Dual Meter Socket Questions

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Old 05-14-10, 03:56 PM
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Dual Meter Socket Questions

Never had to deal with one of these and have a few questions.

First the background -
Two family building.

Load calc for both units together is well under 300A, so I'm building it for 300A. Main drop is 250 MCM copper THWN-2 (per code, acceptable for residential 300A).

Each unit load calc is over 100 but well under 200, so putting 200A main panels in each. The code is pretty vague for 2 family but from what I understand it is similar to 3+ family where the meter pan and main drop are sized to the load calc and not the sum of all main breakers. 2/0 copper to each unit (again approved for residential 200A).

That stuff is all easy, now the stuff I'm not sure on.

For the dual meter pan, does it need to be rated 300A or 200A? Theoretically, especially for the ones that feed in the middle, each side of the bus would only ever carry max 200A, 300A would only be at the point the BUS connects to the main drop. The only reason I ask this is I see a lot of dual meter sockets rated 200A per position and they do not specify a bus rating, or some specify 200A rating. They definitely aren't as large or beefy (or pricey) as the 320/400A ones I've seen. Hoping I can use one of these smaller/simpler units, not sure why else they would even be made.

If I need to go with one of the larger 320/400 units, all the ones available around here have tenant breakers built in. I am not required to have them by POCO or AHJ, only for 3+ family. Is it common to jumper/bypass these breaker positions? I prefer to wire the panel as a main panel instead of sub, just so much cleaner.

I guess my other option is to get 2x200A sockets and just put them side by side and jumper them together, but that seems kinda hack job to me.

Thx for any input.
 
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Old 05-14-10, 04:35 PM
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Your total calculated load is over 200 amps, therefore, your meter socket rating cannot be less than the total calculated load. The key is the bus rating of the socket, not the amp rating per position. I see nothing wrong with a muti gang socket with tenant breakers.

Another option could be to use a tap box between two 200 amp rated sockets.
 
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Old 05-14-10, 05:06 PM
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Originally Posted by CasualJoe View Post
Your total calculated load is over 200 amps, therefore, your meter socket rating cannot be less than the total calculated load. The key is the bus rating of the socket, not the amp rating per position. I see nothing wrong with a muti gang socket with tenant breakers.

Another option could be to use a tap box between two 200 amp rated sockets.
OK so if I understand you correctly, the ones that say 2x200A socket and dont specify bus (or specify 200A bus) are only good for 200A total. Seems pointless to have each position rated 200A in that case but guess its just more flexible. I'm assuming the ones that specify 320-400 bus and 200 per socket are acceptable, but they're huge and have tenant breakers.

Rather than have a tap box (for dual pans), couldn't you just use dual lugs on the line side of one and jumper the two together? Seems kinda hack to me still so probably won't go that route either way.

What do you mean about the tenant breakers? If I don't want to wire my main panel as a sub panel, is it acceptable to jumper this instead of installing the breaker?

Thanks for the input.
 
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Old 05-14-10, 05:22 PM
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OK so if I understand you correctly, the ones that say 2x200A socket and dont specify bus (or specify 200A bus) are only good for 200A total.
No, I didn't say that. If I were you, I'd call the socket manufacturer and ask them what the bus rating is for the 2 gang socket in question. If it's a Milbank socket, call your local rep. Another option could be to order the socket you need and not rely on just those in local stock. No, you can't jumper past a tenant breaker provision. Remember, the approval of the socket is up to your power company, not the AHJ. The AHJ only approves the installation.
 
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Old 05-14-10, 05:26 PM
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Originally Posted by CasualJoe View Post
No, I didn't say that. If I were you, I'd call the socket manufacturer and ask them what the bus rating is for the 2 gang socket in question. If it's a Milbank socket, call your local rep. Another option could be to order the socket you need and not rely on just those in local stock. No, you can't jumper past a tenant breaker provision. Remember, the approval of the socket is up to your power company, not the AHJ. The AHJ only approves the installation.
Yeah around here, National Grid only provides a list for 320+ sockets, otherwise you just follow the requirements in their book. But buying local helps ensure that they won't have any issues with it as the supply houses only stock what is used/approved locally.

Thx, I'll do some research into seeing if any brands have a more reasonable dual 200.
 
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Old 05-14-10, 11:23 PM
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I will make a quick question here .,

Do you have overhead service drop or underground lateral ??

That part it may play the factor of slecting a proper metering device.

What the load demand figure for each apartment or duplex set up ??

once I know the load demand figures it will be pretty easy to figure out however there is couple question I will be asking along the way so SVP { please } read on.,,

Do your place do have load centre in basement or on each floor ?

