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Electrical & Gas Laterals

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The Basics
Electrical lateral- The electrical lateral (sometimes called service lateral) is the power wire that travels from the city transformer to the exterior service panel of the house. Depending on your situation, the service will come from an overhead line, or through an underground electrical conduit (some jurisdictions don't require conduit). If the service is coming from underground the contractor is responsible to dig the trench and install the conduit in accordance with the electrical company specifications and the National Electrical Code (NEC).

Once the electrical rough in is complete it is now time to get the permanent power installed. During the rough-in process the electrician must install one finished GFCI receptacle and one breaker. This will allow the electrical company to install permanent power and to remove the temporary power pole leaving power access for the subs.

Click on the Thumbnail below to view a cross-section of an electrical lateral.









Generally before you hook up your permanent power you will have to:

  • Pass your rough electrical inspection and the electrical company service inspection.
  • Have your electrical conduit or electrical mast installed according to electrical company specifications and The National Electrical Code (NEC).
  • Schedule the hook-up with your local electrical company, which might take a few weeks depending on schedules and work load.

Gas Lateral- The gas lateral is the pipe that connects the gas from the main line to the house. The gas utility company will install the meter and hook up the gas line from the street to the house. Prior to installing the gas lateral the gas company will want to make sure that the following conditions are met: 1. The gas line has been inspected and pressure tested; 2. The furnace is installed and ready to run; 3. Schedule the hook-up with your local gas company, which might take a few weeks depending on schedules and work load.
To install the gas lateral the gas company locates the line in the street and then cuts the asphalt and digs until it locates the line. They tap into that line and run the lateral line to the house. The size of the pipe in the house and the meter size are determined by the number of gas appliances installed.

Notes to the owner-builder
Getting the gas and electrical hooked into the house is important during the cold months of the year. During the cold months drywall, painting and floor coverings can't be completed without heat. Temporary heating is an option but can be very expensive.
Contact the utility companies a few weeks before you need to schedule gas and electrical laterals to get an idea of their schedule. Also determine who will pressure test the gas system.


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