LEFT: The Enemy -
Pileated Woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus)
RIGHT: Wood Pole Damage
Polywater® UPR™ Utility Pole
Improve Electrical Reliability
Why should woodpecker holes in wooden utility poles be
repaired? Woodpecker holes allow moisture to penetrate the wood,
causing the pole to rot. If left untreated, poles weaken in the area of
rot, causing structural instability, potentially resulting in outages and
safety concerns. Damage must be repaired as soon as possible to halt
further decay and save on costly change outs.
With the proper sealant and application techniques, repairs can extend pole
life and dramatically reduce replacement costs. Proper repair is the
low-cost alternative. Nevertheless, frustrated electric utilities
often replace woodpecker-damaged poles rather than repair them.
• Repairs require expensive, specialty tools
• Repairs are difficult and labor intensive
• Safety concerns for the high-temp chemical reactions of some
• The need to find or make filler materials
• Wasted product when purchasing more repair product
New Polywater® UPR™ simplifies the repair
of wooden utility poles damaged by woodpeckers.
UPR™ Pole Repair is specially formulated to expand in the pole cavity,
rather than just filling it. Because UPR™ expands in the hole, it
fills irregularly shaped cavities for better integration with the
wood. This creates superior wood grain adhesion compared to other
non-expanding products. Polywater® UPR™ Pole Repair
hardens much like wood, so it is gaffable and won’t chip out in chunks when
climber’s hooks are embedded into its surface structure.
• No special deployment tools needed –
expensive, more convenient
• No drilling to deploy the product – less labor time
• No mixing or direct handling of the product – less
mess and safer
• Kits include green-treated wood blocks to fill cavity
space – less product needed
• Purchase a single kit that will repair one hole –
UPR Single Kit
Polywater® Utility Pole Repair is packaged in kit form. Everything
needed to repair damage to wood poles caused by woodpeckers is included.
The two-part formula mixes in the nozzle rather than via hand mixing,
allowing for multiple applications and making it easier to direct the
product into the hole when deployed. UPR’s curing temperature is not
dangerously hot, as are some other repair products, yet may be warm enough
to reduce pole decay.
To fix one "football" sized hole approximately 13" deep by
5" diameter (33 cm x 13 cm), order the single kit to save money!
For multiple holes, transmission line jobs, or to receive volume pricing
discounts, order the bulk kit. Each cartridge will fill approximately 50
Polywater® UPR™ Product Packaging
The catalog #UPR-PRKIT3 contains 3 UPR™ Pole Repair cartridges, 4 mixing
nozzles, 5 green-treated wood blocks, 1 roll of stretch wrap, 1 pair of
gloves, and instructions. This kit will repair a single “football”
The catalog #UPR-PRKIT12 contains 12 UPR™ Pole Repair cartridges, 16 mixing
nozzles, 18 green-treated wood blocks, 1 roll of stretch wrap, 4 pairs of
gloves, and instructions. This is the kit choice for volume pricing and
According to OSHA 1910.269 App D, poles should be inspected and tested
before climbing. The standard notes that “hollow spots and woodpecker
holes can reduce the strength of the wood pole.” This may make the
pole unsafe to climb.
When should a pole be treated and repaired rather than replaced? A
pole’s strength resides in the outer two inches of the pole. The
repair versus replacement determination is based on the size of the hole
and the total circumference the woodpecker hole has compromised. If
the hole is too large, replacement is required. Contact the pole
manufacturer for specific change-out guidelines. Another determining
factor is the quality of the repair product used.
Polywater’s UPR™ Pole Repair expands and cures quickly. This
expansion is a key property that sets it apart from most competitive
products. UPR™ expands and penetrates into deeper cavities to
completely fill all parts of the void. A special access port is not
required for installation. As an additional benefit, smaller packages
can be used to fill the same volume compared to a non-expanding foam.
Non-expanding pole repairs produce a hard, resinous material that can
create a stress point in the wood and be difficult to penetrate with a gaff
during future utility work. Polywater’s UPR™ Pole Repair produces a
seal with a nice blend of strength and ease of use.
UPR™ Pole Repair
is designed to mimic a wood pole’s cross-sectional hardness. It will
flex with the pole during cantilever loading. Compression strength of
UPR™ Pole Repair was measured using ASTM D 1621, “Standard Test Method for
Compressive Properties of Rigid Cellular Plastics”.
Strength: 1500 psi
UPR™ Pole Repair will restore much of the original strength to the wood
Can a Pole Be
Climbed After UPR™ is Used?
Spike Test in UPR Pole Mold
Foot Spike Test in Wood Pole
The “Pole Cut Out Test”* was used as a guideline to test Polywater’s UPR™
Pole Repair. In this test, the climber jabs the gaff into the pole at
a 30° angle to a depth of 1/4" inch (.64 cm). Pressure is
exerted onto the gaff and the point of the gaff penetrates the wood.
The pole surface cut is measured, and shall be no more than 2 inches (5
Manufacturing Company, Inc. Buckingham Gaff & Climber Information; “How
to Perform the Pole Cut Out Test”
UPR’s Gaff Testing
A 10-inch (25 cm) pole mold of the UPR™ Pole Repair was formed to simulate
a short section of wood utility pole. The gaff tester performed six
trials of the Pole Cut Out Test.
surface cut measured was 1 inch (2.54 cm) with results ranging
from 1/2 to 1 1/2
inch (1.27 cm to 3.81 cm).
UPR™ Pole Repair passes the Buckingham Pole Cut-Out Test parameters for a
gaffing. The Pole Cut-Out Test showed that UPR™ Pole Repair is
How Difficult is
it to Gaff the Repaired Area?
It is important that the repair compound does not create a hard spot that
is difficult to gaff. Increase in the force required to gaff a
repaired pole is a common lineman complaint.
UPR™ Pole Repair was molded into a 7-inch (17.8 cm) cylinder. A
Buckingham gaff was used to penetrate the side of the form. An
Instron unit was set to 50 mm/minute to drive the gaff into the form to a
depth of 0.475 inches (1.16 cm) and load force was measured. An
average of three tests was calculated:
penetration force is 270 lbf.
The penetration force on wood poles with various preservatives produced the
Douglas Fir –
244 to 290 lbf
Southern Yellow Pine
– 232 to 475 lbf
The UPR™ Pole Repair falls within the same range as the wood poles and is
relatively easy to penetrate.
* Shupe, Todd F.
and Freeman, Mike H. (October, 2011) Effect of Preservative Type and Gaff
Type on Gaff Penetration Into Wood Poles. Eastern Utility Pole
Conference, Baltimore, MD.
Will Moisture Be
Absorbed By UPR™?
UPR™ Pole Repair does not absorb water, so it will not increase the chance
of pole decay. It is good practice to use a fungicide prior to deploying
any wood pole repair product to reduce or negate any growth that is
Six 1 1/2 inch (3.81 cm) cubes of reacted UPR™ were aged in water for 7
days at 122°F (50°C). Weight gain was measured.
UPR™ Pole Repair
gained less than 1% water weight.
The UPR™ Pole Repair acts to seal the hole and protect the pole from
For more information on how Polywater UPR™ Pole Repair can help your
company save money and climb repaired poles with confidence, please visit
our website at http://www.polywater.com/upr.asp