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This article is about a type of high-voltage electrical terminal. For a person who regularly uses Cannabis ("pot"), see Cannabis smoking.
A three phase electric circuit terminated with a pothead
Crossarms with two three phase electric circuits terminated with potheads
Two three phase electric circuits in a residential neighborhood terminated with potheads

A pothead is a type of insulated electrical terminal used for transitioning between overhead line and underground high voltage cable or for connecting overhead wiring to equipment like transformers.[1] Its name comes from the process of potting or encapsulation of the conductors inside the terminal's insulating bushing.


Pothead was once defined in Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Std 48-1962 "Standards for Potheads." This standard was superseded by IEEE Std 48-1975 "IEEE Standard Test Procedures and Requirements for High-Voltage Alternating-Current Cable Terminations," and "pothead" was dropped from usage. The current standard is IEEE Std 48-2009.[2]

What was once called a pothead is now called a "Class I High-Voltage Cable Termination," which must meet these requirements:

  1. Electrical stress control
  2. Insulation between the conductors and ground
  3. An environmental seal


High voltage terminations conforming to IEEE Std 48-1990 and not requiring potting compound are illustrated below:

Transition of a 60kv powerline between overhead and underground 
Transition of a 4160 Volt powerline from overhead to underground 
Pothead for one phase 

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Herman, Stephen L. (2011). Electrical Wiring: Industrial (14th ed.). Cengage Learning. p. 21. ISBN 1-111-12489-2. 
  2. ^ http://standards.ieee.org/findstds/standard/48-2009.html