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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    Charlottesville, Va.
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    292

    Default Clearance to overhead power lines

    Today's house was sited on a hill which fronted a main road and the overhead power lines went right across the front yard about 12 feet above the ground. There must be a minimum for this but a quick google came up short...so I thought I'd ask here instead of being on hold forever with the power company.

    Just to be clear...these lines are not the service drop to the individual house. The lines are the distribution (maybe transmission , not sure what the accurate terminology would be) lines serving many houses.

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    On The Mason-Dixon Line
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    Default Re: Clearance to overhead power lines

    If they are not overhead service conductors then they are under the control of the utility company and their rules. The NEC does not cover electric utilities distribution lines.

    If they are the service entrance conductors- then over residential property and driveways, where the voltage does not exceed 300 volts then 12' is the lowest it can be.
    If they exceed 300 volts then the height is 15'


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    Charlottesville, Va.
    Posts
    292

    Default Re: Clearance to overhead power lines

    Thanks for the reply Ken.

    I finally got to talk with an engineer at the local power company.

    This cable is considered a secondary distribution cable and is required to be a minimum of 15 feet above grade.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Tyler, TX
    Posts
    719

    Default Re: Clearance to overhead power lines

    Interesting that distribution lines only have to be 15 ft. Service drops must be higher.

    E3604.2.2 Vertical clearance from grade.
    Service-drop conductors shall have the following minimum clearances from final grade:

    1. For service-drop cables supported on and cabled together with a grounded bare messenger wire, the minimum vertical clearance shall be 10 feet (3048 mm) at the electric service entrance to buildings, at the lowest point of the drip loop of the building electric entrance, and above areas or sidewalks accessed by pedestrians only. Such clearance shall be measured from final grade or other accessible surfaces.

    2. Twelve feet (3658 mm)-over residential property and driveways.

    3. Eighteen feet (5486 mm)-over public streets, alleys, roads or parking areas subject to truck traffic.

    Bruce Thompson, Lic. #9199
    www.TylerHomeInspector.com
    Home Inspections in the Tyler and East Texas area

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,245

    Default Re: Clearance to overhead power lines

    Quote Originally Posted by JB Thompson View Post
    Interesting that distribution lines only have to be 15 ft. Service drops must be higher.
    The utility has deeper pockets and can write a bigger check.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    On The Mason-Dixon Line
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    577

    Default Re: Clearance to overhead power lines

    Different codes and different code making panels.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,245

    Default Re: Clearance to overhead power lines

    Quote Originally Posted by ken horak View Post
    Different codes and different code making panels.
    Yes, but ... the voltage is still the same, and its ability to kill people is still the same, and if the location is the same, then the rules should be the same.

    There is really no reason to allow running a 7.6kv/13.2kv line at 15 feet when an overhead service drop of 120v/240v is required to be at 18 feet minimum.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    state of jefferson
    Posts
    520

    Default Re: Clearance to overhead power lines

    the utility companies normally use the NESC (national electrical safety code) FYI


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