Codes & Standards
News & Updates
BC Hydro harmonizing requirements for resi concrete encasement with BCSA
By Anthony Capkun
August 2, 2017 – To facilitate the practice of installing service conduits within building walls to improve a home’s exterior appearance, BC Hydro harmonized its requirements for concrete encasement of utility supply service raceways (120/240V up to 600A) installed within building walls, along with the BC Electrical Code requirement for consumer’s service raceways for residential supply services.
BC Hydro issued a Bulletin covering details of the connection of underground residential services, and clarifies the BC Hydro and BC Safety Authority requirements for:
• concrete encasement of customer-owned electrical service ducts, and
• the location of large 400A and 600A 120/240V electrical services
BC Electrical Code Rule 6-208 states that raceways or cables containing service conductors shall be located outside the building, unless they are embedded in, and encircled by, no less than 50 mm (2 in.) of concrete or masonry.
BC Hydro installation experience, however, has shown that a 50 mm encasement has a relatively short life expectancy and is inadequate, which is why the utility stipulates a minimum of 75 mm (3 in.) of concrete encasement inside the building. This apparent conflict has caused challenges for BC Hydro customers.
For underground services, BC Hydro’s jurisdiction ends at the meter socket or the utility cable compartment inside the customer’s service box. To mitigate the code conflict with the BC Safety Authority, BC Hydro will harmonize its requirement with the BC Electrical Code, specifying a 50 mm (2 in.) minimum concrete encasement inside the building for 120/240V services up to 600A.
For overhead services, BC Hydro jurisdiction on private property ends at the point of the customer service connection—the service mast “drip loops”. Accordingly, BC Hydro cannot request concrete encasement.
BC Electrical Code Rule 6-206 specifies various requirements for the customer service location. However, the past history of BC Hydro legal disputes to gain access into single-family dwellings has forced BC Hydro to reject all installations of customer residential services up to 600A located inside customer-owned buildings.
For more information, DOWNLOAD the BC Hydro Bulletin below (PDF).