Mar 21 , 2019
The Service Drop
The overhead service drop, or underground service lateral, are the electrical conductors that come from the utility pole, pedestal or ground-mounted transformer to the home. Changes to the service drop will always be completed by the utility company, and the cost for most changes are the responsibility of the customer. The major safety issue here is that the service drop conductors have no fuse, circuit breaker or any kind of overcurrent protection at their supply end; they are directly connected to the utility’s distribution grid and are energized at all times.
There are three conductors coming to the service mast in the overhead service drop, two ungrounded conductors (hot legs) and a separate grounded conductor (neutral). The hot legs have black thermoset, polymer or other nonmetallic conductor insulation. If all three wires are connected to the service mast that runs through the roof, and/or down the exterior wall of the house in a service-entrance conduit, you can usually assume there is 240–volt service for the house since each hot leg measures 120–volts from each hot leg to the neutral.