Single Family Residential Guidelines & Standards

Overview of Hook-Up Procedures: The following is a general outline of how you get new electrical service for a single-family residential structure. This outline assumes that Central Lincoln has existing power facilities to your site. If power is not readily available, Central Lincoln will need to engineer your project. If you have questions, please contact your nearest service office.  Please Note: Overhead temporary services (construction power) will be allowed, but all new permanent services must be underground.

Your Responsibilities to Obtain Temporary Service

  1. Contact your nearest Central Lincoln service office for service application and service location.
  2. Install the appropriate temporary meter base.
  3. Obtain an electrical inspection and verify service location.
  4. After successful inspection (“green tag”), contact Central Lincoln for service connection.

Your Responsibilities to Obtain Permanent Service

  1. Determine the size of service you want – 200 amp, 400 amp, or greater (400 amp or greater requires a completed Service Load Data Sheet [PDF]).
  2. Contact your nearest Central Lincoln service office for service application and service location.
  3. Call the “One Call” system before you dig at 8-1-1.
  4. Notify other utilities of your project.
  5. Install your service entrance equipment. Remember, all new permanent service must be underground.
  6. Provide a clear path/trench for your service line.
  7. Request trench inspection from your local Central Lincoln office or distribution engineering representative.
  8. Obtain an electrical inspection and “green tag” from local inspection agency.
  9. After you have passed your electrical inspection, contact Central Lincoln for a final inspection.

After inspection is passed, service connection will be scheduled.

Central Lincoln’s Responsibilities

  1. Install your service line, meter and connect to your weatherhead or service hand hole.
  2. Energize your system.

Service Charges

Charges vary due to the type of service you are requesting and the type of system we have in your area. Contact our local engineering office for current rate information.

Section A – General Information

Welcome to Central Lincoln

This handbook provides you with Central Lincoln’s requirements for new or altered electric service for permanent and temporary single-family residential structures. Also included in the handbook is some helpful information from the National Electric Code (NEC) and the requirements for service to outbuildings such as barns, shops, pump houses, garages, etc.

The handbook contains information that will help you to answer questions like:

  • How do I install a temporary meter base?
  • How do I install a permanent meter base?
  • Where should I install the meter base?
  • Where will the service route be?
  • What are the size requirements for the meter base?
  • What do I have to do to get an underground service?
  • How do I install my meter base?
  • How do I get the existing underground utilities located before I dig?

The answers to these and many other questions are here. If you have additional questions, please call your nearest service office.

Information regarding the installation of permanent, multifamily and non-residential services such as commercial buildings, condominium complexes, apartment buildings, duplexes, and mobile home parks is available in Central Lincoln’s Commercial Guidelines & Standards.

If you have any general questions regarding billing, if you want to establish service, or if you’re ready to have you service hooked up, call your nearest service office.

Getting Started

Installing a temporary service and/or permanent service to your home is a joint project between you and Central Lincoln. Central Lincoln is responsible for installing the service lines to bring power to your residence and for installing the meter in your meter base.

You are responsible for:

  • The installation of your temporary and/or permanent meter base
  • All electrical wiring in your residence
  • All electrical wiring from your meter base to our point of connection
  • Obtaining permits and inspections
  • Maintaining your equipment
  • Keeping your meter base visible and accessible
  • Providing and maintaining a clear path/trench for your service line
  • Providing and maintaining conduit for any underground service line

The first thing you should do is contact your nearest service office. Once this is done you’re ready to begin. The remainder of this handbook will help you through this process.

Beginning Your New Service Request

Before Central Lincoln can begin working on your project, a new service request must be established. Please contact your nearest service office to start the order. A representative will also request billing information. There is a processing fee to establish a new account. This fee will be included on your first service bill.

Temporary vs. Permanent Power

Temporary power is generally used for the construction phase of your building project. Temporary power may be installed as either overhead or underground service (see Temporary Service section).

All new permanent power installations will be underground. Permanent power is provided after your structure is built and meets all the requirements stated in pertinent sections.

Central Lincoln will continue to serve existing overhead service installations. See Existing Overhead section for details.

Requesting Service

Before Central Lincoln installs your new service you must contact us and begin a new service request. That request provides Central Lincoln’s field personnel with the information they need to install your permanent service.

When you call to order your temporary or permanent service, a representative will ask you the following critical questions. Please be prepared to answer them, as your answers will help determine how your project is handled.

  • What is this service for (home, barn, shop, etc.)?
  • How many square feet in your residence?
  • Will you have electric or gas heat?
  • Will you have a heat pump, furnace, or zonal heating?
  • Will you have electric or gas water heat?
  • What amperage rating is required for your service? (if service is over 400 amps, a Service Load Data Sheet is required)
  • When will you be ready for service?

Inspections and Codes

These guidelines and standards do not cover all possible federal, state, or local code requirements. It is your responsibility to ensure that your project complies with the most recent issue of the National Electrical Code (NEC) and any other federal, state, or local codes that may apply.

