What those colored balls on power wires are for

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  • Post last modified:September 5, 2023
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You are currently viewing What those colored balls on power wires are for

You may have seen a bunch of colorful balls hanging from power wires as you drove down the highway at some point. Did you wonder what on earth those could be?

So, we call them marker balls.

What You Should Know

  • Marker balls make sure that helicopters and planes that fly low can see the power wires.
  • Near airports, many of them are needed.
  • There are some ideas about what else these things could be used for.

Marker balls are bright, round signs that are put on power lines to keep low-flying planes safe and to protect the power grid.

Because of their bright colors, they make it easy to spot electrical lines, especially when the weather is bad or visibility is low. Most of the marker balls are orange, but you might also see red, yellow, or even white ones.

Electricaltechnology.org says that the width of a marker ball can be anywhere between 20 and 36 inches. Most of the time, each one weighs about 17 pounds.

How do I get marker balls?

The Federal Aviation Administration says that many of the power lines near airports need to have marked balls on them. You might also see them on power lines that cross a river or body of water.


Some people think that the marker balls are meant to weigh down the power lines so that they don’t move around too much in the wind.

Some people think that the balls have weather monitors inside of them.

People have even thought that the balls are a way to keep an eye on the speed of the cars.

All of them are wrong, and the things up high are just there for safety.

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