Talk:Transmission tower

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Former good article nomineeTransmission tower was a good articles nominee, but did not meet the good article criteria at the time. There may be suggestions below for improving the article. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
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April 18, 2006Good article nomineeNot listed
WikiProject Electrical engineering (Rated C-class, Mid-importance)
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Opening heading[edit]

Machine translation of

  • That would explain why the article assumes we know what a "strainer" and the "fir tree" towers are. What a crap text. Ninuor 05:34, 12 September 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Text from parallel article Electric pylons, now changed to a redirect:

An electricity pylon is an electricity wire tower elevates cables off the ground.

Lee M 18:55, 8 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Egyptian Pylons? Other?[edit]

Um, I came here looking for information on the structure from Egyptian architecture. It also occurs to be that there are several other types of "pylon" mentioned nowhere on the page. Shouldn't this really be a disambiguation page? --Corvun 06:00, 29 Dec 2004 (UTC)

You are right, this page could conceivably be moved to electricity pylon although it is the most common usage of the word. At the least we should have a link to a disambiguation page for the other uses.
Unfortunately, as yet, we don't seem to have much to say on the pylon's of Ancient Egypt. The page at Luxor Temple has some discussion and a couple of photographs of the pylons at the entrance to the temple. There is also a brief mention at Ramesses I and a comment in relation to Nabataean architecture at Petra. -- Solipsist 11:50, 29 Dec 2004 (UTC)
I couldn't agree more. This article is very limited in scope, and in need of urgent attention. The word pylon origionally ment a structure marking an enterence. Thus the electrical transmission pylon, while the most common in usage, is signifigantly different from the word's root meaning, thus pylon should probably be a disambiguation page. I would favor electrical pylon, power transmission pylon or powerline pylon as a place to put this content. This parallels the name in the source article in German *Freileitungsmast = overhead powerline pylon).

Cleanup notice removed. This article, wherever it may end up is in a readable state. More international references would be useful. Chequers 05:01, Feb 16, 2005 (UTC)

Why was this moved?[edit]

It seems far more logical to keep it "Electrical". Electrical is an adjective. Adjectives modify nouns better than nouns do. Hoho 13:59, 20 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I know Google isn't the be-all and end-all, but try googling the two different phrases and "electricity pylon" wins by about 15:1. To my mind, an electricity pylon is a pylon carrying electricity, and an electrical pylon is a pylon that has been electrified. I had never heard the term electrical pylon when I came across this article. Noisy | Talk 14:08, Mar 20, 2005 (UTC)
In the UK the tower is definitely called an electricity pylon - Adrian Pingstone 17:18, 20 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Something I have 'known' since a child is that (in the UK) they're not officially called pylons. Anyone know if this is true? I'm not sure what they should be called though; grid transmission towers? If true, I'm not suggesting changing the title, just adding a comment along these lines.
P.S. A quick google finds plenty of hits on "transmission tower". I would add it as a synonym, except that it's not clear to me if there's a subtle difference between pylon and transmission tower. Can anyone help out here? AdamW 16:10, 27 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Pylon tends to be the generic name for free standing structures used to carry electric power lines or communication eqipment. Lattice steel structures that are used for electricity transmission are more usually described as "towers" but there does not appear to be a rule. Either is correct. Have a look at the external links in the article. Tiles 03:19, 28 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Having worked in the UK Electricity Supply Industry for a number of years the correct term used is Transmission Tower. These towers can be tension, suspension or terminal tower types. The use of the word pylon is to say the least an old fashioned term. This article is sadly littered with them and I cannot say that I have ever heard of an wood pylon. A wood pole overhead Line, yes. A steel tower overhead line, yes. Interestingly we now have a Suspension pylon etc, in this article. One of the issues with this article is that it is trying to be too generic and satisfy everyones view and opinion on what is the correct convention to use. My preference (OK this is POV) is to use the word transmission tower which is more precise and it is what they are and what they do. Aquizard 22:57, 23 July 2007 (UTC)