Once your service equipment is installed, the state requires that your service equipment installation pass an electrical inspection before we connect you to our system. Electrical inspections are performed by different agencies, depending on your location. See below for your local electrical inspection agency.

Area Office Phone #
Lincoln County Lincoln County Planning Dept (Electrical) 541-265-4195
Newport Newport City Hall 541-574-0627
Lane County Lane County Facilities Dept 541-682-6902
Florence Florence City Hall 541-997-8237
Douglas County State Building Codes Division 541-684-3594
Coos County State Building Codes Division 541-266-1098
Lakeside Lakeside City Hall 541-759-3011
Reedsport Reedsport City Hall 541-271-3606

Contacting Other Utilities

New construction typically involves the installation of water, sewer, telephone cables, cable television cables and natural gas lines, as well as power cables.

It is your responsibility to notify each of the utilities that you wish to provide service to your home. You should get the name and phone number for a contact at each utility and let each of them know which other utilities will be providing you service.

Service Ratings Available

Central Lincoln offers several sizes of service for single family residential structures, and for outbuildings. The size of service you need depends upon the size of your home, and the power requirements of the equipment you will be installing in it. Central Lincoln cannot determine your power requirements.

Voltage Amp Rating Typical Use
120/240 200 amp* Small, medium sized homes and apartments
120/208 200 amp*
120/240 400 amp Large homes
120/240 Over 400 amps Very large homes

*If you are installing an underground service that is less than 200 amps, your meter base must meet the dimensional requirements for a 200 amp underground meter base (see Meter Section for details).

Service Voltage Range

The Range A service voltage range is plus or minus 5% of the nominal system voltage. The Range B service voltage range is plus or minus 6% of the nominal system voltage.

If you have any questions regarding voltage ranges please call us or reference the Electric Power Systems and Equipment – Voltage Ratings Standard ANSI C84.1-2016.

Meter Location

You are required to install your meter base in a place that is accessible to Central Lincoln. All locations are subject to approval by a Central Lincoln representative. If you have questions regarding meter location, please call your nearest service office.

Requirements for properly locating your meter base are:

  • It must be outside
  • It must be located on, or within 4 feet of, the side of your home closest to normal public access
  • It must be in an area that is not likely to be fenced (such as a patio, deck, porch, back yard, etc.)
  • It must be located on a structure that is owned by you and be 5 to 6 feet above finished ground level, unless on an underground pedestal – then it must be 3 to 6 feet above finished ground level
Figure A-1: Meter location on house

The reasons for these requirements are:

  • To ensure Central Lincoln has safe access to their equipment
  • So Central Lincoln can efficiently maintain the meter
  • If you have a fire, we can quickly and safely disconnect your service

Due to the corrosive climate along the Oregon Coast, we recommend that you use a corrosion resistant meter base that is state approved.

For conventional homes, the meter base should be placed on the street-side exterior of the house, or a maximum of four feet around the corner from that wall. As an alternative, a pedestal may be placed away from the residence, such as near a street or driveway, with approval from the Central Lincoln engineering department.

Removing and Installing Meters

Only authorized and qualified Central Lincoln personnel shall remove and install meters. With some types of meter bases, removal of the meter does not de-energize the customer’s system.

Underground Locates

If you are doing any trenching or excavation work, you are required to call for underground utility locates at least two business days before you do any digging.

You can get underground utility locates by calling the “One Call” system at 811. Once you have called and requested a locate, that one call system will notify the utilities, or a locating service, that locates are required.

There is no charge for this service. Utilities are required by state law to belong to this service.

The state has established a color code system to identify each utility so everyone can see what has been located. The color codes are:

  • Red: Electric
  • Yellow: Gas/Oil
  • Orange: Telephone/Cable TV
  • Blue: Water
  • Green: Sewer
  • White: Area to be located

The state law requires that any digging within 2 feet of either side of the location markings be done by hand or other such non-invasive methods. Also, once underground facilities have been marked, the excavator shall maintain the locate marks for the life of the project. Link to OUCC Standards Manual (PDF).

Outbuildings (Ancillary Service)

An outbuilding or ancillary service is a stand-alone structure which is located on residential property and is not a living space. Typically, outbuildings are barns, pump houses, garages, shops, storage sheds, etc.

If you wish to install a separate service to your outbuilding, you are required to provide a clear path that is approved by an engineering technician for underground trench and conduit to our equipment. If the meter base you install is for a class 320 meter, you are required to have a 324N, or equivalent, meter base with link-style bypass provisions (see Section D – Meter Requirements).

Central Lincoln will install the underground service line to the new service hand hole (see Section C – Underground Service).

Building Near Central Lincoln Facilities

During construction of a new residence, or any other structure, caution needs to be taken regarding existing underground or overhead power lines and facilities.

The customer will be responsible for any damages to Central Lincoln equipment, or any encroachment on clearance requirements that requires relocation of facilities. Check with Central Lincoln before any excavation or construction to determine safe working distances.

