Service Drop Question

Whenever I do a 4 point, insurance inspection, I note the service drop as a deficiency in need of repair if it is significantly less than 10’ high. Usually, I’ll only note it if it is about 9’.
My question is, “Is anyone else doing this?”
While I don’t want to hurt the homeowner, if someone hit the drop with a ladder and it was found to be 9’, instead of 10’, I could be held liable.
Any thoughts?
I’m looking for some affirmation.


:slight_smile: You are in my opinion doing the right thing. I have noted the height on 4 points as well. In my opinion this what we are there to inspect for. EXPOSED or UNSAFE WIRING.

I always take a picture of the service entrance at least for my records…Make sure you mention that most Utility Providers repair this for free.

I agree 100% & I do the same, CYA! :stuck_out_tongue:

Hi Reese,

I just wanted to give you a thumbs up for your bold witness in choosing your company name HIS (and the fish on your website).

Keep it up!


As others have said, noting a low hanging service entrance lateral should be in the report. In my area, minimum height is 12ft. If trucks are anticipated, 16ft. The electric utility owns the service lateral. They will adjust the service lateral height according to their local specs…

In Florida service laterals servicing residential properties are not left to the discretion of the local utilities specs. They must conform to the minimum requirements of the N.E.C. Which are

  1. 10’ over sidewalks or other areas accessed by pedestrians only
  2. 12’ over residential properties and driveways
  3. 18’ over public streets, alleys,roads,or parking areas subject to truck traffic
  4. 22-1/2’ over pools or in any direction

I’m glad to see this membership is on top of this as I followed a non member that had done a Home Inspection on a property that i had been contracted to do a wind mit. and 4-point, and the service lateral measured 8’-3" above grade and 11’ side clearance from waters edge at pool

Says who? I don’t believe this is correct. Can you document that? Have you asked your local electrical inspector?

Definitely not something i would address, it is not the homeowners problem, and i would not hold up there insurance for this. Unless it’s a full inspection, i would not mention it.

From the Florida building Code Chapter #1 Administration:

The 1998 Florida Legislature amended Chapter 553 Florida Statutes, Building construction standards, to create a single state building code that is enforced by local governments. As of March 1, 2002 the Florida building code, which is developed and maintained by the Florida Building Commission, Supersedes all local building codes.

The clearances cited in my earlier post were directly from the building code.
Personally I have built homes in 7 different jurisdictions in Florida all of which have had to have the service connected and inspected before the local jurisdiction would release the meter to be installed by the local utility

It may not be the homeowners problem, but it certainly will be your problem if you do not write it up and some kid (or adult) is stupid enough to jump up and grab the line. You would not hold up the insurance for this. What about safety. One of the questions on the form asks if there is unsafe wiring. This certainly classifies. You are opening up yourself to a huge lawsuit if anything ever goes wrong due to lack of reporting. But I guess everyone has their own opinion.

Get off your soapbox, the utility company is responsible for the wiring, not the homeowner. So if anyone is getting sued its them.(Their pockets are far deeper.) As far as i’m concerned the 4 point inspection only covers items the homeowner is responsible for. It is not a full inspection and I will not treat it as one.

Tell that to the judge.

Actually, the homeowner would be sued. If it is a code issue or defect and they failed to report it to FPL, they would be responsible. Although they will fix/replace the feed lines for free, they are not “responsible” for them.

I would report it as well, then let the power company fix it and everyone is safe and happy.

My experience has been that the local power company has been very quick to remedy this situation.

We have been at inspections where a low power line was commented on at the beginning of an inspection and the power company was there to pull up the line prior to our leaving the property.

I mention to 4-point customers (and even neighbors if I notice it in a neighborhood) that all they have to say to the power company is “I can’t get insurance until you raise the line” and the company responds rather quickly.

It’s another issue entirely when the fix will require extending the weatherhead over the roof line when it under the roof - that would tend to cost the homeowner.