Dear PoP – Utility Pole Leaning

Photo by PoPville flickr user fromcaliw/love

“Dear PoP,

My house abuts and alley and I have a utility pole on my property line that is leaning. It sways on windy days and isn’t really in danger of falling…yet, but its slowly breaking my fence and its again impacted by me neighbors large tree that also sways in the wind so both cause my cable to go out in high winds. I have contacted the 311, the utility commission, comcast, and verizon to no avail in the past 3 months. Any suggestions from readers on what to do? Right now its leaning at around 25 degrees onto my fence.

BTW does anyone else hate comcast and their phantom charges? My bill went up from 58 dollars to 180 dollars and I now get random charges for telephone taxes of 10 dollars ( I don’t have a telephone and the service isn’t listed on my bill )”

Would this be a Pepco situation? I would def. contact your council member for advice as well. Anyone ever dealt with utility pole problems before?

16 Comment

  • Don’t know about the poles. but if you just get netflix and Hulu Plus, you basically eliminate the need for cable. has live sports. Among those three things, no more need for cable and their undeserved fees.

    • I’ve been in on planning meetings for poles in Georgetown alleys. High powered residents and a Councilman got all the utilities at a meeting and told them to do something about the poles. All the utilities took turns going around the table saying “they’re not our poles.” If the utilities can say go-fly-a-kite to a bunch of Georgetown muckety-mucks and a Councilman, you don’t stand a chance.

      Basically, the ownership records for ancient poles no longer exist which allows the utilities to play these “not ours” games. None of them want the expense of fixing poles until their lines are at risk. Pole repair is a last resort.

      Go rogue. Plan a week long vacation. Day of departure pay a garbage man $50 to ram his truck into the pole. Problem created, problem solved. (I’m kidding, but it’s a twisted daydream you’ve probably already had yourself.)

      P.S. John Galt is a douche

  • If you really want to speed things up, call 911 and have the fire department come out and take a look on a windy day when it’s moving noticeably. If you’re wrong about it being a danger, then you’ll get a bill, but then you’ll know it’s safe.

  • I’m not a expert – but I’m 90% sure the electric company owns the poles – so it would be a pepco issue.

    • ah

      Yeah, I’d start with them and tell them their pole is causing property damage and poses a threat and that they need to correct the problem.

  • I had the same problem. Pepco came out and said nope, not our issue, electric wires run underground in the front. Neither Comcast nor Verizon would own it either.

    311 advised I call them and they said to call 311… HA!

    Finally we had our contractor climb up in the tree and cut out about half of it, freeing our cable wire from the mess – cable saved no thanks to Comcast.

    For now the pole is leaning out towards the alley, about 12 inches from my 10ft brick garden wall, but will surely pull a dozen or so wires off of about 5 rowhouses when it goes.

    The cable guy said it was most likely years of cable put up for new customers without removing old wires and a few useless phone land lines.

    • BINGO!

      They never remove the old wires. I should take a picture of the 10 wires I cut from my house (since it’s under construction anyway) and left dangling and bundled up together from the pole.

      No utility wants to take responsibility despite their ridiculous profits.

  • chat with comcast on their web site about switching to someone else and they should lower your bill to retain you.

  • Knock/cut it down in the dead of night. Then someone might address it.

  • I haven’t gotten any phantom charges. That’s a big jump though. Surely it’s accounted for somewhere on the bill?

  • Definitely start with Pepco. There should be a “pole number” on the pole. It’s a serial number looking thing on a metal band or plate on the pole. The pole number plate may even say who owns the pole, but most likely Pepco. Use that pole number when calling Pepco and report a “dangerous situation (leaning pole)” and mention that it is also damaging your property.


    I worked for an electric company and can tell you that “pole lean” is an issues they are aware of and actively deal with. There are vans that can go out and calculate how much a pole leans and whether it needs to be replaced based on that calculation. At any rate, give Pepco a call.

  • I HATE comcast, but I hate rcn more. (I can’t bear to give them the dignitay of capitals…)

  • Call the office of the people’s council and let THEM deal with all of the utility companies for free!

  • As far as the huge price increase on your bill, Comcast does this all the time. If you call and ask they will usually say you were on some sort of promotional discount and it ran out. All you have to do is tell them you can’t afford your new bill and will cancel your service or find a cheaper provider. Usually they will “find” some other promotion that brings your bill back down.

  • Hi there – I work for Comcast. Feel free to contact us about aboout your bill. We will also assist in determining the appropriate company that maintains your pole. Normally, the poles are mainatined by an electric company.

    Please provide your account info and a link to this page on your reply at the email provided below.


    Comcast Corp.
    National Customer Operations
    [email protected]

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