New Service Panel

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  #1  
Old 11-24-05, 03:13 PM
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New Service Panel

Hi, I'm new here, and I have lots of dumb questions. I'll try asking only one or two at a time. I'm putting in a new service panel, and I need to shut the power off. There is a main power disconnect between the meter and the service panel, but it needs to be replaced also, as it is only 60 amp, like the main panel in the house. I can either call the power company to shut off the power so I can hook up the incoming wires to the new main disconnect, or, I can unplug the meter(I was told). But, there is a little "lock" on the meter box, I'm sure to keep customers from tampering with the meter, I'm guessing. I only want to pull the meter for a few minutes while I connect the incoming wires to the new main disconnect. Is that legal? An electrician told me that is what HE would do if he were needing the power shut off for a few minutes. BTW, I did get a permit to do the new wiring(new service panel and main disconnect). Anyway, any thoughts on my inquiry? Thanks in advance . . .
 
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Old 11-24-05, 03:44 PM
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You cannot do this yourself. it is not allowed in most places, and you lack the knowledge to do this yourself. Call an electrician.
 
  #3  
Old 11-24-05, 05:48 PM
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racraft, thanks for the promp reply. My next question is, do you mean that I shouldn't pull the meter to shut off the power, instead, have the power company shut off service so that I can hook up the incoming service to my main shut off, or, did you mean that hooking up the power lines and putting in a new main shut off and service panel is also beyond the scope of the novice electrician?
 
  #4  
Old 11-24-05, 05:55 PM
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Will,

As RAC has stated...this is not something the normal DIYer can tackle unless they have some previous experience in electrical work. Now in the event you are going to try this be VERY sure you understand bonding and grounding and earthing and all that jazz....also be sure you know ampacity and a host of other issues.

We are a DIY forum but we are also bound by morals when we think their is something the DIYer should not try to tackle themselves.

Now that is not to say you can't do it as I am sure you could give it a heck of a try...but when dealing with life altering voltages as you will be when working in this panel ( not just life altering while it is hot...it is life altering once you try to re-energize it after being done. ) How much experience do you have with doing this type of thing?

Do you own a NEC Code Book...? You will need to refer to it to make sure you are doing things right otherwise you could be without power for days trying to get it done and I would suggest you do not CUT the tag on the meter....

No question is a dumb question and you posed a good one and we will try to assist you but it is way to early to think about doing a service change right now...

Also the wires from the meter to the disconnect and then to the panel will need to be changed as you have stated but do not forget that the local UTY will most likely have to change their feeds also and timing is critical and in fact your local UTY may even make you change those lines as well in which cases they will have to cut the lines at the mast if overhead and at the pad if latteral.
 
  #5  
Old 11-24-05, 06:41 PM
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Well Paul, it seems that every time I seek more electrical knowledge, I find out how little I actually know. Thanks for the advise. Suppose I'll have to break down and hire a real electrician. Better safe than sorry, I've always said. Are YOU available to work in Greeley, Colorado, cheap?
 
  #6  
Old 11-25-05, 06:11 AM
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The problem with pulling the meter is that your entire house is without power. Naturally you want to minimize the time that your house is without power. It's tough to anticipate the problems you might run into and all the items you might need to do this job.

Further, the current that is present when working with and/or near the meter is high and can't be turned off. Special care is needed so that you don;t kill yourself.
 
  #7  
Old 11-25-05, 07:04 AM
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lol......glad we could assist you Will....now I am quite a ways from Colorado my friend but I am sure their are some highly qualified electricians in your area that would be able to assist you in that and might even allow you to watch and learn from them.

Just remember it is what you CAN'T see that can harm you.....also if you do hire a contractor get atleast 3 bids for the same work and make sure they explain what they are doing in each bid so you have a even match across all three to know what you are getting for your money and so that they are bidding apples to apples and not oranges to apples...
 
  #8  
Old 11-26-05, 12:18 PM
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There are a number of issues.

First its safety. It can be dangerous pulling meters, especially older ones. You would at minumum need the proper protective wear to protect yourself.

Second, the old wiring is likely underrated for a new service.
 
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