New & Altered Residential Service Handbook

Joint Use Facilities

Joint use describes a group of utilities that share pole space or trenches in an effort to keep installation and maintenance costs lower for the customer.

  • Customer may place telephone or cable television facilities in a joint trench with electric service conductors, providing the installation meets the requirements of Skamania County PUD.
  • Septic/Sewer lines and drainage fields are not allowed in a joint trench.

Whenever an existing Skamania PUD power pole is replaced or an overhead service is converted to underground and the pole has joint users attached, the pole will be abandoned to the remaining joint user on that pole. The PUD has no authority to remove or relocate other utilities on the pole. It is the customer’s responsibility to contact all joint use utilities for conversion of their services and to coordinate the removal of pole(s) prior to the beginning of the project.

  • Approval — Acceptable to the authority having jurisdiction.
  • Assessor’s Parcel Number (APN) — Identifying number assigned by the county assessor’s office to each taxable building lot in the county. Also referred to as the tax ID number.
  • Backfill — Native soil or soil brought in from another area, free from sharp objects, rocks, scrap building material, and corrosive material.
  • Call Before You Dig — Call 811 or (800) 424-5555 for the national one call underground utility locating service.
  • Clearance — A set distance between two objects.
  • Conduit — A listed or approved wireway with a smooth interior surface. Conduit may vary in size or schedule (wall thickness), depending on its usage, in accordance with codes and Lewis County PUD’ specifications.
  • Current transformers (CT) — A device used to measure the current flow of larger services (401 amps or greater) in conjunction with a low voltage meter.
  • Joint use — A group of utilities that share space on a utility pole or trench.
  • Meter jaw — A spring-loaded receptacle installed inside a meter base, interfacing the terminals of the meter to the source and load conductors of the service.
  • Meter post — A freestanding structure that supports the metering equipment owned and maintained by the customer.
  • Meter base — The mounting device consisting of meter jaws, connectors, and enclosure for accommodating socket-type meters.
  • Metering equipment — Any equipment associated with measuring electrical energy.
  • Neutral — The grounded conductor in a single-phase, 3-wire, or 3phase, 4-wire system. The service conductor that is at zero potential to ground.
  • Secondary voltage — The lower voltage, after transformation, used to supply the customer with electrical energy. Normally less than 600 volts.
  • Self-contained — In reference to meter bases: a device designed and rated to continuously carry the entire capacity of the service entrance equipment through the meter.
  • Service entrance equipment — Service conduit, conductors, service mast, meter base, enclosures and service disconnect.
  • Service mast — The conduit attached to the top of the meter base used to intercept and support the overhead service drop.
  • Skamania County PUD representative — The designated representative responsible for design and coordination of new or upgraded services to utility customers.
  • Source — Skamania County PUD’ equipment (transformer, pedestal, pole) that supplies the customer’s electric service.
  • Subdivision/Short Plat — A residential parcel that has been divided 2 or more building lots.
  • Temporary service — An electrical service providing power to a customer on a temporary basis.
  • Transformer — Equipment used to reduce (step down) primary voltage to the secondary voltage required to supply the customer.
  • Underwriters Laboratories (UL) — A nationally recognized test laboratory that lists materials it has tested and accepted.
Meter Bases

Skamania PUD metering equipment standards for single-family residential structures are based upon the single-phase service ratings. All residential meter bases that are installed shall meet the following general requirements:

  • Rated for exterior use and rain tight.
  • Underwriters Laboratories (UL) rated.
  • Have unused openings in the enclosure tightly sealed from the inside of the base.
  • Installed level, plumb, and fastened securely to a rigid structure.
  • Secondary Surge Arrestor Meter Sockets will not be accepted.
  • Meter Mounted Transfer Switches will not be accepted.

Note: Specific metering requirement for 200 amp and 400 amp services are listed below. It is the customer’s responsibility to install the appropriate meter base. The PUD cannot give guidance, any questions about the meter base need to be address by an electrician or the Washington Department of Labor and Industries.

