You say I can’t have my landscaping inside the established boundaries, but I see TV/Cable boxes located inside the boundaries. Will that have to be moved, too?
You’re already dealing with a transformer cabinet on your property. While the TV/Cable boxes are not allowed in the front clearance area, we have been able to work it out so it can be placed on the sides. Like the transformer, this equipment is necessary to supply service to your home. National Electrical Safety Code allows us to locate this equipment in close proximity only if we connect them with ground wire. We make the extra effort to help minimize the impact of equipment to the total landscape.
What about decorative lighting?
The decorative lighting units you’ve seen belong to Horry Electric. Again, to help minimize the impact to your total property, we locate this equipment in close proximity to the transformer whenever possible. We have the tools and expertise to easily remove and replace these decorative lights, if necessary.
What’s the difference?
It is difficult and dangerous enough to work with the voltages inside that transformer cabinet. To have something that can grow into and around the transformer adds to that danger. Plants have roots that can grow into the equipment and cause problems. Plants also attract creatures like snakes, termites and even fire ants that also pose a risk to the equipment, as well as the linemen trying to get to the transformer equipment to make repairs. In addition to potentially being a contributing factor to an outage, landscaping adds to outage time because it has to be removed before crews can work safely to locate problems and restore service.
I don’t understand why there has to be a 4’ clearance around the sides of the equipment. Is it really necessary that it be exactly 4’?
Air flow and plant root growth are the two primary reasons for the 4’ clearance. Good air flow around the equipment is necessary in order for it to maintain the correct temperature. If air flow is blocked, the temperature will go up, potentially causing the equipment to overheat and possibly even cause premature failure. The 4’ clearance also takes into account root growth, which was noted as a potential problem in the answer to the previous question.