Drip loop?

This may sound like a stupid question, but shouldn’t there be more of an actual loop here for the service entry? Also, I’ve not done many inspections, but this is the second one I’ve had where the service entry is located at the top of roof and not on a mast extended above the roof by 18". Shouldn’t this be written up as an electrical issue in need of repair?


Steve :shock:

For SE Cable, the point of attachment is required to be below the top of the service head. Also a drip loop is required. It does not need to exceed the roof by 18" for the installation in the photo. Here’s the applicable NEC requirement:

Thanks Robert. Since I’m still green to this business, to make sure I understand your response correctly:

1 - The splices to the service entrance conductors in my photo are not to NEC requirements because they are at or above the mast height.

2 - It is acceptable for the mast be mounted to the end of the house as it is in the photo.

3 - The lack of a drip loop in the picture does not meet NEC requirements.

Therefore, I should identify this as in need of repair and defer to a licensed electrician.

Please let me know if I’ve misinterpreted anything.



I’ve responded within your quote in red.

Got it & thank you for your patience. I may have a few more questions before the day is over.



There is enough of a drip loop there to stop moisture from getting into the weatherhead.


I see what you are saying, but aren’t the splices to the service entrance conductors still an issue with meeting NEC requirements because they aren’t at or above the mast height? All of the drip loop pictures I’ve been able to find show a much more defined drip loop. I’m just wondering if this would become an issue if ice were ever to form around it. Doesn’t the drip loop also help prevent straining on the splices?

You might say that the neutral conductor has a drip loop but certainly not the ungrounded conductors. The idea is to keep water from running down the conductors and into the weather-head. From the photo it sure looks that would happen in the case of the ungrounded conductors.

Robert, I am going to disagree with you about the ungrounded not having a drip loop. It could be the angle of the pic, but if I look where the two hots come close to the neutral above the louver, I pick up a slight upslope to the weatherhead. I certainly have seen bigger loops. I wonder if there was enough conductor length to make the connections and that is why it looks so tight.

You could be right given the angle of the photo. Still IMO that is not a loop by any means. An electrical inspector in many cases gets to make judgment calls based on his or her own opinion when things in the NEC are not explicitly defined. "Subject to physical damage" and “nearest the point of entry” are two such phrases that come to mind. So if I were an EI and inspecting this it would fail based on my interpretation of the word *loop *and the intent of the code section to keep water from entering the weather-head. Again this is only my opinion based on the photo.

Thanks all for the valued input. I did end up mentioning this as a safety concern and deferred it to a certified electrician for further evaluation and/or repair.