200 - Amp Service

The 120/240-volt 200-amp service is the most common residential service installed by Skamania County PUD. Typically, the size of service is installed to home with a living area of less than 2,400 square-feet. Depending upon the type of appliances, heating and cooling system or other equipment (hot tub, jetted tub, car charger, etc.) being installed, a larger service may be necessary. It is the customer’s responsibility to determine and notify Skamania County PUD of the electrical requirements based on connected load.

In addition to the meter base requirements mentioned earlier, meter bases for 200amp underground services shall:

  • Be rated for 120/240 volts and 200 amps.
  • Contain 4 meter jaws and a connection point for the neutral conductor.
  • Accept 3 inch, PVC, conduit.
  • Have lugs (electrical connectors) that are marked to accept 4/0 aluminum conductors.

Note: Do not route service conductor through the center knockout located on the bottom of the meter base.
200-amp services underground diagram

400 - Amp Service

The meter base required for a 120/240-volt 400-amp service is called a class 320meter base. It is larger than the 200-amp meter base, but it is still a self-contained metering system. It can be installed on residences where the continuous current rating is 320 amp or less. In addition to the meter base requirements mentioned earlier, meter bases for Class 320 for 400-amp services require:

  • Rating for 120/240 volts and 320 amps continuous current.
  • 4-meter jaws and 1 connection point for the neutral conductor.
  • A Class 320 manual block bypass.
  • Lever bypass devices are not allowed.

Note: Do not route service conductor through the center knockout located on the bottom of the meter base. Any structure needing more than 320 amps of continuous current, a CT metered service will be required.

Residential Current Transformer (CT) Metering

Services greater than 400 amp (320 amps continuous current) require CT metering. This type of metering system requires prior approval from a Skamania County PUD Representative and requires an additional construction charge. This service requires a different meter base and equipment. All underground CT metering equipment will be installed by Skamania County PUD and be located at the transformer.

Grounding & Bonding Requirements

Grounding and bonding is critical for safety and electrical reliability. The customer is responsible to ensure that the electrical wiring and service equipment is grounded and bonded in accordance with the NEC and the local governing office.
4oo - amp Skamania PUD service line and customer wire diagram

Underground Services

To ensure power reliability, all new underground service entrances must be within 200 feet of a transformer. If service entrance equipment is greater than 200 feet, the PUD will have to install a transformer at customer’s expense. The most common service entrance equipment are surface mounted and stand alone.

Surface Mounted Equipment

  • Service entrance equipment can only be surface-mounted, flush mounted equipment (where the conduit is in the foundation) is not acceptable.
  • Service equipment maintenance remains the customer’s responsibility.
  • Meter base, PVC and 90º sweep must be secured to a structure prior to service being energized

Stand Alone Meter Post

Services to homes where the meter is on a post are customer-owned and maintained from the service disconnect to the structure. When installing an underground service not attached to a structure, refer to the following general specification and contact the local governing body for additional NEC requirements.

  • Meter base and PVC conduit shall be securely attached and mounted on a unistrut with steel structure that is encased in concrete, wooden meter post will not be accepted.
  • Have a 4-wire feed behind the meter that supplies the structure.
  • The service main must be located within 30 feet of the manufactured home but not attached to the structure (only factory-installed meter bases can be attached to manufactured homes).

Stand alone meter post diagram

See table below for size of conduit required for the PVC and 90º sweep on the Line Side of the service entrance.

Service SizeMinimum Service Entrance Conduit Requirement
100 amps or less2 ½ inch, gray, schedule 40, PVC
101 to 200 amps3 inch, gray, schedule 40, PVC
201 to 400 amps3 inch, gray, schedule 40, PVC
Over 400 ampsPUD personnel will give guidance about conduit size for service entrance

Note: Exposed conduit from final grade to the bottom of the meter base is referred to as the service entrance conduit.

Other Types of Service Configurations

The following meter base configurations are no longer acceptable, no new customer equipment (i.e. meter base, riser, etc.) can be attached to a PUD pole. Any service requests that include modifying/altering customer equipment will result in customers requiring to install a stand alone meter base.

Temporary Service

Skamania County PUD has two temporary services available, overhead and underground. During the site visit the Skamania PUD Representative will advise which route to take.

