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As the property owner, you're responsible for any utility service cables beginning from your property line up to and including your power meter socket. These lines, most commonly underground cables, but sometimes overhead lines, would have been installed by the builder or developer when your property was built.

Ordinarily, the electrical service cable to your home operates for many years without a problem. However, cable faults can occur.

Cable faults

A cable fault is a failure (or fault) in the service lines that transport electricity to your home or business.

Learn more about cable faults: Ask an expert: what's a cable fault?

What causes cable faults?

  • Natural deterioration over time
  • Changing ground conditions such as tree roots, rocky ground conditions, or excessive water can accelerate deterioration
  • Minor damage that may have occurred to the cable at any time can cause deterioration or overheat the cable
  • Damage to the cable at the time of installation (for newer or recently built homes)
  • If your home was built within a year of the fault occurring, the home builder may be responsible for the repair.

If the cable fault occurs on your property and maintenance or repairs are required, we will work with you to ensure all repairs are done safely and with minimal service disruption.

Next steps after a cable fault

1. Getting temporary service

1. Getting temporary service

When our crews respond to a faulted service, they'll attempt to set up a temporary service line so that you'll continue to receive power until the faulted cable can be repaired. We try to restore as much power to your home as possible. This is often done using a jumper cable from your neighbour's meter to yours, which will provide full temporary power to your home. When this is not possible you may receive half power, or 120V, until the repairs can be made.

Once this temporary service is provided, repairs must be completed within 30 days. After 30 days, temporary power will be disconnected.

Temporary service connections:

  • Do not affect metering in any way
  • Are safe and reliable
  • May not be driven over with any type of vehicle
2. Locating the fault

2. Locating the fault

If we find that the electrical service cable failure is on your property, the fault must be located. For single-family homes in Edmonton, we will locate the damage on the cable and perform the repair at no costs to you, so long as the original installation meets EPCOR Standards.  

However, you are required to pay for excavation and any landscaping restoration. We do not provide excavation services for private properties. All homeowners are responsible for hiring an excavation contractor.

You may also choose to hire a qualified electrician at your own cost to complete the repairs rather than use our free services. The electrician you select will be required to obtain an electrical permit and will need to pass an inspection completed by the City of Edmonton before your power service can be re-energized. Re-energization of an inspected repair can be scheduled through our Metering Department by calling (780) 412-3288.

Note: The above applies to privately-owned single family homes only. For commercial properties, multi-family units (townhouses, condos, etc.) or properties that are under ownership of a homebuilder please contact our Faulted Service Representative.

3. Digging a hole for fault repair

​3. Digging a hole for fault repair

To limit costs, many homeowners opt to excavate the power cable themselves. This is safe as long as you take certain precautions.

  1. Contact Utility Safety Partners before any work begins to locate any other utility lines in the area.

  2. If EPCOR has set up a temporary 120V jumper, you will need to contact our Metering Department at (780) 412-3288 or the faulted service representative to temporarily disconnect power service. A minimum notice of 2 business days is required to ensure the disconnection happens on the same day as your excavation.

  3. If EPCOR has set up a temporary service using 240V jumper support from the neighbour's service, you are safe to excavate as the underground electricity cable has been fully disconnected.

  4. Typically the cable is buried approximately 4 feet underground. However, this depth can vary. Some cables have been found as deep as 6 feet. Ensure that the excavation complies with Part 32 of the Alberta Occupational Health and Safety Code (2009).

  5. Use extreme caution when you're exposing the power cable by hand with a shovel, especially if other utilities are buried in the same area, as you will be responsible if they are damaged during the excavation.

  6. In order to complete the repair, we require that the hole is   4 feet wide by 5 feet long, with a minimum of 4 feet of cable exposed. The damaged portion of the cable should be in the middle of the excavation with 2 feet of clean cable on either side.

  7. Clear the hole of any debris or water.

4. Final Inspections and restoration

​4. Final Inspections and restoration

If excavation and repairs take more than 1 day your power will remain off. We will not reconnect power to your home until repairs are complete and your service has passed inspection.

  • If our crews are doing the repair work, we will also inspect the line.
  • If you hire an electrical contractor, the City of Edmonton will need to complete the inspection.
  • Once the cable has been repaired and the tested by EPCOR crews, the temporary service will be removed and power will be restored to your home. We will leave you a notice of completion permitting you to complete the backfill and any restorative landscaping.