Meter socket (jaw) burnt off

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Old 03-07-17, 07:19 AM
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Meter socket (jaw) burnt off

I was having partial intermittent power loss to my single family dwelling. Power company said I needed to have an electrician replace the meter socket "jaws". He provided a temporary jump and disconnected the 240 service to my house. He didn't think it was a big job.

The first electrician said I needed to upgrade from a 100 amp service to 200 amp service at a cost of $3,500. I know upgrading would be a good idea but is this really necessary? I've attached photos - looks like the plastic behind the meter burnt somewhat but this could be from the connection arcing. You think the lug just separated or did I truly overload my service.

twelve years ago we re-did the kitchen and a second panel was added. never had a problem before or with breakers tripping. Our biggest draws would be an electric dryer, ac, and electric oven.

I'm trying to get a second opinion but everyone is busy. Any help would be appreciated

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Old 03-07-17, 08:16 AM
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If you have a 100 amp main panel / 100 amp main breaker then the maximum load should have only been 100 amp. If the case then you would not have overloaded the meter socket, just a loose connection. Get a few more quotes.

Did the electrician do a load calculation? Otherwise suggesting an upgrade is just a sales tool. Still most times with an electric oven, a/c, and dryer you get pushed over 100.
 
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Old 03-07-17, 08:20 AM
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Unless you are planning to add large loads I would just change the meter socket.
 
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Old 03-07-17, 08:28 AM
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I'm not an electrician but have run into this problem before. It was fairly easy to find the parts and replace them.
The power company will help you out by cutting and reconnecting the feed.
 
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Old 03-07-17, 09:14 AM
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Thanks for the quick responses. I thought upgrading was excessive. I could see if this happened during the summer when the Central AC is running. We are not nearly using as much power this time of year (really only electric dryer)
 
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Old 03-07-17, 09:47 AM
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It would be extremely rare to finds parts for that old meter pan.

That means the upper service cables will need to be pulled out so that the pipe can be unscrewed from the top of the meter pan so that the pan can be replaced. Depending on the condition of the wire in the pipe.... it may need to be replaced too.
 
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Old 03-07-17, 10:50 AM
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Is that meter fed by cable or is it piped?a new rectangular 100 amp socket will give you some wiggle room with the conductors however the load side maybe a bit of an issue , is it piped or cable?did the POCO have any suggestions on where you may find jaws?
Geo
 
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Old 03-07-17, 11:09 AM
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piped to the roof then overhead cable. The POCO recommended switching some of the load to the other side (not sure that is possible my two panels are pretty much full) - other than that they had no comment. Just got a price of $2,500 for new service, ground, panel. I'm thinking I might be better off spending the $2,500 for the upgraded service rather than $500 - $700 for a new socket. Any thoughts.
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Old 03-07-17, 11:24 AM
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Not sure where you live but that sounds like a descent price,combining your 2 panels into one,make sure the leave extra spaces in the panel for future expansion.
Geo
 
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Old 03-07-17, 12:19 PM
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Massachusetts. below are my two existing panels
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Old 03-07-17, 01:25 PM
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If you can afford it then go for it. You will sleep better knowing it is done.
 
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Old 03-07-17, 01:32 PM
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A lot of circuits there for a natural gas house. Both look like decent Sq D panels.
 
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Old 03-07-17, 04:57 PM
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yes two square d panels. After talking to three electricians I am going to upgrade (I have over 40 breakers). He did say he would have to use some mini breakers (and leave some empties) - which I've read is perfectly ok as long as the panel supports it. Piece of mind and for slightly more than double the price of replacing the socket I think I'm getting much more value.

The electrician uses Murray breakers - I'm going miss the Square D
 
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Old 03-07-17, 05:01 PM
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The electrician uses Murray breakers - I'm going miss the Square D
You're paying the bill...... request Square D QO.
 
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Old 03-07-17, 07:00 PM
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If they installed another Square D QO panel they could reuse the breakers.

If it was me I would only replace the smaller one on the right, which is your main service, and leave the one on the left as a sub panel. It still has 7 openings, from what I can see, and the new panel will also have spare openings too. It would be a win - win.
 
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Old 03-07-17, 07:06 PM
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I don't really like the idea of a new service with mini breakers,how about removing only the bigger existing panel,and installing a new 200 amp 40 cir. with main and feeding the smaller sub panel from it, I agree with PJ ,stick with the SQ D breakers you should be able to reuse them.
JMO
Geo
 
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Old 03-07-17, 09:57 PM
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I too would vote to reuse the Square D breakers. Going with other brands you lose the Visi-trip indicator window.
 
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