How to avoid damaging power lines connecting my home to the grid

The lines connecting your home to the power grid form the customer service entrance, or service loop. There are usually three twisted wires connecting the distribution line to your home.

These wires enter your home through a service mast topped with a gooseneck, and they are usually attached to the wall by a spool rack.

Whenever a tree or branch falls onto a service loop, the service mast or spool rack is most likely to be damaged. If you own the house or building, those belong to you, so you’ll have to arrange and pay for any repairs.

In addition, major weather events (wind, snow or freezing rain) can cause numerous outages and major damage.

In such cases, Hydro-Québec’s first priority is to restore power to as many customers as possible. Repairing individual service loops is one of the last steps in restoring service. In the event that one of your own components, like a service mast or spool rack, is damaged, Hydro-Québec will not be able to restore your connection until you have had the necessary repairs done.

To avoid expensive damage to your equipment (service mast, gooseneck, spool rack) and the risk of an extended outage, check for the following occurrences:

  1. 1A tree or weak branch seems likely to fall onto your service loop and break it.
  2. 2Wet snow or freezing rain may cause branches to touch the service entrance power lines.
  3. 3Branches have moved the service entrance power lines out of position

What to do when a tree or branches seem likely to damage your service loop

You can correct the situation by having the necessary pruning work performed. If you don’t own the building, notify the owner of the risk that they can arrange for the work to be done.


Pruning and felling trees is dangerous, especially when there are power lines nearby. Make sure you get a qualified arborist to do the work.