residing the house - how do you handle the service

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  #1  
Old 12-02-05, 12:30 PM
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re-siding the house - how do you handle the service

I've got a 200 Amp service strapped to the wall. How is it typically handled when you reside the house? I think it will be easy enough to strap the low voltage to the scaffolding while I side the attachment points and then just move them back to the wall but I'm not thinking that works for the high voltage. That wire looks heavy and dangerous and I'm going to have to pop the meter to be able to remove the meter base anyway. So what's the correct way to do this and what's the dangerous "I'm not calling anybody" way to do it?
 
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Old 12-02-05, 12:38 PM
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You must call your power company. There is absolutely no safe or legal way to do it without having them come pull the meter, move the line lashing and reset the meter when you're done.

I can't warn you enough not to try this on your own. The lines from the power company are unfused and will kill you without hesitation.

If you really don't want to get them involved, then leave the electrical service where it is and box around it with J-channel.
 
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Old 12-02-05, 12:45 PM
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Thanks for the reply. I'm under zero allusion as to the danger but I know electricians put in new service equipment live all the time. So I just thought I'd see what options exist. Really I don't like how the service was installed and would just prefer to redo the whole thing but I'm also researching solar and netmetering to be installed in about two years with an outbuilding renovation. REALLY don't want to do a new service three times in five years and J channel isn't really an option. I'm adding 2" of sheathing under the new siding so it really needs to come off the wall to do the job right.
 
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Old 12-02-05, 03:13 PM
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In my area an electrician can cut the power at the service entrace, remove the meter and box, then return after the siding is completed (hopefully the same day if you live in the house) and put everything together again. The POCO will come later (weeks sometimes) to reseal the meter.

In some areas however the POCO is the only one that can touch the meter.

You really don't want to move a 2" conduit filled with that type of copper conductors (200A)...they are really, really heavy
 
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Old 12-02-05, 03:26 PM
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no conduit. 200 AMP sheathed service cable from the meter straight up to the attachment point. I took all the clamps off and pulled all the siding out from underneat it, then clamped back down until I have time to work on it next. So the only two points of concern are the meter and the attacment. That's part of what I would do different is put it in conduit so that it can be painted. Also from the meter into the house is an eight foot run horizontally along the side of the house. I want it to go directly into the house below the meter and then over to the panel. I know there is a rule about distance to the main disconnect but I'll have to review it to see what my options are. My understanding is that the meter bases with built in disconnects or small distribution panels are big money.
 
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Old 12-02-05, 03:46 PM
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Usually the process will go as trinitro said: you hire an electrician to come pull the meter and cut your service wires off from the power company wires. When you're done siding, he can then make a temporary connection back to the power company lines, and they will come out to inspect and seal the meter and make permanent connections to the service drop.

Originally Posted by speedy72
I want it to go directly into the house below the meter and then over to the panel. I know there is a rule about distance to the main disconnect but I'll have to review it to see what my options are. My understanding is that the meter bases with built in disconnects or small distribution panels are big money.
I bet your inspector will not allow this for the reason you already know. The language in code states that the run indoors must be as short as practical, which is what you have now. You would need a meter/main combo outdoors to do this, AND your main panel would need to have all neutrals and grounds seperated so as to make it a subpanel of the outdoor main. This would be a pretty big job and set you back a couple hundred bucks just in parts.

I agree that the conduit riser would probably look better on the outside of the house. But here again, I suspect that to replace the cable assembly with conductors in conduit the local authority will consider it a service change and require a full permit and inspection process of the new service.
 
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Old 12-02-05, 04:50 PM
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Low voltage/high voltage? It's all the same voltage. It's a meter, not a transformer.

We have a lot of siding replacement work in my area. For such projects, I have something similar to a temporary pole, only it has a 200 amp breaker (similar to what is used for a mobile home). We transfer the service drop to temp pole and run temporary cables (in 2" flex) to the main panel. Our arrangement with the power company and the city inspectors is that 1) We notify them before work is begun, 2) It is used for no more than 21 days and 3) They (the power company and the city) only come out when the siding project is complete. The city inspects the finished work and the power company inspects/seals the meter. We do all the connections (compression) and service drop attachments. Presently, the rate (billed to the siding company) is $680 if the job is no more than 20 miles from the shop, $4/mile after that. This covers rental of the pole, R/R of the meter socket and riser and our labor. The load side wires from the main panel to the meter socket are removed during the work. Normally, we can reuse them. If its an outdoor panel, work is by bid. This process was developed as a result of several electrical accidents involving siding installers.
 
  #8  
Old 12-02-05, 05:38 PM
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Originally Posted by alittle
Low voltage/high voltage? It's all the same voltage. It's a meter, not a transformer.
I'm assuming he meant other things which are usually dropped in the same location, like telephone and cable TV lines.
 
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Old 12-02-05, 06:36 PM
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Yes by low voltage I meant cable and telephone. I'm a small business owner/contractor that does audio and video (home theater) work for a living. I also took 80 hours of residential electrical over at the local votech so that I could take the time and rewire my house the way I wanted it done and with some practical help from you folks for the things that just weren't covered in "school" it's coming along fairly well.

I knew the service was going to be a problem and I'm sorta regretting pulling the siding off just before the sno flys but I needed access to the wall from the outside to open up a decent chase from the basement to the attic for the sub panel feed and all the rest of the mess I'm putting in for future distributed audio gear. Sometimes you just gotta dig in and hope for the best. In this case it seems that no matter what I do I'm going to end up having to do something more than once And right now what I have is the siding mostly off the one wall and I still haven't found a day to get under the sheathing to run my wires.

As for the couple hudred in parts that still may make the most sense in the long run. I'm going to trench at least a 100Amp feed from the garage back to where the meter is in the spring. It might make more sense to put a small outdoor panel below the meter and make the garage and the house subs of that panel. But for now I think I'm just going to work around the service until I'm dead set on what I want in the garage and what I want for a meter base. twice in three years is bad enough. Three times would be criminal.

One last question though. I'm thought the electrician put up a new attachment point when he made his temporary connections. Is that possible or is it the power company that put the new guide wire attachment in when they were up there with the bucket doing the final crimps?
 
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