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Thread: Power line going to workshop is too low?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
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    Houston, TX
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    Power line going to workshop is too low?

    I swear I can almost reach up and grab it stand ling by the meter so I want to say its 7ft tall. You aren't going to be driving any vehicles under it, that's for sure. I thought power lines were supposed to be atleast 12ft tall? Or is that only the line connected to the power poles?

  2. #2
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    SE PA - Central Bucks County
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    A photo would be helpful...
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  3. #3
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    Feb 2010
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    Generally 10ft, 12 ft over driveway and more in other cases.

  4. #4
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    Sep 2016
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    Modesto, CA, USA
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    5,155
    I think it is 6 feet over a roof.
    Bil lD

  5. #5
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    May 2018
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    Lancaster, Ohio
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    Quote Originally Posted by Travis Conner View Post
    I swear I can almost reach up and grab it stand ling by the meter so I want to say its 7ft tall. You aren't going to be driving any vehicles under it, that's for sure. I thought power lines were supposed to be atleast 12ft tall? Or is that only the line connected to the power poles?
    all depends on where it originates, what it crosses and where it stops.
    Odds are all or most of the work/money to raise it is on you
    ONLY if it originates on power company pole and crosses a public road, alley, etc is it possibly partially on the power company. It would have to be lower than 16-18 ft (depends on what it crosses) on the power pole and at least that height on your building where it is attached. THEN if it is too low for what it crosses the power company, inspector and you would have to have a meeting to determine who does what to get it higher. If the power pole in on your lot or adjunct to your lot and crosses no public space the height is a lot lower than crossing a public street.
    "I swear I can almost reach up and grab it stand ling by the meter so I want to say its 7ft tall" THIS is on your nickle, attachment point is way too low on your structure.
    Ron

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
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    Eastern Iowa
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    557
    From 2017 NEC. I don’t think many communities have adopted the 2020 cycle, yet.
    Even then, local municipalities can choose to amend the NEC as they see fit.

    230.24
    A) Above Roofs. Conductors shall have a vertical clearance
    of not less than 2.5 m (8 ft) above the roof surface. The vertical
    clearance above the roof level shall be maintained for a
    distance of not less than 900 mm (3 ft) in all directions from
    the edge of the roof.

    (B) Vertical Clearance for Overhead Service Conductors.
    Overhead service conductors, where not in excess of 600 volts,
    nominal, shall have the following minimum clearance from
    final grade:
    (1) 3.0 m (10 ft) — at the electrical service entrance to build‐
    ings, also at the lowest point of the drip loop of the build‐
    ing electrical entrance, and above areas or sidewalks
    accessible only to pedestrians, measured from final grade
    or other accessible surface only for overhead service
    conductors supported on and cabled together with a
    grounded bare messenger where the voltage does not
    exceed 150 volts to ground
    (2) 3.7 m (12 ft) — over residential property and driveways,
    and those commercial areas not subject to truck traffic
    where the voltage does not exceed 300 volts to ground
    .....
    (exceptions for over 300 volts nominal)


    230.26 Point of Attachment. The point of attachment of the
    overhead service conductors to a building or other structure
    shall provide the minimum clearances as specified in 230.9 and
    230.24. In no case shall this point of attachment be less than
    3.0 m (10 ft) above finished grade.
    edit: The NEC is now available online for free (requires you to register an email). Not searchable via keywords, nor can you highlight and copy, but if you’re familiar with its layout, you can eventually find what you’re looking for.
    That link we have in the stickies has been dead for years. Maybe re-title it to point to the NFPA website?
    Last edited by Charlie Velasquez; 09-15-2020 at 10:21 PM.
    Comments made here are my own and, according to my children, do not reflect the opinions of any other person... anywhere, anytime.

  7. #7
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    Apr 2018
    Location
    Cambridge Vermont
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    I can't help with the code but I can offer this, for what it's worth. About 10 years ago we had a bad winter storm (yet was unusually warm) and a tree split. The part that broke took out the mast going to the meter on the side of his house. Of course the power company came out very quickly to cut power but when they showed up they told me that while they owned everything above the meter it was my father who had to pay for repairing it. His power line was also pretty low and he would use a long piece of wood to prop it up each time he would park his RV on that side of the house. Since he was paying to have an electrician come out we had him raise the mast up another 4'. You may want to call your power company and ask them. My father had no choice and had to pay "emergency" prices since going without power in the middle of winter isn't an option unless you have a wood stove in Vermont. But it may not be too expensive if it's a normal service call and you can get a few prices ahead of time.

