power company, rough in inspect on new....


  #1  
Old 06-24-09, 07:46 AM
W
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: tennessee
Posts: 18
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
power company, rough in inspect on new....

In pre build planning for a new home, had the utility company out last week. We do have an existing home on the property that will be removed after the new home is finished. Was hoping when the time came it would be as simple as going through the rough in inspect the final inspect and having the utility company come out and pop in a new pole and connect to our meter base, but the power company seems to want you to jump through hoops for whatever reasons. Had initially planned on doing all my electrical myself, however they seem to really frown on that and likely the inspector will find some reason to reject my work according to the utility dept guy that came out.

We have an existing well, I was told that the line to the well will have to be run new to the new home for the rough in inspect with open trench, and that I will have to have an outside box/disconnect to connect to my garage and the well, not sure why I cannot connect to my panel inside what will be our basement, but I have no choice but to play by their rules. They also ask for recertification of an existing septic system, not sure how that has anything to do with electric.

The run is going to be about 160-170 feet to the pump. Think my pump is a 1 horse pump, what gauge wire will I need for the pump for that length of run for it to be to code?
 
  #2  
Old 06-24-09, 08:18 AM
I
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Near Lansing, Michigan
Posts: 10,941
Likes: 0
Received 45 Likes on 43 Posts
Originally Posted by william View Post
Had initially planned on doing all my electrical myself, however they seem to really frown on that and likely the inspector will find some reason to reject my work according to the utility dept guy that came out.
As long as it's legal for homeowners to do electrical in your state and you follow all of the codes correctly, the inspector has no grounds to fail the installation. What he probably meant was that homeowners usually don't get the installation correct up to code, so that's why they fail.

I will have to have an outside box/disconnect to connect to my garage and the well
That's true. The disconnect needs to be within line-of-sight of the well usually.

The run is going to be about 160-170 feet to the pump. Think my pump is a 1 horse pump, what gauge wire will I need for the pump for that length of run for it to be to code?
If it's a fairly shallow well (100') then #12 UF-B would be okay, but if it's a deep well I would recommend upsize to #10 UF-B.
 
  #3  
Old 06-24-09, 09:33 AM
W
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: tennessee
Posts: 18
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by ibpooks View Post
As long as it's legal for homeowners to do electrical in your state and you follow all of the codes correctly, the inspector has no grounds to fail the installation. What he probably meant was that homeowners usually don't get the installation correct up to code, so that's why they fail.
It is legal here for homeowners to do their own electrical. Plan to follow the codes, will probably pick up a book to be on the safe side to make sure I do everything right.

Originally Posted by ibpooks View Post
That's true. The disconnect needs to be within line-of-sight of the well usually.
Disconnect should be in line of sight where the new house will be located.

Originally Posted by ibpooks View Post
If it's a fairly shallow well (100') then #12 UF-B would be okay, but if it's a deep well I would recommend upsize to #10 UF-B.
Thank you, that is what I needed to know, thought 10 gauge should be enough to carry it that distance, but was not completely sure. The well depth is 180 feet if I remember correctly.
 
  #4  
Old 06-24-09, 03:48 PM
Z
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 6,362
Received 341 Likes on 307 Posts
It may be different down in TN, but around here and in most places I'm aware of, the power company handles only the wiring up to the meter (to include the meter). Everything else from that point in is the local inspector's turf. The poco may have yo jump through a few hoops to get the service entry in, but after that, all they want to see prior to connection is a passed inspection card.

It sounds to me like he was being "helpful", but as stated, if you do things correctly and play nicely with the local inspector, you should be all set.
 
  #5  
Old 06-25-09, 06:34 AM
W
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: tennessee
Posts: 18
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Zorfdt View Post
It may be different down in TN, but around here and in most places I'm aware of, the power company handles only the wiring up to the meter (to include the meter). Everything else from that point in is the local inspector's turf. The poco may have yo jump through a few hoops to get the service entry in, but after that, all they want to see prior to connection is a passed inspection card.

It sounds to me like he was being "helpful", but as stated, if you do things correctly and play nicely with the local inspector, you should be all set.
Yes, the guy from the power company was trying to be helpful, however he was a little discouraging about not using a licensed electrician due to the inspectors and he told me prior to connection that they had to have recertification on my septic(they are concerned with "making sure the groundwater is safe for our children and grandchildren"). Power company pulls through underground conduit I have to put down and connects to the meter base. The deal with the well having to have a new line for the rough in, I don't really understand either since it is existing where it is now.

