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[TowerTalk] Something to watch out for

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Subject: [TowerTalk] Something to watch out for
From: "Byron Tatum" <>
Date: Mon, 22 May 2006 12:40:47 -0500
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    Just thought I would throw these tidbits of info into the " watch out for's 
" regarding the tubular leg tower 25-G, 45-G :
    #1.    I take down older towers at times and clean up the sections, etc. 
One thing I learned to do was to run a large rod or small tubing through each 
leg on the straight sections. On some of the older sections the bolt retainer { 
remember how they shipped the bolts in the legs} that was furthest up in the 
leg would nearly always remain there, unless someone deliberately sought to 
remove it. It would be about 6 to 8  inches or so up into one of the legs from 
the bottom. This retainer was made of metal. I have drove out many of them that 
had been in a tower leg possibly 30 years or more. All of them were rusted to 
some degree, some were rusted up badly. Quite a few of them had been holding up 
a certain amount of water it appeared. On one 25-G section I rejected using it 
because it appeared badly rusted internally at the place where the metal bolt 
retainer had been. On this particular one I had some problems driving out the 
remnants of the retainer and it was badly deterior
 ated. I went ahead and sawed the leg at the location of this damage { to 
further insure that this section would be never used again} and after I forced 
the leg apart a little at the cut I could definately see damage to the wall 
thickness { from the inside}. On the top sections the retainers must be 
"fished" out of the legs by catching them with a strong piece of hooked wire, 
etc. These metal bolt retainers are something to think about on the older 
towers as most were left in and with the odds of 1-in-3 of getting one in each 
tower leg as you stack I would guess that in an erected tower of much height 
you would have one or two at various levels to rust, collect debris and water, 
corrode, etc. the internal wall.

 2. Recently I took down a 25-G that was 60 feet tall, house bracketed at 22 
feet, and not guyed above the bracket. A 3 foot  concrete base section was used 
with about 2-1/2 feet of it contained in a concrete base about 18" square.The 
tower had supported a TH-5 for about 32 years. I inspected the tower starting 
at the base and noticed nothing that concerned me, there was a ground wire 
attached to one leg right above the concrete. The wire was aluminum going to an 
old ground rod I could not tell what type. I went up the tower and guyed it 
temporarily with 3 strong ropes at the top section and removed the TH-5. Then, 
I started moving my guys down one section at a time and removing the sections 
until I got to the house bracket.When I disconnected the tower from the house 
bracket it developed a lot more sway than I would have expected, so I climbed 
down and found that the leg where the ground rod was attached was completely in 
two - it appeared almost as if someone had cut it wit
 h a pipe cutter.The wall thickness was paper thin right at that spot, it 
appeared to be progressing from the INSIDE as the external surface of tower 
showed no sign of anything going on. I never understood on this one if the 
ground connection played a role, but we did not see any water trapped in the 
legs of base however.
        Just some info, thanks, WA5THJ.    

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