  8. #8
    My solution to most power supply issues is to bury it. Out of sight, out of mind & safe. The year we moved to our current house there were two storms which caused the big walnuts, 1-4 & 2-30, to shed a lot of their long horizon branches, pulling the service wiring out of the building. Twice in one winter is enough to motivate me. I carefully excavated around the roots and put it underground. Done!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Eastern Iowa
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    557
    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Frederick View Post
    My solution to most power supply issues is to bury it. Out of sight, out of mind & safe. The year we moved to our current house there were two storms which caused the big walnuts, 1-4’ & 2-30”, to shed a lot of their long horizon branches, pulling the service wiring out of the building. Twice in one winter is enough to motivate me. I carefully excavated around the roots and put it underground. Done!
    Our power company will not do overheads anymore. In our community it was not the cardinals or goldfinches that signaled the coming of spring, it was the fleet of boring machines. Maybe the last 15 years??
    I and the house next to me had already gone underground, but when the poco bored in our area they asked the rest of the residents to switch over also. Everyone said yes except for one elderly lady. Rather than fight a little ‘ol lady, they left a solitary pole up to feed her service.
    Like vultures, they waited for her to die, and the city made it a condition of the sale of her property.
    Comments made here are my own and, according to my children, do not reflect the opinions of any other person... anywhere, anytime.

  10. #10
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    Mar 2003
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    SE PA - Central Bucks County
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    Honestly, underground utilities really should be the goal almost everywhere because they are significantly more resilient to weather events. I don't get it why aerial remains so prevalent in areas constantly whacked by hurricanes, etc., but the poles and wires just keep getting replaced over and over and over. In those areas, that's gotta already be costing more than burying them once and for all. Around here, it's trees that largely cause disruptions.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  11. #11
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    Jan 2010
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    Tampa Bay, FL
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    When I leave my community (which has buried power cables), the instant I leave the gates all of the power lines are overhead, usually tangled up with 100yo oak trees. In a hurricane, the chance that those cables go down is clearly 100%, which will wipe out the source of power to my community's buried cables.

    I shake my head, and it worries me every time I look up, as hurricanes are certainly part of life down here in Florida. But no action whatsoever from Duke Energy to bury cables.

    I remember when Hurricane Wilma cut power to millions of customers in South Florida for weeks to months. Only the city of Sunrise was unaffected (they had exclusively underground cables).

    I passed literally hundreds and hundreds of power trucks from many states on the Florida turnpike coming down to help (the utilities helping each other get great credit for that).

    It really is crazy to have overhead cables in this day and age, but I don't see much effort, at least around here, to put them underground.
    - I have enough frequent flyer miles to orbit the sun. Sigh...
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  12. #12
    We have a new acronym here. It is PSPS. Public Safety Power Shutdown. It is expected to be windy over the next few days, so they prepare us for power loss for the simple reason that PG&Es system cannot safely operate in windy conditions. Truthfully though, in the foothills when a breeze comes up, you look over your shoulder.

  13. #13
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    Apr 2017
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    Michigan
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    I think it is impractical to bury higher voltage lines so the big power will remain overhead.

  14. #14
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    Feb 2008
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    E TN, near Knoxville
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Bender View Post
    I think it is impractical to bury higher voltage lines so the big power will remain overhead.
    We have a transformer on a concrete pad in the woods maybe 80' from the house. It is fed by a 7200v underground line. I understand the guy who built the house in 1988 paid to have it installed underground since is wife didn't want a 20' wide swath cut through the woods.

    I'm glad it's underground. I've dug trenches and put every line I've added to the property (probably 1500') underground so we have no overhead wires. It's more work but all underground has probably eliminated several outages due to wind and trees.

    JKJ

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    Lancaster, Ohio
    Posts
    550
    Have seen plenty of underground dug up for repairs. Takes awhile to find the problem, sometimes have seen the crew out for more than a month, was in early 2000's in a subdivision built in 70's. They have been in my subdivision a couple of times for repairs and adding extensions. Originally installed in the 90's. Don't lose power for very long, sometimes a large area.

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