Service Drop Clearances Above Ground

 

 

During an inspection in Aurora, Colorado, my company, Magpie Property Inspections LLC noticed that the outside power line in to the house (known in electrical parlance as the overhead service drop) did not meet current standard. As the pictures illustrate, the line passed over a patio area accessed by pedestrian traffic. In this case, the line is approximately 9 feet above the patio. It should have been installed at least 10 feet high in this location. If you have a rural or older home with an overhead service drop, make sure the line is high enough for the safety of occupants and guests around your home. Below is a useful guide to follow provided by Dream Home Consultants LLC:

Service Drop Clearance Above Ground
1. Measure the vertical clearance between service drop wires and the ground, walkway, driveway, or street beginning at the lowest point of the service drop wires and ending at the surface under the wire’s lowest point. The lowest point of the service drop wires is often at the drip loop, but it could be at the point of attachment to the house or it could be where the wires enter the house.
2. Provide at least (≥) 10 feet vertical clearance between service drop wires and areas or sidewalks accessed by pedestrians only.
3. Provide at least (≥) 12 feet vertical clearance between service drop wires and residential property and driveways.
4. Provide at least (≥) 18 feet vertical clearance between service drop wires and public streets, alleys, roads, or parking areas subject to truck traffic.

If you think your home needs to have remedial work done to the electrical line to meet these safety standards, contact a licensed electrical contractor to inspect and advise you.