Electric transmission line over home

I don’t remember seeing this before, but inspected a home yesterday, built in 1972. A back patio was enclosed some time over the years, but an electric transmission line runs from pole to pole directly over the flat roof of this enclosed addition. I’m pretty sure the line was in place before the patio was enclosed, but it is still just 6 feet over the flat roof. I want to report this as unsafe, but I’m not sure what will be done about it… the PoCo won’t likely move it and the homeowner can’t. thoughts?

Andrew I would definitely call this out. Don’t worry about what can be done that’s not your responsibility.

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I understand, but this is a great client of mine - inspected his last house, he recommended me to the buyer on the last one, and now inspecting this one for his purchase. He asked and I had to guess at an answer. I’m recommending the power company be called - this line is actually to a pole in his yard that is leaning, so they need to come out anyway!

Andrew you can only call out what you see. Imagine a roofer having to work on that roof stands up and his head hits that power line. Now we have one less roofer in the world.

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Should be 8 feet over flat roof unless local authorities say otherwise. Ask your utility provider and AHJ.

NEC 2020 800.44:

To me, that looks like a cable TV line on the bottom and the next one up would be the telephone and the high power lines at the top. No other wires going to other houses in the picture. Power might all be underground laterals. I would check that.
I don’t think the clearance is critical for com lines above a flat roof.
Before I called anything out, it would be prudent to identify the cables.


the other direction. The pole pictured is leaning toward the camera.

Yes, those are communication lines. Look on the pole and see the SEC going down a conduit.

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It’s amazing - when you]re staring at the cable in front of you, you swear you can hear the electricity buzzing through it… but now - looking the pic, you all are right. The power lines are at the top. I’m still going to recommend the power company look at it - the pole guide wires have been cut and are hanging loose - looks like they used to run to the property next door who has a new patio! The pole is leaning toward this house. Thanks guys!


That patio roof has been ponding water.

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Don’t overthink this. What would your comment be on a witness stand from the families attorney when there is a death? CALL IT OUT!

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You are concerned about strangulation by the tv cable - not electrocution, right?


Comment was the power cable was low. If I heard it incorrectly I’m not concerned at all regarding the low volt cabling. Thanks, great point, if it is the lower cable than not an issue.

UPDATE - Seller did contact the power company to address the pole in his yard that is leaning. They mentioned that the power lines do run directly over his house, and were to call in an engineer to evaluate moving the pole and pines to travel along their easement at the property line.

Which is an accurate statement, but did they identify which of the 3 lines is the power lines.?

NEC 800 wants to see tele cables 8ft above flat roofs that are not auxiliary buildings, been this way for 24+ years

Is it going to kill you? Then they need to call out the Cable Company and not the power company.

Me? Hope not :slight_smile: I don’t make the rules, the smarts folks at NFPA do. Here, the power company own the poles and would move them if need be, the telcos just rent, as i understand it, space on the poles.

Yes, they do rent and that is why they are low on the totem pole.