Summary: Listen and learn what homeowners and utility companies are responsible for when it when it comes to repairing service entry cables and electric meters.
- The service entry cable is the wire that runs from the utility company’s power lines to the electric meter on the side of the house, while the electric meter measures the amount of electricity used by the household.
- Utility companies are responsible for repairing service entry cables that run from the power lines to the house, but homeowners are responsible for repairing the portion of the cable that runs from the electric meter to the house.
- Homeowners are also responsible for repairing the electric meter itself, but they should contact the utility company to turn off the power before attempting any repairs.
- Learn how service entry cables can become damaged due to weather, rodents, or other factors, and that it’s important to have them repaired promptly to avoid electrical hazards. Homeowners should contact their utility company if they notice any damage to the service entry cable or electric meter.
In summary, this podcast emphasizes the importance of understanding the responsibility of homeowners and utility companies when it comes to repairing service entry cables and electric meters and encourages homeowners to take prompt action to ensure their safety and avoid electrical hazards.
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.
I built a new house in 2012 in Statesville NC. I have the electric power supply underground and for years I understood that any damage of the power line to the electric meter will be repaired by electric company. I receive a letter that we the customers have to pay for underground damages $3.19 per month. It is legal or not?
Losif, This sound’s like an offer for a service contract. Many utilities offer these to make money, but they are rarely useful in my opinion. I suspect the $3.19/mo charge is not “required”. Homeowners are typically responsible for the cable from the street to the meeter. However, the risk of an underground cable failing is extremely low. I’d look into this deeper but suspect its just a sales offer for a service contract you don’t need.
Arya Mitter Gupta
House Power line, three black cables, coming in Meter when it is touched then it gives sparking and some part of house lights has gone off. Even our Dryer has stopped working. May be due to fluctuations in power this Machine has stopped working.
Whom and how to complain ?
What about its cost?
Thanks for your
This sounds very dangerous. You should immediately contact your electric utility company or a licensed electrician.
Tom, my neighbor called me today and asked if she should purchase a Florida Power Line (Future Service Agreement,) for the additional cost of $4-5.00/month, that would cover any future needed Underground or Overhead Service Power Line’s, to supply FPL Electrical to her home?. I was under the impression that any utility line either water or Power line came to the homeowner’s meter free of charge, and and if any Material or labor that might be required beyond the Utility Meter’s , would be responsibly of the owner. In her case as well as mine, we both have underground Fl Power Lines, but yet the FPL Company is sending out an insurance coverage agreement, to all who will pay. Is there any normal policy understanding for Florida residents to determine if this coverage for any future damaged power pole to house power line is owners responsibility? Or is the Power Company duty bound to repair service line from pole to house, if ever damaged?
Marc, in my view there’s a really small chance of anyone needing a repair – especially to an underground cable. The general practice (which could be different in your area) is that it’s the homeowner’s responsibility up to the splice with the utility line, wherever that may be. I personally would never waste money on something like that and have advised my family including older relatives in FL not to either.
For an underground utility, how do you know just where the “splice” is located?
A few years after I bought my house (with underground utilities) one leg of the entrance cable had a problem. I called FP&L and they sent out a repairman who dug down 4′ and repaired the break. This break was about 2/3 the way from street to my meter.
I was not charged for the repair as at that time everything up to the meter was considered to be power company responsibility.
I live in Florida Panhandle and have received same letter wanting me to pay monthly charge.
Is the elec meter that is on the house and underground service the homeowner responsible?
Typically, the utility company maintains the line into the meter pan and the owner takes it from there, but you have to check your local utility company’s policy to be sure.