. He may have put the repair down to them initially but their attitude could change once they (or BT rather) realise the possibility of charging you!

Your best bet is to concentrate on the state of the pole and the possible danger to your family et al. Also, if it is close enough, the risk to your property. You need to lay that on with a trowel, stressing that the pole has been marked as dangerous for a considerable time but they have not removed it.

Considering the stupidly short distance to the house and the cost to them of fitting a new pole I'm sure they will take the sensible option of undergrounding the cable.
Standard User MHC
(sensei) Thu 19-Oct-17 11:04:26
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Re: Advice required... storm damage


[re: MrBeeline] [link to this post]
 
At least you have service - not perfect but it is there. Plus, there will be large numbers of people like you that need service restoration and initially it may just be - get it working.

Ownership of the land the tree is on could be key to the solution. Gone are the days when BT would have just accepted the costs and reinstated the line. If it is your tree then your insurance should cover it, if it belongs to a neighbour, then they should be asked for insurance details.

A D - pole does not mean it will fall over tomorrow and as you have experienced, teh wind did not take it out. It means that it would be dangerous to climb.

If the insurance company will pay out then get BT to provide their costs for re-instating over head which, through no fault of theirs will require a new pole and also to trench it - which may be cheaper.

If the Insurance is not an option then you need to do some negotiating with BT, agree to dig the trench to the required depth provided they will then run an armoured cable in there.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

M H C


taurus excreta cerebrum vincit
Standard User Michael_Chare
(fountain of knowledge) Thu 19-Oct-17 12:11:53
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Re: Advice required... storm damage


[re: MrBeeline] [link to this post]
 
Almost exactly 30 years ago my overhead phone line was bought down by a falling oak tree. It was about 5 weeks before the phone was working again. No doubt there were other faults.

If the pole was wobbly before the tree fell, then I would argue that it was not properly secured in the first place and that is why it is more wobbly now.

I would not approach BT. If they want to charge you, I would have thought they would have to ask you before undertaking any work. Presumably you would have the option of declining. Further I doubt BT could argue that you have been negligent.

You could ask your insurance company.

Michael Chare
Standard User MrBeeline
(committed) Thu 19-Oct-17 21:31:24
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Re: Advice required... storm damage


[re: Zarjaz] [link to this post]
 
"Did the pole used to have your power cables on it too perchance ? "

No. The electricity comes over the hills and into the back of the property.

Seem to remember that the pole even has BT carved into it next to the date 1956.

----
Mike
Standard User MrBeeline
(committed) Thu 19-Oct-17 21:39:43
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Re: Advice required... storm damage


[re: eckiedoo] [link to this post]
 
The Oak tree is definitely on our property, roots and all.

No tree preservation order on the tree. This is rural SW Scotland and my house is set in a fair bit of ground, with many trees on it.

I'm a self employed gardener these days (got fed up of being a computer programmer after some 30 years), so know a thing or two about our woody friends. There's also a photo of the house from 1903 I seem to remember and that clearly shows the Oak tree there and it's pretty big even back then.

Pole is not close enough to the house to be of concern. It's down a fairly steep slope, so it would not reach the house if it fell that way. Might come close to the green house though.

----
Mike
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