Investigators with CWLP’s Electric Transmission and Distribution Department report having recently discovered several instances where customers have installed swimming pools too close to overhead power lines. Utility officials want to remind property owners and renters, as well as pool installation companies, that CWLP’s Rules and Specifications for Electrical Service specify minimum distances pools and related equipment and structures must be kept from overhead wires. These regulations are based on National Electric Safety Code standards and are designed to protect consumer health and safety. Electric lines located closer than allowed pose a potentially grave hazard for pool users, as well as for persons using long-handled “skimmers” to clean the pool. Customers who violate the regulations risk having their electric service interrupted until the situation is corrected.
Section 2.04(C)(4) of the Rules and Specifications for Electrical Service states that the type of service lines (those carrying 750 volts or less) running to most residential properties must be at least 10 feet horizontally from any edge of the pool or its diving boards or towers and at least 22.5 feet above the surface of the water or above the tallest diving structure with which the pool might be equipped. Service lines in excess of 750 volts but less than 22,000 volts must be at least 17 feet horizontally from the edge of the pool or its diving boards or towers and at least 25 feet above the surface of the water or above the tallest diving structure.
When a violation of these regulations is discovered, CWLP contacts the customer either in person, by phone or by letter to inform them of the need to correct the problem and to discuss potential methods of correction. If the customer does not rectify the situation within 30 days of notification, the utility has the option of shutting off power to the property until the problem is fixed.
CWLP’s Rules and Specifications for Electrical Service can be found on CWLP’s website (www.cwlp.com/electric/contractorinfo/ElecServiceRulesAndSpecs031211.pdf).