That question will affect the way we have to slect a proper metering unit with tentet breaker installed or not.

Is there any load that will be added in future ?
something like spa or something hevey power useage even a subpanel for the tentent garage { I have see that request from time to time but not too often but I keep that option open.}

Is any load that is on the " house " power like secturey luminaires or washer / dryer { coin operated type } or common basement?

If so then you will required to add a third metering socket for common " house " I have to do this pretty often with multifamily house and med to large apartment complex.


Once I get the actual numbers then I will go from there then I can able tell you or other members whom they are electrician by trade we will able help you { yeah., we have few good non electrician members as well so I did not forget ya at all }

If that was my way I will go with dual meter socket with tenent breaker on it { I know some local codes may required extreal tentant breaker for emergecy reason } you can get them in 200 amp rated socket but for bussbar rating it will depending on the load demand figure.

I will use the figures from each unit and both units so see how much leeway you can go with 200 amp socket and the type of bussbar I can able to use { they will have 200 amp rated bussbar and go higher like 320 or 400 depending on conferation }

once the numbers lay out then we can go from there.

Merci, Marc
 
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Old 05-14-10, 11:37 PM
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Marc appreciate the assistance, but I can simplify it quite a bit, the only place I'm unsure of is the details of bus vs. socket rating, everything else I've already calculated and planned out.

No tenant breakers required or desired
3rd meter not required or desired (small common area has 1 light controlled by each unit on their own power).
300A bus, 200A per position needed
Overhead service
POCO would prefer lever bypass, so would I

Based on the load calculations I could probably get by with a 250A bus which I've seen a few, but would really rather just size for the full 300A.

I just find it odd that a dual gang center feed socket is commonly available in 200A/pos but they either don't mention the bus at all or in one example (SquareD) they mention a 205A bus, and also say something about the bus must be 1/2 the ampacity of the sum of all sockets or something like that. If that's the case, great, there are a wide range of sockets available.

Logic would say that a socket rated "200A per position" would have a bus able to deliver that much but sounds like that isn't the case.

Thanks
 
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Old 05-15-10, 12:17 AM
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Merci for quick reply here.,

Now we can see where it going now.

If the load demand is not very high you can get by with 250 A bussbar rated meter socket { it is little cheaper but not a whole alot than 300 or even 400 amp verison }

I am pretty sure your POCO do required meter bypass I don't recall which POCO you are in but I know there are quite few did mention bypass meter socket so make sure it in there when you order it.

As far for overhead service you will need minum of 3 inch conduit with 130mm˛ { 250 KCM } conductors otherwise 150mm˛ { 300 KCM } conductors { alum will be bumped up one size larger }

Make sure you have very good attachment point for service drop many POCO will have a guideline what type of attactchment it will be needed to support the overhead conductors.

Centre feed meter socket is the best one I can use due have alot more flexibaity and it will have more slection of bussbar rating so make sure you get them at least 250A rated that is bare bone minuim but 300 is normal item I useally get them in twinner in Wisconsin { I am in France due I go back and forth often } { a note here : the reason why I mention 250 amp due the load demand factor I did use couple diffrent load demand figures senice you allready did it but I came up couple diffrent senircos }

How far is your meter socket to the breaker box? if under 7 or 8 foot you should be ok unless something in your local codes may stated diffrent then follow their local codes regulations.

Most of the meter socket I order in Wisconsin usealy Milbank but I do get couple other brands as well if the customer request or POCO speced in there.

I know you mention about 200 amp per socket and the bussbar can able handle that much the answer is yes as long both meters are not over the bussbar rated { many time it will be in the model number or stamped on the sticker info }


That should cover for now if more question just holler either myself or other guys in the fourm will answer your question asap.

Merci,Marc
 
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Old 05-15-10, 01:24 AM
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Actually 3x250MCM THWN = 2" sched 80 @ 40% fill (just barely). XHW I think would need a bump to 2.5"

About 3 feet from meter to each panel and it will be run on the outside in sched 80 and go directly in the back of the panel.

National Grid only requires bypass for common area and since I won't have a common area meter, they don't require it, but I do prefer it regardless.

I'll look around at some more meter brands, the Milbank 2 position center feeds that I see don't specify a bus rating in the spec sheet, probably just give them a call.

Thanks
 
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Old 05-15-10, 09:34 PM
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Drinkingbird.,

Just give me a day or two the most I will find the specs on the centre feed duplex meter socket and I will list couple of them so if one type is not approved by your POCO then I will have alternative slection ready for ya.