Section B — Temporary Services

Where poles with transformers are adjacent to or near your project, you may request temporary overhead service. If the electrical facilities in your area are underground, you will need to install a temporary underground meter pedestal to obtain temporary power. If there is power in your area but the power lines are not visible, it is likely to be underground. Refer to Section C for more information on underground service.

The process and cost of obtaining your temporary overhead service can vary depending upon the location of our existing facilities.

All installations are reviewed by Central Lincoln. Please speak with one of our engineering technicians if you have any questions.

There is a processing fee to connect a temporary service. If any engineering is required, additional costs may be incurred.

Overhead Meter Location

Your temporary meter post should be located on your property. Install the meter post as close as 6 feet (preferred) to the Central Lincoln pole, but no more than 100 feet from the pole that will serve you. The reason for this limitation is ensuring that your temporary pole can withstand the weight of the conductor. If a distance greater than 100 feet is required, please contact your local service office and ask an engineering technician for approval prior to construction. A taller, stouter post with additional bracing could be required.

In addition to the distance limitation mentioned above, please consider the following:

  • The path that the service will take should not cross property belonging to other individuals.
  • If the service line will pass through trees or brush, a six foot path must be cleared and maintained to allow our service personnel to access the line, and to allow the lines to hang without contacting trees or limbs; maintaining this clear path is your responsibility.
  • The service line path should avoid areas where vehicular traffic will occur, unless your temporary post height is increased to provide adequate clearance (see Section E for service line clearance requirements).
  • Meters should face the road or driveway to facilitate drive by readings.

Overhead Clearance Requirements

The National Electric Code (NEC) and the National Electrical Safety Code (NESC) have established minimum clearance requirements to maintain safe height distance for electrical conductors over various terrain.

The NEC and NESC require the lowest point of a service conductor to be at least 12 feet 6 inches above the ground. The bottom of the drip loop must be a minimum of 10 feet 6 inches above the ground (see Figure B-1). Note: Clearance over any driveway must be at least 18 feet. Clearances are situational, refer to figures E-2 – E-4 and consult your engineering technician for clearances.

Figure E-2 shows the clearance requirements for the types of terrain most commonly encountered. These clearances apply to both permanent and temporary weatherheads.

It is not your responsibility to provide and install the conductor, but you are required to provide a point of attachment at your service post that will allow Central Lincoln to meet the clearance requirements.

If you need further detail, please consult the current issue of the NEC or contact the local electrical inspection agency.

Overhead Service Installation

The following items must be completed before we can energize your service:

  • Contact a Central Lincoln representative and request a temporary service.
  • The engineer will call for an inspection at the site.
  • Obtain an electrical work permit from the electric inspection agency.
  • Install a meter post and meter base.
  • Obtain an electrical inspection (“green tag”).
  • After these items are completed, call our service office to inform our representative that your installation has been inspected and passed, and state that you’re ready for temporary service.

Figure B-1 is a drawing of the standard temporary overhead service installation recommended by

Central Lincoln. The specifications given are the minimum acceptable.

Items owned and installed by the customer (Figure B-1):

  1. A 6” x 6” x 16’ minimum, continuous, single structure, pressure treated, firmly set and drilled with an 11/16” hole 6” below top of pole in line with service drop.
  2. Meter base with ground wire from the meter base to service neutral and an electrical permit (“green tag”) attached.
  3. Ground wire with ground wire connected to the meter base or switch box lug and grounded to ground rod with approved cast clamp.
  4. Ground rod 8’ long.
  5. Service entrance conductors (18” out of weatherhead for connection drops).
  6. Switch box with polarized receptacle or 240 v, 1-phase motors with grounding terminal. It must be a receptacle with grounding terminal that is connected to an approved grounding electrode (service conductor is not approved grounding).

Items owned and installed by Central Lincoln:

  1. Meter.
  2. Service line.
  3. Insulated clevis (minimum attachment height of 12’ 6” may increase to meet clearance requirements above roads, driveways, et Consult your Central Lincoln engineer).
Figure B-1: Temporary overhead service installation

Underground Meter Base Location

The following items are required to properly locate your meter pedestal:

  • Install the meter pedestal at the Central Lincoln approved location. You will need confirmation from a Central Lincoln engineering technician.
  • Face meter base to vehicular traffic.

Underground Service Installation

The following items must be completed prior to energizing your service:

  • Contact a Central Lincoln representative and request a temporary service.
  • An engineer will call you to arrange an appointment at the site.
  • Obtain an electrical work permit from the inspection agency.
  • Obtain underground locates (Call 8-1-1).
  • Install a meter post and meter base in the appropriate location.
  • Provide the appropriately sized wire from your meter base to Central Lincoln’s connection point. Please leave 5 feet of extra wire at a hand hole or locator pin, and 10 feet at a transformer pad.
  • Obtain a “green tag.”
  • Cover your wire except where our personnel will be installing and connecting your wire to ours.
  • After these items are completed, call your local service office and inform a representative that your installation has been inspected.

Underground Meter Base Requirements

It is your responsibility to provide a buried wire from your meter base to our transformer or hand hole.

