Main power cable needs painted. Safe to paint?

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  #1  
Old 11-02-14, 01:42 PM
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Main power cable needs painted. Safe to paint?

The main power line mounted to the facia on the house has apparently been painted before and the paint is all cracked and peeling. It does not look like the cable insulation is deteriorated, just painted over and cracking paint. It looks pretty terrible. How would I go about safely cleaning/repainting this? Would I need the power company to cut power to the house? Use plastic scraper? It's probably about 30 feet or so of cable. I'm thinking as long as I don't use an aluminum ladder from the ground or just hang over the side of the roof (should be within reach). It's a brick house with fiberglass shingled roof if that matters and aluminum-clad soffit/facia. I'll try to get a pic if possible.
 
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Old 11-02-14, 01:52 PM
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A picture would help. Thought cable should be in a mast.
 
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Old 11-02-14, 03:20 PM
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I would have it replaced & never touch it again.
 
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Old 11-02-14, 03:20 PM
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Knock it gently with a piece of wood or the back of a wire brush to knock off the loose particles and then slap on some thick latex paint.

pugsl, lots and lots of homes have "service entrance" cable. I don't like it and far prefer conduit but in many places it is common.
 
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Old 11-02-14, 03:45 PM
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Properly installed service cable is safely used in many areas.

To OP, you may want to see if the power company can put insulating blankets over the splices to the triplex to avoid accidental contact.
 
  #6  
Old 11-13-14, 08:35 AM
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At closer inspection, the sheathing is starting to separate so i should probably just have it replaced. Not sure what that will cost. Wondering if I should just upgrade the house to 200 amp service or not. The 100 amp seems to be sufficient, but I think all the slots in the box are taken so it would be hard to add another circuit say in the basement if i should fix it up. Does 200 amp require a larger service cable than what i have?
 
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Old 11-13-14, 08:57 AM
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Does 200 amp require a larger service cable than what i have?
Yes, larger cable and a 200 amp rated meter socket plus upgrading the GEC to the water service. Unless you have plans to significantly increase your load, I wouldn't upgrade to 200 amps. If you need more circuits, install a subpanel next to the existing panel.
 
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Old 11-13-14, 09:19 AM
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Just an opinion from someone in an area that doesn't usually use SE. I'd suggest replacing it with conduit and individual conductors. I always thought conduit was neater and cleaner and there is more protection. As asked before can you post a picture. http://www.doityourself.com/forum/li...rt-images.html
 

Last edited by ray2047; 11-13-14 at 10:24 AM.
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Old 11-13-14, 09:31 AM
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I'd suggest replacing it with conduit and individual conductors. I always thought conduit neater and cleaner and there is more protection.
I agree with ya, Ray, I hate SEU cable. My dislike is not only the appearance, but the fact that tract housing gets aluminum SEU and aluminum bus loadcenters as standard equipment. I like to beef up the quality a bit. My dislike also stems from many years ago when SEU cable was only rated at 300 volts and there was actually leakage through the insulation of new cable if you checked it for continuity between 2 conductors (both copper and aluminum cables).
 

Last edited by ray2047; 11-13-14 at 10:26 AM. Reason: Clesned up typo in the quote from my post.
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