Splicing service entrance cables?

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  #1  
Old 09-10-13, 11:02 AM
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Splicing service entrance cables?

HI all,

Just calling any residential Electricians out there. I am a commercial/industrial journeyman and don't deal with residential so please help me out. I would like to change the existing panel in my house as it is old and outdated. There is no main breaker in it. The SE cable that comes from the meter outside goes directly to the panel. The panel is mounted up higher and when I change to a main breaker panel the SE cable conductors will not be long enough. Looking at code article 230.46 for services, it says service entrance cables shall be permitted to be spliced as long as it meets certain criteria. My question is has anyone done this before. I was going to install a 8"x8" jbox above panel and splice together a short piece of SE to reach the new breaker. I would install proper connectors or split bolts/covers/tape in the jbox. Let me know. Thx
 
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Old 09-10-13, 11:13 AM
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How long is the SE cable now?
 
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Old 09-10-13, 11:14 AM
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You must have had a split bus panel, good decision to replace it. I believe the current NEC requires the main breaker to be no more than 6'-7" or 2 meters above the floor. If yours would be higher than that, I'd replace the SE cable before I'd splice it. Considering you are thinking of a 8 X 8 box, you must have a 100 amp service, right?
 
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Old 09-10-13, 11:18 AM
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cable from meter to panel is probably 5' and I would need to add maybe 2' at most. I would nipple jbox to top of panel and extend wire maybe 1.5 ft. There would still be the same amount of SE cable exposed in the basement.
 
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Old 09-10-13, 11:21 AM
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yes it is 100 amp. I may change the wire from panel to meter however, if the load side terminals are seized up then I may need a new meter and getting the power company involved etc.. THe cable from meter to panel looks to be in good shape. So this would be a last resort.
 
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Old 09-10-13, 11:31 AM
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I would nipple jbox to top of panel and extend wire maybe 1.5 ft.
If you go this route, what will the box do the number of available knockouts on top of the panel? Would this cause you to have to extend some branch circuits to get them into the panel? Personally, I would never splice a SE cable on a residential service unless I had really extenuating circumstances. For myself and family, I wouldn't even use SE cable, just pipe and wire.
 
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Old 09-10-13, 04:48 PM
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I would replace the cable between the meter and the panel. One less potential point of trouble and less cost that buying 3 Polaris pre-insulated connectors.
 
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Old 09-10-13, 05:18 PM
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You would be surprised...... I've seen lugs in old meter pans in pristine condition.

A peak inside will tell the tale.
 
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