Service Entry Cable and Electric Meter: Who is responsible for repair?
LESLIE: Mitch in Texas, you’ve got The Money Pit. What can we do for you today?
MITCH: Well, I live in Texas. I’m in a house that – I’ve been in it for about eight years or nine years. Over time – the electrical line that comes to the house is connected to a fascia board and, from there, it goes into the meter. And over time, the weight of the electrical line, with the hurricanes we’ve had through here and stuff like that, is slowly pulling the fascia board away from the house and it’s pulling it off. And I’m worried that, before long, it’ll become disconnected and then I’ve got a serious problem with an electrical line just flying down into the yard.
My question is: a) what are the different – obviously, what would I need to do to repair this or – and is it the phone company’s responsibility, since it’s on their side of the meter, to fix it or is it mine?
TOM: You know, that’s a very natural question and the answer is, unfortunately, it is your responsibility. We generally think of the meter as being the point of responsibility between the electric company and the homeowner but it’s actually not the meter; it’s the splice. And all of the hardware and all of the work that it goes to attaching that line to your house – whether it’s a mast, whether it’s any other type of connection – is something that you have to take care of and you have to maintain.
We get this question a lot when it comes to the condition of the service entry cable. Again, people think that once it goes to the meter, it’s on the electric company’s side of it. It’s not. You are responsible for the condition of that wire – up to the splice – including the hardware that it takes to attach it to your house, Mitch.
So, what does it take to fix it? It’s definitely not a do-it-yourself job. It’s a big project. It’s a potentially dangerous project and one that I would only trust to the hands of a competent electrician.
MITCH: OK. So, I don’t need to worry about trying to coordinate with the electric company to cut power or something while they work?
TOM: (overlapping voices) No. The electricians are used to that; they do that all the time. If it’s necessary to cut the power, they will do that. If the utility company has to come in and help stretch the wire, they will coordinate all that. It’s definitely well above and beyond the scope of what any homeowner should be doing; it should only be left to a licensed electrician.
MITCH: Alright. Well, thank you for your advice.
TOM: You’re welcome, Mitch. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.