The requirements to connect to an overhead converted to underground meter pedestal are shown in Figure B-2. The wire you install should be sized per the NEC and should have a minimum cover of2 feet.

If our connection point is a hand hole or transformer, trench to our nearest service location and leave your wires exposed. If you discover any other wires while digging your trench, please leave them covered. Remember; do not install conduit or elbows inside the transformer substructure without Central Lincoln direct supervision and assistance.

Reminder: You are required to call the “One Call” system (8-1-1) and request buried utility locations at least 2 business days before digging. Any trenching within 24 inches of existing underground facilities and within 5 feet of a transformer must be done by hand.

Figure B-3 illustrates an underground temporary meter pedestal installation. Please note the dimensions shown. Deviations from these recommended standards could result in a delay in receiving your service and/or your service being denied. Please contact us if you have any questions.

Figure B-2: Trenching requirements for an overhead pedestal converted to underground pedestal
B-3: Temporary underground Service Installation

Items owned and installed by the customer:

  1. A 6” x 6”x8’ continuous, single structure firmly set.
  2. Meter base with ground wire from the meter base to service neutral and an electrical permit (“green tag”).
  3. Ground wire connected to the meter base or switch box lug and grounded to ground rod with approved cast clamp.
  4. Ground rod 8 feet long.
  5. Service wire – Provide the appropriately sized wire from your meter base to Central Lincoln’s connection point. Please leave 5 feet of extra wire at a hand hole or locator pin, and 10 feet at a transformer pad.
  6. Switch box with receptacle per NEC.

Items owned and installed by Central Lincoln:

  1. Meter
  2. Service line

Section C — Underground Service

General Requirements

The following is a checklist, which should be used as a guide to assist you in preparing your project for the installation of your underground service. Once you have completed these items, Central Lincoln will install your service line and meter.

  • Ask us where your service line will originate. Call your local service office and ask to speak to an engineer.
  • Determine an acceptable location for your meter base.
  • Dig a trench and provide conduit from your meter base to the service hand hole location, then to the location where your service will originate.
  • Install Central Lincoln provided service hand hole (HH-14 or HH-20) and Central Lincoln provided pull string if required.
  • Install your service equipment.
  • Have the local electrical inspection agency approve your installation.
  • Call Central Lincoln’s service office and notify them that you are inspected and have a “green tag” sticker on your meter base.
Figure C-1: Typical overhead to underground service
Figure C-2: Typical underground service

Getting Started

The first step when installing a new underground service is to contact your nearest service office and ask an engineering technician where your service will originate.

Next, determine the location of your meter base. As stated previously, your meter base should be located outside and on the front, or within 4 feet of it on the side closest to normal public access.

When choosing your meter base location, be sure to consider the types of terrain where your conduit will be buried. You are required to provide, install and maintain conduit, and Central Lincoln is responsible for repairing service line if it ever fails. You must use 3 inch Schedule 40 PVC electrical grade conduit unless dictated by other ordinances and approved by Central Lincoln. You will also need a PUD provided service hand hole.

Customer installed continuous conduit runs shall not contain more than three 90 degree elbows, or a maximum of 270 degrees of long radius bends (36”), unless pre-approved by an engineering technician. Conduit runs of more than 50 feet, or containing more than two 90 degree PVC elbows shall have a Central Lincoln provided pullstring installed.

Service Equipment Installation Requirements

After you have determined the meter base location, the service line route, the size of the service you want (200 or 400 amp), you are ready to begin installing your service equipment.

There are three ways this equipment can be installed:

  • Flush mounted (see Figure C-4)
  • Surface mounted (see Figure C-5)
  • Pedestal mounted (see Figures C-6 & C-7)

When installing your service equipment, make sure that you install your meter base so that the center of the meter will be between 5 and 6 feet above finished grade. LB’s, switches, or condulets are not allowed in front of meter base or on CT conduits.

Trenching Requirements

You are to provide a trench, 24 inches deep, from your meter base to the service hand hole (HH-14 or HH-20). Your trench will then continue, at 36 inches deep, to the pole, transformer, or secondary hand hole where your service will originate. The trench must have a level, flat bottom, void of shifting soil. The trench must be free of all sharp rock and construction debris. There must be at least 12 inches of separation from all other utilities within the trench (see Figure C-3). The trench must be a minimum of 3 feet from sewer and gas, 5 feet from septic tanks and 10 feet from any drain fields.

When trenching to a transformer, or any energized structures, don’t use any digging equipment other than a hand shovel within 5 feet of transformer. NOTE: For underground service installations, don’t dig or install any conduit or wire into an existing Central Lincoln vault without assistance from a qualified Central Lincoln employee. (Access to Central Lincoln equipment by persons other than Central Lincoln employees is prohibited.) Remember; do not dig under the transformer.

Also remember: Call 811 before you dig.

Figure C-3: Typical Service line trench detail

Conduit

Customer will provide conduit and conduit elbows from the meter base to the service hand hole. Continue with a second run of 3 inch conduit and conduit elbows, 36 inches deep, from the service hand hole to the Central Lincoln source (pole, transformer, or secondary hand hole). The conduit will be Schedule 40 PVC electrical grade unless otherwise required by the engineering technician, road right-of-way administrator, or electrical inspector (see Figures C-1, C-2, & C-9). LB’s, switches, or condulets are not allowed in front of meter base or on CT conduits.

