Service Conductors Drip Loop

This is the first inspection I’ve had where the service conductors didn’t have a drip loop. Thought I’d share the pic. There were so many issues with this home that the client decided to withdraw from the deal while we were still on site…still have to complete the lengthy report though. :smile:

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How is water going to go down the mast?

Daniel, that is the same as a drip loop because water cannot enter the mast head.

Great point guys. I guess I got so used to seeing the drip loop I lost sight of it’s purpose. Humbled.

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I don’t see a drip loop problem but I do see a chafing problem. Service Entry Conductors are not supposed to come into contact with the exterior of the mast. I cannot quote you chapter and verse. I just know it as poor practice and it may be perfectly code compliant. I would leave it to the experienced inspectors here to tell you if and how to write it up. I’m a retired electrician so I can help with many National Electrical Code issues as well as best practice opinions based on over 50 years in the craft but actual inspection practices are out of my depth. It would appear from your photograph that one of the energized Service Entry Conductors may be a short distance away from direct contact with the hard edge at the back of the Service Drop support clamp. When the wind blows those wires are going to move. I cannot tell you if they are going to chafe but I wouldn’t want to leave it to chance.

What do the inspectors here think. No it is not a drip loop issue but what about the possible chafing and the lack of the required 18 inches of clearance from that satellite TV antenna?

Tom Horne


I would call it out, code or no code. As you wrote it will eventually scrape through the insulation.

To be pedantic, the drip loop is not just there to prevent water going into the mast head. Drip loops are required on low voltage cables as well. Without one the water is possibly channeled to a single point on the structure, causing wood rot, etc. It also provides a service loop.

If the SEC becomes disconnected, the extra length makes the line noticeably droop, alerting non construction people that something is wrong.

Strain relief of energized wires is a good thing.

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Thanks for the wisdom guys!

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