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A Comparison of Underground and Overhead Cables

April 30, 2019

Specialized cable installation tools are required in order to successfully install overhead and underground cables. Both cabling methods are utilized in different scenarios due to their own strengths and weaknesses. To help you understand the differences between the two cabling methods, here’s a comparison with all the important details.



Rather than having several electrical lines constantly hovering the streets, undergrounding allows the landscape to be free of any obstacles, providing a more aesthetic environment. Moreover, large trees can be planted since there are no aerial obstructions, allowing for greater environmental benefits and an increase in property values.



Severe weather conditions can compromise overhead cables. As a result, broken cables can create additional hazards such as electrical fires. Furthermore, placing cables over large bodies of water such as rivers and lakes is also ill-advised. Placing cables underground alleviates any of these aforementioned problems, allowing for ultimate protection against the elements. Additionally, underground cables reduce the range of electromagnetic fields that are much more prevalent when they are installed overhead.



Unfortunately, undergrounding is the more expensive method. Despite both methods requiring specialized cable installation tools and trained professionals, undergrounding has a higher initial installation cost. Burying cables with higher levels of voltage underground creates a significant increase in costs. Furthermore, there are several cables which are installed as a backup, forcing workers to bury redundant cables lines.



Fixing an underground cable can be much more time-consuming in comparison to fixing an overhead wire. Fixing an overhead cable can take hours, whereas fixing an underground cable can take several days since cable locations aren’t as obvious. It takes a substantial amount of time for workers to be able to retrace their steps and find the exact location of the cable break, whereas an overhead cable break is much easier to detect.


At AMAC, we specialize in both aerial and underground cable installation tools. For over 50 years we have been the leading supplier of industrial cable installation equipment and fiber blowers. To learn more, visit our website and contact us today.