Tuesday, September 24, 2013

What is a primary electrical line?


My contractor says that we have to install a new primary electrical line to the house, what is that?


The primary electrical line is the electrical line that comes from the nearest hydro pole or hydro vault to the electrical panel in your home. This is the main feed of electricity for your home, without it you wouldn’t have electricity at all.

There are two types of primary electrical lines;

1. The overhead primary electrical line; this is the line that comes from the nearest hydro pole through the air to your house. It is usually connected to a metal pole called a mast that is mounted high up on your house usually on the roof or the top of a gable. The wire runs down the mast into the meter on the side of your house, from there it runs into your home through the wall and into the back of the electrical panel. Because the line is strung from your house to the pole it is easily visible and can be damaged from extreme weather or tree branches.

2. The underground primary electrical line; this is the electrical line that comes from a hydro pole, or hydro vault underground across your property until it comes to your hydro meter. From the hydro meter it then enters your home through the wall and runs into the back of your hydro panel. Because the line is underground it isn’t affected by weather or tree branches. It is in danger of being dug up when work is being done on the property that evolves having to excavate the ground. It can also be damaged depending on the soil type around it, rocks or hard clay can pinch or break the line if there is movement in the soil from frost or vehicle traffic over top of it.

Usually if your contractor is telling you that they have to change your primary electrical line it is because your house is not receiving the correct amount of electricity to properly run everything in it. That shows up when you are using a lot of electricity, for example in the middle of the summer the air conditioner along with several appliances sometimes will be running all at the same time putting a high demand on the line for electricity. Another way that you exceed the electrical capacity is if you are adding to your home in a renovation or addition then you could exceed the current power supply and need to upgrade that line.

Thanks for the question

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc.

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