Squirrels vs. Line Guards – Don’t Go Nuts Over Power Outtages!

Protecting your power lines and transformers not only helps you prevent service interruption but also saves you money. A surprising amount of power outages are caused by wild animals, such as squirrels, so high-quality line guards are crucial to providing a high-quality service and prevent costly repairs.

What Do Line Guards Do?

Line guards prevent squirrels (and other adventurous animals) from using overhead lines to access substations, transformers, and other vital equipment. Line guards work by using a free-spinning wheel that prevents the squirrel from jumping onto the line, and five rollers on the start of the line should an animal make it past the initial barrier.

The Jump Barrier

The initial free-spinning wheel is approximately 12” in diameter, and fits around the power cable. A stainless-steel conductor clamp and cable ties secure an L-bracket to the conductor,which prevents it from sliding down onto the line. As soon as squirrels climb onto the wheel, it spins, and the squirrel will jump off.

The Line Rollers

If a squirrel makes it past the wheel they’ll land on one of the five line rollers. These are plastic and rotate independently, should a squirrel land on them. The squirrel will be unable to grip onto the roller and will thus be flung off.

Where to Find Line Guards?

Critter Guard [link: www.critterguard.org] is a company that sells line guards internationally, and have patented the design outlined above, though there are other line guard designs available, but most don’t protect against the costly damage that can be done by critters using the lines as a highway.