The problem with overhead electrical service

There are two types of electrical service – overhead and underground. If you have the former, there’s a chance you could need a visit from an electrician with every wind or ice storm.

As the name implies, underground electric service runs under the street, to a transformer on the block. From there, it comes up under your electric meter and into the house. Overhead electrical service is the more common type that comes from the pole. Lines from the pole run into a riser, into a weatherhead, then into your home.

When storms come, that riser, weatherhead, some wiring, and the electrical meter is what causes many calls for service.

Often, the riser is pulled away from the home. In other cases, the meter itself is ripped away from the home. You don’t always lose power from this. What happens more often is that the power company sees that it’s happened and turn off your power for safety’s sake. They simply tell you to fix it and call them when it’s done to get your power back.

That’s a frustrating moment for homeowners, especially because a riser, weatherhead, meter, and any affected wiring isn’t cheap. It’ll cost you about $700 or so to repair it. But it’s necessary to have power coming to your home. Some people have even reported getting bills for $3,000, but that’s usually because more damage was done to the meter.

What you don’t want to do is try and fix this problem yourself. You may be into DIY projects, but this is one that can get you killed quickly. Aside from the physical danger, replacing a meter isn’t something that you can do. While the power company will sell a meter to an electrician, they won’t sell it to a homeowner.

So while it is a pain to have a surprise expense, it’s better than being powerless. And if you don’t replace the riser, weatherhead, meter, and typically some wiring, powerless is what you’re going to be.

If this happens at your home in the future, keep this number handy and calls us for a speedy repair – (405) 796-0320.

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