profile picture

English French Spanish



A homeowner's responsibility for the incoming electric service usually starts where the utility companies wires are attached to the home. In the case where your meter is on a pole away from the building, your responsibility will usually start where the service wires are attached at the top of the pole. The position of your electric meter has nothing to do with where your responsibility starts.

In many older homes the incoming electric service cable has a cloth type covering. Over time, the sun, wind and rain will deteriorate this covering.

If the incoming cable is still in good condition, give it a coat of paint. This will stop its deterioration. (This also helps the plastic type cables)

If the cable has started to break up and lose its exterior fabric type covering, it can be put in conduit, or a heavy gray plastic shield available from electrical parts suppliers referred to as "U- guard" can be installed over it.

Never install siding over the incoming service cable. Service lines should be at least ten feet above ground and clear of trees.

If the incoming service wires are secured to the side of the house and not to a steel pole (mast) at the roof, and the cables are above any flat roof that is less than 8 feet below the wires, there could be a problem, unless the wiring has been grand fathered in.

The national electric code (Which utility our utility company uses as a guideline) states that the incoming service cable must be more than 8 feet above a roof when attached to the side of a building.

If a utility company inspection reveals that an addition has been added to the house without a permit or building inspection and the roof is closer than the regulation allows, they will disconnect the electrical service. The service will then have to be brought up to code before it will be restored.

Height clearances
10 ft - above a walkway or yard area
12 ft - above residential property or driveway
18 ft - above public streets or parking areas

Buried supply cables
Must be a minimum of 18" below ground.

Meter height installed
Must be between 48" and 66" above ground. There must be 36" space in front of the meter. All property boundary fences must be more than 36" away from the meter.

Note: A badly deteriorated cable could result in the meter reader tagging your home for electrical disconnection in ten days!

Remember to find a Tampa Certified ASHI Home Inspector prior to closing on your new Tampa area home. Links to other Independent Home Inspectors in Florida, and outside the state, can be found from our home page.