You are required to keep the conduit clean and clear of debris and water. End plugs will be provided by Central Lincoln, and you are required to have these installed.

At a transformer, or energized hand hole location, you will need to call our service office to coordinate our being at the site to assist you in installing the elbow and pullstring.

Do not install conduit into energized equipment such as a transformer or an energized hand hole.

You will need to install all conduit, pullstring, service hand hole, trenching and backfill from the meter base to the Central Lincoln source (pole, transformer, secondary hand hole).

Service Hand Hole

You’ll need to pick up and transport a service hand hole from Central Lincoln to your site. (Ask engineering technician for details.)

It is your responsibility to install the service hand hole in your trench (see Figures C-1, C-2 & C-8), within 10 feet of the meter base. The lid portion of the service hand hole must be above the finished grade.

Two conduit elbows are required inside the service hand hole (one from the meter and one from the pole, transformer or secondary hand hole). The two elbows are to be 2 inches above the bottom of the dirt floor of the hand hole, and centered in the short side of the hand hole (see the Top View in Figures C-4- C-5 & C-8).

Do not install the service hand hole in a concrete area unless you receive prior instruction from an engineering technician. If the service hand hole fills with water, you are required to provide adequate drainage, possibly excavating a larger area and underlying the service hand hole with gravel.

Central Lincoln crews must have easy access to the hand hole cover at all times. Hand hole must not be covered with pavement, deck, landscaping, etc.

Figure C-4: Flush-mounted meter base with Central Lincoln secondary hand hole (see Legend)
Figure C-5: Surface-mounted meter base with Central Lincoln pole (see Legend)

Pullstring

Pullstring is to be blown in after the sections of the conduit have been glued and the glue has properly dried. Make sure the pullstring does not get glued to the conduit. You will not be required to install pullstring unless your trench is over 50 feet long, or has more than 180 degrees in elbows.

Backfill

After you have installed the trench, conduit, service hand hole and pullstring, you’re ready to call our nearest service office for a trench inspection. You may use the original trench material for backfill, after the inspection, if it is clean (does not contain rock, construction debris, etc.). Otherwise, sand is the preferred backfill.

Final Inspection

All Central Lincoln underground box and duct systems done by customers, contractors, or builders will require a final inspection and approval by a Central Lincoln Operations Department inspector. The Central Lincoln inspector must approve all jobs requiring trenching before the Central Lincoln service or line crew can be dispatched to do the electrical installation.

Figures C-4 & C-5 Legend

Items owned and installed by the customer:

  1. Meter base
  2. Insulating bushing and lock nut
  3. Terminal adapter
  4. Conduit strap
  5. Service entrance conduit as specified by the NEC or local electrical inspector
  6. 90° elbow
  7. UFER grounding installation in accordance with NEC
  8. Customer’s service wire – 18 inches out of top of service hand hole
  9. 3 inch Schedule 40 PVC conduit, couplings, and 36 inch minimum radius elbows

Items owned by Central Lincoln and installed by the customer:

  1.  Pullstring
  2.  Service hand hole (HH-14 or HH-20) to be installed within 10 feet of meter base
  3.  3 inch Schedule 80 PVC, 36 inch minimum radius elbow

Items owned and installed by Central Lincoln:

  1. Secondary hand hole or pole
  2. Meter
  3. Service wire (inside conduit)
Figure C-6: Custom built meter pedestal (see Legend)
Figure C-7: Factory built meter pedestal (see Legend)

Meter Pedestals

If you are installing an underground service to your manufactured home, your service equipment can be installed in one of two ways:

  1. On a customer owned meter pedestal.
  2. On the manufacturer installed home, if the following conditions are met: 1) Manufacturer installed the service equipment at the time your home was built; 2) Or, the service equipment meets the meter base requirements listed below.

A meter base installed on manufactured homes must:

  • Be located on an outside wall of your home
  • Be located on the front or within 4 feet of your home closest to normal public access
  • Be between 5 and 6 feet above finished grade, unless it is a pedestal (then 3 to 4 feet above finished grade)
  • Not be in a walkway, breezeway or carport
  • Not be in an area that is being fenced, or where decking or foliage will block easy access to it
  • Meet Central Lincoln’s size requirements

Meter Pedestals

A meter pedestal is a structure that supports your service equipment. If a meter pedestal is required for your project, it is your responsibility to purchase and install it.

The NEC requires that manufactured homes have a disconnect switch installed within 30 feet of the home on the side of the home facing normal public access. Normally, your meter base is installed at the same location.