Counties, or I guess different utility depts in this state vary. My builder is in Tennessee, but not local, he cannot believe that the power company is charging me for this new service(for the wire), looking at around $1000 to the power company for the new conductors(roughly 125'-130') that they will pull in pipe I supply and lay down to 24". The county my builder lives in the utility dept gives first 1000' to new connects.

Originally Posted by ibpooks View Post
What he probably meant was that homeowners usually don't get the installation correct up to code, so that's why they fail.
Could be. Will just have to try to make sure I get everything right, either that or hire an electrician to check my work. Anyone here have any suggested books on the 2008 codes without having to get the nec book. Seems stanley's complete wiring handbooks, published in 2008 is recommended.
 
  #6  
Old 06-25-09, 08:43 AM
I
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Near Lansing, Michigan
Posts: 10,941
Likes: 0
Received 45 Likes on 43 Posts
Originally Posted by william View Post
I guess different utility depts in this state vary. My builder is in Tennessee, but not local, he cannot believe that the power company is charging me for this new service(for the wire), looking at around $1000 to the power company for the new conductors(roughly 125'-130') that they will pull in pipe I supply and lay down to 24". The county my builder lives in the utility dept gives first 1000' to new connects.
Yes they do vary a lot based on what wire and labor they charge for. They're charging you about $7.70 per foot for an underground install that you have already bought the conduit and done all the digging and backfill labor? That price honestly seems pretty high to me for 130' of #4/0 alum (200A). Perhaps there's a hidden $500 "service charge" or something in there?

Maybe you could ask them if you pull your own conductors to the meter will they just hook them up? I bet if they allow that you can get it for much cheaper than $1000 as long as you don't mind a little back strain from the pull rope.

suggested books on the 2008 codes without having to get the nec book. Seems stanley's complete wiring handbooks, published in 2008 is recommended.
I don't know the Stanley book, but I can recommend Wiring Simplified . It's a cheap no-nonsense paperback that gives you pretty much everything you need to know. And certainly feel free to post any more questions you have if you run into a problem.
 
  #7  
Old 06-25-09, 09:14 AM
W
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: tennessee
Posts: 18
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by ibpooks View Post
Yes they do vary a lot based on what wire and labor they charge for. They're charging you about $7.70 per foot for an underground install that you have already bought the conduit and done all the digging and backfill labor? That price honestly seems pretty high to me for 130' of #4/0 alum (200A). Perhaps there's a hidden $500 "service charge" or something in there?

Maybe you could ask them if you pull your own conductors to the meter will they just hook them up? I bet if they allow that you can get it for much cheaper than $1000 as long as you don't mind a little back strain from the pull rope.

Yep, pretty much. Our builder suggested me pulling my own wire. May be an option, will have to check into that. Soap it up a little at the entry point and tie on the 4 wheeler or tractor and pull slow.

The power company rep estimated $1000 when he was here and we were looking, "he said copper is high"(no kidding), possible there was a misunderstnading on my part and he was including fees in that estimate. I taped off 120-130' of trench and conduit from the pole to the basement depending on where we take the service to on the side of the house. He said they would use 04 copper conductors. Yes, at that rate I am still responisble for digging and covering my trench and supplying and running the pipe/conduit and pull rope. May or may not be a charge for the meter base, their rules change(right now the meter base is free, but the power company rep told me that they are possibly going to start charging for them next month), there is a connect fee too, and then of course the utility company takes your money for the inspects and application for power fees, with each being $27 that comes up to somewhere around $135.
 
  #8  
Old 06-25-09, 09:33 AM
I
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Near Lansing, Michigan
Posts: 10,941
Likes: 0
Received 45 Likes on 43 Posts
Originally Posted by william View Post
Soap it up a little at the entry point and tie on the 4 wheeler or tractor and pull slow.
Yes that can work, but be very careful to not skin the wires. 3M/Ideal wire lube works much better than soap.

