What’s the name of the wire I need that goes from the meter box to the top of the electric pole and how many feet of wire do I need to get.

  • 1
    In my country, we would say the wire (cable) goes from the supply pole to the meter, and it's actually the property of the electric company and for them to install. I think you need to describe the problem you have — and where in the world you are — because what you seem to have decided on as the answer may not be the right answer. May 14 at 9:45
  • It isn't clear what you mean asking how long your wire should be. Can you explain that more please?
    – jay613
    May 14 at 10:53
  • @jay613 I found another question by a similarly named user (in an answer): "I am trying to figure out what size wire I need and the name of the wiring I need to get that goes from the top of my meter box to the top of my electric pole. We are using a 100 amp service." But to assess size, you need to know the load and the length. And is it really for consumers to install?! May 14 at 11:27
  • 2
    I can't imagine this would be permissible in any jurisdiction; you could just bypass the meter entirely… if you didn't manage to electrocute yourself first. Let's imagine if you don't know what it's called or how much of it you need you are unlikely to have the necessary qualifications or expertise to perform the task safely…
    – Tetsujin
    May 14 at 11:50
  • 1
    Who do you have for an electric utility? May 14 at 14:11

1 Answer 1


You never, ever, ever mess with energized power company wires. If you need to replace your riser in a different place, build a new meter-main, riser and weatherhead alongside it and then call them and have them move their wires. They'll do that for free. Dead customers don't pay :)

That thing there is called a riser and weatherhead

The riser is generally made of RMC type steel conduit, going straight up from the meter pan. Sometimes it makes a 90 degree turn (via a sweep or conduit body) to go horizontally, other times it punches right through the roof (I am not fan of roof penetrations).

At the top or end of the pipe is a special fitting called a weatherhead that keeps water out of the pipe.

Your power company or local permit issuer will tell you their requirements for the location of the weatherhead.

Depending on the installation, you may also need to provide an anchor on the house to bear the very large side-load from the wire from the pole which the power company will attach. Sometimes the riser itself bears this force.

I generally recommend running 2” or 2.5” conduit so it's a nice stiff pipe, and to make it real easy to heavy-up to 200A later.

Build the entire riser before pulling any wire in to it. Since this is mandatory, once the mete pan, riser and weatherhead are built out, you can measure the length of wire you need.

If you are replacing a meter pan, then spend the extra money on a meter-main. This makes it 5 times easier and 100 times safer for you to DIY all the other electrical in the house. Meter-mains are a new code requirement most places.

Wire size

For wire, you use 2 AWG aluminum type THWN or XHHW wire for 100A residential service. 1 AWG aluminum for non-residential. 3 wires for normal 120/240V service. Does not need to be black red white, all black is fine but you must mark to identify the neutral. This particular wire (utility to meter) does not get a ground wire.

If you want to install 200A wire today then use 4/0 size for residential or 250 kcmil for non-resi. But if you installed the riser correctly, it's easy to change the wire later. And prices are weirdly high right now. #2 Al used to be 30 cents a foot. Even with inflation that should be like 35 cents.

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