Safe Clearances

Safe Clearances

Please plan for and maintain safe working and permanent clearances from utility facilities.

  • Minimum state and federal safe working clearance from a construction crane to any overhead line is 10 feet.
  • Greater clearances required for overhead electric lines operating at voltages exceeding 50,000 volts. More detail.

Refer to the Wisconsin State Electrical Code and OSHA for clearances:

  • From overhead electric facilities to buildings, signs, antennas, balconies, windows, etc.
  • Near any underground facility.
  • Between transformers and doors, windows, air intake vents, combustible walls, etc.

Landscaping your site

  • Always call Diggers Hotline before digging. Underground cables could emerge in any direction from transformers and other cabinets.
  • Allow three feet of space on sides and behind transformers. Pad-mounted transformers can overheat and cause a service interruption if they do not have enough air circulation around them.
  • Allow 10 feet of clear space in front of transformers. Service workers open and work on the transformers while they are energized so you don’t experience an interruption. To safely do that, they use an eight-foot fiberglass “hot stick.”
  • Plantings in the right-of-way may be run over. Transformers must be upgraded and replaced, and occasionally require extensive repairs. We must drive a vehicle into the right-of-way and use a boom to lift and transport them. We may not be able to avoid damaging your plantings in the right-of-way.

Future expansion

Plan your service and meter installations with an eye to the future. You don't want to pay for moving utilities when you build on a sunroom or add a garage.

For more information

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