Can a Utility Pole Be Moved? (Only if You Do This First)

Can a Utility Pole Be Moved

Utility poles play a vital role in the functioning of a community, and sometimes, they can end up in your front yard. Unfortunately, this is not ideal for some people, and you may be curious if that utility pole can be moved. So, can you move a utility pole?

If you want a utility pole moved, you will have to call 811 and discuss the issue you have with the pole’s location. In most cases, the city will only move the pole if they deem it unsafe.  Additionally, under no circumstances can you move the utility pole yourself.

There are many things to consider when trying to get the utility company to move their pole. In this blog post, we will touch on a few key points, so you can be as prepared as possible when making your case.

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Here’s a Quick Pro Tip!

If you can’t remove the utility pole, you can paint it to match your landscaping, and you can post decor items on it. But do not hang anything on it that could potentially become a fire hazard. 

Here are some great products for decorating around your utility pole to make it more aesthetically pleasing: 

1. Tree Poetry Tree Face – This is a great way to give your space a whimsical touch by adding this decor piece to a tree or wooden pole. Also, it has a small dip in the face’s beard for adding bird seed.

2. KILZ Exterior Wood Siding and Barn Paint -This is great for covering most wood surfaces and gives it a clean, smooth look without cracking or peeling.

3. Krylon Gold Metallic Spray Paint – This spray paint is good for exterior or interior surfaces and wood or metal. It is rust-free and includes the paint and the primer mixed into one easy-to-use can. 

Utility Poles

Utility poles that are very close to the house can be concerning. This section will go over what you can do about making utility poles safer and when you don’t need to be concerned about the pole.

Who is Responsible for Moving a Utility Pole?

The utility company is responsible if a utility pole needs to be moved and is in service. To move it, they would need to have an easement on the land where the pole would be placed if moved. And unfortunately, the owner of the land on which the pole is placed cannot have it moved by anyone else.

If the utility pole is no longer in service, then the property owner can have it removed. They can even sell it or donate it to parks or landscape companies.

However, you should never burn a utility pole because of the preservatives they use to treat the wood.

Can a Utility Pole be Too Close to a House?

There’s nothing wrong with the pole being too close to the house.  However, the primary conductor should have a clear 10 ft radius and 12 feet vertical clearance below it. Utility companies have an easement for the space around the primary conductor. 

An easement is a space owned by the public, but it’s on your property. This space must stay clear if the utility company needs to service your utility lines or pole.

You should call your utility company if there’s an issue with the pole or the lines. 

You might also enjoy our post on Can A Utility Company Come on My Property?

What to Do About a Utility Pole That’s Too Close to My House?

If you notice your utility pole starting to lean, or if it has been damaged, call your utility company. They will fix it if it poses a threat or affects the utility service. If the power lines are down on the ground, call 911 immediately! This is a major safety concern. 

Being close to a utility pole has not been proven to be dangerous. However, if one catches fire, it can also burn your property and home.

Additionally, a pole could fall on your house. However, it is not common for either to happen.

What Should the Distance be Between a Driveway and a Utility Pole?

The space between the pole and driveway depends on the radius around the primary conductor on the utility pole. There must be a 10 feet radius around the conductor and a 12 vertical space underneath. 

This means you cannot build a house or addition within that distance. That distance is also part of an easement, so the utility company is responsible for keeping it clear.

This could mean the company removing anything you put within those boundaries.  

How Close to a Utility Pole Can You Build?

You can build a house next to a utility pole if it is no longer in service or if the primary conductor is still 10 feet away from anything and has 12 feet of vertical space underneath. 

However, some easements may differ for other utility companies, so check with them before starting a build.

If you can and side to build a house next to a utility pole and power lines, make sure you stay clear of them in strong storms, and keep at least the minimum distance.

How Do You Replace a Utility Pole?

You are not responsible for replacing a utility pole. If you notice it needs replacing, call the utility company, and if they also see a need for replacement, they will do so. If you try to replace it, you could be heavily fined and liable for damages. 

