Replacing electric meter base


  #1  
Old 02-15-05, 07:11 PM
RaiderZJ
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Replacing electric meter base

This spring/summer I am going to be replacing the meter base, and replacing the wire going up the side of the house. At some point in the past, the service was upgraded from a 60a to 100a, but never upgraded the base or the wiring. The 2 power wires going to the main breaker are maybe 6 ga. and the ground is maybe 10 ga. Here is what I know:
1. I know I need the utility to disconnect and reconnect the power at the pole.
2. The utility will not reconnect unless the work is inspected.

Here are my questions:
1. What size wire should I have for the outside of the house to the meter, and from the meter to the panel?
2. Should I have a metal grounding bar in the ground? If so, do I run the ground from the meter base to the grounding bus, and then a seperate wire to the grounding rod in the ground?
3. What exactly do I need to know about the inspection? Anything that could stop me from getting the power back on.

My plan is to have everything set up and get it done in one day. Have the utility cut power in the AM, finish work, have inspected by around lunchtime, and power back on by close of business. Does this sound ok? From the electrician I talked to, this is something I can do myself (legally) and I will be getting the permit. Thanks

Don
 
  #2  
Old 02-15-05, 07:43 PM
jetsfan99usa
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most states allow for owners of the property to do this kind of work. the wire size depends on if you are going to upgrade your panel inside but #2 should work just fine for a 100 amp service with a #8 ground. your ground rod should go to the ground buss inside of the meter. there will be one for the neutral and a bonding jumper to the earth ground connection. you can do this in one day without any problem. the inspector is going to look to make sur your mast is secure your wires are the correct size and type, you have properly installed a weatherhead (if required), your ground connection, and probably to make sure you have a main disconnect properly sized. Even if you want to upgrade your service your main disconnect cannot have a higher amp rating than the wires it feeds.
 
  #3  
Old 02-16-05, 08:20 AM
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Well.....honestly that is something I personally don't suggest the do it yourselfers do personally...but thats me.

If you are going through all that then I suggest you simply upgrade the panel at the same time and get it all taken care of in the same day....We do it all the time and yes it can be done in a day by someone experienced but I always worry about someone who might not have the experience getting it all done in that time frame...

1.) You need to make sure you schedule for the cut off as early as possible.
2.) Make sure you have the Electrical Permit
3.) Make sure you have all the items you need and double check it again.

I would simply suggest upgrading to a 200A service, now I dont know your situation, your space, the age of the house and the situation you are in but if you are going through the meter change and all that you might as well do a full upgrade.

The service size to a 200A panel ( not saying you are going to do that but here it is ) is 4/0AL SE cable and depending on the type of grounding electrode you are going to have ( # 6CU Bare for Man Made or # 4CU Bare for Con-Enc Electrode) and a # 4CU Bare to the Waterpipe and so on ( view NEC Art 250 E on grounding while you are brushing up on needed info )

Ok......basically you dont run a GE to the meter cab...now some areas ( chicago ) are different sometimes but in VA we dont do that because we are not going to get into a situation where we try to carry the ground fault from a meter cab......this would be why the neutral is connected.

"250.142 Use of Grounded Circuit Conductor for Grounding Equipment.

(A) Supply-Side Equipment. A grounded circuit conductor shall be permitted to ground non–current-carrying metal parts of equipment, raceways, and other enclosures at any of the following locations:

(1)On the supply side or within the enclosure of the ac service-disconnecting means

(2)On the supply side or within the enclosure of the main disconnecting means for separate buildings as provided in 250.32(B)

(3)On the supply side or within the enclosure of the main disconnecting means or overcurrent devices of a separately derived system where permitted by 250.30(A)(1)"

Ok......now it helps to know if your install is a BACK to BACK install as if not then you have a whole different set of issues to deal with so knowing that would help...lol

But just my 2 cents worth......I would upgrade it all and do the service change and upgrade to 200A personally.....only my opinion and I am sure I will get flamed for it...but with modern applicances and so on I would do it.

One last bit of advice.......if you are NOT able to finish in time...make sure you have the FRIDGE cleaned out so things wont spoil.....

And if you just want it to stay 100A....ignore my entire post...lol
 
  #4  
Old 02-16-05, 01:45 PM
RaiderZJ
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Here is why I don't think I can upgrade to a 200a service. Don't you need 1 foot to each side and 2 or 3 feet in front of the panel unobstructed? I don't have that now. Besides, i have gas stove, gas hot water heater, and a gas furnace. I am pretty much done with my wiring projects, and I stil have 5 available spaces in the panel. 2 of those are going to be for central air eventually, but then I'll still have 3 available.

edit: by "back to back" do you mean that the meter is on the opposite side of the wall that the panel is on? If so, then this is how mine is set up
 
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Old 02-16-05, 02:05 PM
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No problem....just in more cases than none when we do a service change we always upgrade to a 200A at minimum because of the loads of today is all but it sounds like you have no real load anyway.

100A may suit you fine.....was only a suggestion as we do a bunch of them.

Ok.....since you are back to back then youre fine......just wanted to make sure you did not have a distance from the meter cab to the panel issue which would bring other factors into the service change.

As for the space...the DEPTH ( panel out into room ) is 3 feet....but the width is 30 inches or the width of the service panel clearance. Check out Article 110-26 (1) and (2)

Good luck on it.....sounds like 100A will do you fine.....
 
 

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