So it should be moved again to Transmission Tower. I agree, having looked for it by that name first. Denimadept 04:55, 15 August 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I disagree. transmission tower might be the term used in the industry, but electricity pylon is the term in common use. It isn't Wikipedia policy to give a term deemed "correct" by an industry preference over the one in general use. As for "electrical pylon", would "watery pipe", "gaseous pipeline" and "telephonic line" be prefereable to "water pipe", "gas pipeline" and "telephone line"? Booshank (talk) 11:42, 18 April 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I disagree with you and the rest of the pylon pounders. "Electricity pylon" is in common use by whom? From my readings around the Internet and on Wikipedia, it sounds like the British are the only ones who use this term (which is backed up by the fact that everyone on this talk page who supports the term is British), and, as stated, it's not even an official term. Australia (ironman), Canada (hydro tower), and various other countries have different terms, as is stated in the article. The United States, to my knowledge, does not really have a slang term for it, instead sticking with "transmission towers" or just "towers". Just because it is the term in common use in Britain doesn't mean that this rule of Wikipedia applies, as Britain alone does not denote "common" all around.
Additionally, there are no sources for the names of the off-shoot articles or names, like "long-distance anchor pylon" wtf. And who even says "wood pylon" or "pylon transformer"? It was even commented earlier by a Briton that some of those terms are pretty much made up. I may be a fan of utilities infrastructure, but the naming seems to be more fancruft than anything else.
If there is a discussion for this elsewhere stating why this thing is named "Electricity pylon" or why these terms are used here, then I would like to see it. That, or sources stating how common use of the word "pylon" is. Until then, I am marking the "types of pylons" section unreferenced. —Onore Baka Sama(speak | stalk) 12:03, 26 October 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

How tall...[edit]

How tall is an averaged sized electricty pylon. Dontchya think that that would be useful info? Blue Laser (talk) 00:29, 11 March 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I think this info would also be useful surely it would be one of the main facts about these structures —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:32, 7 October 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Height information with a reference has been added to the intro, which has been expanded. Truthanado (talk) 01:08, 25 April 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Why are power pylons as tall as they are? Some factors, like clearance over obstacles are obvious. Yet one sees very tall pylons, far taller than any possible tree, out in flat open country. It would be nice to add explanation of what other factors go in to setting height of pylons. (talk) 16:39, 14 June 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Clearance for the voltage, and allowance for sag at high temperatures (which varies with span). Variable so there's no "average sized" tower. --Wtshymanski (talk) 02:57, 22 June 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Why does Pylon redirect here?[edit]

The official term in British English is "Electricity pylon", not simply "Pylon", and in North American usage, the word "Pylon" refers unequivocally to a traffic cone. Pylon in my opinion should lead to Pylon (disambiguation). -m.nelson (talk) 22:49, 23 October 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]


There are some balls on the pylon. What is it? and why they are there? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:10, 31 October 2008 (UTC) what type of balls are they? footballs, human balls, rugby balls???? Needs more explanation! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:34, 7 October 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

They are for warning aircraft. -- (talk) 23:40, 7 June 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Types of pylons articles should be one single article[edit]

I don't know of any better place to state this than here.

It seems to me that these articles have little to no sources, namely ones that state why they are givien the names they're given ("fir tree pylon" what?). Also, since they're all stubs, and all machine translated from the German Wikipedia, AND they've hardly been touched in over five years, I'm proposing merging them all into one article. I'd like to hear opinions on a move like this.

Also, I have been working on what this page would look like if it were done. See here for the page I've put together so far. —Onore Baka Sama(speak | stalk) 13:15, 29 October 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Agree. Merge away. I've tagged a bunch recently. --Wtshymanski (talk) 19:38, 23 February 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Name "transmission tower" beats "pylon" by quite a bit[edit]

So I've been performing several Google searches over the past few days for the name of... this structure, and so far I have found:

  • Search "transmission tower". I get sources from companies of many different countries. The miss rate on that name is low; I got a few radio towers, but nothing else other than this structure. Most of them will say "transmission tower" and place "pylon" in parentheses, but not mention it again. See here—mind you, this is for all the way out in China—and here for a news article from the Northeastern United States, for examples. The first result that I got for technical information is on the first page. Search in Pictures, and the same thing pretty much happens.
  • Search "pylon". For the towers, I get few results out of Europe, some pages heavily concentrated on the United Kingdom, and Wikipedia mirrors. A lot of pages are on Egyptian structures and Cleopatra, a rock band, technical pages on traffic cones (lawl). Past the tenth page, I still cannot find any technical information. For the image search, however, I'm also quickly peppered with traffic cones, bridge towers, shopping center signs, all sorts of things.
  • Search "electricity pylon". Again, on the first page, I got mostly sources from the UK, including Flash Bristow's Pylon Appreciation Society. I also got Wikipedia mirrors. Lots of them. I also got pages for hobbyists and news sources (from the UK). First technical source came about on the fifth page (and for the UK). However, Image Search wins in bringing up nothing but this structure; this is expected.

So far, I am concluding here that "pylon" and "electricity pylon" is a European thing, especially a United Kingdom thing, as no one else addresses them readily as "pylons". Most of the world at large will say "transmission tower" and instantly be referring to... this structure. Therefore, in the name alone, we have a globalization issue. I say change it.
A disambiguation page (Transmission tower (disambiguation)) can be made to differentiate between other things with this name, and a hatnote at the top directing people to that article if they are actually looking for radio towers. —Onore Baka Sama(speak | stalk) 21:57, 6 November 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Pylons/towers are used not only for electricity transmission lines but also for electricity distribution lines. In this context, name "transmission tower" may be someway limited. Beagel (talk) 22:29, 6 November 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
While this is true (with some carrying subtransmission lines as well), I am attempting to look at this from a more global standpoint, which the original posters really have not done. Since most peoples call them "transmission towers", and it's an official industry term, it shouldn't matter if the name isn't etymologically perfect. Otherwise, "bathroom" would need a naming consideration, if you consider public bathrooms where you're not allowed to take a bath/cannot take a bath due to no bathtub. —Onore Baka Sama(speak | stalk) 23:12, 6 November 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Do the UK utilities call a single piece of wood a "pole" or a "pylon"? If the latter is the case, then the articles are irreconciable. If the former (single-element support is a "pole", multiple pieces welded/bolted/nailed together are a "pylon" (or what I would call a "tower")), then we could use "utility pole" for all things pole-related, and "electricity pylon" for the more complex structures. --Wtshymanski (talk) 01:53, 16 November 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I would have to look into the pole part; might take a while. Though, even if this is the case, why would the specific UK colloquialism make it impossible to harmonize the articles? That's one of the big questions I'm attempting to raise, and part of the reason I placed the Globalize tag. —Onore Baka Sama(speak | stalk) 03:24, 16 November 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Addendum: So far I have not been able to find anything in the industry calling them "pylons". I searched "british utility company poles" and I'm getting a lot of sources calling 'em wood poles between the Wiki mirrors, like this one. (As an aside, there's this site too; can't tell if I should call it a colloquial source and it hasn't really been updated in years either.)
I then replaced "poles" with "wood pylons" and redid the search; it completely scattered and I didn't find any matches. —Onore Baka Sama(speak | stalk) 04:08, 16 November 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
IEEE Standard 100 doesn't use the word "pylon" at all (took a long time to search the .PDF edition). Newnes Electrical Engineer's Reference Book, published in the UK, doesn't use the word "pylon" at all in Chapter 30 "Overhead Lines", but does refer in passing to "electricty pylon" in Chapter 37 showing a fib[er|re] cable between towers (pylons). The outfit advertising on the Web for "pole removal" and "pylon removal" shows pictures of single columns supporting wires for the first use, and composite structures with a broad base for "pylon" (towers). From what I've read on the Web, if a "pole" fell on a wedding tent and a "pylon" got blown up by protesters, the usages in India are consistent (single column vs. broad base composite structure). The "pylon spotters" fan site is looking at composite structures (towers), not poles. So I think the usage is pretty clearly that a pole's a pole the (English-speaking) world round, but what British electrical engineers may formally descibe as a "tower" is called in the press or casual use "electricity pylon". Does this suggest a rename of this article is in order, absolutely with a redirect from "electricity pylon" ? --Wtshymanski (talk) 16:22, 17 November 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
After some time, I've come to accept the usage of the term "pylon". However, I'm still far in favor of "transmission tower". If that's the British tech term and the world at large uses it in technical applications, while only the UK and pockets of Europe use "pylon" at... all, then it would seem that that is the far more common term. —Onore Baka Sama(speak | stalk) 19:43, 25 November 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Interestingly some people in Australia (including myself) call them "transmission tower" but in the English Dictionary (Australian) deems it to be "pylon". Quote from the Collins English Dictionary (p. 220) "pylon n steel tower-like structure supporting electrical cables.", here I though pylons were something that a bridge or pier/wharf is supported on. I still prefer "transmission tower". Bidgee (talk) 20:25, 25 November 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I can accept that "transmission tower" is the most common international term and hence the most appropriate article name. However, I would dispute the claim that "pylon" is a British colloquialism. It gets used in pretty much any and all discussion of the subject (e.g., which I would say makes it the standard (British) English term. If Transmission tower is only or primarily used by those in the electrical industry, that would arguably make that term jargon. The Oxford dictionary gives this as the primary meaning of the word "pylon", with no claim of it being colloquial . Wardog (talk) 11:25, 14 October 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Being thoroughly British, I thought they were called "pylons" until I joined the electricity supply industry in the UK as an engineer in 1974. I was told that "we professionals" call them "transmission towers" and that only members of the public call them "pylons" (and that includes the BBC). I have done work internationally, and for that "transmission tower" is definitely what to call them. (talk) 20:32, 28 April 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"Alternatives" section: Appropriate?[edit]

