Meter pan ground


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Old 02-28-15, 03:36 PM
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Meter pan ground

I am upgrading panels from the fuse type to breakers I have a 200 amp service. I am installing a Culter Hammer disconnect below the meter base with feed through lugs and 8 spaces for breakers. A new CH 42/42 panel inside the house. The question is and I have saw this several different ways. I have a bare #4 copper wire coming out of the meter to ground rod. when I mount the disconnect do I run this bare wire through the new disconnect or leave it as is? I know about the 4 wires going to the sub and the added ground rod 8 foot from the other one. The ground will be to short because of the new box but the POCO said I could splice inside meter on the ground buss. As it is now the bare ground runs from the weather head through the meter to the rod.

Thanks
 
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Old 02-28-15, 03:47 PM
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Welcome to the forums! If the POCO is OK with the splice (and there is a split buss in the base) you can make a joint there with sufficient length to go to your rod. I have only run across one municipality that required a continuous ground. Are they requiring a #4?
 
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Old 02-28-15, 04:06 PM
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Actually, it's pretty rare to see grounds inside the meter pan. Usually those are neutrals and the ground is connected at the disconnect.
 
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Old 02-28-15, 04:12 PM
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Since the neutral is mechanically bonded to the pan, I see no need for it either. Disconnect and main panel, sure.
 
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Old 02-28-15, 04:42 PM
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Well let me repraise that coming out of my weather head there are 2 hots and the bare #4. I installed this about 40 years ago. The bare wire runs through the meter all the way to the rod never broken. I guess the rules have changed some what. When I call the POCO and told them the ground would be to short it would have to go around the new disconnect and then down and if I could splice it with a split nut they said it would be better to do it in the meter pan on their lug. What has confused me is do I need to run this wire through the disconnect to the ground /neutral buss and then to the rod. then I would have 2 rods the neutral and a 4th wire going to the panel in side the house on the buss which would be better I would not have to break it in the meter. The bonding strip in side the sub panel would be removed the the ground/neutrals seperated.
They do require a #4
 
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Old 02-28-15, 06:16 PM
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The bare from a weatherhead is your neutral and does not go directly to your ground rod. It should stop in the meter pan.

The NEC requires the GEC to be continuous from the panel to the first rod, and from the panel to the water line ground if available.
 
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Old 02-28-15, 07:32 PM
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As it is now the bare ground runs from the weather head through the meter to the rod.
I am a little confused about this. Are there 3 or 4 wires coming from the weatherhead. I remember seeing an area in Tennessee near Ft. Campbell that required the neutral to be grounded at the weatherhead. The GEC ran from the ground rod through the meter socket and up the conduit riser and out the weatherhead to the utility neutral connection.

Is this what you have now?
 
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Old 03-01-15, 01:14 PM
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There is only 3 wires coming into my weather head 2 hots and neutral/ground. The POCO bare alum is connected to my #4 bare copper that goes through the meter pan down to ground rod unbroken. What has me confused is when I add my disconnect or main panel some call it do I run the bare copper inside the panel to the ground/neutral buss or leave it like it is. To my understanding of the nec rule it dosen't matter if it comes from the meter or disconnect or like it is now. All the grounds and neutrals will be tied together in the main panel only.
After the panel is atached to the meter the bare wire will be to short. It will have to go aroud the side and down I ask the POCO about a splice he said I could splice it the meter pan. When I did this before the bare wire had to go from weather head to ground rod unbroken.
 
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Old 03-01-15, 01:23 PM
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There will not water main or pipe involved I have PVC except about a foot of copper that I can't get to. under concrete
 
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Old 03-01-15, 01:32 PM
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When I did this before the bare wire had to go from weather head to ground rod unbroken.
It would be pretty rare to have a bare #4 copper neutral going up the riser conduit and through he weatherhead to the utility neutral connection, but I don't doubt that it may possibly be done that way in some areas. That being said, the neutral must continue throuh the socket and on to the main panel or first disconnect so there has to be a connection in the socket if you also have a bare #4 copper GEC going to the ground rod.
 
