What is Vertical Clearance

Vertical Clearance from Grade for Open Overhead Service Conductors 

Location 

Minimum Clearance Requirement 

1)  Over public streets, roads, alleys, and parking areas with truck traffic

18 feet

2)  Over commercial parking areas

18 feet

3)  Over swimming pools

22 feet and 6 inches above and 10 feet horizontally

4)  Over residential properties, yards, driveways, and any other parking areas

12 feet

5)  Overall walking areas, sidewalks, decks, roof surfaces, and patios used by pedestrians only, measured from final grade or other accessible surfaces

10 feet at the electrical service entrance, at the lowest point of the drip loop

6)  Above roof surfaces having a slope of less than 4:12 and not subject to pedestrian traffic

8 feet, maintained for a distance of at least 3 feet in all directions from the edge of the roof

7)  Over roof surfaces having a slope of 4:12 or greater

3 feet

8)  Over roof surfaces where voltage is 300 or less and the roof area is guarded or isolated

3 feet

9)  Termination of through-the-roof raceway or approved support above the overhanging portion of the roof that is less than 4 feet measured horizontally

18 inches

10)  From sides of doors, porches, decks, stairs, ladders, fire escapes, and balconies, and from the sides and bottom of windows that open

3 feet from the bottom, sides, and front

Vertical Clearance 2
Vertical Clearance 3

Another common clearance problem is caused by trees and shrubs interfering with the overhead supply. The homeowner should take the time to eyeball the length of the supply from the pole to the attachment point on the structure, and report any tree limbs touching the conductors.


Most electrical companies will clear your tree free of charge from their electrical wires.

Also, remember that the branches are heavier during the summer and weigh down further on the conductors. What may be marginal during the winter months may well cause problems later in the growing season.

Any limbs within 5 to 6 feet of the cable assembly are cut back.

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Vertical Clearance from Grade for Open Overhead Service Conductors
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