I'm getting electrical service to bare land. This is not temporary service but permanent remote service to a pressure treated 6" x 6" post instead of a building.

I already have covered the work to trench, lay conduit, and install the post. But I'm uncertain about the next step, of installing the meter socket and service panel.

My power company provides a handbook that describes what they want to see. The remote metering setup is described on pages 16 and 17 of that document. Here is the diagram they provide:

Puget Sound Energy Remote Meter diagram

Here's my neighbor's remote meter, as an example. The main difference is that I won't be running conduit off to a house. I intend to put a couple construction receptacles on the post, though.

(Click through for full-size image.)

I like electrical work, and have gone as far as installing a new circuit in my house. I could read up a bit more on this stuff and DIY, or hire a pro. What do you recommend?

This is in Washington State, USA.

  • 2
    A street or driveway? Whole different set of rules for crossing a ROW underground than going under a private driveway. Get a consult with your utility company before you get carried away. Town may require the trench and service be done by utility company under a public way. Feb 22, 2011 at 12:26
  • @shirlockhomes: It's a private street, vacated by statute, but not privately owned. Anyway, that part I've already vetted with the power company and the county.
    – Jay Bazuzi
    Feb 22, 2011 at 16:45
  • 1
    Make sure you get a panel rated for outside use, and make sure it has the ability to be locked (with a pad lock preferably). If some idiot comes along opens the panel and sticks his tongue across the hot bus bars, you could be held liable for his stupidity. Make sure you secure the panel to the best of your ability. You might also think about putting an odd color zip tie through the lock hole, that way you will know if anybody has been messing about inside the panel while you are away.
    – Tester101
    Feb 22, 2011 at 17:38
  • normally we use a NEMA 4 (X), with a locking door and tamper proof screws. Feb 22, 2011 at 22:11

1 Answer 1


Jay, your power utility probably has an instruction sheet with specifications for the post, wire sizes, and temp meter enclosure. In some states you (the home owner) can preassemble the temp service.

Since the temp box only supports plug-ins (extension cords, etc) there aren't any load conductors to inspect. The power utility has to make the connections after they inspect the service. If you don't use a meter/breaker/recpt preassembled box, you have to make it from components.

The connection from the load side of the meter to the line lugs or the disconnect panel my have to be signed off by a Master Electrician. Check your local codes on that part.

Be sure all the parts are the proper NEMA type per specs, and don't bury any cables or conduit (but you can lay them in the trench) until utility or building inspector gives you the OK.

I almost forgot to mention, some electricians have temp services all made up that you can rent. Not a bad idea if it is going to be only short term use. You still have to run your service entry cable however.

  • Thanks. I have the document from the power company. Note that this is permanent service to a remote location (a post) not permanent service.
    – Jay Bazuzi
    Feb 22, 2011 at 16:47
  • permanent or not permanent??? i'm confused???? Feb 22, 2011 at 17:11
  • @Shirlock - Sounds like this might be a camp or other land with no permanent structure, so the panel will be permanently affixed to the post.
    – Tester101
    Feb 22, 2011 at 17:29
  • 1
    If this is going to be a camp lot, then consider an RV hook-up. 120/240 with twist-lock 30 amp recpts and standard 120vac GFIC outlets. This is the same thing you would find at a campground and some marinias Feb 22, 2011 at 22:07
  • 1
    In my area, under road service requires it to be 48 inches deep and in 4 inch galv or schedule 40 pipe. Also a warning tape at 24 inches. Feb 23, 2011 at 11:47

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