Service point on roof

This service point rests directly on the roof. I can’t find any reg against this, but it doesn’t seem right. Any thoughts?


That’s just wrong!

Barry - Thanks for your reply. The drop clearances here on Long Island are atypical in regards to what might be found in other areas. I was more concerned with the service point resting direcly on the roof.

Clearance required

Excellent - Thanks Joe

Barry’s graphic only show span clearance. That does NOT apply to drip loops.

Joe’s graphic shows the drip loop clearance but the graphic is misleading, the 18" number is an exception to the 36" clearance also for spans.

I cannot find anything prohibiting a drip loop from being lower than 18". A drip loop will ALWAYS be lower than the span itself, so if the span can be 18" then the loop can obviously be lower.

TRUE, this is a poor installation ans should be called out as such, but IMO I can’t find anything that makes it “illegal”.

May be wrong but I was taught, thought I had known, and said,
“No lower than 36” above any roof surfaces."

Reroofing has to be taken into account and any less is just unsafe, imo.

It is code legal to have the drop 18" off the roof in some instances.

Like I said though, all these clearance codes refer to the “span”, not simply “conductors”.

Just for reference here is the applicable section of the NEC:

***225.19 Clearances from Buildings for Conductors of Not Over 600 Volts, Nominal

(A) Above Roofs** Overhead spans of open conductors and open multiconductor cables shall have a vertical clearance of not less than 2.5 m (8 ft) above the roof surface. The vertical clearance above the roof level shall be maintained for a distance not less than 900 mm (3 ft) in all directions from the edge of the roof.

Exception No. 1: The area above a roof surface subject to pedestrian or vehicular traffic shall have a vertical clearance from the roof surface in accordance with the clearance requirements of 225.18.

Exception No. 2: Where the voltage between conductors does not exceed 300, and the roof has a slope of 100 mm in 300 mm (4 in. in 12 in.) or greater, a reduction in clearance to 900 mm (3 ft) shall be permitted.

Exception No. 3: Where the voltage between conductors does not exceed 300, a reduction in clearance above only the overhanging portion of the roof to not less than 450 mm (18 in.) shall be permitted if (1) not more than 1.8 m (6 ft) of the conductors, 1.2 m (4 ft) horizontally, pass above the roof overhang and (2) they are terminated at a through-the-roof raceway or approved support.

Exception No. 4: The requirement for maintaining the vertical clearance 900 mm (3 ft) from the edge of the roof shall not apply to the final conductor span where the conductors are attached to the side of a building.*

I’ll stick with 36" and let a sparky or code official discredit me.

No dishonor in being wrong for the sake of safer practices.

I know and lived through a nightmare with an inspector that was named in a $25M lawsuit for wrongful death of an electrocuted plumber under a house.

Many notations in his report about feeders on soil, open j-boxes, NO GFCI protection… …even left a note on the doors for anyone entering the premises…

Beyond code is not a criminal offense…yet…and the subject photo appears to be a tragedy waiting to happen to some poor schmuck trying to earn a living.

I would enforce that as the bottom of the drip loop part of the “span” had to be 18" above the roof. If it was touching the roof (or close) you could also call “physical damage”. Swinging in the wind, it wouldn’t take long for those shingles to damage tthe insulation.

**I agree! So much confusion by other code scholars! **

I’m with Barry on this one… Just plain WRONG.

based on the size appearance it probably needs to be upgraded anyway.
where does the service entrance go where it is out of the picture on the right?


How true joe. We should stick to just one.
You want the job?

Just to note, I DID state:

Not really. The word “span” has a well defined definition in the electrical trade. The drip loop is not part of the span.

Span is not really defined in the NEC, nor is physical damage and I will be citing one or both of them when I tell you to get that drip loop up off the shingles. I suppose you could put them in Sched 80 and I would have to agree

From the handbook

BTW note the word “span” is not used in the 18" exception


Neither the NECH commentary or the accompanying illustrations modify the base code text. The exception is an exception to the base rule which does reference “span”.

…*and open multiconductor cables. *I will simply fail the SE part past the service point.