by , on September 28, 2010

How do you use di-electric rope?

Most don’t understand that di-electric rope is test on new rope and di-electric standards aren’t as forgiving as arc flash standards.

Users of di-electric rope have no work practice standards in written form.  Most utilities attach the rope to a tested hot-stick and pull using that. Some will pull with rubber gloves.  Lee Marchassult points out, “Many tree trimmers have been shocked on poly rope while tied to a branch that makes contact with the line.  [A Vermont] company had two tree trimmers in one month contacting energized ropes [involved in incidents].  Normal practice is to use an insulated and tested link stick if possible where the rope would contact the line and earth at the same time.”  Other utilities allow pulling of ropes with rubber insulated gloves and leather protectors.

What is di-electric rope?

Di-electric rope meets ASTM F1701.  Di-electric rope should not be considered insulated.  It is di-electric when tested and when new.  Wet rope or dirty rope or otherwise contaminated rope will perform very differently from new rope.  Di-electric testing differs vastly from arc flash testing.  Most things like normal dirt doesn’t really affect arc flash but conduction of electricity can be vastly changed with a little of the right dirt or moisture.

Bare-Handed Rope Practices shared by BC Hydro

What is your practice?  Sharing can help others.  Share any accidents. No need to list your name if you are an enduser.

Companies which sell this rope to my knowledge:

Yale Cordage (USA)

Barry Cordage (Canada)

Novabraid (Canada)

New England Ropes

Here is another article from a manufacturer on rope use.  Click here


Hugh Hoagland
About author:
Hugh Hoagland is the foremost tester of clothing and PPE exposed to electrical arcs and is an arc flash expert. Read more about Hugh.

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