I noticed a recent comment in recent edits to the article, asking if the "alternatives to pylons" section was appropriate for the article. About a year ago, I added a similar section to the Utility pole article, but it was extremely truncated quickly. Now... Placing aboveground power lines tends to be a very controversial practice, mostly due to the support structures; most news sources tend to call out the "telephone poles" and "ugly towers" and "steel monsters", and power companies do their best to reduce the visual impact of their steel lattice towers as it is. So, I figured it'd be appropriate to have an alternatives section which addresses aspects of this controversy.
(Currently, in my opinion, it is the best written section in this thing, and not because I contributed to it; my words have been changed around and sources added by... someone.)
So, anyone: Thoughts? Comments? —Onore Baka Sama(speak | stalk) 15:24, 17 November 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Drat; I postponed an answer but now must rush it out before this page slips off my watchlist. Alternatives are usually handled not in the main choice article but in the general article which can better balance the various advantages and disadvantages. Thus it is with alternative bicycle frames and better with alternative digital cameras and there's even a whole article about digital vs film photography and right now I can't think of better examples but they exist. (You can tell I'm being hasty; I'm loading too many words with too little content.) That's why the section should be transferred to electric power transmission with only a sentence or three here in the (still misnamed) pylon article. Oh, and furthermore if it were not to go to the transmission article it would belong in the overhead power article. Sorry; gotta spit some more Wikipedia edits and then trot down from Hell's Kitchen to Greenwich Village on a densely populated island which has no latticework power towers and hardly any utility poles even. Jim.henderson (talk) 14:02, 20 November 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I see your point. I suppose that, in that case, what we have here (which seems to be mostly about underground cables in general) should be placed there. However... I think something should still go here, just because the towers are considered visual pollution by so many. Perhaps... we should build a section based on "visual pollution" as opposed to "alternatives to overhead power", centering around people's arguments for the towers specifically, and what the power companies are doing to lessen their impact? It was mentioned somewhere that as lattice towers needed replacement, monopolar tubular steel poles (though unsourced) were being employed these days for sake of lessening visual impact and used as a minimalist structure. —Onore Baka Sama(speak | stalk) 00:52, 21 November 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Editors should read the article and follow the links before making changes. Had I done that, I would have immediately eliminated the entire section leaving just a sentence and a link, rather than merely trim away the majority of each of the three paragraphs of that section. Then I actually did follow the link to Undergrounding and saw that it's exactly the place where this information belongs. This steels my resolve to delete the section and replace it with a sentence, or perhaps half a sentence, near the beginning of the article with a link to Undergrounding. If someone thinks a referenced paragraph about lessening the visual impact of lines of ugly steel monsters marching across the landscape would be a good thing, or even a whole section, go ahead. Besides green paint and tubular steel it will also provide an alternate base to link to the Undergrounding article. Jim.henderson (talk) 04:02, 29 November 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Proposed move (rename)[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: page moved. The main unaddressed concern was the use as a wireless transmitter, but these appear to be called transmitting towers. This view is supported by the template usage and the existing