Merci,Marc

P.S. which POCO you are on ? so I can able get into their PDF file format due I have pretty good listing of POCO's to cover most of USA and EDF { electrique De France }
 
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Old 05-15-10, 09:46 PM
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Originally Posted by french277V View Post
Drinkingbird.,

Just give me a day or two the most I will find the specs on the centre feed duplex meter socket and I will list couple of them so if one type is not approved by your POCO then I will have alternative slection ready for ya.

Merci,Marc

P.S. which POCO you are on ? so I can able get into their PDF file format due I have pretty good listing of POCO's to cover most of USA and EDF { electrique De France }
National Grid (Formerly Mass Electric) in Massachusetts. I think I might go with the 2x200A and a tap box, if I can find one the same height then it will look identical to a 2 gang socket anyway and have no questions about ampacity, but still going to check around and see what is available.

A house down the street recently upgraded and they have a dual stacked meter with a bus/trough on the left of the 2 meters, I found one that looks like it from Milbank with dual 200A sockets but at the end of their brochure they said the dual 200A have a 200A bus also.
 
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Old 05-15-10, 09:49 PM
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Originally Posted by CasualJoe View Post
No, I didn't say that. If I were you, I'd call the socket manufacturer and ask them what the bus rating is for the 2 gang socket in question. If it's a Milbank socket, call your local rep. Another option could be to order the socket you need and not rely on just those in local stock. No, you can't jumper past a tenant breaker provision. Remember, the approval of the socket is up to your power company, not the AHJ. The AHJ only approves the installation.
Sorry I think we were just mixing up terminonology (socket vs. position, I use them interchangeably). There are plenty of dual sockets rated "200A per position" but they either don't list bus rating or say 200 or 205A.

POCO is very flexible and do not have a list of approved meters, just their "green book" which lists a couple basic requirements. I wish they did have an approved list, at least would narrow it down and make the choices easier.

Just really don't want to have to worry about splitting ground and neutral, as the only way I can get a ground to the meter pan is by going through the main panel, which some will consider a "wire through" and may give me a hard time about. Also not a big fan of having to put in ground bars and cut all the grounds short at the top.
 
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Old 05-15-10, 09:55 PM
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Originally Posted by drinkingbird View Post
National Grid (Formerly Mass Electric) in Massachusetts. I think I might go with the 2x200A and a tap box, if I can find one the same height then it will look identical to a 2 gang socket anyway and have no questions about ampacity, but still going to check around and see what is available.

A house down the street recently upgraded and they have a dual stacked meter with a bus/trough on the left of the 2 meters, I found one that looks like it from Milbank with dual 200A sockets but at the end of their brochure they said the dual 200A have a 200A bus also.

Ok Merci for letting me know who is your POCO provider and I will dig it up little later today { it is 06:54 Paris France time zone }

I am pretty sure I know what model you are describing but let me double check the catalog book to verify it.

Merci,Marc
 
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Old 05-16-10, 04:49 PM
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I think I might go with the 2x200A and a tap box, if I can find one the same height then it will look identical to a 2 gang socket anyway and have no questions about ampacity, but still going to check around and see what is available.
While checking your options, think about making your own tap box from a NEMA3R j-box and adding an ILSCO Power Distribution Block.

https://www.ilsco.com/ProductsDetail...N5AVp5Sa2fE%3d
 
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Old 05-16-10, 05:31 PM
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Originally Posted by CasualJoe View Post
While checking your options, think about making your own tap box from a NEMA3R j-box and adding an ILSCO Power Distribution Block.

https://www.ilsco.com/ProductsDetail...N5AVp5Sa2fE%3d
Good to have options, thanks.

While googling around, I found lowes online (ugh, I know) lists a 400A dual gang Milbank socket center feed, but the part number doesn't come up on any of their catalogs. I think it is one of the ones they list in their catalog at 2x200A where the end of the catalog says the bus is good for 200A. Probably some Lowes minimum wage data entry person doing bad math :-) Not carried locally anyway but was hoping I could use the p/n to find one.

Just gonna call a few supply houses tomorrow and see what they have, the key is seeing what the enclosure rating is on the sticker which doesn't seem to be published anywhere. I did find one online Milbank sticker image for a 2x200A socket with tenant breakers that says 320A rated bus/enclosure so that is at least promising that I might be able to find something similar.

I'm really starting to wonder if the center feeds only list a 200A bus as that is all they really need, the only place 300+ would ever exist is at the line side lug, then it splits off from there and goes 2 ways, but if the sticker doesn't say 300+ I don't want to cut corners. They do say the 200A bus rating is inline with NEC and UL requirements for multi unit non-coincedent loads etc but since my service entrance is already calculated for that (300A instead of 400A) that would seem like double dipping to me on that code provision.

