Landscaping with electrical equipment in mind

What exactly is the large green box in your yard and the small device on the side of your home?

Posted by Nathan Karels on April 29, 2019

What exactly is the large green box in your yard and the small device on the side of your home? Well, the box is called a pad-mounted transformer and the device is called an electrical meter. Each is an important piece of equipment that Wright-Hennepin (WH) uses to provide electricity to your home or business.

However, the practical purpose to provide and maintain electricity that meters and pad-mounted transformers serve is sometimes missed. Typically, this equipment is nothing more than an eyesore that homeowners want to obscure from view with shrubs, trees and other items. However, while this may look more appealing, it makes a field worker’s job harder, and sometimes even dangerous.

In order to test, maintain, repair and replace this equipment, WH employs various types professionals, including lineworkers, field engineers, energy-use consultants and field service employees.

When a field worker needs to access a meter or transformer, but something is blocking the way, the worker cannot easily perform the work that needs to be done. If a field worker encounters an obstacle that could create a hazardous situation, the worker will notify the member with a door hanger or phone call to set up an appointment for a different day. This may cause the work to be delayed.

In some cases, these obstacles can even prolong an outage situation. For example, if our lineworkers have to remove plants and items blocking their way before they can access the equipment, it could take longer to restore power. You can help prevent these situations!

Keep landscaping and other barriers clear of the equipment.

  • A pad-mounted transformer needs at least 10 feet of clearance at the opening side and about 4 feet of open space on the other sides. This provides enough space for workers and their equipment.
  • A meter and other electrical equipment needs at least 3 feet of open space in front of it.

To learn more about clearances and guidelines, visit our Service Connection Guide webpage.

One of the most important priorities for WH is to keep the lights on for you and your family. We appreciate your help in keeping electrical equipment clear of any obstacles, so our employees can accomplish this task more efficiently and stay safe.

Nathan Karels

Nathan Karels

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