links and the article content. I believe that the suggestion in the discussion to have an overview article is worthwhile. Vegaswikian (talk) 03:45, 3 December 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Electricity pylonTransmission tower — with a redirect from the pylon. This would make the article's title consistent with its lead paragraph, and standardize the use to what seems common industry practice on both sides of the Atlantic. "Pylon" seems to be a less common or informal name but with pretty common usage in the UK at least. This article should be about composite (multi-element) structures used to support uninsulated overhead electric power conductors of any voltage class. Yes, transmission is usually over 66 we need to dwell on that here? --Wtshymanski (talk) 22:47, 25 November 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • Support rename, while it seems Australia also uses "pylon", Transmission tower is a far more accurate and less confusing article title and name. Bidgee (talk) 02:49, 27 November 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Support: I suppose my support is really obvious. If not, well, I kind of wrote it all over this article. Additionally: Pylon is a colloquial term, as is "ironman" and "hydro tower" for certain other areas of the world; the formal term should persist as opposed to one specific area's colloquial term. —Onore Baka Sama(speak | stalk) 05:26, 27 November 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • DO NOT support rename. Transmission tower is a specific type of structure consisting of a latticework of steel members. It is only one of several types of electrical transmission line structures (steel poles, wood poles, concrete poles, composite poles and others) that are described in this article. I don't really see a reason to change the name of the article since it's been around for so long. Having other names redirect here would be fine. If the article must be renamed, I suggest something like Electric power line structure. Truthanado (talk) 13:42, 27 November 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Comment: I'd been thinking that an overview article for "overhead power line structures" was necessary, considering that there are so many different types, and in the long run I'd like to see that one created as well. My being in favor of the name change for this article is mostly due to this one having a serious steel lattice tower bent. —Onore Baka Sama(speak | stalk) 16:34, 27 November 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Oppose: as a speaker of Wiltshire English (somewhat modified by the Englishes of Berkshire, Oxfordshire, Devonshire and Buckinghamshire) I would probably imagine that a transmission tower was something to do with the propogaton of wireless and TV transmissions. Ian Spackman (talk) 22:48, 29 November 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Wildlife issues[edit]

I could have overviewed it, but didnt find any remark regarding the hazards presented to conservation (see, for example )

In fact, moder pylons can (and often are) properly insulated to avoid such issues (I guess that it comes at a higher cost, though) but myself not being an expert, I invite you guys to ellaborate, if any of you knows about this. It is a major conservation issue, especially when it comes to birds of prey.MOUNTOLIVE fedeli alla linea 14:34, 9 April 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Halfer pylon?[edit]

I can't find any explanation of what a halfer pylon is here on the article or on the internet, but there is a section here called "Locations Of The Halfer Pylons". What are these halfer pylons?

It was vandalism, and was removed. --Wtshymanski (talk) 04:42, 6 January 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Just curious: was this racial? I am from the U.S.

More height examples[edit] has some heights in Taiwan. Jidanni (talk) 17:10, 25 March 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Colors as a function of height[edit]

Mention some in countries[1] color and warning lights are a function of height. Jidanni (talk) 20:28, 21 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]