You have two meter pedestal options:

  1. Custom built – a pedestal that you or your electrical contractor builds (See Figure C-6)
  2. Factory built – a pedestal you buy (See Figure C-7)

Figures C-6 & C-7 Legend

Items owned and installed by customer:

  1. 6’ x 6”x8’ pressure treated post
  2. Meter base
  3. Service entrance conduit as specified by the NEC or local electrical inspector
  4. Ground wire as specified by the NEC or local electrical inspector
  5. Ground rods as specified by the NEC or local electrical inspector
  6. Customers service wire – 18” out of top of service hand hole
  7. 2” Schedule 40 PVC 90° elbows
  8. 2” Schedule 40 PVC conduit and coupling
  9. Factory built meter pedestal
  10. 3” Schedule 40 PVC conduit, coupling, and 3” 90° elbows

Items owned by Central Lincoln and installed by customer:

  1. Pullstring
  2. Service hand hole (HH-14 or HH-20) to be installed within 10 feet of meter base

Items owned and installed by Central Lincoln:

  1. Service wire from Central Lincoln pole or box
  2. Meter

Existing Direct-Buried Underground

In the past, some underground service lines were direct-buried in the ground, rather than placed in conduit. These old systems are prone to periodic failures, which is why we no longer allow this type of installation.

However, Central Lincoln will find and repair damage to your existing direct-buried underground service, and we will continue to do so as necessary at no cost to the customer. These direct-buried failures cause outages that are frustrating for the customer and expensive for Central Lincoln to repair, so we encourage customers with direct-buried service to upgrade to conduit-based systems.

Normally, a customer installing new underground service must provide all the conduit necessary for the installation. But as an incentive to upgrade, Central Lincoln will provide the necessary wire, conduit, 90° elbows, HH-14 hand-hole, and pullstring from our point of service to the hand hole near your existing meter base. The customer is still required to provide any trenching necessary.

If you’re interested in upgrading from a direct-buried system, please contact Central Lincoln before doing any of the work. A distribution engineering representative will meet with you to determine the proper route for any conduit installation before you dig. And an inspection is necessary of all conduit and substructure installation before trenches are back filled.

Figure C-8: Installation of service hand hole (HH-14 or HH-20)
Figure C-9: Separation between Central Lincoln pole and 3” schedule 80 PVC sweep at base of pole

Section D — Meter Requirements

General Requirements

This chapter provides you with general requirements for the metering equipment that you need in order to have your service energized. Your meter base needs to meet the following criteria for our meter to properly connect.

Your meter base and other equipment installation must meet the requirements of your local electrical inspector. If you have specific questions regarding your meter installation please contact your local electric inspection agency.

Meter bases may not be covered by any structure, unless it can be moved without the use of tools to allow full access to the meter.

Service Rating Options

As stated in Section A, Central Lincoln’s metering equipment requirements for single family residential structures (not apartments or condominiums) are based upon the following single-phase service ratings [and the customer must select which amperage rating is required for the project]:

Ampere Rating                          Voltage

200 Amp                                   120/240 or 120/208

400 Amps or over*                    120/240

*Requires completing a Service Load Data Sheet (PDF).

You are responsible for providing and installing all equipment other than:

  • The meter
  • The service line from Central Lincoln’s facilities to the point of attachment

Meter Base Requirements

The meter base you purchase and install must meet the following general requirements. (Specific requirements for 200 and 400 amp services, and for outbuildings, are listed later in this chapter.)

Your meter base must be:

  • UL (Underwriters Laboratory) approved
  • Rated for exterior use, and be rain-tight according to NEMA-3R
  • Must have all unused openings tightly sealed from the inside of the base
  • Must be plumb and securely fastened to the supporting structure
  • Must be ring-style meter base

200 Amp Services

The 120/240 volt, 200 ampere service is the most common service installed by Central Lincoln. Typically it’s installed in homes with a living area of less than 2500 square feet. However, depending upon what type of equipment you are installing you may want a larger service. It is your responsibility to determine your electrical requirements and to notify Central Lincoln of the size of service you would like.

Meter bases for 200 amp services shall also:

  • Be rated for 120/240 volts and 200 amps
  • Contain four meter jaws and one connection point for the neutral wire
  • Be at least 4-1/4 inches deep, 11 inches wide, and 14 inches high (see Figures D-2 and D-3)
  • Accept 2 inch PVC (preferred) or 2 ½ inch rigid steel conduit
  • Have lugs (electrical connectors) that are marked to accept 4/0 aluminum conductors

The center knockout should not be used on underground because of the bending radius of the cable. If your outbuilding or ancillary service will be used for commercial purposes (i.e. a professional shop, dairy barn, illuminated sign, multifamily/community well) you will have additional requirements. If this is the case please refer to the Commercial Service Guidelines and Standards.

Meter Base Labeling (Duplexes Only)

Meter bases shall be permanently labeled to indicate the part of the premises they service (i.e. unit number). The customer’s name is not acceptable. Central Lincoln requires engraved phenolic nameplates at least one inch and able to withstand severe weather conditions. Felt tip pens and label maker tape are not considered permanent marking. Service will not be established until marking is complete (see Figure D-6).

Multiple Meter Installations (Duplexes Only)

Multiple meter installations shall comply with the equipment arrangement requirements shown in Figure D-6.