It is just one of those things that makes you scratch your head, seems like this would be a fairly common thing, guess not. Probably a lot of juristictions are pushing for main discos at the meter so that's what the manufacturers are building, but if I don't need it I don't want to do subpanel wiring and worry about how to properly tie the ground in without digging up the walkway under the meters.

I did find one center feed that lists 2x200A with 250A bus, pretty sure it was a milbank, so if that's what I gotta do, so be it. My load calc easily supports it, just always like to have plenty of room for future growth, and inspectors tend to appreciate oversizing.

Mostly just thinking out loud here, I do appreciate the input, we'll see what I track down tomorrow.

On a side note, the supply house that told me the only 200A per pos meters they carry are the modulars with tenant breakers, also tried to sell me sched 40 elbows for my sched 80 pipe run, saying they don't make sched 80 elbows. Even home depot carrys the sched 80 ones, so I was just like "OK, no thanks". I guess if a tree falls on the side of the house there is no risk of it hitting the ELL :-) Supply house has sched 80 pipe but not ELLs, HD carrys sched 80 ELLs but not pipe.
 
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Old 05-16-10, 06:16 PM
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Maybe I'm missing something but for only two services why not simply use two stand-alone meter bases with individual risers to weather heads and have the utility bug each service to the same drop? This is common in my area.
 
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Old 05-16-10, 08:22 PM
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Originally Posted by furd View Post
Maybe I'm missing something but for only two services why not simply use two stand-alone meter bases with individual risers to weather heads and have the utility bug each service to the same drop? This is common in my area.
Yeah I just don't like the extra clutter, and it would also be more $$$ wiring wise (have to run the full 400A worth), though probably about the same as the tap box or special meter I suppose. Just a fan of "Keep It Simple" and less clutter on the outside of the house.
 
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Old 05-16-10, 10:16 PM
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Drinkingbird.,

Here the link and scroll down to page 9 for sans main breaker while page 10 is with main breakers in there.

the reason why I put the link due it much quicker and easier for you to depcehier it.

anyway Voila!.,

http://www.milbankmfg.com/Products/C...tionalGrid.pdf

Let me know what you think?

Both page 9 et 10 they are listed for both UG / OH set up { UG = Underground OH = Overhead }

Merci.Marc
 
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Old 05-17-10, 10:32 AM
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Yeah that's one of the ones I was looking at, but if you look at page 14, bottom right, it says the overall ampacity for the 2 position enclosure and bus is 200A that's where I get confused, if that is acceptable or not since I'll be feeding 300A into it.

Originally Posted by french277V View Post
Drinkingbird.,

Here the link and scroll down to page 9 for sans main breaker while page 10 is with main breakers in there.

the reason why I put the link due it much quicker and easier for you to depcehier it.

anyway Voila!.,

http://www.milbankmfg.com/Products/C...tionalGrid.pdf

Let me know what you think?

Both page 9 et 10 they are listed for both UG / OH set up { UG = Underground OH = Overhead }

Merci.Marc
 
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Old 05-17-10, 03:35 PM
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Ok I got it what you mean Drinkingbird.,

Let me expand the detail little more with the way with Milbank rate the meter socket they are little diffrent than what you think.

First of all their bussbar rating for both 200 amp socket that will not affect the rating but if you want to make sure you can able check with electrical supply centre they will have updated info related to this.

The simair verison as I show you I done a few in Wisconsin they will have slightly diffrent bussbar arrangment rating due my twinner which I done pretty often they can handle 2 X 200 amp meter socket but I did specal order with hevier bussbar { that something you may want to check with electrical supply centre } so it will handle the load pretty nice due one commecal building have single apartment upstair so I did order I specficlly use 300 amp bussbar due the load on commercal side is pretty consant { it will hover around 150 A during summer time } the apartment side was not a issue I did verify the load with load caluations and actual amp drawage it was not a issue it only show 68 amp the most I can able load it up.

But keep in your mind the specal order bussbar it will cost more and some case you may have to wait couple weeks to get it unless the electrical supply centre may know something with it then go from there.

Merci,Marc
 
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Old 05-18-10, 02:04 PM
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According to one of their spec sheets I found, the U1252-X-K1 IS 400A bus (though other newer spec sheets don't say this). But that box is $273. Not that price is the main factor but jeez, I can buy 2 200A sockets for $80 bux, seems crazy. The lever bypass version (U2872) is $550. They must be putting gold buses in these panels now. I can get that 1252 one locally and I don't need lever bypass (would be nice to have but not for double price) but I'll probably check a few more options from Murray/Landis/Siemens and possibly SquareD and see what other options there are.

