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# Coloured circles on hydro poles3

## Coloured circles on hydro poles

(OP)
Hi everyone. This isn’t project-related but just always been curious and thought someone on here would be able to give me an answer. Sometimes I see three small coloured circles on hydro poles and I was wondering what these are. They are usually at street level, about 7 ft from the bottom of the pole. I’ve seen green, blue, white, and red. I have attached a photo showing an example, next to the no stopping sign.

Can anyone tell me what these are for?

Thanks!

### RE: Coloured circles on hydro poles

They look like pole inspection tags. There are several different kinds, symbols, and colors used depending on the inspection company and the utility contracting the work.

### RE: Coloured circles on hydro poles

Phase sequence/rotation maybe? Green, Blue, White, and Red are by far the most common phase identification colors in North America for utilities.

### RE: Coloured circles on hydro poles

After I posted I went to google earth and looked at a better picture and other poles. After seeing this I’m inclined to agree with MBrook. Phase rotation tags makes more sense. And with it being an air break switch pole (air break switches above) and none of the other ones the tags, I’m in with mbrook on this one.

### RE: Coloured circles on hydro poles

I've gotta say I don't see it. I see a black band that looks like it might be holding the pole number on.

Why are you calling that a "Hydro pole", instead of a 'telephone pole' or 'power pole' or 'utility pole'?

Had me looking at the fire hydrant..

#### CODE

TOP COLORS (NFPA)
BLUE		1500 GPM or MORE	VERY GOOD FLOW
GREEN		1000-1499 GPM	        GOOD FOR RESIDENTIAL AREAS

ALTERNATE OUTLET CAP COLORS (NOT NFPA)
GREEN		OVER 120 PSI	EXTREMELY HIGH PRESSURE (CAUTION)
ORANGE		50-120 PSI	NORMAL PRESSURE RANGE
RED		BELOW 50 PSI	REQUIRES A PUMP 

Keith Cress
kcress - http://www.flaminsystems.com

### RE: Coloured circles on hydro poles

Most likely phasing tags; e.g. ABC. Also curious as to the OP's reference to "hydro pole". Please explain.

### RE: Coloured circles on hydro poles

Hydro pole - He's obviously Canadian. The major electrical utility in many Providences is the "Hydro" as in BC Hydro, Ontario Hydro, Quebec Hydro, etc. Guess what their predominate power sources are.

### RE: Coloured circles on hydro poles

Go to google earth by the address, it shows up better. It also takes you to NEw York, Ontario
My guess is Ontario hydro power.

### RE: Coloured circles on hydro poles

"Hydro" appears to be a common term for the local electric power utility and anything related to it in areas of Canada and elsewhere in the world.

In Ontario province, I assumed it was because "Hydro One" was the government owned utility which was almost 100% Hydroelectric. Everyone called transmission lines Hydro Lines, Hydro poles, the Hydro power bill, etc. I don't recall what they called the water and sewer lines.

### RE: Coloured circles on hydro poles

rcwilson; I'm betting everyone's favorite movie there was Water World where fresh water, (hydro), was the currency.

Keith Cress
kcress - http://www.flaminsystems.com

### RE: Coloured circles on hydro poles

So by that same Cadanian dialectic methodology we would call a distribution pole - a coal pole or, maybe, a nuclear pole

### RE: Coloured circles on hydro poles

North York, Ontario, not Ontario, New York.
North York was a city but has been amalgamated with Toronto to become part of Metropolitan Toronto.

Bill
--------------------
"Why not the best?"
Jimmy Carter

### RE: Coloured circles on hydro poles

livewire; If you're in TX your poles would be 'oil poles'.

Keith Cress
kcress - http://www.flaminsystems.com

### RE: Coloured circles on hydro poles

2
livewire9, Keith. Only if electric power in Texas is supplied by a company called Oil-Texas.
In general;
When one of our friends to the south refers to electric power by the name of a power company it is accepted without comment.
PG&E, Con Ed, etc?
In Canada, it is common for a company generating electricity from Hydro power to Prefix their name with "Hydro", just as it is common for many producers to use the suffix "Electric".
You have learned something new.
Don't mock it.
Live with it.

Bill
--------------------
"Why not the best?"
Jimmy Carter

### RE: Coloured circles on hydro poles

I will try, Bill, though the burden may be heavy..

### RE: Coloured circles on hydro poles

they are the three phase indicators in the order of red white blue. If you see green and red,they are usually indicating switch open/close positions.

Source: I worked in Toronto Hydro, this was our pole

### RE: Coloured circles on hydro poles

The semantic of some electrical designation is quite interesting. This pole issue reminds me of the gender controversy over “manhole” and “Men Working” signs.

### RE: Coloured circles on hydro poles

My employer: Hydro One.

Those are phase markers; important to ensure different phases are not inadvertently connected to one another should it be desired to transfer a load from one feeder to another; particularly important when two feeders are run on opposite sides of the same pole, especially when the phases on one feeder have been rolled while those on the other side of the same pole have not been.

See the pic @ https://www.google.com/maps/@43.687096,-79.5756647... where four 28 kV feeders leave their supply station heading load-ward; depending on how the transition is performed, any phase could end up in any position.

On a separate note: thank you, Bill, for your gentle reminder that terminology can vary from country to country, and not to ridicule the way things are done elsewhere.

As to Ontario Hydro, its official name at the time of inception was The Hydro-Electric Power Commission of Ontario [and many poles today still bear HEPC markers]; it underwent a demerger and ceased to exist in 1999, which, because I was working as a power system operator at the time, is how I ended up with H1. I was working in the Toronto area at the time, and was in regular contact at the time with the Toronto Hydro operators...who, incidentally, experienced the reverse fate when Etobicoke Hydro, York Hydro, North York Hydro, East York Hydro and the original Toronto Hydro et al were amalgamated...

The legacy of the generation mix supplying Ontario being almost 100% hydraulic generation was many years ago; that era ended post World War II.

CR

"As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another." [Proverbs 27:17, NIV]

### RE: Coloured circles on hydro poles

Bill,
I know what you mean, but the slight flaw in your logic on the naming issue is that if we say "PG&E pole", the term PG&E has no other possible meaning*, whereas "hydro" has multiple possible meanings.

*Unless you are referring to their commonly accepted meaning of Piracy, Graft and Extortion, or as I like to call them, Pernicious Greed and Excuses.

" We are all here on earth to help others; what on earth the others are here for I don't know." -- W. H. Auden

### RE: Coloured circles on hydro poles

Pigs, Goats & Elephants.

### RE: Coloured circles on hydro poles

PG&E, PGE
Portland Gas and General Electric,
Partnership for Gender Equity,
Pacific Great Eastern.
But you are mostly correct, Jeff.

Bill
--------------------
"Why not the best?"
Jimmy Carter

### RE: Coloured circles on hydro poles

Nope, not Portland Gas and Electric. Them down south are Pacific Gas and Electric, but in Portland the very similar initials are just Portland General Electric (no '&').

### RE: Coloured circles on hydro poles

I guess my bad example is getting worse.

Bill
--------------------
"Why not the best?"
Jimmy Carter

### RE: Coloured circles on hydro poles

They're all just going through a phase...

CR

"As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another." [Proverbs 27:17, NIV]

### RE: Coloured circles on hydro poles

Here in our neck it's Pacific Graft and Extortion.

Keith Cress
kcress - http://www.flaminsystems.com

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