If the utility pole is no longer in service, you can simply cut and remove the pole. Then, you can sell it to playgrounds and landscaping companies or take it to the landfill.

Never burn a utility pole because they are treated with many preservatives. 

Electric Poles

If you have any issues with an eclectic pole, it is scary. An electrical problem can turn into a house fire very fast. In this section, we will go over safe ways to deal with your pesky electricity poles. 

How Can I Change My Electric Post?

You should never change your electric post unless you are trained and certified. The only people who should change electrical posts or any other utility posts are the utility companies. 

If you notice your post needs to be changed, call your utility company. However, if there is anything wrong with the electricity lines or one falls across a street, call 911 immediately.

This is a major health concern. 

How to Move an Electric Pole on My Property?

If an electrical pole needs to be moved for safety reasons, the utility company will do that for you. This is because they technically own the pole and the space around the primary conductor. Unfortunately, this means you cannot build anything in that spot.

If you notice an electric pole down or any power lines down, call 911 immediately and do not go near the power lines. Sparks might fly off of it and catch fire or electrocute you. 

Also, make sure you keep the area around the utility or power lines clear underneath the primary conductor or within a 10-foot radius of the primary conductor.

How do I Shift an Electric Pole From Our Land?

Do not shift an electrical pole from your land if it is still in service! Instead, call your service provider to see if they can move it. However, if the power company doesn’t see it as a safety concern where it is, they will not move it. 

Power companies will also chop down trees and remove them if the trees pose a threat to the power lines.

But, they will not remove a tree that is not within the 10-foot radius of the power line unless it doesn’t appear to be healthy or is falling towards the power lines. 

Power Lines

Power lines are the property of the power company, even when they are on your property giving you service.

In this section, we will discuss how to handle power lines and when to let someone else handle the power lines. Let’s power through!

How Do You Remove a Power Pole?

You should not remove a power pole unless it is no longer in service, and even then, you should hire a professional electrician or call the power company. Sometimes they will not even charge you to remove it. 

If removing it yourself, do not burn it because it is treated with preservatives. Instead, you can recycle it, sell it to a park or landscaping business, or take it to a landfill.

Taking it to a landfill is alright because it is not toxic unless burned. 

Who Owns the Power Line From the Pole to the House?

The power company owns the power line and the pole on your property. Therefore, they can also service your power line and pole on your property without notifying you. However, many power companies will notify you out of courtesy. 

The power company also owns the space around the primary conductor for a 10-foot radius and 12 underneath the primary conductor.

This means you cannot add or build anything within this area. 

How to Get a Power Company to Move Their Power Lines?

The power company will move their power lines if they are a health or fire hazard where they are. However, they will not move their power lines if you just want them to because you want to build something where they stand. 

A utility or power company can even come into your yard without permission to service your power lines, but they are most likely not moving the lines and poles. 

They will not move the lines and poles only because you ask. You would have to get the local government involved to do that. 

What Can I Do About a Neighbor’s Power Pole on My Property?

The only thing you can do and the only thing you should do is let the power company know if there is something wrong with the power pole. Nothing can be done if there isn’t a threat regarding where the powerline is. 

However, if you notice the pole and the power lines are down, call 911 immediately. Also, do not go near the power lines or poles.

The power lines might send out sparks that could catch fire or electrocute someone.  

You might also enjoy our post on Can A Utility Company Dig In My Yard Without Permission?

Light Poles

Light poles are very helpful and come from the power company. You can pay a monthly fee if you are building a house or want to add another light to your property.

In this section, we will go over ways to add a light pole or move a light pole. 

How Much Does it Cost to Relocate a Light Pole?

It can cost $60,000 to move a light pole or power line pole. It also might not be something you can do because the power company owns it. You just pay for the service. But you also don’t have any liability for it if it gets damaged. 