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Old 03-01-15, 03:09 PM
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If I understand this correctly the bare 4 copper is your neutral from the POCO,that should go to the neutral block in the meter socket, from there the other side of that neutral should go to the neutral buss in the panel.a # 4 copper or GEC should go in your case the ground rods and connect to the neutral block in the meter socket.
I don't get this #4 going from the POCO neutral directly to a ground rod, maybe I am missing something

Geo
 
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Old 03-01-15, 03:17 PM
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He has stated that the two meet in the meter pan.

The poco only runs three aluminum wires.... two hots and a neutral for single phase. It's not called a ground at this point. The three wires should be terminated in the meter pan. There should be three wires from the meter pan to the service disconnect that will be mounted right below the meter pan. The ground rods should go to the combination ground/neutral bar inside the disconnect. There would be no need for a fourth wire between the pan and the disconnect.
You will use four wires between the disconnect and the main panel inside.

Since you don't have a copper water service you should plan on two ground rods.... spaced 6' apart.
 
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Old 03-01-15, 03:55 PM
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Is it possible to post pictures of the current setup? A 200 amp service needs a neutral larger that #4.
 
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Old 03-01-15, 05:14 PM
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Agreed, this is getting stranger by the minute,makes me wonder what size the other conductors.
Geo
 
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Old 03-01-15, 06:19 PM
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He has stated that the two meet in the meter pan.
He also stated the #4 copper runs continuously from the utility neutral connection to the ground rod. This is what was confusiong me too.

The POCO bare alum is connected to my #4 bare copper that goes through the meter pan down to ground rod unbroken.
Some of the really old 60 and 100 amp round sockets used to have a provision where the neutral conductor could run continuously through the socket, but I have never seen that in a 200 amp socket.
 
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Old 03-01-15, 08:14 PM
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The #4 bare copper goes thru the meter pan down to the ground rod unbroken.
The poco bare alum connects to my #4 in the meter pan.

He's asking if he needs to run that #4 currently unbroken ground wire thru his new disconnect.

Here, in NJ, that ground would not be in the meter at all.
 
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Old 03-02-15, 04:59 AM
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Here in NH we are required to connect the GEC in the meter socket.
Geo
 
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Old 03-02-15, 05:18 AM
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Just curious ,who is the POCO there? The link to AL PO shows the GEC connected to a lug in the meter socket.

https://customerservice.southerncomp...esidential.pdf
Geo
 
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Old 03-02-15, 08:32 AM
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He's asking if he needs to run that #4 currently unbroken ground wire thru his new disconnect.
I understand that, but what I don't understand is why the #4 bare copper GEC currently runs unbroken from the utility connection at the weatherhead, down the riser, through the meter socket and all the way to the ground rod. The only thing I can think of is this could be a 120 volt service.
 
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Old 03-02-15, 06:15 PM
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You have to remember this was installed in 1969 I did it my self. Coming out of the weather head there is 2 2/0 wires and 1 #4 bare copper. The 2/0 wire is way bigger than what you will buy now. All I can figure out is they are using the bare wire for a neutral and ground. In the main panel there is one ground/neutral bar with a big lug on top for the neutral coming from the meter and one on the bottom for the sub panel in between probably 12 for smaller wires. All grounds and neutrals will be on this bar but will separate in the sub panel. Some POCO's want the ground to terminate in the meter pan and some don't. It would be easier to terminate the ground form rods in the disconnect on that bar and is legal if I am reading the NEC rules right. When they pulled meter and turn my power off I will take a picture and post if I can.
Our power is from TVA through the Florence electric department but is like what geochurchi posted on AL Power.
 
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Old 03-02-15, 06:35 PM
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OK..... a pipe service. For a 200A service that's an awful small neutral wire.

Technically all three are supposed to be the same size.
 
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Old 03-02-15, 07:33 PM
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Coming out of the weather head there is 2 2/0 wires and 1 #4 bare copper. The 2/0 wire is way bigger than what you will buy now.
2/0 copper is the correct size for a residential 200 amp service but the #4 copper is too small for the neutral and always has been. The neutral can be reduced, but not that much.

