Underground facility clearances important to reliability

Underground facility clearances important to reliability

Posted on April 1st, 2019

To improve aesthetics of new neighborhoods, developers often put in underground power lines. While this eliminates utility poles and overhead wires, it requires installing pad-mounted transformers in yards.

Some homeowners, concerned about curb appeal, attempt to screen pad-mount transformers from view — creating an unsafe situation for all concerned, including First Electric servicemen.

“We realize landscaping represents an investment of time and money,” Tim Felty, right-of-way maintenance supervisor said. “We respect the effort and care our members invest in making their properties attractive. However, landscaping around electrical equipment interferes with our ability to deliver reliable power.”

First Electric recommends leaving at least 12 feet of clear space on the access panel and three feet on all other sides of pad-mount transformers.

Servicemen repair units while energized so homeowners don’t experience a service interruption. To ensure safety, they use an 8-foot fiberglass hot stick that requires about 12 feet of room on the lock side of the access panel.

Maintenance on pad-mount transformers is performed as needed by First Electric. Crews are currently working in the Hot Springs Village area.

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