"he said copper is high"(no kidding)
It's actually come down nearly as much as it went up a couple years ago. Shouldn't really matter though as nobody uses copper for a service entrance...aluminum is cheaper. I suppose you could have a local code that bans alum.

04 copper conductors.
That's strange -- #4/0 copper is substantially oversized for a residential 200A service @ 130'. I'd use #4/0 alum or #2/0 copper.
 
  #9  
Old 06-25-09, 06:20 PM
W
Member
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Cat Spring, Texas
Posts: 41
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by william View Post
.... but the power company seems to want you to jump through hoops for whatever reasons.

They also ask for recertification of an existing septic system, not sure how that has anything to do with electric.
Utilities are not allowed to hook up new or existing services if the services are not up to code. This can also include any of your wiring that they can see whether it's on your side of the meter or not. They have learned through bitter experience that the same homeowner that cusses them for requiring code-approved loops are also the first ones to sue them for damages if anything goes wrong.

Many utilities in the country have arrangements with the counties to at least observe the septic systems. People will run open sewage out on the ground all the time to save the cost of a proper septic system. They can sneak in without the county being aware of it, but it's hard to sneak in without power. The counties got smart and asked the utilities to help.
 
  #10  
Old 07-12-09, 06:03 AM
W
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: tennessee
Posts: 18
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by WFOWFO View Post
Utilities are not allowed to hook up new or existing services if the services are not up to code. This can also include any of your wiring that they can see whether it's on your side of the meter or not. They have learned through bitter experience that the same homeowner that cusses them for requiring code-approved loops are also the first ones to sue them for damages if anything goes wrong.

Many utilities in the country have arrangements with the counties to at least observe the septic systems. People will run open sewage out on the ground all the time to save the cost of a proper septic system. They can sneak in without the county being aware of it, but it's hard to sneak in without power. The counties got smart and asked the utilities to help.
Whoa now. Not trying to cuss anyone or get by with not doing anything right or sneak anything, not sure what you are implying here or where I gave that impression, but I have met with our utility/power company well in advance to make sure I do everything right(how they want it). I commented on what they are wanting me to do prior to getting the power transferred from our existing home. Turns out we will not be transferring the power, but will be paying on 2 services until we are ready to move into the new house and then have the power disconnected from our old house and the lines removed so we can remove that house from the property.

All the folks I have talked with say there is a degree of bs to go with how they(the utility co) want this done, they are overcharging for the conductors and they are not willing to give in so much on options. They run copper, someone here locally also asked me why they don't run aluminum, I don't know why but I will ask about this when I go in to make my application and pay them. In reality they could drop a pole next to my garage which would shorten the underground run significantly, nothing overhead to interfere. I asked the utility dept guy about that while he was here and he said they could do it that way, but he said that they would not want to and he said it would probably cost me just as much in the end, because I would have to pay for the pole and still pay for the wire run from the corner of the garage too. The guy that was out here did comment on how it was costing them so much more for this and that, he was almost complaining about how much more transformers cost thant what they did just a few years ago. Guess he was justifying to me their expenses being passed along to me. The utility rep was nice, I have/had no issue with him, he was rather helpful.

We do already have our septic system in place and the septic system is and has been working fine for years. I did get our septic system recertified with the county, never said anything about running wastewater/sewage out on the ground. I asked questions here for information and answers to make sure I do this right. Seems there are some pretty knowledgeable people here, thank you again to those who responded with answers to my questions.
 
  #11  
Old 07-12-09, 05:13 PM
W
Member
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Cat Spring, Texas
Posts: 41
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by william View Post
Whoa now. Not trying to cuss anyone or get by with not doing anything right or sneak anything, not sure what you are implying here or where I gave that impression, but I have met with our utility/power company well in advance to make sure I do everything right(how they want it). .
Wasn't implying anything. Just throwing out a couple of things that some people don't think about or know about (like the POCO cooperating with the county on the septic field). I apologize if it read like I was accusing you of trying to short change anything.

Another thing I might warn you about is this. A POCO is liable for the service coming into the meter....you're responsible for everything after the meter. Because of this, some POCO's frown on letting the homeowner put his own wire in (between the transformer and the meter) to the point that if they DO allow it, some POCO's may make you sign a waiver that you will be responsible for it's maintenance.

Not saying I agree with this philosophy, just saying it might rear its ugly head.
 
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: