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July 05, 2021


Interesting that all your electrical services enter the house well above ground.
Is that just you, or is it generally so in the USA?
Here in Germany they all come in underground via the cellar.

Above ground seems to be the norm in most areas I believe. In my area (southern New Hampshire), going below ground would be very challenging. Although not required by code, the lines should go below the frost line for best durability. The frost line is anywhere from 48-60" in my area.

1) If not placed below the frost line, the cables will heave with the ground during the freeze/thaw cycle. If the lines aren't damaged by heaving directly, rocks do heave and will eventually strain or cut the wires.
2) This is not called the Granite State for no reason :)
3) Trees, trees and more trees. As the 2nd most treed state in the USA (by percentage), 81% of NH is covered in trees
4) Swamps/wetlands, rivers, streams all over the place. Getting permission to minimally disturb those areas to place poles is challenging enough. To dig a deep trench to lay lines would be a years long battle that may not be won.

Of course some/most don't apply to all of the states, so this is just a snapshot.

Minor quibble with your description of my mini-split system. Being ductless, it in no way has anything to do with ventilation or air exchange, so isn't truly an HVAC system.

Now for heat pumps - the northern states would still require a 2nd source of heat since they regularly go below zero. I've had weeks where the high temperature never got above single digits. But then again, my main heat is pellet stoves, which do not use fossil fuels and the pellets are locally sourced (NH/VT/ME). The propane boiler that came with this house is emergency back up only.

Bogie--Thanks for pointing out that your system is actually an HAC system and for the description of conditions in your part of the States. I had written a comment back to Stu; but, when I saw what I had written, I decided that I must have been drunk or delirious. My "answer" was incomplete and some of it was inaccurate. For me to have "fixed" my "answer" would only have led to more confusion, so I unpublished my comment. I was thinking of posting on the subject of electrical service entry to residences, but may be lazy and let your words suffice. We shall see.

I just came in for some water and to cool down before going out to do more yard work. Whew! Hot and humid!

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