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  1. #1
    ticzon is offline Junior Member
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    Powerline across my backyard

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? California
    I would like to build a swimming pool in my backyard, but there is an issue regarding my neighbor's powerline running across my backyard just over where we would like to place our pool.

    The powerline height at the boundary between our property and the neighbor's property is 10 feet, 6 inches.

    The powerline at at the middle of the proposed pool is about 15 feet above the waterline.

    The run between the power pole and the neighbor's house is somewhere between 50-75 feet.

    The neighborhood was built 1960.

    There is a 5 feet utility easement at the back fence (where the power pole is located). Does the powerline running across my yard violate the easement rule? Or, since the powerline has been there since 1960, the powerline now has it's own easement?

    PG&E wants me to pay $5000 to move my neighbor's powerline if I want to build the pool.What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)?
  2. #2
    JETX is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by ticzon View Post
    PG&E wants me to pay $5000 to move my neighbor's powerline if I want to build the pool.What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)?
    Does the powerline run OVER your property??
    Based on your description, it isn't the neighbors problem but is the electric providers. They own the line from the pole to the neighbor 'feed box'. The easement allows them to run their line on your property, but ONLY within the easement. If the line crosses your property outside of the easement, they are responsible for removing it. I suggest you contact the power company in WRITING (certified RRR) and have them remove THEIR encroachment on your property.
  3. #3
    drewguy is offline Member
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    Agree with JETX--they can use only the easement. Otherwise neighbor's powerline has to be over neighbor's property.

    I had a similar problem, which is that the PoCo had strung our service cable and neighbor's from pole in front of our property. Ours came straight to house. Neighbor's angled across our land to neighbor.

    I alerted Poco to the problem and they fixed it within a few days so neighbor's service cable now runs only over her land.
  4. #4
    ticzon is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by JETX View Post
    Does the powerline run OVER your property??
    Based on your description, it isn't the neighbors problem but is the electric providers. They own the line from the pole to the neighbor 'feed box'. The easement allows them to run their line on your property, but ONLY within the easement. If the line crosses your property outside of the easement, they are responsible for removing it. I suggest you contact the power company in WRITING (certified RRR) and have them remove THEIR encroachment on your property.
    Yes, the powerline hangs right in the middle of my yard as it goes from the corner power poll -> Across my yard -> Neighbor's House.

    BTW, my house is located in San Jose,CA. The utility company is PG&E.
  5. #5
    drewguy is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by ticzon View Post
    Yes, the powerline hangs right in the middle of my yard as it goes from the corner power poll -> Across my yard -> Neighbor's House.

    BTW, my house is located in San Jose,CA. The utility company is PG&E.
    Call PG&E and tell them they don't have an easement, or, if they do, to show it to you. Ask for the legal department if necessary and ask for someone to explain to you what their basis is for asserting that they may string the line this way.

    It is possible that the city has granted a general easement that may not be recorded. But PG&E should be able to provide you with this information.
  6. #6
    justalayman is offline Senior Member
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    The powerline height at the boundary between our property and the neighbor's property is 10 feet, 6 inches.
    too low. this should be at least 12 feet from the ground.
    The powerline at at the middle of the proposed pool is about 15 feet above the waterline.
    line over a pool must be at least 22 1/2 feet above the high water line and 14 1/2 feet above diving platform or observation area.


    tell them to correct the installation ( the installation now, regardless of the pool situation) regardless of there being and easement or not. Then, if there is no easement, once they drop the line, tell them to get off your property until such time they can produce proof of an easement that allows them to run the line over your property.

    Height specs are from 2005 National Electrical Code. the 2008 is in effect in many areas but I do not believe those specs were altered in the revision.
  7. #7
    FarmerJ is offline Senior Member
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    Your own city hall can tell you under what conditions the elect util must do mid line drops to avoid having overhead lines hanging over one persons lot to reach another home. 5 K seems awful high to re run a overhead line as a mid line drop , has your city required lines to go underground now when they have to be re routed ?
  8. #8
    GoofyRider is offline Junior Member
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    Curious as to what your outcome was because I have a similar problem as yours except mines runs across my front yard.

    The house I purchased sits all the way in the back of the lot so the power line runs across the pole in front of my property to my neighbors house. I got the same quote, $5000 to move it.

    For my situation, it's what's called a "prescriptive easement". The house next door was built before mine, which was 1920. PG&E gave me the reasoning that my land and the neighbors land was probably one land prior to it being subdivided to individual property. Therefore, in the past it was perfectly legal for them to connect the wire in this diagonal fashion. Even though, the situation has changed now with respect to property lines, the fact is that the line has been there, in the open/obvious, for 90 years now. Therefore, by definition of prescriptive easement, they have now obtained an easement that "runs with the land" ... forever if need be.
  9. #9
    wbt
    wbt is offline Junior Member
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    I would also be curious as to how it turned out for either of you.

    I had the same problem with an addition to our house built in the 1950's. PGE overhead line ran right diagonal from a power in one neighbor's yard to the other neighbor's house and within 12 feet of the back of our existing house. In order to build an addition we had to pay PGE over $4,000.

    No easement that I know of, seems to me that PGE should be responsible for moving the line if it is off an easement and serving a neighbor.

    Anyway, if anyone else has any info that would be great.
  10. #10
    FarmerJ is offline Senior Member
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    WBT fair odds are that the utilities can continue to leave old lines up that cross via a angle directly from a pole to a home over someone elses lot when the line has been there for a long time. wether a customer must pay relocation fees or not very likely hinges on one thing , If a city has not required mid line drops to be installed every where or UNLESS the lines are being replaced by the utility itself then likely they just wont do it, I have seen many blocks where The electric lines had been re done and were re done as mid line drops. Some I suspect were as they upgraded lines block by block (replaced ancient lines from the 1920s n 30s)

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