200A Service Upgrade

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  #1  
Old 06-09-13, 05:14 PM
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200A Service Upgrade

Hey Guys,

I'm helping my father by upgrading his old 100A service. He had a mouse infestation in the main panel and the pee and poop corroded his breakers beyond use.

I've pulled the permit with my local inspector who wants to check the work before the POCO will energize the system.

Here is my plan, please feel free to correct me and add suggestions if I'm off anywhere...

New #4/0 SEU for drop fastened with the appropriate cable clamps. Cable cap secured at top with about 4' of extra length for the drip loop.

New meter box with 2" watertight halex connectors and plastic bushings in top and bottom of meter box. All connections made with anti-corrosion compound.

SEU out the meter box, down to the sill and through to the basement. I will use a sill plate and seal where the wire bends 90 into the house.

From here I will enter a new 200A breaker through a 2" clamp with plastic bushing and connect to the main lugs in the panel.

I will run #6 wire from the panel outside to connect to 2 ground rods 6' apart.

I will also run a ground to the copper piping in the house.

My questions are this:

Does the #6 to the grounding electrodes need to be bare, or can it be insulated wire and then stripped between the two grounding electrodes? Does the wire need to be continuous between the grounding electrodes, or can I use two pieces with 3 clamps?

What gauge wire for the ground to plumbing?

Do the cable clamps require any specific fastener?

What am I missing?

I'd like to have things correct before the inspector comes for obvious reasons...

Thanks Guys,

Bryan
 
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  #2  
Old 06-09-13, 05:24 PM
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Does the #6 to the grounding electrodes need to be bare, or can it be insulated wire and then stripped between the two grounding electrodes? Does the wire need to be continuous between the grounding electrodes, or can I use two pieces with 3 clamps?
It can be insulated, but I prefer bare stranded #6 copper in a continuous length with 2 clamps. I wouldn't use 2 rods unless the inspector wants to see 2 IMO.

What gauge wire for the ground to plumbing?
#4 copper or #2 aluminum to where the water service enters the house. Jumper around any water meters or pressure reducing valves with one continuous length. I prefer bare.

Do the cable clamps require any specific fastener?
Not sure what you mean. I'd also use a small bit of duct seal on top of the meter socket where the SEU cable enters the weatherproof connector. Those connectors are notorious for seeping unless sealed. Also, be sure you have a minimum of 10 feet AFG to the drip loop, 12 or 13 feet would be better. The final connections at the drip loop must be no less than 36 inches from the nearest window.
 
  #3  
Old 06-09-13, 06:35 PM
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Does the wire need to be continuous between the grounding electrodes, or can I use two pieces with 3 clamps?
My understanding is that if you use two grounding rods, the wire needs to be continuous from the panel to electrode 1 to electrode 2. Otherwise they need to be brazed, not just mechanically attached. (Please let me know if I'm wrong about this)

Around here, the inspectors expects to see two ground rods. In theory, you could test for <25ohms to ground with one rod, but no one actually bothers.

Don't forget that you need a bond between the hot/cold pipes around the water heater too.
 
  #4  
Old 06-09-13, 06:50 PM
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Thanks Guys,

I have a well and the line entering the house is plastic, but the inspector wants the plumbing tied to ground to protect in the event of me dropping a toaster into the tub... He also wants to grounding rods, so that's what I will do. I will probably run insulated wire to the first ground rod and then strip and continue to the second rod keeping it one continuous line.

Again, any thoughts on the gauge of the wire necessary to ground the plumbing? I can use #4 but that seems overkill as I am only protecting in the event of an accident, not providing a true ground for the service...

I'll be sure to seal the water tight connectors. Any suggestions as to what product to use?

My question about the wire/cable clamps was relative to the type of screw to attach the clamps to the side of the house (the metal clips that secure the wire to the side of the house along the drop). I'm assuming a decking screw long enough to bite into the sheathing and then a lag for the cable cap to be secure.

For that matter, what type of fastener is best for securing the meter box to the house?

Lastly, can I keep the connections to the ground rods below grade (say 6") and then cover with fill once all is inspected?

Thanks Guys,

Bryan
 
  #5  
Old 06-09-13, 08:48 PM
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the inspector wants the plumbing tied to ground to protect in the event of me dropping a toaster into the tub... He also wants to grounding rods, so that's what I will do. I will probably run insulated wire to the first ground rod and then strip and continue to the second rod keeping it one continuous line.
Bare wire should be used outdoors.

any thoughts on the gauge of the wire necessary to ground the plumbing? I can use #4 but that seems overkill as I am only protecting in the event of an accident, not providing a true ground for the service...
You may be right. You can ask your inspector. I would say use the #4 because you want to make sure that any ungrounded potential that gets on your supply lines never finds a better path to ground.

