The county requires the temporary power pole to be installed "in accordance with the NEC" but doesn't elaborate further.

Are there any specific requirements for temp power poles in the NEC 2014 or 2017 editions, such as number of receptacles, in use weather proof covers, amperages, number of plugs, etc?

There are some pre-built temporary power panels like these, but they don't appear to have in-use water proof covers, and I thought that was a requirement.

Does anyone know the relevant code section(s) that lists specifically what features are required or not required for temp poles?

  • With regard to in-use covers, what are you expecting to see? Feb 20, 2018 at 5:21
  • 1
    That entire NEMA 3R raintite enclosure in your example is an "in-use" enclosure. With the cover closed there will be a slot for cord exit across the bottom.
    – Tyson
    Feb 20, 2018 at 12:40
  • This question may be too broad for this format. There's no "Temporary power pole requirements" section in the NEC. Basically, you build the pole to the utilities specifications, and follow NEC while you do it. If the receptacles are exposed to weather, then you'll need in-use covers. The rest of your list should be covered by the utilities specification, and/or requirements of the builder. A temporary box like you've linked to, should meet the NEC requirements for receptacle covers.
    – Tester101
    Feb 20, 2018 at 14:29

2 Answers 2


In this state the power pole is regulated by the requirements on the utility company, but must be inspected and approved by the AHJ. The most important thing to remember about any temporary power set up is that all power must be GFCI protected. There are some questions about breakers that serve feeders other than standard power outlets being GFCI protected. I have found, in this area, it varies between each jurisdiction.

Here is a standard Temporary Power Pole assembly issued by the utility company that always seems to work if you follow it to the letter. enter image description here

A standard temp pole only has two 20A 120V circuits GFCI protected, and one standard 20A 2P 240V circuit connected to a suitable receptacle, but non GFCI protected. Like I said some jurisdiction say its ok and some make you remove and blank out the breaker. Sometimes Jurisdictions will allow you to install what is called a spider box with extra receptacle outlets on it, but they also must meet NEC and jurisdictional codes. If you take a good look at note 4 on the image you will see that most temp power poles are 40 or 60 amp feeders. I generally will go with a 60A feeder.

In conclusion what I am saying is that there are pre qualified types of power pole directions that cover all of the NEC requirements without having to go through the entire code to get it right, and is perfect for a DIY party to construct. If you take a good look at the image I posted. How many code sections would you have to address just to build a temporary power and hope you got it right? As for myself I would just go with what they say will work and move on.

Hope this helps and good luck.

  • 1
    Temporary services can supply 240v, we have 2 such buildings going up right now and both have 240 avaiable one is commercial and one is residential. Code/ AHJ get tough on spider boxes in our area but we do use them, the inspector usually checks every foot of the cord supplying the box so we use type W cord because it is so much tougher than standard hard service cord.
    – Ed Beal
    Feb 20, 2018 at 14:40

The big thing on temporary panels is that they have GFCI protection per NEC 590.6 this covers all 120v 15,20 & 30 amp outlets. The panel you listed looked like what we use at RV sites for 240v 50 amp supplies. The one I looked at had the 120v gfci. But the 30 amp was a standard breaker. I have not had a inspector require more than the 20 amp GFCI protection with heavy duty/ in use covers. As 1 comment said above nema 3r enclosure is the other part since it will be outside. As far how it is set up for underground we attach the panel to a 4x4 post, overhead depends on the length of the run and if it crosses a road for for example we will usually set a pole at 18' for the feed, if the drop will have nothing but foot traffic between the utility pole and the temp pole we will set it at 12'. Make sure the meter base is located at the height the utility specifys or they may not energise the line ( my county the utility limits the meter to 6') so your panel will usually be below this for overhead. That has been the only thing I have run into problems with until recently the inspectors started checking the GFCI's to make sure they were WR rated this should be stamped on the face of the GFCI outlet.

  • From the wording on NEC 590.6 (B), it looks like all outlets need GFCI protection if they are "used to supply temporary power to equip- ment used by personnel during construction". This is in the 2014 version.
    – Nick
    Mar 21, 2018 at 1:44

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