Grounding

All meter bases, enclosures and conduit shall be bonded and grounded in accordance with Articles 230 and 250 of the latest edition of the NEC. When self-contained meter bases are used, the neutral conductor shall be connected to the neutral terminal socket.

Grounding Requirements

All meter bases and conduit shall be bonded and grounded in accordance with the NEC. New construction shall have a “UFER” ground installation poured in the footings and be inspected by the building official. It is our responsibility to coordinate this installation with the proper authorities and receive their approval.

Clearance Requirements

The following clearances are required around all meter installations. It is your responsibility to provide and maintain these clearances.

  • The center of the meter shall be between 5 and 6 feet above finished grade (except meter pedestals)
  • If a flush or recessed meter base is installed, the siding or finished surface of the structure shall not overlap the cover of the meter base
  • A minimum working space of 36 inches wide by 36 inches deep is required around the meter (see Figure D-5); this working space is to be kept clear of any obstructions including landscaping.
  • There shall be a minimum horizontal clearance of 36 inches between the center of the electric meter and gas meters (see Figure D-8)
Figure D-1: Flush mounted meter base installation
Figure D-2: 200 Amp underground meter base
Figure D-3: 200 Amp overhead meter base
Figure D-4: Typical Class 320 meter base
Figure D-5: Meter base minimum clearance
Figure D-6: Multiple meter installations for duplexes

 

Figure D-7: CT Meter Base
Figure D-8: Meter base height and gas meter clearances

400 Amp Services

The meter base required for a 120/240 volt, 400 ampere service is a “Class 320” meter base (see Figure D-4). It is larger than the 200 amp meter base, but it is still a self-contained meter base (it doesn’t require instrument transformers). It can be installed on residences where the continuous current rating is 320 amps or less. If your structure will require more than 320 amps continuous, you are required to install an instrument transformer (CT) service.

Class 320 meter bases for 400 amp services shall, in addition to the meter base requirements:

  • Be rated for 120/240 volts and 320 amps continuous
  • Contain four meter jaws and one connection point for the neutral conductor
  • Contain a Class 320 meter with a 324N meter base, or equivalent of, with link-style bypass provisions (see Figure D-4)
  • For underground meter bases we recommend:
    • 3 inch schedule 40 or 80 PVC or steel conduit through a knockout in the bottom left corner of the enclosure
    • Have at least 8-1/2 inches of clearance between the bottom of the lugs and bottom of the enclosure (see Figure D-4)

400 Amp CT Service

CT services are also known as “instrument transformers”. You may request a 120/240 volt, 400 amp CT service, available at an additional charge. This service requires a different meter base (see Figure D-7). It also requires additional equipment (CT enclosure, 1-1/4 inch conduit, CT mounting bracket, etc.).

Contact our nearest service office and ask to speak to the Meter Department.

 

Phase Service Amperage Number of CT’s Dimensions
1 400-800 2 30” W 30” H 11” D

Services Over 400 Amps

120/240 volt services over 400 amps require CT metering. Please contact your nearest service office and ask to speak to the Meter Department for more information.

Section E — Existing Overhead Service

General Requirements

If you wish to continue having overhead service to your home, the information in this chapter will help you.

The following is a checklist that will assist you in preparing your project for the replacement of your existing overhead service. After you have completed these items, Central Lincoln will replace your service line and meter (see Figure E-1). The following items must be completed before Central Lincoln will install your replacement service line:

  • Check to see if there are any local ordinances/covenants that prevent you from replacing an overhead service
  • Contact Central Lincoln (see SECTION A – “Requesting Service”)
  • Determine an acceptable location for your meter base (see SECTION A)
  • Provide a clear path from that pole to your service mast, including tree trimming
  • Install your replacement service equipment
  • Install your replacement service entrance wire (leave 18 inches exposed at the weatherhead)
  • Verify that your service mast height requirements have been met
  • Have the local electrical inspection agency (see SECTION A) approve your installation

Getting Started

After you have completed your new service request, Central Lincoln will contact you to arrange an appointment at the site. At this time the location for the meter base and service line will be determined.

Again, your meter base should be located outside, and within 4 feet of the front of your structure closest to normal public access and the pole (see SECTION A, Figure A-1).

Another factor to consider when choosing the meter base location is what types of terrain the line will be crossing.  Central Lincoln suggests that whenever possible you avoid service line routes that will cross your driveway. Service lines crossing driveways can be hit by vehicles and cause damage to your service equipment and even your home.

Converting Overhead to Underground/Relocating Meter

Central Lincoln will no longer attach new electrical service to a customer-owned overhead meter pole. If a customer is replacing an existing overhead service, and is willing to convert to an underground system, we will provide (if required; and allowed by the local jurisdiction) one Central Lincoln owned clearance pole, service riser, service wire, and in-ground junction box (see Figure E-8 for installation details) at no cost to customer. The same holds true if a customer is willing to relocate a meter to a location more convenient for Central Lincoln.

