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Landscaping Tips Keep Problems from Growing

Consider these tips when landscaping around ComEd utility boxes and other equipment.


Leave Access to the ComEd Utility Box

If you find the ComEd utility box (pedestal) on your property to be unsightly, here are some useful landscaping ideas:

  • Use decorative grasses and flowers to distract the eye but keep the utility box accessible for ComEd crews.
  • If you choose to landscape using bushes, keep accessibility in mind. Plant shrubs or bushes no closer than three feet from the utility box walls; and 10 feet from the access panel/door.
  • If you choose to landscape using decorative fencing, be sure to use split rail. That way, ComEd crews can easily dismantle the fence to reach the box. Even better, install a removable gate. Place the fence at least three feet from the utility box. Also, avoid installing a permanent fence post in front of the box door.
  • Utility boxes are ComEd property. Do not to paint or cover them (e.g. fake rock cover).

Measure the Impact Before Changing the Grade

If you add a new grade to you property, be mindful how it affects below and above ground ComEd property and our accessibility to it. Detrimental changes may require costly equipment relocation at your expense. Here are some tips:

  • Don't bury utility equipment either too deep (hard to reach) or too shallow (a safety issue).
  • Avoid covering utility equipment under a new deck. It makes it hard for us to reach and service.
  • Consider having service wire installed in 4" PVC for future repairs.
  • Avoid placing equipment near drainage or other easements. Erosion and/or flooding can be a problem.
  • Don't grade a decorative retaining wall too steeply where utility equipment is located. ComEd line safety and equipment access become an issue.

Keep it Simple Over Underground Service Lines

You own the service line between ComEd's utility box and the meter. ComEd doesn't replace what is disrupted in this instance. Keep your landscaping simple and inexpensive in this immediate area. The following points will help you prevent both unnecessary and potentially expensive repairs:

  • Avoid costly landscaping above your underground service line between ComEd's transformer box (pedestal) and the meter. Such landscaping might obstruct proper ComEd access and consequently not fall under the purview of ComEd repair responsibility.
  • Avoid the placement of shrubs, boulders, fences, patios, decks or sheds in this area of your property. It's best to avoid such landscaping within eight feet of ComEd equipment on your property.
  • Avoid paving ComEd right-of-way areas on your property.

Stay Safe!

Be aware that serious accidents and even fatalities can result when not using proper care to avoid contact with underground and above ground electrical facilities. By Illinois law you must call the appropriate one-call center at least 48-hours before you dig or drive equipment into the ground. Visit Call Before You Dig to learn more.

© Commonwealth Edison Company, 2021. All Rights Reserved.