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The Utility Power Line Feeding The Neighbors House Is Laying On My Roof

August 7, 2006

Q: We just bought our first house about 1 month ago. The other night, I heard a noise on my roof during some high winds. I went outside and looked the next day and discovered the power line to my neighbors house is laying on my roof. Is this safe or legal? Can the neighbors power line run on my property?

A: This is very unsafe and I highly recommend calling your local utility company immediately to have this repaired.

The power line can run on your property and above your roof with utility easements. However, if the power line is laying on your roof, this is a National Electrical Code (NEC) violation.

NEC Article 230.24 states “Clearances. Service-drop conductors shall not be readily accessible and shall comply with 230.24 (A) through (D) for services not over 600 volts nominal.

(A) Above roofs. Conductors 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 of not less than 900 mm (3 ft) in all directions from the edge of the roof.”

There are three exceptions to this rule. The first exception raises it to 10 ft if subject to vehicular or pedestrian traffic.The second exception lowers it to 3 ft if nominal voltage between conductors does not exceed 300 volts and the roof slope is 4 in. in 12 in. or greater. The third probably is not applicable.

The legality of this issue depends on how the law is written in your state. Here in Montana the NEC has been adopted into legialation. This would make it illegal here. Contact your local electrical inspector and he or she will be glad to help you out with this issue.


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