We had a neighbor move our junction box that is in a utility easement over our neighbors property. When he moved it, he used up all of the slack in the box and he also buried it under 4' of soil. Additionally, he built a garage where the foundation is about 6" away from the box. I was hoping someone here could help me reference applicable National Electrical Code that we can use in our defense as we try to get our box restored .I really can thank you enough for any help, and if you need any additional information, please let me know.

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    Is this your main service feed coming from the power company? If so, I'd suggest giving them a call to let them know that someone's tampered with your service. They'll know all the rules and regs and have a fleet of lawyers chomping at the bit if necessary.
    – FreeMan
    Commented Jan 28, 2021 at 18:19
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    Adding to @FreeMan 's comment: Power companies don't follow the NEC. IF this is the service feed, an and NEC "violation" will not necessarily get their attention. However, FreeMan is right, somebody messing with their property will get their attention. From their view there are potential liability issues at play (read money).
    – tnknepp
    Commented Jan 28, 2021 at 18:37
  • Thank you for the response. It is actually on the stretch from the meter to our house, so I believe that makes it privately owned. It is located in hawaii and they adopted the 2017 NEC as the applicable code for private electric installation Commented Jan 28, 2021 at 19:14
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    @MikeRobson, if it's the feed between your meter and your house, that means it's privately owned by you, and if your neighbor is tampering with it without your permission, you'd have grounds to sue them, regardless of if they violated code. The fact that it's in a utility easement gives the utility the right to work on their own cables there, but it doesn't give any rights to your neighbor to modify your cables.
    – Nate S.
    Commented Jan 28, 2021 at 22:13
  • Nate I do agree that someone messing with there feed may be a legal issue but those would be off topic. Other than that +
    – Ed Beal
    Commented Jan 28, 2021 at 22:26

1 Answer 1


Start with NEC 300.2 and keep reading. I don’t see an issue the connections are in a box.

junctions underground for UF wire do not even require a box. in that case a listed UF splice kit would be needed (yours appears to be in conduit).

if they pulled the slack from the junction at your box not this one, you may have a case.

Since it is after the meter contact the electrical inspector and ask if a permit was required for the work and did they get one and was it inspected?

The grounding conductor (green wire) is normally required to be an irreversible compression type or welded. I can’t tell but the Polaris connections are acceptable in a box.

the top needs to be accessible not buried. I am not sure if your 4’ comment is the depth of the splice or box top. In conduit this is well below the requirement (safer).

Each jurisdiction has there own requirements that would pass in my state if the green wire is in a crimp connector or butt splice.

  • Ok thank you so much, I will continue reading through that code. And i did mean that he buried the actual box 4' down, then the wires are an addition 3' down within the box. I am trying to find if there is anything in the code that also requires a certain amount of slack to be left in the box for maintenance. Also, if junction boxes of this size need to have a clear work zone/ setback from building. Commented Jan 28, 2021 at 22:50
  • Check out 314.29 the box must be accessible as I mentioned before some jurisdictions don’t even allow a thin coat of gravel to hide the box. 4’ down is definitely a violation. In ground they are usually lax on “slack”. I have seen butt splices made that there was no slack you could move the wires up and down an inch or two just barely enough to splice together but the depth that should ring a bell.
    – Ed Beal
    Commented Jan 28, 2021 at 23:11
  • Thank you Ed! Super helpful. Still trying to find something about the slack issue. What if an earthquake were to happen, wouldnt you want slack in your junction boxes so they dont get damaged? Commented Jan 28, 2021 at 23:14
  • Mike sure that sounds great to have slack and I always have a small service loop. in a large box there is really not a minimum (ok it’s 6” NEC 300.14). I say this because code requires 6” inside the box. you could not directly splice these 2 cables with 6” you could add a section and that would be code legal. Go after the permit if needed and depth of the box. I am a licensed electrician and as I have mentioned the length is ok no slack is required just 6” from the entry inside the box. 300.13 for the picture 300.14 for the words.
    – Ed Beal
    Commented Jan 29, 2021 at 14:27

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