Electrical service entry question (mast)

Looking at the picture below is it OK to have the mast below the soffit area with the drip loop formed around the gutter like this ?

NO , not on my shift !

NO gutters and down spouts could become electrified

I agree ,just could not find proper wording for report but that is what I said.
Thanks hitting send right now.

(was not sure if there was an exception ever as I seem to recall special protector sleeves being used at times.)

Article 230.54 says the service head needs to be above the point of attachment.


The NEC prohibits it, but the AHJ (the utility) approved the installation, which makes it legal.

The inspector is not the AHJ.

The inspector can note why he/she believes it to be troublesome or incorrectly iinstalled, but only as an advisory note.

I have seen installations which go over the roof, have been within 2’ of a window, and many other squirrely configurations. All approved by the utility.

On the unfortunate day that I opened my mouth and challenged the legality of the installation, the seller contacted the utility. The installation supervisor and his area manager handed me my a-s-s.

I contacted the local electrical inspector, who informed me that from the meter pan and above, the AHJ and sole authority is the utility. If they do not approve an install, even when an electrical inspector thinks its okay, the power does not go on. Even where the electrical inspector doesnt like it, or the township… the utility is the only opinion and approval that counts or is required.

I would word the subject photo and observation as being of concern. In the unlikely event that the sharp edges of the gutter were to cut through the insulation, the metallic sections of gutter, downspout, and wrapped fascia could become energized. Contact the utility for further guidance.

Check out the electrical section of the NACHI inspection graphics.

If the AHJ wants to take responsibilty for it OK, But I will write it up no matter what they say. I’m not putting my a** on the line for some idiot who does not care.

1 Like

True though they are only responsible up to the connection point.


  1. Service drop (conductors, service grips and service connectors) owned, installed
    and connected to service entrance conductors by Company.
  2. See Figure 3-C, page 9 for maximum length of residential service drop. For all other
    services contact Company for maximum service lengths. Reduced distance or
    higher attachment point may be required for large service or to maintain minimum
  3. Customer installs service drop attachment of adequate strength for attachment of
    Company’s service drop conductors. See Figure 3-B, page 8.
  4. Service entrance conductors (minimum # 8 CU or # 6 Al) provided and installed by
    Customer, shall extend 24” or the minimum length required by local ordinance
    outside the service head for connection to service drop. Phase conductors to have
    black insulation. Neutral conductor to be marked white or bare.
  5. Service raceway and service entrance conductors to be owned, maintained, and
    installed by Customer.
  6. Meter socket shall be provided, installed and maintained by Customer.
  7. Customer’s installation to meet the requirements of all applicable codes and local
  8. Customer’s grounding electrode conductor (#6 Cu min.) shall originate in the service
    entrance equipment and extend to an approved ground electrode. The grounding
    electrode conductor is permitted to be routed through the meter socket enclosure but
    shall not terminate within. Company reserves the right to refuse installation of
    service upon observing an unsafe Customer connection.
  9. Insulated conduit bushings are required for raceways terminating in the meter
  10. The use of flexible metallic conduit, liquid tight flexible metallic conduit, and liquid
    tight flexible non-metallic conduit for service

If there is an adequate drip loop I don’t see a code issue. The NEC is usually concerned up to the service point, meaning where the SEC"s are connected to the drop. Since this is conduit IMO 230.54© wouldn’t apply.


Interesting that 230.54 only seems to apply to SE cables after reading your reply. Meanwhile a conduit system can be lower than the anchor point. Certainly not a consistant enforcement. Some might say, myself included, that © would also apply to the service head based on the bold title of © Service Heads and Goosenecks above Service Drop or Overhead Service Attachment. Breaking it into 2 items, 1) service heads and 2) goosenecks in SE cables changes the intent.

I agree that it doesn’t make much sense but IMO the way the sentence is written it only applies to SE cable. I’ll poke through a few ROP’s and see if there is any definitive information.


Gentlemen there is an exception to this rule
Exception: Where it is impracticable to locate the service head or gooseneck above the point of attachment, the service head or gooseneck location shall be permitted not farther than 600 mm (24 in.) from the point of attachment.

I see nothing wrong with this installation as long as the bottom of the drip loop is not lower than:
230.24(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 buildings, also at the lowest point of the drip loop of the building electrical entrance, and above areas or sidewalks accessible only to pedestrians, measured from final grade or other accessible surface only for service-drop cables supported on and cabled together with a grounded bare messenger where the voltage does not exceed 150 volts to ground

Mike gave us another option, although IMO in this installation it would not be impracticable to run the conduit straight up through the roof so I don’t see the exception as being applicable.

I found this in the 2014 ROP, not sure if it’s applicable to this discussion:

I have a small town where the utility company is responsible for the loop to the meter base.

I don’t see a through the roof mast as impractical either.

I never saw the reason why the anchor point needed to be below the weatherhead. But there should at least be some consistancy between wiring methods. Why for SE cable but not a conduit mast?

This is another one of those NEC exercises in English grammar. From the use of the word and to join two objects together ( Service Heads and Goosenecks above Service Drop), to the word impracticable. Impracticable means that the task, as mentioned in the NEC exception, would be impossible. Impractical would mean that it may not make much sense to do it a certain way but it would still be possible, like installing the mast through the roof. Although it may be impractical for certain reasons it wouldn’t be impracticable. :slight_smile:

this is an old post now, but did you end up finding out if the utility approved of this? there may be an exception that the masthead need not be above the point of attachment, the wires need to be at least 24" (CAN) over the roof. Thanks

The only thing I would be concerned with is the wind beating the loops against the gutters especially if they are metal.