People prefer underground electric lines in their neighborhood. Pad-mounted transformers are part of the underground system. They are placed on easements in yards and serve the same purpose as transformers on utility poles. Because transformers may serve several homes, underground lines may go out from them in many directions. Here are guidelines to remember when you plant near transformers:
- Always call North Carolina One-Call Center, 1-800-632-4949 before you dig anywhere in your yard. North Carolina One-Call will notify underground utility services for you.
- Maintain a 10-foot clearance in front of the transformer. Equipment inside is energized at high voltage. Line crews work on “energized” transformers to avoid interrupting your service. The linemen use long fiberglass (insulating) sticks and need the clear space to work safely.
- Maintain a 3-foot clearance to the sides and back of the transformer. Equipment inside the box generates heat and needs air circulation to keep cool and run efficiently. Overheating could cause an outage.
- Use gravel, wood chips, grass or low ground cover around the transformer. Flowers are okay, but may get trampled if we have to work on it. To maintain reliable service, we open the transformer and inspect it periodically.
If you presently have trees causing clearance problems to our main lines please consider our “Trade A Tree” program. This program’s purpose is to remove problem trees at a member’s residence, while replacing it with a young tree in a location away from power lines.
Call your local office for more information.