Outdoor power - new 2nd meter installation


Old 07-22-16, 09:44 AM
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Outdoor power - new 2nd meter installation

I've posted questions about this in the past but I figured I'd post again since I finally have a solid plan. My house is 500 feet from the street. I'd like to bring 120V down the driveway for plugging in holiday lights and to perhaps install a couple of street-light type lamps. The power runs on aerial wires to about halfway up the driveway where it meets a pole and goes underground for the remainder of the run to my house. Rather than run conduit from the house back down the driveway, I found that the power company is willing to install another meter on a pedestal near the pole.

My plan is to do it in stages, with stage 1 being installing the pedestal and outdoor breaker panel for a receptacle and one light. I plan to put the light not too far from the pedestal and pole. Here are pics:

The power company says I need to run conduit "about 10 feet" up the pole and they'll do the rest. The conduit that's on the pole is huge (the one that runs underground up to my house) - not sure if that's the size I need to run to the pedestal. I plan to put a receptacle right on the pedestal. The light will be on a post a few feet away, so I'd need to trench some wire over to it.

My questions are: how deep does the conduit from the pedestal to the pole need to be? What should I use between the pedestal and the light (direct bury or more conduit)? How deep? I'm going to have to install some sort of ground too, right? My municipality's code requirements mirror the National Electrical Code.

I figure 20A breaker for the receptacle (I assume ground fault is required?) and 15A for the light.

There's buried electrical, telco, sewer, water, irrigation and gas lines all in that general area so I'm not sure how deep I can go without hitting anything. I watched the installation of the gas line and it's not very deep at all.
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Old 07-22-16, 10:05 AM
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What you will be getting from the utility is a second service and that means you will most likely have a second billing along with minimum usage charges on the second service. Your particular utility MAY be different but I suggest that you get all the details, preferably in writing, BEFORE you decide to take this route.

The utility (and maybe your "authority having jurisdiction (AHJ)) may have special rules concerning the second service; generally they have rules concerning the minimum size of a service and in your situation a 30 ampere would probably be sufficient unless you might want to use it for an RV in the future where a 60 ampere should be considered as minimum.

Once you know the size of the service to be installed you can determine conduit sizing. More likely as not the minimum depth of the conduit will be 24 inches unless you use rigid steel conduit and possibly cover it with a minimum of two inches of concrete. Both the utility and the AHJ (who will issue the permit for the work) will have the necessary specifications.

Before digging in the area you MUST have the existing utilities located and marked. Failure to do so leaves you with no insurance protection if you inadvertently damage a cable or pipe. The damages can run into tens of thousands of dollars in a worst case scenario. Even after marking you will likely need to CAREFULLY had dig the entire amount.

Yes, you will need to meet the requirements for grounding, most likely a single eight foot rod fully buried. Yes, the receptacle will need to be a GFCI model as well as a weatherproof rated one with an "in use" bubble cover. The circuit breaker panel will need a NEMA 3R (rainproof) enclosure.
Old 07-22-16, 02:54 PM
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Really sure you want to add a meter?
Not sure how it works there but around here your going to be charged more every month if your using power or not for that meter.
Old 07-22-16, 03:11 PM
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Interesting. Most poco's in NJ won't connect a second meter at a single family residence unless the meter is considered a business meter.
Old 07-22-16, 03:30 PM
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I dunno. I opened up a ticket with JCP&L for another meter (had to request it as new service for a temporary construction site). The local rep called me and we talked at length - I explained what I was doing. He came out to look at it. He said they would just add the 2nd meter to my account - no extra charge or monthly minimum. He said just call when the rough wiring is done and inspected and they'll pop a meter in and wire it up to the feed from the pole.

The underground utilities were marked when I had the natural gas lines installed in May. I know where I can safely dig. And it will be by hand so there's not much potential for damage.

50 amp service makes sense for the 2nd service. I do have an RV that I'd like to power but it's on the opposite side of the property and is 30 amps. I'll run that from the existing panel one of these days. The house has 200 amp service, which is overkill I think since it's heated with gas (I converted from propane to natural gas so it was easy).
Old 07-22-16, 04:02 PM
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Might consider moving your house meter to the pole, installing a 200 amp disconnect with space for a couple of breakers, running a fourth wire to the house and converting the panel to a subpanel. Of course if the second meter is really free then that wouldn't be an idea to even consider.

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