SER Cable

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  #1  
Old 02-07-05, 09:30 PM
sparks n arcs
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SER Cable

Hello,

I could use some info to help resolve a 'friendly wager' that came up during the superbowl.

I was wondering if 2/2/2 aluminum ser cable is what's (most likely) used between the meter and the main panel (100 amp) on my house. The service is above ground and the meter is on the outside of the house with the main panel inside if that makes a difference. Their is only about 5 feet of it.

Also what does SER stand for?

After some thought, gambling and electricity really don't seem like they should be discussed together.
Thanks a million (well actually only 10 bucks )
 
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  #2  
Old 02-07-05, 10:14 PM
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You probably have SEU aluminum cable. SER (Service Entrance style R for round jacketed) is normally used for panel feeder in multi-family dwellings. It is probably 1-1-1 SEU for 100 amp panel in your case and feeding a single family dwelling load center. Is it a gray jacketed U-shaped cable with stranded bare wire for neutral?
http://appprod.mysouthwire.com/Produ...prodcatsheet10

http://appprod.mysouthwire.com/Produ...prodcatsheet13
 
  #3  
Old 02-08-05, 10:04 AM
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SER is what you would use for the run between the meter and the main panel. It has two insulated hot wires, an insulated neutral, and a bare ground. It is kind of round, while SE is kind of flat like Romex on steroids. SE has two hots and a bare neutral wrapped around the outside of the two hots, with an overall jacket on the outside. It is not used between the meter and the main panel. It is used from the weatherhead down to the meter.

Juice
 
  #4  
Old 02-08-05, 10:38 AM
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Juice I will concede to the more experienced but I have never seen SER used between the meter and the house main panel in my part of the country. It is almost always SEU if overhead supply or individual insulated conductors if meter is serviced from a service lateral. Maybe there is some differences in application around the country? We dont use a fourth wire but Ser does come both 3 wire and 4 wire.
 

Last edited by Roger; 02-08-05 at 10:55 AM.
  #5  
Old 02-08-05, 10:47 AM
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It depends on the utility in your area. Some will not permit the meter can to be grounded, and some require it. This is at their discretion and is based on the parameters of their system that only they know. If the meter can is not permitted to be grounded, then the fourth wire (bare ground) is unecessary. In such a case, I believe it would be permitted (NEC) to use SE cable with the bare neutral. If the meter can is grounded, you would use SER.

Juice
 
  #6  
Old 02-08-05, 10:58 AM
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Ok I see now what you are getting at I wondered if maybe the meter could have a ground on its load side in some cases.
 
  #7  
Old 02-08-05, 11:51 AM
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#2 aluminum is very possibly used. Here we hook up a grounding electrode conductor to the meter can but still dont have a separate grd wire until leaving the main panel. Unless you have a metal nipple between meter & panel then bonding would apply, but then you wouldn't use cable,either.
 
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Old 02-08-05, 06:21 PM
sparks n arcs
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Thanks for all the responses.

The cable between the meter and the main panel at my house has only three conductors. Two hots that are individually insulated and then a bare stranded that wraps around both the hots inside the heavy gray outer jacket. The profile of the cable is more of the U shape with two somewhat flatter sides. I gather that this is SE type U cable. The meter base does not appear to have a grounding electrode conductor. Im certain that the elec. system does not have grounding rods (will be installed this spring when the ground softens up a little).

Has 2-2-2 SEU ever been used for meter base to main panel (residential) application? Or must the cable be larger? I see that Roger suspects that the cable is 1-1-1 and I really can't tell and won't dare try to measure 'em.

Thanks again for helping.

**of course I could read the identification marks on the insulation
**it turns out to be 2-2-2 SE type U
 

Last edited by sparks n arcs; 02-08-05 at 10:22 PM.
  #9  
Old 02-09-05, 04:46 AM
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#2 Aluminum is good for 100 amps on a residential main. Are you sure you don't have a ground rod?? If you don't have a ground going from the meter base to a ground rod check and see if you don't have one from the panel to a ground rod. Should be a #6 or #4 bare solid cu wire.
 
  #10  
Old 02-10-05, 10:21 AM
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You should presently have a grounding electrode conductor from your main panel going directly to your metallic water service piping, at a point as close as practicable to the point of its entry into your dwelling. There should be a jumper installed around your water meter. Nearly all residences have this. For older systems it was usually a #10 insulated ground conductor, but I would recommend a #6 bare copper if you have none at all, which I doubt. #6 is good up to 200 amps. #4 is overkill. If you do have a ground wire as I described, I'd leave it alone until you do the ground rods in the spring. You'll be fine with what you have in the mean time.

Juice
 
  #11  
Old 02-14-05, 10:53 PM
sparks n arcs
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Yes I do have #6 bare stranded going to my galvanized water lines but the service panel and the entrance of my water supply are on different sides of the house. The #6 wire currently only goes about 10 feet from the service panel then connects to the plumbing, leaving about 20 feet between the grounding electrode connection and the water meter. Their were no jumpers at the (gas) water heater or the water meter, but I have put them in with #6. I intend to run a #6 from the service panel to within 2 or 3 feet of the entrance of the water service and install ground rod(s) this spring. The Mrs. had me rip out the kitchen cabs. the kitchen floor and I went ahead and tore out the drywall too so I could run new dedicated circuits for reptacles (2), disposer, dishwasher, fridge, (gas) range/oven, and microwave. I've only had enuf time for virtual coffee lately
 
  #12  
Old 02-15-05, 09:14 AM
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Your plan for improving the grounding sounds just right. I believe the rule is that your grounding electrode conductor from your main panel must be bonded to the metallic water piping within five feet from its point of entrance into the building. Sounds like you've got this one nailed.

Ripping out walls for some remodeling is always a perfect opportunity for updating infrastructure, such as plumbing or electric. You just can't beat an up-to-date electrical system in the kitchen. When doing similar work in my last house I always tried to imagine what I might possibly want to do or will need in the future and use the opportunity, while the walls are out, to install this infrastructure so that I can access it easily at a later date.

Juice
 
  #13  
Old 02-16-05, 11:22 AM
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Yeppers...we run into that in Virginia.......one electrical provider likes us to ground the meter cab...and take it directly to the ground rod and never even take it into the service panel.....I know...I hear you all know...lol...

While another ( Virginia Power) is standard in that we run the GEC as normal and dont bond the meter cab to the service panel......and so on......

It really does depend on the provider as to how they like it.....in our area due to this with Virginia Power as the main provider we simply use SE from the meter cab to the service....and take our GEC from the service to ground device ( rod, electrode and so on )

Kinda makes it difficult for the first time...until you get to know each one and how they work........funny thing is the inspectors dont really care anymore as it got confusing for them......If they dont see a GEC to a rod or encased they dont even blink....just check to make sure you got the water pipe covered if needed...lol

Amazing how it can change from one area to another with different power companies.
 
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