However, you also can’t build too close to the light pole if it means getting within 10 feet of the primary conductor. You also can not build near or directly under the light pole or any other utility pole. 

Can You Get a Telephone Pole Moved?

If you need to move a telephone pole because it poses a health or fire risk, your utility company should take care of that for you. However, if it is an immediate concern and the power lines are on the ground, call 911 immediately. 

However, if the power lines are not causing any issues and you want them moved because they are in an inconvenient spot, then they will not move the telephone pole.

If a telephone pole is no longer in service, then you can sell the pole to a landscaping company.  

What Can I Do About a Light Pole Blocking My Driveway?

If a light pole is blocking your driveway, someone did not do their job correctly. If the electric company puts the pole there, it is their responsibility to move it, but if someone puts the driveway there after the pole, you will have to move the driveway. 

You can pave another driveway to your house and tear up the driveway the pole is in front of. This might be tedious, but it might be the only solution.

Call your local government and the utility company if there’s something else they can do for you first. 

Telephone Poles

Telephone poles are just as cumbersome as any utility pole. Unfortunately, many are on the same utility pole.

The good thing about telephone poles is that sometimes the power company will service the pole, and sometimes the telephone companies will.

In this section, we will break down who is responsible for each thing. 

What is the Cost of Relocating a Telephone Pole?

It can cost $60,000 to relocate a telephone pole. Therefore phone companies will not simply agree to move it for aesthetic purposes or because it’s inconvenient. However,  phone and power companies will pay to relocate it if there is a health or fire hazard. 

They might also relocate a telephone pole when there is a huge building project, and they get paid to do it, but moving a utility pole requires the movement of many pieces, and it can be dangerous to move electrical lines. 

How Much Does it Cost to Move a Light Pole?

Moving a light pole can cost between $2,000 to $60,000. Utility companies will not likely move the pole to start with, but if they will, it will cost a great deal. They will only move it if you are building a very large structure or it’s a hazard. 

If you notice the light pole is leaning after a storm, or if the light doesn’t look right, see if your power company will repair it. They should do so with no charge.

Additionally, if you see that a tree might fall on the power line, they might also remove it for no charge. 

How Can You Hide Telephone Poles in Your Yard?

You can decorate your telephone poles with items that will not stick out too much and be hazardous. Another option is to paint your telephone poles. You can turn the poles into art or paint them a color that blends with the landscape. 

If the telephone pole is no longer in service, you can remove it and either sell it or recycle it. As a last resort, you can send it to the landfill but never burn it because it is treated with many preservatives. 

You might also enjoy our post on Can I Remove Utility Flags In My Yard

Related Questions

How Do You Transport a Utility Pole?

They have standard trailers called pole trailers you can rent or have someone move the pole for you. You will also need a crane to lift it onto the trailer and then again to lift it off the trailer. 

The cost of moving it might not be worth its value. You might be better off sawing through it and selling it in pieces or recycling the pieces.

Just be sure to remove any leftover electrical parts or lines safely. 

How Deep are Telephone Poles Underground?

Telephone poles are buried six feet deep to ensure they will not easily be dug up or uprooted in a storm. They are also tall enough to allow 12 feet of vertical space between the primary conductor and anything else. 

This is why you need a strong enough crane to remove the pole. Truck trailers are also made specifically to transport poles like that.

That’s also why it can cost $2000 to $60,000 just to move a pole.

How Long Does it Take to Change a Power Pole?

It can take 20 to 70 working hours to change a power pole. Also, it can cost $2000 to $60,000 to change it.  Therefore, most utility companies refuse to give up their worker’s time for anything that isn’t necessary. 

Also, moving or changing a power pole is near impossible to do yourself. In many areas, it’s illegal to move a utility pole.

You might be able to get a permit to move a utility pole, but it probably won’t be easy to do so. 

Final Thoughts 

I hope this article has helped you decide what you can do with your utility pole and given you many good options to consider.

Just remember to stay on the safe side and let the utility companies do all the work for you!

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