Figure E-1: Typical overhead service installation

Service Mast Requirements

A service mast is a conduit that runs vertically from the top of your meter base up through your roof. It contains your service entrance conductors and typically supports one end of your service line. Service masts are necessary when installing an overhead service and are installed by you or your electrical contractor.

The requirements for the installation of your service mast are located in the NEC. Some of the more common methods are included in this section for your information.

Figure E-2: Minimum clearances from the ground (consult engineering technician for clearances)
Figure E-3: Service mast clearance option (contact your local electrical inspection agency)
Figure E-4: Minimum vertical clearances over other structures

Height Requirements

The top of your service mast must be a least 13 feet above final grade so that the minimum clearances over your property can be maintained. Additional height may be required depending upon the location and type of structure or terrain which your service line passes over. Figure E-2 illustrates some of the minimum clearances that must be maintained.

Central Lincoln requires that your service mast maintain minimum clearances above your roof. The clearance required depends upon the slope of your roof, and whether or not your service line is attached to the structure.

Figure E-3 is one example of a service mast installation with the service line attached to the mast. This is the method preferred by Central Lincoln.

Service lines passing over the roof of another structure must meet the clearances shown on Figure E-4. Central Lincoln can assist you in determining your proper mast height. Call your nearest service office, and ask to speak to an engineering technician.

Clearances from Buildings, Openings and Gas

A minimum clearance of 3 feet is required between service lines and windows, doors, porches, fire escapes, or similar openings.

A minimum horizontal clearance of 3 feet is required between electric service equipment and natural gas metering equipment (see Figure E-4).

Additional Mast Supports

Additional mast supports, typically a guy or brace, are required for any service line that is over 50 feet in length. Guy and braces are installed to prevent the weight of the service line from pulling your service mast away from your home.

Additional mast supports are required when:

  • You have a 400-amp or larger meter base
  • Your service line is over 50 feet long
  • The top of your service mast is more than 36 inches above your roof

See Figure E-5 for an example of a service mast guy.

Service Equipment Installation Requirements

After you have determined the meter base location, the service route, the height of your service mast, and the size of your service equipment (200 amp, 400 amp, etc.), you are ready to begin installing your service equipment.

There are two ways this equipment can be installed:

  • Surface mounted (see Figure E-5)
  • Flush mounted (see Figure E-6)

Once you have installed your meter base and mast you are ready to provide and install your service entrance wire. The service entrance wire is the wire that is connected to the top lugs in your meter base and runs upwards through the service mast. The service entrance wires must be sized according to the NEC and to the rating of your meter base. When installing the wire, leave at least 18 inches of it exposed at the end of the weatherhead to allow Central Lincoln to connect your service line to it. When you install your meter base make sure the center of the meter will be between 5 and 6 feet above finished ground level.

If you have any questions regarding the installation of your service equipment we suggest that you consult the NEC, call the inspecting agency for your area, or contact an electrical contractor.

Figure E-5: Surface-mounted meter base
Figure E-6: Flush-mounted meter base

Customer Owned Meter Pole

If a customer owned meter pole needs to be replaced, and the customer is willing to convert to underground, Central Lincoln will provide a 35 foot pole and riser at no cost. However, Central Lincoln will not reattach the meter to the new pole. It is the customer’s responsibility to construct a meter pedestal that will be served, underground, from the provided pole. You have two meter pedestal options:

  1. Custom built – a pedestal that you or your electrical contractor builds
  2. Factory built – a pedestal that you buy

See Figure E-7 for an example of a meter pole replacement.

Your meter pole has the same location requirements as your meter base (see SECTION A). However, they may be located closer to vehicular traffic with approval of your Central Lincoln engineer. Typically they are installed within 30 feet of your home.

Items owned and installed by customer:

  • 6 in. x 6 in. x 8 feet min. fully pressure treated post, or factory-built meter pedestal
  • Meter base
  • 2 inch Schedule 40 PVC conduit, couplings and 24 inch minimum radius elbows
  • Ground wire
  • Ground Rods (2 required)
  • Customer conductors – 18” above top of box
  • 3 inch Schedule 40 PVC conduit, couplings and 36 inch minimum radius elbow

Items owned by Central Lincoln and installed by customer:

  1. Pullstring (on spans greater than 50 feet)
  2. Service hand hole (HH-14 or HH-20)
  3. Schedule 80 PVC, 36 inch minimum radius elbow

Items owned and installed by Central Lincoln:

  • Meter
  • Secondary pole
Figure E-7: Replacing meter-pole with Central Lincoln owned pole and customer installed and owned meter pedestal
Figure E-8: Installation of service hand hole (HH-14 or HH-20)

If a customer owned meter pole needs to be replaced and the customer is not willing to convert to underground, Central Lincoln will not provide a new meter pole. The meter pole shall be replaced by the customer with a minimum of 6’ x 6’ pressure treated post with a height that is adequate to provide NESC required clearance (see Figure E-9). For additional assistance on meter pole installations, contact your nearest Central Lincoln service office, and ask to speak to an engineering technician.

Figure E-9: Overhead to Overhead on customer pole replacement service