I'll be sure to seal the water tight connectors. Any suggestions as to what product to use?
Ductseal. Look for it in the electrical aisle.

My question about the wire/cable clamps was relative to the type of screw to attach the clamps to the side of the house (the metal clips that secure the wire to the side of the house along the drop). I'm assuming a decking screw long enough to bite into the sheathing and then a lag for the cable cap to be secure.
The lag sounds good. The screws for the cable clamps need to be round head or pan head screws, not flat head screws.

For that matter, what type of fastener is best for securing the meter box to the house?
Pan head screws. What's the wall made of there?

can I keep the connections to the ground rods below grade (say 6") and then cover with fill once all is inspected?
I think you're required to keep them visible so that folks (including you) will see them and avoid damaging them.
 
  #6  
Old 06-10-13, 04:05 AM
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Again, thanks for the information.

The house is wood sheathing covered with old cedar shakes.

With respect to the bare #4 copper wire for the ground rods... What is the proper way the exit the building? Drill and pass through the sill? Does this area need to be protected by conduit, or can bare wire simply pass through the structure and then secure to the ground rods...?

I'll keep with the #4 for the plumbing ground. It cant hurt as it's only a short run.

Any suggestions as to the best way to braid the neutral line in the SEU? I'm assuming just twist the mesh into a round uniform conductor. THoughts?
 
  #7  
Old 06-10-13, 06:31 AM
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The ground to the water line needs to be #4. This is part of your system grounding called an grounding electrode conductor. It is for the same purpose as the ground rods. This is only used if the water line entering the house is metallic and on direct earth contact for 10' or more. You do not bond or ground to plastic.

The conductor to the rod only needs to be continuous to the first rod. You can jumper between rods and use 3 clamps.

Simply secure the #4 to the foundation.

To braid the neutral I make a handle that looks like a crank from the old cars or airplanes. I do this after loosely aligning the conductors as they exit the sheath or weatherhead.

You need a strap within 12" of the weatherhead and then no more than 30" between.

The clamps on the rod will be below grade. The rod top needs to be flush or below grade. Cover the connections after the inspection with dirt. The clamps should be listed for direct burial.

You can use bare or insulated to both the rods and water line.
 
  #8  
Old 06-10-13, 08:19 AM
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From my understanding, the inspector wants me to tie the plumbing to dround to prevent energizing the fixtures in the event of a short or my wife dropping the dryer into the toilet.

The system is not tied to ground, as the piping entering the house from the well is plastic, as is the soil line leaving the house. So, grounding here is I believe just a safety...

I was under the impression that the ground rods were the path to ground in my situation but I guess in a short through the plumbing I would want a large diameter wire to pass the current before melting and leaving the pipes energized...

I think I've got everything down here... I hope the inspector feels the same way!

Thanks for the help.

Bryan
 
  #9  
Old 06-10-13, 09:06 AM
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Plstic pipes do not conduct electricity therefore you do not bond them. Your inspector is hopefully talking about metal pipes and doesn't realize you have plastic or does the plastic connect to copper. If he really is saying bond plastic pipes politely ask to talk to his supervisor.
 
  #10  
Old 06-10-13, 09:13 AM
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He knows I have a well and knows the supply entering the house is plastic. He instructed me to bond neutral to ground in the main panel and then connect from the main panel to the two grounding rods. He also said to provide a path to ground for the copper pipes in the house. I will ask him to clarify when I see him next.
 
  #11  
Old 06-10-13, 09:54 AM
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If you have a metallic water system in the house, they need to be bonded to the panel.
 
  #12  
Old 06-10-13, 09:56 AM
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From my understanding, the inspector wants me to tie the plumbing to dround to prevent energizing the fixtures in the event of a short or my wife dropping the dryer into the toilet.
The required GFCI protection for every bathroom receptacle should protect everyone if that happens. That said, there are countless other ways your metal supply pipes could become energized, so you still need to bond them to earth - especially since they have no direst bond.
 
  #13  
Old 06-10-13, 10:24 AM
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Great.

One last question... With respect to the halex water tight connectors in the knockouts on the meter box, do I use standard locknuts with plastic bushingsor do they need to be insulating and grounded? I'm assuming standard as I'm not using any conduit?

Thanks,

Bryan
 
  #14  
Old 06-10-13, 11:28 AM
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One utility I am most familiar with does not allow connections into the top of the socket. IMO it seems like a poor method that will eventually allow water into the socket. I would use the side or bottom KO's.
 
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