Sadly, in some parts of the world, trying to get a utility (electrical is the one I've seen so far, but other utilities are probably susceptible to this as well) to do anything for you without an unrealistically large amount of cash in hand is apparently futile, leading to people asking about unsafe workarounds.

Normally, we'd roundly reject the OP's proposal as hazardous, and rightly so -- messing with stuff on the utility side of the meter is not for the unskilled! But, how do we deal with objections that our "go tell your utility to do it" policy simply won't get anywhere with the utility in question?

2 Answers 2


Perhaps we need another off-topic closure reason. Something like this

  • Questions about bypassing utility intervention are off-topic. You will need to consult with your local utility to resolve the problem, as DIY workarounds may be illegal and/or dangerous

This off-topic reason limits closures to people trying to work around calling the utility (or, in this case, waiting months for a poor rural utility), and not people who are trying to work with them (i.e. installing an electrical meter box). This community is DIY only and we need to delineate that.


Consider off-grid setups, sprawling home sites (West Texas, Australia), or developing countries. Where there is no utility, they have utility-like things on their own side of the demarcation line, or standard practice/expectation is that electrical workers cross the demarcation line as needed.

Another way of looking at it is, do we have a right to impose US/West-German safety values on the world?

The litmus test should be whether this is a normal DIY electrical activity in their community (not ours).

  • I didn't bring up off-grid setups here as the NEC handles those using the Separately Derived System rules; likewise, Code handles sprawling sites just fine as it has rules for everything you'd ever need in such, even if you have MV lines on your property. However, you do have a point that in some areas of the world, the lines between electrician and linesman are seriously blurred... Apr 1, 2017 at 15:43
  • @ThreePhaseEel In a lot of places, rolling the power company truck for every little call would overwork the horse. And to be blunt... even in metro America, ice storms will put 2 million people out of power and every spare truck in a 2-state radius has converged on the disaster region, and will work 18 hour days until humanly impossible, then 14. You are not a priority compared to Joe Rural who's been down 3 weeks. Apr 1, 2017 at 18:25
  • agreed -- someone down 3 weeks is certainly a priority over a routine call! Apr 1, 2017 at 21:04

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