Underground Electric Power

Underground Electric Power Installation for Subdivisions

The City of Salem Electric Department will design for total underground electric power in a subdivision if it is desired by the developer and is deemed practical by the Department.

The developer is responsible for opening and back-filling all ditches to Electric Department specifications as follows:

  • all ditches are to be a minimum depth of 36 inches below the finished grade
  • all ditches shall be clear of large and/or sharp objects that could damage conductors
  • all ditches shall be at mutually agreed locations
  • the developer shall notify the Electric Department not less than 48 hours prior to beginning opening ditches
  • the developer shall notify the Electric Department when ditches are open for inspection and approval prior to the installation of City facilities
  • All transformer, switching pedestal, and secondary pedestal locations shall be level ground and at finished grade
  • At the time of installation, all iron pin corners adjacent to the ditch line shall be clearly visible and/or marked

It is the policy of the Electric Department to install all underground primary and secondary conductors (excluding house services) in PVC or rigid conduit, at the City's expense. We do, however, require the developer/builder to provide and install conduit for house services.

Before a residential underground electric service is installed to a house, the developer/builder shall have a meter socket mounted on the building and conduit installed in an open ditch (30-inch minimum depth) from within the meter socket (install bushing) to the approved source of power (pole, pad-mounted transformer, or service pedestal). Conduit must have a pull string installed, and must be inspected by the Electric Department prior to the customer back-filling ditch. For 100 to 200-amp services, use a 2-inch PVC conduit. Use a 3-inch for 300 amp, and a 4-inch for 400 amp. No more than the equivalent of 3 90's will be permitted. If the conduit is in a damaged or obstructed condition at the time of service wire installation, the developer/builder is responsible for all necessary repairs and/or replacement. For more details, see a drawing of a typical residential underground service installation. For service that runs over 200 feet in length, contact the Electric Department for special provisions and requirements.

The City of Salem Electric Department agrees to provide street lighting on public streets under the following conditions:

  • Street lighting shall be designed and installed at locations deemed necessary by the Electric Department.
  • The Electric Department will excavate and form pole bases and will provide and install anchor bolts unless the poles do not require a concrete base. 
  • The developer shall provide and pour the concrete for the streetlight pole bases unless the poles do not require a concrete base.