Hint: Disappearing service drop
There may not be any violations in this photo, but with the winter weather bearing down on us, I thought this photo of my neighbor’s electrical service would be apropos. It’s a reminder that the forces of nature can certainly play a role in whether an electrical installation survives or fails. The heavy snowfall here has completely covered the through, the roof mast, and part of the service drop supported by the mast. The deep snow accumulation and melting snow have caused severe ice dams to form on the roof completely enveloping the service conductor drip loops and splices in thick ice. Section 230.24(A) EX. 3 permits overhead service conductors to have a clearance of only 18 inches above the overhang portion of this roof. On a clear summer day, it was easy to see that these wires have the required clearance, but when I took this photo there was no way to tell.
Let’s review a few more applicable rules. Section 230.50 requires service raceways exposed to weather to be listed or approved for wet locations and arranged to drain. Section 230.54(A) requires the service head on the raceway to be listed for use in wet locations. Section 230.54(G) requires service conductors to be arranged so water will not enter service raceways or equipment. The installer of this service did a good job, because it has survived several harsh winters, plus spring rains, summer heat, and fall winds for the past 16 years since I moved into this neighborhood, and it was installed way before my arrival.