replacing wire between meter and panel

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  #1  
Old 07-26-07, 07:50 AM
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replacing wire between meter and panel

Hello,

I have to replace the wire between the meter and panel. The electrical company will pull the meters so I can do this work.

I know that the socket on the line side will remain energized. What precautions (other than having the wife stand by with a 2x4) should I take to make sure this operation will go smooth? Should I wear some sort of gloves?

Thanks,
hilbert
 
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Old 07-26-07, 08:01 AM
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Do not do this yourself. Hire an electrician. The connections (on both ends) should not be made by someone who does not fully understand all that is involved and does not have the proper tools or training.
 
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Old 07-26-07, 08:40 AM
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I would not recommend that you do this yourself unless the power company will disconnect your service at the weatherhead so the entire meter base is dead. Replacing service entrance wires is a physical job and it's way too easy for your hand or tools to slip and hit the energized parts of the meter base. Remember, the supply in the meter is unfused; if you short it out with your hands or tools, the transformer will continue to supply current until it explodes or the wires melt.
 
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Old 07-26-07, 09:50 AM
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If you have to even wonder about the 2x4 and the gloves, this is where you call an electrician. As mentioned, these connections need the right tools and torque, and usually NoAlOx, which has specific application procedures.
 
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Old 07-26-07, 10:29 AM
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I thought this was doable when the power company seemed to have no problem with me doing the work.
 
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Old 07-26-07, 11:10 AM
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Did they ask if YOU were doing the work, or if you were hiring an electrician? Did they ask if YOU were an electrician?

The person who took the information was likely a call taker or a scheduler. Since they get call all the time from electricians, or homeowners calling on behalf of the electrician, they probably didn;t think anything of it.
 
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Old 07-26-07, 11:35 AM
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This is something best left to the pro's. With 20+ years of DIY experience (including complete wiring of a home and detached garage), once that box is energized, that tidbit of electrical work is something I'd rather leave to someone with the day to day experience. Most likely, that wire is going to be aluminum, which must not only be cut without nicking the wire and torqued correctly, but needs to have the proper anti-oxidant applied.

There's a lot of potential in that box, and a 2x4 won't cut it.

An electrician likely wouldn't charge much more than a service call, providing you have everything ready as much as possible for them.
 
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Old 07-26-07, 03:23 PM
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If you just aren't going to call an electrician have the POCO not just pull the meter but also disconnect the drop. However as often said it is what you _don't know_ you _don't know_ that can get you. Very easy for a mistake here due to lack of knowledge that can burn your house down or worse.
 
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Old 07-26-07, 04:07 PM
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the other thing it did raise red flag to me is that you did not mention how the service entriance cable drop is good shape or not above the metering box

this kind of stuff i do it just about everyday and right off the bat i can tell you that there are some code you may not aware about some change over the time

if you have old style round meter socket type genrally we throw the old round meter socket type away and get new one installed [ most old round meter socket useally rated for 60 amp service but it marked it can go up to 100 amp but i wont even upgrade the wire with exsting socket at all ]

if you have sqaure meter socket type it may be useable again but really my best advice is have the electrician take a look and that electrician can make the decison to keep the exsting meter box or scrap it and install the new one

genally majorty of electrican will put in new service entrance cable and new metering socket box


again let the electrician take care of this part

Merci , Marc
 
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Old 07-26-07, 04:49 PM
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FWIW, my round meter is 200 amp service, installed 2004.
 
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Old 07-26-07, 05:13 PM
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I just upgraded one on our rental cabin, and even as an electrician, I had the poco disconnect at the pad mount (underground). That stuff is nasty, and there is no gfci between you and that transformer. The poco did something interesting Pendragon, on mine, the guts of the square box were for a 100 amp service and they just unscrewed the contacts and installed a pair made for 200 amp service, and we were on our way. Glad I didn't have to change out the box as well.
 
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Old 07-26-07, 05:54 PM
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Well, the box is square. Not sure I have ever seen a round meter can, or a square meter.

I know the boxes for ringed and ringless meters are the same, just the connecting structure inside is different.
 
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Old 07-26-07, 08:20 PM
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Thanks for all the replies.

I did tell the electric company that I'm not a licensed electrician and they did tell me about the load side staying energized.

I'm having an electrician give me a price. The power company can kill the electricity to my house, but they do charge for that. So if the electrician gives me a skyhigh estimate, I can still go with the power company shutting off the power instead of just pulling the meter.

Thanks,
Hilbert
 
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Old 07-27-07, 03:53 AM
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Alot of older installations have round meter sockets surface mounted. Like Frenchy said, they were only rated for 60 amps, allowing for bending in a smaller space. They were only the size of the meter itself.
 
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