Underground Power Lines

Underground Power Line Graphic 1 Electrical circuits are generally placed underground to protect the lines from high winds, ice and other damaging elements. Underground installation also improves aesthetics, but is usually more costly. For this reason, most utilities will install underground lines at the customer's request and cost.

Underground power lines of any type have very thick insulation. In addition, National Codes dictate the depth, below ground, these lines must be buried. Some low voltage underground circuits could be as shallow as 18 inches, while most higher voltage circuits will be deeper than 24 inches.

If there are underground electrical circuits on your property, pay attention to where they are located. Never dig holes for planting trees, shrubs or other landscaping without determining the location of underground electrical lines. In general, most electrical lines are buried deep enough to make gardening safe, but to be sure, always check with the utility before planting, placing bushes or trees, and digging post holes for fences.

Many utilities belong to organizations that map and record the locations of ALL underground lines like electrical, cable, telephone and gas lines. Either the utility company or the underground records company can come to your location and mark the location of underground lines so you know where they are.

Underground Power Line Graphic 2If a utility has installed underground power lines in your area, several large steel boxes containing transformers will be located at ground level around your neighborhood. While these high voltage transformers are quite safe when the enclosures are closed and locked, for safety's sake, please keep your distance. If one is found opened or damaged, call the utility company immediately.