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It seems there is a trend of erecting Eruvs with fishing line fixed to a lightpole. Why not instead use the actual electrical line the light pole was intended for and that already exists?

Wouldn't it be easier to visually inspect? Why is that the designation for an Eruv can't also carry electricity?

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The SA 362:11 states that the string must be attached on top of the pole, not on the side

ויהיו מכוונים כנגד קנה העליון ואם חיבר הקנה העליון לשני הקנים או לא' מהן מן הצד לא מהני

The MB 362:64 clarifies that the string must be in top of the highest point of the pole and not just even to it;

דבעינן שיהיה החבל ע"ג הקנים ממש

The MB ends off that the use of telephone wires is discussed by others

אם יכול לסמוך על הטעליגראף במקום צוה"פ עיין בתשו' מאמר מרדכי סימן ל"א ובתשובת שואל ומשיב מהד"ק ח"ב סי' פ"ו ופ"ח ובתשובת בית שלמה ח"א סימן מ"א

Notably, the issue with using power lines as an eruv is due to the fact that the wires are not on top of the poles.

Sometimes you’ll find a plank that is 10 tefachim high and attached to the pole, that is considered a new pole and the wire is considered on top of that, even though it isn’t touching. Other options include making your own pole and string and not relying on the utilities at all.

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  • This is exactly the answer I wanted. I understand! thanks. Commented Aug 24, 2022 at 4:08
  • An interesting fact is that a lot of the power lines where I live actually do have a small "ground line" at the very top to attract lightning strikes and prevent them from hitting the phase conductors; not sure if that would work for an eruv. Commented Aug 24, 2022 at 16:37
  • @user2597523 In general the static wire atop utility poles is not continuous, as this is not an engineering requirement. Commented Aug 24, 2022 at 21:19

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