It's the complete opposite here; you really only see masts for services if the building isn't tall enough to maintain clearance. It's perfectly acceptable here to attach the drop to the building if clearances can be maintained.
Then again, most services here are underground, at least for the past 40 years or so. I guess the mast requirement in California has something to do with earthquake issues?
...most services here are underground, at least for the past 40 years or so. I guess the mast requirement in California has something to do with earthquake issues?
Not really the mast/earthquake issue, but maybe a little insight:
Overhead service in SoCA is pretty much limited to existing urban areas and rural areas. Anything in a new area is underground. Utilities are in a continuous process of replacing OH sytems and putting them UG. Even a OH service replacement in most areas will be required to have the capability for future underground feed, or might be required to change from OH to a UG lateral to an existing pole. The idea is to NOT do what was done in a couple of areas in the mid/late '70s, when UG started to become the norm.
Our conditions and history are different here than in most other areas. We don't have the issues of ice on OH lines, and lightning is a rarity. OH utilities and service were a natural for us when the place built up like a wildfire. Nobody really realized the magnitude of what was to come. By the time the smoke cleared, there was an OH infrastructure. Great, until someone looked up.
Putting the power and other utilities UG in OH districts is more a matter (besides funding) of disruption to roads and the like than the physical relocation itself. The effect is somewhat like putting a shovel into an anthill. There's no heaves or frost line to contend with, so minimum cover requirements up to 35KV can be as little as 30".
I haven't seen one done like this since I took the photo, so I don't know the answer. It would fall under the POCO's rules. It was fairly common during the '70s and early 80's, but just in a few areas.
The semi-flush (partially recessed) meters, and panel boards are the norm here. There are nailing flanges meant to be nailed directly to the studs.
The photo is of a combination Meter, Main, and Panelboard.
Yes, we have have the service masts run through the structure. They are usually GRC or IMC, occasionally EMT. SE cable is unheard of here. I've personally never seen a piece of it.
I've only seen Wadsworth panels twice, and once was on a cabin Big Bear, CA wayyy up in the mountains. I found it after we inadvertently plugged 2 space heaters into the same circuit. Breaker never tripped, but made a hell of a buzzing sound after a while.
Bulldog/Pushmatic is fairly common around CA in installs from the 50's/60's (The house I grew up in had Pushmatics and was built in 1958).