I actually spoke with tech support at Milbank on the phone and he said these center feed boxes are officially rated at 200A bus for the 2 gang, he didn't mention anything about the 400 I found in the older brochure. But he did say that rating is just inline with UL and NEC calculations and that the BUS rating isn't really any concern, it can handle pretty much anything thrown at it. But I need it to say somewhere on the sticker 300A or more.

Will keep looking around and keep you posted.

Originally Posted by french277V View Post
Ok I got it what you mean Drinkingbird.,

Let me expand the detail little more with the way with Milbank rate the meter socket they are little diffrent than what you think.

First of all their bussbar rating for both 200 amp socket that will not affect the rating but if you want to make sure you can able check with electrical supply centre they will have updated info related to this.

The simair verison as I show you I done a few in Wisconsin they will have slightly diffrent bussbar arrangment rating due my twinner which I done pretty often they can handle 2 X 200 amp meter socket but I did specal order with hevier bussbar { that something you may want to check with electrical supply centre } so it will handle the load pretty nice due one commecal building have single apartment upstair so I did order I specficlly use 300 amp bussbar due the load on commercal side is pretty consant { it will hover around 150 A during summer time } the apartment side was not a issue I did verify the load with load caluations and actual amp drawage it was not a issue it only show 68 amp the most I can able load it up.

But keep in your mind the specal order bussbar it will cost more and some case you may have to wait couple weeks to get it unless the electrical supply centre may know something with it then go from there.

Merci,Marc
 
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Old 05-23-10, 07:40 AM
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Well I ordered a Milbank U1252-X-K1 last week, it will be here this week, hopefully the stickers on it confirm the couple spec sheets I found that say it is rated 400A overall.

Thanks for the input.

On a semi-related note, what is the proper way to pull sched 80 into a meter pan? Inside to a panel etc I just use the box adapters which are quick and easy, but since they don't create a tight seal I'm assuming they aren't OK for a wet area. Male PVC threaded adapter and a steel lock nut? Obviously the Line feed goes into the hub which is easy, I have a threaded PVC meter offset, but the load output needs to use a knockout.

I used to use the trick of using a female and male threaded adapter together, but they seem to be making them now where the threads get fatter toward the top (assuming to create a better seal) and you can't screw them close enough together to tighten on a knockout. If you try to force it they just split open.
 
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Old 05-23-10, 07:57 AM
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what is the proper way to pull sched 80 into a meter pan? Inside to a panel etc I just use the box adapters which are quick and easy, but since they don't create a tight seal I'm assuming they aren't OK for a wet area.
On the bottom or side of the socket, a male threaded adapter and locknut is all that is required, but if you want a better seal you could use a sealing locknut or add a bead of silicone such as manufactured by CRC. Yes, on top you should use the manufactuers threaded hub. If the socket has no opening on top for a manufacturer's hub, use a meyers hub. I wouldn't use sch 80 and would recommend either sch 40 or EMT for this.
 
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Old 05-23-10, 08:14 AM
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Originally Posted by CasualJoe View Post
On the bottom or side of the socket, a male threaded adapter and locknut is all that is required, but if you want a better seal you could use a sealing locknut or add a bead of silicone such as manufactured by CRC. Yes, on top you should use the manufactuers threaded hub. If the socket has no opening on top for a manufacturer's hub, use a meyers hub. I wouldn't use sch 80 and would recommend either sch 40 or EMT for this.
Yeah top has a threaded hub so easy. Have to use sched 80 or EMT for it all since it is "subject to damage", I prefer PVC over EMT so just doing sched 80 all around. Thread sealant on the hub and some silicone on the KO connections should take care of it.

Thanks.
 
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Old 05-28-10, 07:55 AM
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Received the one I ordered, actual part number is U1252-REL-K1 (REL just refers to the fact that it has the hub adapter and 2.5" hub included). The actual box is stamped in several places with R1252 and the box refers to R1252-REL-K1 also, not sure what the first R indiciates.

Indeed the UL label inside lists it rated at 400A lug/bus/overall with 200A per position. So in theory any U1252 should be the same but who knows.

Thanks for all the input, glad to have one that meets (exceeds) my needs.
 
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Old 05-28-10, 11:13 PM
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I am glad it come out good and let us know how the end result after you get it in the place.

Merci,Marc
 
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