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Question DetailsAsked on 7/14/2017

If someone hits a utility pole, the electrical wire is underground & 100 ft from meter box will the box loosen?

Underground electrical wires run to a meter box 100 ft from the utility pole and the pole gets hit, not knocked down, but tilted and leaned against a vehicle. Can that loosen the meter box?

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Voted Best Answer

HIGHLY unlikely - first because almost always such wires are direct buried in the ground, so the friction of the cable with the soil would limit any stretching out force to the first maybe 5-15 feet from the pole. Plus, the underground feed from the pole goes down the pole in a conduit (so some slack inside the conduit) to the ground and into the ground at the base of the pole, so even if the pole is lying half over (and not broken off at ground level) the movement of the cable inthe ground would likely be fairly small, and likely taken up by the slack that is left in the wire loops at the top of the conduit on the pole.

If your buried line happens to be in a buried conduit run, AND the cable got seriously pulled at the pole (both unlikely), then I guess it MIGHT pull on the box, but after likely at least two 90 degree turns between the pole and your meter panel, the friction of those turns alone would likely reduce any cable pull at the meter panel to a very minimall amount - the cable would almost certainly have stretched out instead.

Not sure if your meter box is loose or you are just concerned about the possibility - but if it is loose sometimes the utility company will tighten it down for free (depends on company), sometimes they say you need an electrician of your own to do it should be minimum service charge of maybe $75-150 range by an Electrician. If you think your meter box got pulled loose by the collision, call the utility company and ask they check for damage at your house due to the pole being hit pulling on your service feed.

One other thing - if this pole is at the street, unless the underground drop runs direct from the pole across your property to your meter, usually it would first go to a service pedestal (small metal box about 8-12 inches in plan dimension and maybe 3 feet tall, typically) and maybe a transformer (about 3 foot metal cube or cylinder sitting on ground) at the edge of the street, with the service drop to your house thenn coming from there across your yard. In that case, if you have a near-street transformer or pedestal, the line from the pole to there is not cintinuous to your house, so while it might pull on them would not pull against your meter base.

BTW - I hope you have reported the downed pole to the emergency number at the power utility, because that is a hazard to pedestrians and possibly also to high vehicles which might clip the wires. Sometimes the police forget to do this - or the collission, may have been an unreported hit and run event.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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