What do you do with a Utility Defect?

Ran into this yesterday.

10 unit apartment building, built in 1921 and converted (recently) to condos. The upgraded the electrical.

But the service drop from the local untility (Commonwealth Edison) was just plain silly.

Picture 1 shows the drop (coming down on the right, next to the pole). It has one size conductors. Each one of these were spliced (with electrical tape) to 2 smaller conductors and then spliced, again back to one larger SE conductor (larger than both the original and the spliced postions) that lead into the weatherhead.

Picture 2 is a closeup of the splices.

Isn’t it amasing what the local power companies can get away with. The code inspector said that Com Ed can do pretty much whatever they want.

BTW: The Com Ed conductors were aluminum. The SE conductor was copper.

Sad to say Mr. Decker they are correct, the local POCO control their wire from the point of attachment to the pole…and in some cases from the pole to the LINE side of the Meter Cab…in our area we happen to be required to do it RIGHT to the mast head or gooseneck location…and NOW with new code coming out…even the wires going UP the mast and out to the connection point have to be UV and so on rated…but thats down the road for VA…2002 does not madate that yet in our area.

But you are right…sad thing is POCO can do what they want…even size the wires smaller than we would size them…because they can.

If the wiring did not meet safety standards you could always refer it to the local fire marshall, head building code official or to someone higher up in POCO…but unless they feel it poses a real hazard in their eyes it might go on deaf ears.

In our area, the power company has jurisdiction up to the splice outside of the weatherhead. It also controls the meter, but not the meter enclosure.

This is an example of ‘codes’. If there is one, correct and safe way of doing things, than every AHJ would have the same code. In fact, I would in about 43 different AHJs and each are different. In fact, many contridict each other. Common sense shows us that there cannot be 43 different ‘standards’. It is a contradiction of terms.

Sure, the city (of Chicago, in this case) can sue Com Ed, but they wouldn’t win.

Only thing an HI can do is note it, write it up and recommend repair. In that way, we serve our clients as best as the law allows (HI law) and keep ourselves out of being sued ourselves.

It really looks like the service was upgraded but the POCO has not been there yet. That looks like a temporary hookup made by the electrician that did the upgrade. I see this a lot when a permit was never pulled, so the POCO is never issued a re connect clearance by the AHJ.