Check out this PIC of this particular "service point"

See attached PDF about a particular service point.
Any comments?

Neutral from the home is not identified .

Are the service entrance conductors aluminum or copper?

Nice one. Although, if I stare long enough, I start to see a gray stripe.

Aluminum. Confirmed by taking a peak inside the panel.

The goose neck is supposed to be looking straight to earth. As installed moisture can enter the cable but other than that it looks good to me

I believe a little review of some definitions in the NEC would be helpful to us all.

Please refer to InterNACHI’s illustration for a “service mast:”

In relation to a “mast,” a utility usually has guidelines for the minimum size and type of raceway used for a service mast. The minimum size conduit that utilities will usually accept is a minimum 2-inch diameter rigid metal conduit.

Where practicable, service heads and goosenecks in service-entrance cables must be located above the point of attachment of the service-drop conductors. When attached below the service head, the service-entrance conductors for a drip loop that prevents rain water from traveling down the service mast into the service equipment.

There’s no mast in this picture (PDF). There is a drip loop configuration.

Depends when this was installed .In the 194?s here in Canada there was shortage of pipe and they where allowed to use a cable similar to stove cable .
We also later used 3/4 pipe for a 30 amp service ,

I’ve got the 2002 NEC, it says:

230.5 A

Protection of Open Conductors and Cables Against Damage- Above Ground

Servoce entrancve cables installed above ground shall be protected against physical damge as specified in 230.50(A) or (B)

Service cables, where subject to physical damage (which in service laterals emerging from the ground they specify at 8’) shall be protected by any of the following:

  1. rigid metal conduit
  2. intermediate metal conduit
  3. schedule 8o rigid non-metallic conduit
  4. electrical metallic conduit
  5. other approved means

That said, seems like the safest thing is to check with the local utility. That can’t be from the '40’s. They didn’t have giant heat-shrink tubing back them. :mrgreen:

Service entrance conductors. Normally we identify them by looking in the panel, however, the service entrance conductors can be copper and aluminum at the same time. The service entrance conductors are those conductors that connect the service point to the service equipment. People seem to forget there is a meter in between the two connections. There could be 8-10 feet of aluminum from the service point to the meter and 2 feet of copper from the meter to the service equipment.

So the question is, when you note copper in the panel (10% at most for me), do you make any differentiation in your report that also notes the material from the service point to the meter?

Lots of times the ends of the phase SECs are buried in the splice. I’ve always looked in the panel to inspect them. To be honest, I never really thought about inspecting for anything other than insulation condition, drip loop, and masthead entry. Most of that you can usually see from the ground. The idea of lugging a ladder to climb up near the masthead with the idea of trying to read markings on the SECs seems futile to me.

Assuming the ends of the SEC are buried in the splice and you’re probably not going to see markings unless it’s pretty new, how would you know if the upper section of the SECs was aluminum?

If you don’t require an inspector to open the panel (I’m not promoting that), how can they be expected to inspect the SECs with any accuracy?

Service entrance conductors must be protected against physical damage. But we’re not talking about grassy yards. We’re talking about driveways and walkways and such.

The authority having jurisdiction ultimately determines when the service-entrance conductors are subject to physical damage.

Most inspectors look for physical damage that would occur under normal conditions. If service-entrance conductors are in areas subject to vehicular traffic they are definitely subject to physical damage and require protection.

Many states, like NY building code, have specified what “where subject to physical damage” means. And they state that service-entrance cables, such as where installed in exposed areas near sidewalks, walkways and driveways or where subject to contact with awnings, shutters or similar objects, shall be protected by one or more of the following: rigid metal conduit, intermediate metal conduit, rigid nonmetallic conduit suitable for the location, electrical metallic tubing or other approved means.

Inspectors will often find the overhead service-entrance conductors attached to the side of the house, accessible from the side yard, and not subject to physical damage. The lines are indeed exposed to sunlight exposure. See pictures as a typical example.


Where exposed to direct rays of the sun, insulated conductors and cables shall be of a type listed for sunlight resistance or listed and marked "sunlight resistant."The following picture is a SE cable. And it’s exposed. Meter is on the side yard area. And is not subject to physical damage. No conduit needed.
SE-cable-from-meter-enclosure.jpgService cables attached to the structure exterior shall be supported by straps or other approved means within 12 inches of every service head, gooseneck or connection to a raceway or enclosure and at intervals not exceeding 30 inches.

See pic of SE cable strapped to the gable board.