Service Entrance Conductors Concealed

Service drop is at left rear corner. Meter is at right rear corner. Conductors are hidden as they run from one corner of house to the other by a room additon and vinyl siding that was added. Is this acceptable? I think not, and searched the board but was overwhelmed with the query return. Thanks for your help. A C0*e reference would also be appreciated (can’t find it in E3505).

If the exposed portion looks ok I would not be concerned but you might note that the cable is not all visible for inspection.

This is not acceptable according to NEC 230.6.

Search for: “Conductors Considered Outside the Building.

PS: I would take a look in the spaces above the concealed run, if they are accessible in an “attic, or crawl” space, and look for “illegal tapping”, just to put my mind at ease. :cool:

Joe - 230.6 is a defining reference. Can you explain how this is unacceptable or prohibited by the section you provided?


This concealed Type SE cable assembly is now a defect, because it is not visible, and would be the subject of the investigation if there was a fire. See the Definition of Concealed.

If we could see the entire length, as it was before it was covered up (concealed) and the service point of connection at the drip loop, it may be possible that it was changed (buried splice) from one type to another type of cable.

230.6 is the rule that considers: “Unprotected SEC’s” and is why it gives us some different methods that will show where the SEC’s are outside of the building. I am sure that some firefighters have experiences that will support the hazard.

I posted a message here:


I will monitor this site too, and also suggest that we read Chapter 18 of NFPA 921 available for reveiw here:

NFPA 921: Guide for Fire and Explosion Investigations, 2004 Edition

Preview this document.

Are you citing the length of the concealment, or the concealment itself? Most SEC’s are concealed to some extent.

I was concerned as the cable was not visible or apparent. Construction had covered it when they added a covered back porch. Think what would happen if someone drives a nail into the upper wall of the back porch and hits that cable!

Here’s what I said in my report: “The service entrance conductors are concealed and inaccessible. We recommend that the electric utility
evaluate the installation of the service entrance conductors and repair as deemed necessary.”

**Concealed (as defined by the NEC).

Rendered inaccessible by the structure or finish of the building. Wires in concealed raceways are considered concealed, even though they may become accessible by withdrawing them.

As I said, most, if not all, service entrance conductors are concealed to some extent. In fact, NEC 300.37 requires concealment of the SEC’s.

I don’t beleive that “concealment” is an issue here. I don’t have the NFPA to reference, so I hope that Joe will provide the applicable section here.

Even the “length” of the SEC’s is subjectively “allowed” by the NEC, as there are no specific requirements set forth that I am aware of (other than “as close as possible”).

Can you be more specific Joe T.? I see this often and would like a solid reference.

The service entrance cables between the meter and the weatherhead are the responsibility of the homeowner. As such the homeowner or buyer, as the case may be, is responsible to correct such defects.
You pointed out what could be a large expense to the buyer. A new service in this area usually runs $1000-1500.


Good choice of words and identification of a problem.


I agree, but each installation must be considered individually such as new construction, existing, and remodels that always make the problems worse when the cable is covered up.

Joe’s image shows some really old cable.

Joe F. - is that a cable assembly or conduit?

If that is a cable assembly, I take back everything I said :smiley:

My statements were made under the assumption that this was conduit we were looking at.

Cable assembly. Not conduit. Sorry I didn’t make that clear.

I should have know from the size, but at a quick glance, I thought it was conduit :roll:

At a quick glance of the photo, I also assumed conduit was pictured.

Concealed Feed in Canada must be incased in Cement or not allowed .
I do believe the main reason is it is to easy to steal power in a concealed area.
Open the conduit or strip the insulation .
Join a couple of Cables and free power.
Thats the main reason why Grow houses want under ground feed to the house .
Cut through the basement wall to the supply and wallah free power .
Roy Cooke …

example why they do it .Free power.This just came in

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6 Pot Houses Raided Around Sacramento

Brings Total To 21 Homes Raided

Sep. 1 - KXTV - The number keeps climbing: six more so-called pot houses raided today in Elk Grove and Sacramento. That brings the total number to 21 and drug agents say they may not be finished yet.
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A home on Aviator circle sold five months ago for $549,000. But the buyers apparently never planned to live here. This is one of the 21 homes in Sacramento and Elk Grove that were purchased just to grow pot.
Millions of dollars worth of marijuana was growing in nice homes; On nice streets, in nice neighborhoods. All this pot was growing right under the noses of the neighbors.
Chris Trim, Elk grove police department: “That’s the best operation they can do. They can hide it right in plain view of normal citizens.”
The clues were there. The trash cans never taken to the curb; heavy shades on the windows to hide the growing lights.
Ludwig Fleming, neighbor: “I mean we saw these people very little. You know, they were in and out.”
From Elk Grove to Natomas, the clues were there.
The neighbors who never saw their neighbors.
Vadim Dragnev, neighbor: “I don’t really have a description. I haven’t seen them. They come in and out. I haven’t really seen who they are.”
George Warren: "Can you describe them?
Lee McFarlane, neighbor: “No, I haven’t seen no one there. Since they moved in close to a year ago, I probably saw them maybe only three times.”
And then the mystery neighbors stopped coming altogether.
Gordon Taylor, Drug Enforcement Administration: “The plants were extremely dry.”
At some of the homes, drug agents found plants left without water.
But the growers had bypassed the mud meter; So the lights could stay on forever.
Gordon Taylor: “Well, this particular organization doesn’t care if these houses burn down. It appears as if they’ve walked away from these houses because maybe they’re spooked or something. But everything’s on timers. All the lights continue to go on and these plants don’t get water, they start withering.”
We’ve been analyzing property records for the 21 pot houses and discovered something very interesting. All of the transactions we’ve analyzed so far involved 100-percent financing, no money down. We also discovered a real estate agent in the bay area who handled at least fifteen of the 21 home sales. We called him wondering what he knows about this remarkable case. He had no comment other than to say he’s “shocked,” and had no idea the homes would be used in this manner.

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Roy Cooke

The NEC reference that would be most closely tied to this thread is,
230.70(A)(1) Readily Accessible location.
the service disconnecting means shall be installed at a readily accessible location either outside of a building or structure or inside nearest the point of entrance of the service conductors.

Note: notice how it says “service conductors”. A lot of people believe if the conductors are installed in a raceway, that it excludes this requirement. It does not, conductors are installed in assemblies or raceways.

Another note:
There are many municipalities that ammend this requirement. I have heard of some that will permit up to 15 ft of service conductors inside a building. I also know of some municipalities that require the service disconnecting means to always be located outside.

230.6 permits several methods to extend the raceway inside of a building before the disconnect is terminated.


True, and I agree, but the location of the disconnecting means was not discussed or considered here, we were concerned about the “CONCEALED” Type SE cable assembly from the drip loop to the meter.

Joe what happens to the Type SE cable after it passes through the meter socket enclosure?

Is there a readily accessible main, and is it located as described in Pierre’s reference?

It feeds to a panel directly below the meter. No main breaker (< 6 individual breakers).

It appears that the old equipment was replaced using the same Type SE conductors, often done without the benifit of an electrical permit. I would call attention to the records in the building department, which should have a permit on file, if any.

Do you agree?