Sagging Power Line To House: What You Need To Know

Sagging Power Line To House: What You Need To Know

If you or a loved one has been electrocuted by a sagging power line to your house, then you may file an electric shock claim for pain and suffering compensation as well as other economic damages from the utility company that owns the overhead cable. If someone has lost a life, then a wrongful death case could be filed.

Please contact your electric utility company with questions about sagging power lines. Unfortunately, the Electrocution Lawyers can only help if someone has suffered a shock injury or electrocution. For a non-injury-related legal issue, you should contact your local utility company. Your state bar also sometimes can refer you to an attorney that focuses on a specific non-injury related legal need. 

An experienced electrocution lawyer will help you and your family protect your legal rights, hold the power or utility company accountable for the injuries or loss of life they have caused, and provide you and your family with the security you need to heal and begin rebuilding your life.

How to stay safe around a sagging power line to your house

If you have a sagging power line to your house, then you should not touch it. You should stay away from it and you should keep others away. Contact your power or utility company immediately. Once they have conducted an inspection, they will let you know if the low hanging overhead cable to your home is safe or needs repair.

However, if you have reason to believe that the low hanging overhead power cable to your house poses a serious and immediate danger, then you should call 9-1-1.

Why do power lines sag?

There are several reasons why power lines sag: (1) the utility has installed them that way to strike a safe balance of tension and sag; (2) improper maintenance, repair or installation; (3) mechanical loads such as ice and snow; (4) electrical loads from faulty lines; and (5) thermal loads.

Here are more details on why they can sag:

  • Improper maintenance, repair or installation – When they are improperly maintained and repaired or installed this can cause the insulators or the pole top hardware to fail and, ultimately, cause the overhead cable to fall partially (i.e., sag) or fall completely to the ground
  • Mechanical loads – Mechanical loads, such as the force from gravity, wind, ice, snow, and contaminants, can put pressure on the wires, poles, insulators or pole top hardware, causing the over head cable to sag
  • Electrical loads – When they are not properly maintained or repair, electricity can leak and damage the electrical hardware and infrastructure
  • Thermal loads – The freeze/thaw cycles that occur with the change in weather can cause damage to the overhead cable and the electrical infrastructure, which causes them to sag dangerously low or falling to the ground

Is the sagging power line to my house dangerous?

Whether a sagging power line to house is dangerous will generally depend whether the overhead cable has the right amount of sag and tension and whether the lowest point of the overhead cable is high enough off the ground to meet federal and state safety regulations.

You should call your power or utility company to make the necessary assessment and evaluation of your circumstances to conclude whether they pose a danger.

All overhead power cables – including those running to a person’s home – will have what is called “sag” in the utility industry and by the very small handful of personal injury lawyers who specialize in electrocution lawsuits.

The amount of sag is the result of how much tension there is in the overhead cable that is strung between utility poles and/or between the utility power and a person’s home. As you might expect, the less tension there is, the looser the overhead cable will be and, thus, the greater the “sag” will be.

Fortunately, there are engineering tables that give formulas for how much sag and tension a given span of lines between poles should have so they do not snap – and so they do not hang too low and, thus, endanger the public.

How high off the ground should a sagging power line to house be?

The safe height for a sagging power line to a house is determined by considering the clearance guidelines published by the National Electrical Safety Code (NESC), the guidelines of the utility that owns the overhead cable and whether the circumstances warrant that the overhead cable be maintained at a greater height.

State courts will often consider whether a reasonable person in the electric utility industry would conclude that the public’s safety under the existing circumstances requires a higher clearance height than what is required by the NESC or utility guidelines.

What should you do about a sagging power line to your house?

To know whether a low hanging overhead power cable to your home poses a true danger or whether it is a safe condition for local power lines in a residential area, report the situation to your power or utility company. Keep detailed notes of the dates and times of your phone contacts. Save all written and email communications.

Your communications to the power or utility company will hopefully prevent a tragedy from occurring. However, they will also prove the utility had notice of the situation if the utility fails to act and someone is hurt as a result.

Unfortunately, documentation of contacts with big utility companies is all too frequently “lost” after tragedy has struck and electrocution litigation has begun. Accordingly, I also advise people to send their concerns to the power or utility company by certified mail.

Get help from an experienced electric shock injury lawyer

If you or someone you love is a victim of serious personal injury or death caused by electricity, you can call and speak with Jeff Feldman, arguably the nation’s most experienced electric shock accident attorney. Jeff has litigated cases involving low hanging overhead power cables and against utility companies in multiple states and consults with lawyers throughout the country on electric shock injury and wrongful death cases involving electricity. You can call Jeff toll free at (800) 548-0043  for a free consultation.

Sagging Power Line To House: What You Need To Know
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