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Maintenance of light poles

This guide covers the maintenance of light poles, which are designed to support single or multiple luminaires.

Visual structural inspections

Inspections should be conducted periodically to check the poles for cracks. Although rare, cracks–should they appear–are usually located in the vicinity of the base weld. They also may appear around the hand hole or at the corners of square poles. These cracks may be the result of vortex shedding vibration, which creates fatigue stresses. This rapid flexing of the pole, although small in amplitude, may, over thousands of cycles, produce small cracks in and around weldments. In time, these small cracks will continue to “grow” and propagate until they become sufficiently long to cause the pole to fail. Cracks may be detected by rust on either side of the crack line. If cracks are detected, remedial action is required; this includes the removal of all poles with cracks. Prudent action would include the installation of dampers in the remaining holes on the site.

Anchor bolt torques

Rechecking should be done, as bolt and nut connections may initially relax slightly after the pole has been subject to some wind loadings. Retighten according to the recommended torque values. Verify that lock washers are installed.


Check for missing covers and pole caps and replace as needed. Missing hand hole covers must be replaced as soon as possible due to electrical safety concerns.


The area around and underneath the base should be kept clean of debris in order to reduce moisture and minimize corrosion.

Corrosion and finish

Check the pole for corrosion and deterioration of the finish. Should there be corrosion or deterioration, take remedial action to correct.

Inspection frequency

At minimum, a comprehensive inspection schedule should include:

  • One week after installation
  • One month after installation
  • One year after installation
  • Yearly for the life of the light pole. It is also advisable to check the installation after any major wind event.

Have questions about light pole selectionlight pole installation or light pole maintenance? Contact the experts at Eaton’s Lighting Division.