Home's service cable installation issue

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  #1  
Old 01-17-16, 01:12 PM
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Home's service cable installation issue

First post here. I have been a DIY person my whole life. I bought my house 7 years ago brand new. about 1 year ago I decided it was time to finish the basement. So I have started that project and thus far it is going good.

However the other day as I was planning out the wiring, I noticed that the main power trunk that comes from the service box and runs through the basement to the breaker box is giving me issues.

The trunk comes into the basement through the wall. It then runs to the breaker box. However the trunk is not drilled and ran through the joists, instead it is run under the joists and secured with brackets. As I look at this I keep thinking, how am I going to drywall the ceiling with this massive thick power trunk standing between my drywall and my joists.

My plan is to disconnect the power from the breaker and route it through the joists. However before I do that I wanted to check and see if this is run this way for a specific reason, and if not then why on earth they ran it this way.

Does anyone else have their power line run this way? Also when a house is built, who runs this power line, is it the electrician, or is it the city electric company that runs the main trunk into the house?

Thanks.
 
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  #2  
Old 01-17-16, 01:20 PM
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That is called the service cable from the meter to the main panel.

It's run by the electrician. It's almost impossible to pull thru holes in the joists.

Can you post a pic or two for us ? http://www.doityourself.com/forum/el...-pictures.html
 
  #3  
Old 01-17-16, 03:49 PM
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Yes and turning off the main breaker will not disconnect the power from it! You'd need to call your power company to do a temp disconnect to re run. My advice would be to box it in bigger to leave space to run against the direction of the floor joists later. Just run a 2x4 on each side then drywall.
 
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Old 01-17-16, 07:54 PM
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I noticed that the main power trunk that comes from the service box and runs through the basement to the breaker box is giving me issues.
This sounds to me like a long run of SER cable which would indicate a disconnect at the meter. If this is correct, the power to the cable can be turned off without involving the utility company which can be a huge hassle. I'd also like to see pictures.
 
  #5  
Old 01-17-16, 11:19 PM
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Thanks for the replys everyone.

Sadly i know the breaker outside my house shuts the power off to the entire house. I was watching a movie one night and the whole house died. I thought the block lost power. Turns out it was just me. I went out side and my panel lid was up and the breaker was flipped. Turns out this is what is the new thing amoung kids these days.

Back to the service line. The run from where it enters the basement is about 17-20 feet. On the other side of that wall is the garage, and on the other side of that garage is my service panel. So total i am guessing 35-40 feet. Here are some pictures for your entertainment.

Here is where it enters the basement.
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It runs along the ductwork where i will put it in a soffit.
Perfectly it is in the way of finishing my bathroom wall frame
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Here it still is, running parallel to the joists
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This is where it takes a turn up over the duct work and coes down in through the top of the breaker box
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There you have it, you've seen it here first.
 
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Old 01-17-16, 11:47 PM
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Turns out this is what is the new thing among kids these days.
You aren't the first person on here to report that new time passing hobby.

It looks like it follows a similar path to the water pipes. What do you plan to do with them ?
 
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Old 01-18-16, 12:43 AM
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Well those are run through the joists except for that 9ft section running from the bathroom frame over to the water softener. Those i plan to cut and run through the joists which is 2 hour job, but that power line is another story.

There is about a 6-7 foot section just after the bath room wall, and before it reaches the duct work where it can't be included in the soffit so it the biggest issue is that little peice. I would hate to drop the ceiling 1.5 inches just for this dang cable. Not only that i cant imagine that this is anywhere near safe. Someone cuts a 14-2 romex, yes it's dangerous, someone cuts through this during a repair or remodel later on, and wow, they are a gonner for sure. I would think this would need to be in the joist for protection of the home owner and the service line.

So would rerouting this cable be a hard task? If so why? There are 3 bolts to remove it from the breaker box, drill some joist holes and re run. What would be the hard part about moving the cable as i am probably missing something.
 
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Old 01-18-16, 01:10 AM
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It may be too short when raised up into the joists. It will not be that easy to put either. It is a stiff cable.
 
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Old 01-18-16, 09:48 AM
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You might look at the cost of replacing it with PVC conduit and individual conductors.
 
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Old 01-18-16, 02:59 PM
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You might look at the cost of replacing it with PVC conduit and individual conductors.
That's what I was thinking too. It looks like the electrician who were in the house just took the quickest and easiest way to do it instead of doing it the correct way!

Since you have engineered beams you need to look at the manufacturers recommendations as to where and how they can be drilled to allow various pipes to pass through them. There are only certain areas or holes to be drilled and certain sizes that they can be.
 
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Old 01-18-16, 03:18 PM
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We see a lot of real incorrect work posted here. The OP's situation is not wrong. It is a lower cost installation with some trade-offs, but there is nothing wrong with using SER appropriately. I'm sure the electrician would have installed conduit with THHN had the builder/homeowner signed that bid instead of the one that listed SER...
 
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Old 01-18-16, 03:41 PM
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And to add I was not saying the SE cable was wrong just offering a suggestion om an alternative should the cable prove to be to short to to redirect with out adding a junction box.
 

Last edited by ray2047; 01-18-16 at 05:15 PM.
  #13  
Old 01-18-16, 04:28 PM
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So if it is too short, and I decide to replace it, then will I need to run the new cable all the way from the service panel outside the house to the breaker panel in the basement with no splicing or disconnects along the way? Cause I am pretty sure this cable runs through the ground under the garage concrete floor and into the basement. If it is needs to be a straight uncut cable, replacement would not be an option.
 
  #14  
Old 01-18-16, 05:07 PM
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The term SERVICE is limited to the wiring from the point of connection to the utility's wiring and the first overcurrent device (fuse or circuit breaker) on the customer's premises. What you have is a FEEDER cable and there is no prohibition in having a properly made splice in this cable. Downside in your instance is that you will need two enclosures and a relatively short piece of cable or else conduit between the two enclosures and use individual conductors.
 
  #15  
Old 01-18-16, 05:22 PM
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And the junction box(es) must remain accessible. However you could use just one box if you just disconnect from one end and run as far as it will go then use a single box to add on the new piece to where you disconnected. You might even be able to place that box out side.
 
  #16  
Old 01-19-16, 08:24 AM
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Splicing the feeder is not a problem. Find a good location for the junction box, and go buy enough identical SER cable to get from the new junction box to the panel. Use a large junction box like 12x12x4 and some easy insulated splice connectors like Polaris brand. They're a little pricey, but save you a boatload of hassle making crimps or bolts and taping them. It's probably aluminum, so you'll also want to pick up some Noalox paste and use that on all the connections.
 
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Old 01-19-16, 12:43 PM
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SER cable should not have been used underground , even if in conduit .

Cable that large is allowed to be secured under the framing.

I too vote for a single junction box. One less splice and cheaper.
 
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