So.....what size wire do you have as a neutral to the panel? Where is it connected in the meter socket?
 
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Old 03-02-15, 08:41 PM
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If this meter pan is live should the O/P even be opening it? Probably no but I get the impression he is.
 
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Old 03-03-15, 06:01 AM
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I am not opening the meter pan until they pull meter and cut power I have in the past not this time. What I am trying to do is get everything ready like new wire pulled ect. so I want be without power so long. I agree the #4 bare wire is to small but that is what the POCO wanted back then. I would be glad to pull a new bigger wire when they cut power but I have to abide by their rules. This week I am going to the E department and get a diagram of how they want it.
 
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Old 03-03-15, 11:59 AM
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I found out today what the POCO wants. I have to change the bare #4 to #2 insulated wire. They also want the ground from meter pan to rod. When they open the meter pan I will have to cut the bare wire and I can use it to pull the 2 to weather head. But what really got me was I have to use only one ground rod. I will probably use 2 anyway he said I could but our type of soil it wasn't need.
 
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Old 03-03-15, 06:01 PM
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I think I see why he said I only need one ground rod. 1. All grounds have to go back to the point of origin which in my case would be the meter pan where the ground and neutral are bonded. The meter will be locked when they leave. 3 wires coming into the main/disconnect panel from meter the neutral will go the ground/neutral buss. If I drive another rod and run wire to the same buss I will create a Parallel neutral path between the meter and disconnect. The only way I could use 2 rods is run the wire from one to the other not to the buss. Does this make sense????
 
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Old 03-03-15, 06:22 PM
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The only way I could use 2 rods is run the wire from one to the other not to the buss.
That is the way you connect two ground rods. The second rod is connected to the first rod and not back to the neutral bus of the panel. There are many areas where the second rod isn't needed because of soil conditions.
 
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Old 03-03-15, 06:32 PM
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The rods jumper from one to the other.
 
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Old 03-04-15, 05:28 AM
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Ray, just curious,when did a meter socket or trough become a pan.?
Is this a Texan thing?
Geo
 
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Old 03-04-15, 09:26 AM
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Actually I have heard them called cans here but I'm self taught and not a pro. The original poster called it a pan so I did.
 

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Old 03-04-15, 09:52 AM
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I am not a pro either I picked that pan business up on here to. I have always called them a meter base.
 
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Old 03-04-15, 10:38 AM
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"Meter base" is the terminology I first learned, but also learned many years ago that the manufacturers and power companys refer to them as "meter sockets". I do not know where the term "meter pan" comes from.
 
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Old 03-05-15, 10:46 AM
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meter pan ground

What I can't figure is why they don't just use 3 2/0"s at weather head. They want me to change the bare #4 to a #2 insulated or coated wire.
 
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Old 03-05-15, 12:06 PM
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The load on the neutral is less than the hots so it can be smaller.
 
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Old 03-05-15, 04:35 PM
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meter pan grund

Using copper 200 amp service ground size main panel to sub panel. If I use SER cable 3 2/0's + #1 ground over $15.00 per foot. If I use SEU 3 2/0's and add the ground even in conduit less than $10.00 per foot go figure. What size wire would I need the #1 ?
 
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Old 03-05-15, 04:44 PM
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I doubt you will find copper SE or SER in those sizes. Aluminum will be much cheaper, but will be 4/0.
 
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Old 03-05-15, 04:49 PM
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Am I missing something here,?why not 4/0 SEU service entrance cable and a #4 cu for ground.
Geo
 
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Old 03-05-15, 05:10 PM
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meter pan ground

Lowes has it in stock in the store. I would prefer not to use alum. lot of people do though.
 
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Old 03-05-15, 05:33 PM
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Aluminum feeder cables are used safely everyday. Why don't you want to use it?
 
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Old 03-05-15, 07:42 PM
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meter pan ground

Nothing against Aluminium. I worked in the aluminium industry for almost 32 yrs. every thing from beverage can to wire rod and bar, rods drawed into wire.
and built houses and add on's, repairs on the side part of that time what ever I could get. Just my hang up I guess.
 
 

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