service drop clearance

Sorry for the poor photo but I was wondering about any clearance issues involving this drop attachment which is clearly within reach of the back upper deck area.
Is it still the 3 foot rule as relates to windows or something else.?

a child, or anyone for that matter, can just reach through or over the railing and grab those wires. No way is that good. At least that’s how I am interpreting that from the pic. What was that setup like? Why would they run the service wires along the side of the house? I assume the deck was put there afterwards but still wondering why the wires weren’t ran over the roof?

IMO that would fall under 225.19(D)(2) which states the same clearance must be met in 225.18. They treat that deck the same as ground level.

This would be 10’ from that platform.

Also, the porcelain spool is missing from the point of attachment.

Thanks …this is a new back porch ,with know way to meet 10 foot clearance requirements,however I have noticed other buildings in the area do protect by blocking the questioned area.Remember this is the city where we jam everything together.It is only a condo inspection but will include this.

Indeed. That particular attachment insulator is often called either a “fork bolt” or a “one-point rack”. This is how they’re supposed to look:

If this is below the deck it is 3’ from the edge of the deck.

I would say that cable attachment is 6 inches from the top of the handrail.
Not 3 feet as you may be seeing the photo wrong.

I think what Greg is saying Robert is it “HAS” to be 3’ from the edge of the deck and it is not…so he is just bringing attention to that fact is all.

3’ horizontal(if they can’t go out, then up requires 10 feet up[from even top of rail I believe, have to check again]). Or made such that unreachable. I’ve seen permanent lattice walls installed to meet requirements.

The older houses I help refurbish, originally allowed for row houses to get service feeds across other peoples properties. This meant houses could be feed on an angle. Today, only your property can be crossed, so we’ve ‘walled’ sides of patios to ‘fix’ things.



That installation is a definite RED FLAG.

If I can touch it, it gets written up…Period

If you’re looking for minimum clearances of the SE, it’s 3-feet.

“Click to Enlarge”


Interesting you should bring that up because I have been preaching in semianars for some time now that use this example…

If the Service Drop is over the window…above it then the NEC is ok with it…However in my opinion if the top portion of the window opens or swings down then it indeed becomes a situation where it could be reached…

So while the minimum safety standards of the NEC apply in most all cases, in this case it is a more enhanced safety situation to call out a service entrance drop that lets say is above a window…and allowed by the NEC …BUT could be reached by the consumer if the top portion of the window is down…now if the top is fixed…no worries…

[quote=Marc D. Shunk]
Indeed. That particular attachment insulator is often called either a “fork bolt” or a “one-point rack”. This is how they’re supposed to look:

“Emily knobs”.

Emily’s what?!

ok…lets not gripe about Emily now…Emily can do who she wishes…:slight_smile:

Paul how would they make this correction as the deck spans the width of the building?
Can they just block it off as I see all the time?
Running past the back and to the side of the building would still not provide clearance.

A quote from the West End Realty website, to prove it ain’t just me …
“…a hazard the insurance company’s inspector had missed – a detached “emily knob” at the point where BC Hydro’s power line connects with the house. **…” :stuck_out_tongue:

I’ve never heard that particular slang term before, so I googled it. Every single reference I found was from Canada. Must be mainly a Canadian slang term.

If I was a betting man, I’d bet this was some throwback to Emily Davenport and her silk dress insulator of old.


If they were to run the wall up from it and remove the ability to reach it from the deck then I would have no problem with that option.

We see many times in the NEC where a barrier can be placed between an object ( such as this case ) and would remove the ability to come in contact with it so that would be the easiest choice in regards to the clearance issue atleast.

Thanx, Marc! I just looked Ms. Davenport up on Wikipedia.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

		 												 			With her husband [Thomas Davenport]( and his colleague [Orange Smalley](, **Emily Davenport** [invented]( the [electric motor]( and electric [locomotive]( circa [1834](

She cut up her wedding dress into strips of silk to insulate the wire windings.

Maybe you’re right about the above. Not too many terms left like that that are not universal, but then news travels slow by dogsled up here. OK, I’ll crawl back into my igloo now.