Overhead Temporary Service

  • Provide the meter base, PVC conduit, support, conductor (up to the weather head/service mast) and paneling based on the size of service needed.
  • Install temporary service pole within 30 feet of the transformer pole and no closer than 10 feet.
  • Have meter base inspected and approved by the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries. Permit and inspection sticker must be displayed.
  • Service drop conductor must maintain a minimum height of 12 feet over open space and 18 feet over driveways.
  • Consult and electrician or Washington State Department of Labor and Industries Electrical Inspector for current NEC guidelines for service entrance, meter base and grounding codes.
  • Once permanent service has been inspected, the PUD will de-energize the temporary service and remove the meter.

Overhead temporary service diagram

Underground Temporary Service

  • Provide the meter base, PVC conduit, support, conductor and paneling based on the size of service needed (if temporary service is not located near a transformer, the PUD will provide and install the conductor at customer’s expense).
  • Locate temporary service adjacent to but no closer than 3 feet from a Skamania County PUD pedestal or transformer with a minimum of at least 8 feet of extra conductor (measured at the transformer) for termination.
  • Have meter base inspected and approved by the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries. Permit and inspection sticker must be displayed.
  • Consult and electrician or Washington State Department of Labor and Industries Electrical Inspector for current NEC guidelines for service entrance, meter base and grounding codes.
  • Once permanent service has been inspected, the PUD will de-energize the temporary service, abandon the underground conductor and remove the meter.

Underground Temporary Service

Altered Services

If there is an existing service where the power must be removed, relocated or upgraded, the customer has to call in for a Service Request and pay the necessary application fee and schedule a site visit. Customer is responsible for the same items outlined in this handbook.

Tree Clearing
  • The customer shall remove all trees and brush from the power line easement, which will be maintained by the District in the future (for overhead facilities only).
  • District personnel will approve the clearing before the job is released for construction.
  • When clearing is needed in a public right-of-way, the District’s tree clearing personnel will do the clearing at the customer’s expense.

Prior to energizing service, the newly installed customer equipment requires an electrical inspection from the Washington Department of Labor and Industries. It is the customer’s responsibility to request the inspection and pay the appropriate fees.

  • Electrical installations must be applied for and inspected by the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries Electrical Inspector
  • Meeting all the requirements for temporary and permanent service equipment in compliance with the NEC (National Electric Code), WAC (Washington Administrative Code) and any other federal, state and local codes and ordinances that apply to the project.
  • After customer equipment has an approved electrical inspection, it is the customer’s responsibility to notify Skamania PUD when the trench will be open for Skamania PUD to inspect the trench.
  • To get more information on electrical inspections call (360) 896-2350 or visit the Electrical Permits and Inspections page.
Easements & Permits

Skamania PUD will determine if an easement or right-of-way permit is required to install the line extension. The following is required prior to energizing service:

  • All required easements and road permits must be executed and on file with Skamania PUD prior to construction.
  • Customer is responsible to obtain the appropriate building permits and if applicable National Scenic Area land use permits.
  • Customer must obtain the necessary signatures on easement forms prepared by the District and will return the easement documents back to the District (original documents only, no copies).
  • Easements may be required from owner(s) of all properties that District facilities will cross, in addition to the property being served.
  • Customer shall secure all necessary easements at the customer’s expense.
  • The District will apply for the right-of-way permit on the customer’s behalf and the customer is responsible for all fees associated with this permit.
  • No work in the right-of-way shall be performed until this permit has been secured.
Construction Fees

During the scheduled site visit, a Skamania County PUD representative will determine the required equipment and length of wire needed to complete the line extension of which a fee estimate will be created. After the fee estimate has been generated, the customer agrees to the following:

  • The price quoted is an estimate, any changes to the design might incur additional material/labor charges, of which will have to be paid in full prior to energizing service.
  • The estimate is valid for 60 days of the date of the fee estimate.
  • After payment has been made, the customer has up to 1 year for the PUD to perform the services itemized and for the price quoted.
  • If services are not performed within 1 year from the date of the fee estimate, the PUD shall return the funds paid by the customer.
  • If services have been partially performed and no additional work has been performed in over a year, the PUD shall return the unperformed portion of the estimate.
  • If payment has not been made within 60 days, the PUD shall not be bound by the price quoted and the customer shall be required to obtain a new estimate of costs to perform the line extension.