overhead service drop height

Hey guys,
When did the overhead service drop height rule come into effect?
I noted the service drop conductors that were well under 10 feet above a walkway on a 50 year old home and the seller (who happens to be a lawyer) rebuked that and said this is ok because it is grand fathered in… I don’t want to debate about inspecting according to today’s standards or when my city specifically adopted this rule or even the safety issue at steak in this instance. I just want to know when it was first written in any of the code books. Any help would be much appreciated! Thanks

Call your POCO as they decide what they want for their Service Drop in any given area. The code is just a nuisance/suggestion to them that they care nothing about.

If you think this is a safety issue report it as same. Don’t get involved in a calling it a code violation you’ll lose that argument. Remember building and electrical codes are the minimum acceptable requirements. If your standards are higher than the minimum acceptable years ago state it as such!

Guys, thanks for your input and really, I do appreciate it. Sometimes, all people want is formation. I inspect house to today’s standards and write that in the report, so the seller knows about that. I did not ask this questions to get into a debate of how to inspect or how to report things, thus the reason why i posted the question the way I did. I would just like to know when the height for the service feeder was originally written up so that next time, I can simply give that info directly when questioned (on top of the fact that it is a safety hazard matter when the code was adopted).
Jeff, I’ll give the POCO a call next week and post their answer.

Will, I understood exactly your question and reasoning behind asking it as written. You need to understand that you are about to get yourself in a heep of potential trouble with the Seller/Lawyer! DO NOT play into his game. Offering any CODE FACT (which is impossible to determine for grandfathering purposes in your situation) is a very bad idea, and will open up every comment you make to his interpretation and approval. Prepare your comments as you always do, and let **HIM **deal with the POCO and AHJ!

Some wise advice from jjonas on this one. The height if “service drop” conductors is a NESC rule for the POCO and not the NEC as you have presented it. Note it, advise them to contact the POCO for clarity and move on.

Will, first off, I don’t have a specific answer to your question. But, doesn’t Centerpoint Energy control the grid & distribution in Houston for all electrical service providers like Reliant, etc? Centerpoint’s design guidelines can be found here (see pgs 20 & 21). Seems like the Seller could easily obtain written confirmation from Centerpoint that his service drop is “grandfathered as installed”. I would highly doubt he would be successful in obtaining that however.

Mike, thanks for that link. And your last comment was what I was also thinking.
Jeff I know you know and you know I value your answers and your answer on post#2 was good info. :slight_smile:
Paul, thanks for your answer which confirmed Jeff’s post#2.
So now I have a question. I presented 10’ rule because that’s what is in the IRC, NEC, not knowing the NESC would be any different.
Why would the NEC and IRC give a rule for vertical clearance above grade, if that same rule didn’t apply to NESC which is the body that governs the service drop requirements?

The utility company might have the same requirements as the ones outlined in the NEC but the NEC likely doesn’t apply to the service drop. Basically it comes down to who you would look to for correction of the issue. From the 2011 NEC:

Poco ?

The few times I have dealt with the POCO and mentioned “code”, they either snickered or laughed out loud. One of the old lineman that was replacing my failed service drop kept laughing. When he finished, we talked and his comment was, “we supply the power under our rules”. No building official around here tells us when, where or how to run our lines. Probably why my service drop is still attached to insulators on the roof surface.

POwer COmpany, AKA POCO or electrical utility company.

Quit playing lawyer with a ****ing lawyer!

Report what you see. Let someone else work it out. It’s not your job to make anyone do anything…

Put your Barney Fife badge away and be a home inspector, and quit acting like one.

Your client is the only ‘authority’ in a Home Inspection.
I wish someone would teach this ****.

Would you report this as to low?