Two Meters, one service drop?

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Old 10-18-17, 07:29 PM
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Two Meters, one service drop?

Hi everybody, I'm new here and I'm trying to figure out how to fix a problem.

I have a duplex residential unit (two apartments, sharing a wall) that has a 200 Amp 120V service drop which is then split into two meters. I had the meters pulled and I see that one hot leg goes to meter 1 and the other hot leg goes to meter 2. The neutral is looped from one meter to the next. The breakers are then jumpered so both even and odd breakers have 120V AC on them. There is no 240 in any of the breaker panels.

My goal is to have two 100 Amp 120/240 panels instead of the existing two 100 Amp 120(only) panels.

My first solution would be to put a raceway in the service drop pole and split both hots and neutral and send a separate set to each meter. I'd take out the jumpers in the breaker panels so even breakers would have one leg, odd the other leg, and 240 between the two.

Problem with that solution is that I can't find any outdoor rated boxes/raceways to put inline of the existing 1" conduit service drop pole. Also, after the box, I'd have 6 heavy wires in the existing 1" conduit.



So, what are some other ideas that I haven't thought of yet? What are my options?

Thanks all!
 
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Old 10-18-17, 07:41 PM
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That is a 120/240v 100A service split into two legs. I have never ever seen that done before.

I'd remove what's there and start over. New service mast, meter pans, possibly a new disconnect for the distant panel. New 4 wire cable from the disconnect to the distant panel.
 
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Old 10-25-17, 11:10 AM
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I've never seen it before either, and was pretty surprised when I found it. Luckily, there isn't a distant panel. Right below each meter is the panel for the service. In Phoenix, most breaker panels are outside either near the meter or in the same box.

If I remove what's there, where do I split the service? Would the split be inside a dual-meter box, or would the split be above the service mast, or somewhere in between?

Here's a picture of the current situation:
 
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Old 10-25-17, 12:44 PM
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What I would do is remove everything existing and install two new services with two masts through the roof. Leave the conductors long enough out of the weatherhead so the utility can splice both together with the service drop.
 
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Old 10-25-17, 12:49 PM
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So I'm looking at the dual-meter sockets that seem commonly available, and this one seems like the only real option:

home depot/Square-D-2-Gang-100-Amp-HCP-Meter-Socket

I can't find a picture of the inside, but I noticed on other dual-meter sockets that the wiring goes to one place and then feeds both meters via bus bars. If that's the case with this meter, I guess that answers my question of how the electricity is split.
 

Last edited by PJmax; 10-25-17 at 12:59 PM. Reason: repaired link
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Old 10-25-17, 12:53 PM
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Sorry I can't see you pictures for some reason, but the split could be done by replacing one set of lugs with doubles or using something like Polaris connectors or taped split bolts in a gutter adjacent to the meter cabinets. You could replace the separate meters with a gang meter box which has shared buses if your power company allows it -- for example this one: https://www.homedepot.com/p/Square-D...122B/202495850 There are also versions with built in main disconnects if it's required in this case.
 
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Old 10-25-17, 02:33 PM
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So I'm looking at the dual-meter sockets that seem commonly available, and this one seems like the only real option:

Do not buy just any metering equipment that is commonly available unless your electric utility has approved it first. Your first step is to contact the utility and ask for a listing of their approved metering equipment. They may have the listing available on a website.
 
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Old 10-25-17, 04:35 PM
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Hi Furd,

Why do you recommend this? What are the benefits here? I guess I could reuse the existing meter bases, so that would be cheaper (new mast vs. new sockets)
 
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Old 10-25-17, 06:44 PM
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It was off the top of my head and also because no one else had offered any assistance. The twin meter enclosure is nicer looking but is it less expensive than two standard meter bases? Is the cost difference (if any) enough to cover the costs of the second mast and weatherhead? I don't know the answers to these questions but generally combined equipment is more costly.

However, as CasualJoe points out you MUST check with the serving utility to see what they want. It would be really expensive to install something and then have the utility's inspector reject it. This is in addition to any government inspector as the enforced electrical code may not care as long as the equipment has the proper NRTL (Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory) approval. Utilities are often more strict in what equipment is acceptable.
 
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Old 10-25-17, 08:08 PM
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Just a thought since I can't see your existing setup. Existing service to a trough. Two meters off the trough. (Service spliced in trough to both meters.) Main panels on each meter. You can probably use existing meter sockets and panels.

If 200 amp service each panel would be 100 amps. You could replace the service wires with larger wires for greater service if needed.
 
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Last edited by ray2047; 10-25-17 at 10:01 PM.
 

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