Conduit separated from meter housing

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Old 03-25-20, 05:47 PM
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Conduit separated from meter housing

The electrical feed PVC coming out of the ground is separated from the meter housing. Apparently, the conduit was not glued to the housing. Assuming the PVC is free standing, I would like to dig where this vertical conduit meets the ground and lift it up. Is there a chance it is connected to another PVC in the ground? I would like to know what to expect before digging. Thank you.

In our neighborhood above ground power lines run in the back of the houses (utility alley). No power poles are visible from the front.
 
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Old 03-25-20, 06:26 PM
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It was glued. The glue can be seen on the pipe.
The problem is the ground is settling under the pipe and it's being pushed down.

Is there a chance it is connected to another PVC in the ground?
Not likely as typically the service is three direct buried wires with no pipe.
What you see is a sleeve.
 
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Old 03-25-20, 06:32 PM
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Thank you. The best I hoped for. I will work on it tomorrow and report back.
 
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Old 03-25-20, 06:47 PM
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Just work carefully. You don't want to catch a wire with the shovel.
 
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Old 03-26-20, 10:53 AM
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Not likely as typically the service is three direct buried wires with no pipe.
What you see is a sleeve.
That's how Ameren used to do a residential service here too maybe 15 to 20 years ago, basically before CIPS and Union Electric merged to form Ameren, but today due to the high number of direct burial service entrance cable failures a continuous conduit is required between the meter socket and the utility pole. Ameren adds onto the contractor installed conduit and completes the conduit up the pole to the transformer.

Is there a chance it is connected to another PVC in the ground?
In my opinion there is a conduit underground and that is what has pulled the vertical riser conduit down. I've seen this happen before when an expansion joint wasn't installed like you should have and would have prevented your problem. If there were no conduit between the vertical riser and the utility pole the earth could have settled without pulling the riser down. Again, in my opinion, there is very likely downward tension on the conductor terminations in the meter socket too that could break the lugs. To repair this the power will have to be turned off at the pole top transformer.

 
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Old 03-26-20, 11:10 AM
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I probably should have made my reply a little clearer. The conduit going down is a sleeve but it doesn't end just below ground. It will have a sweep on it and it may travel a distance from the house.

As Joe mentioned there may be excessive force on the lugs and disturbing them could create a problem.

 
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Old 03-26-20, 11:23 AM
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Back in the day all that was required here for a 200 amp underground service was a 2" PVC vertical sleeve down underground 18", no elbows required underground at all. Then, the old Union Electric would trench from the pole to the house and install the 3-wire URD cable into the socket. Never saw a sleeve pull down on an older installation.
 
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Old 03-26-20, 08:01 PM
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It started sprinkling when I was about to do the repair. After reading your posts, I am glad I didn't start digging. The house was built in 1995 plus minus a few years. From what I read,

1. The underground cable is buried about 18" deeep.
2. Chances are the sleeve is connected to a horizontal PVC conduit. The horizontal PVC is pulling down the sleeve.

But
1. There still is a chance that the sleeve is a free standing PVC since the house was built before a continuous run to the pole was practiced.
2. The sleeve was not glued to the meter housing. What appears to be the PVC cement is actually a residue from a packaging tape I put around there to keep bugs from entering the meter housing. I removed the tape before taking the picture. Believe me, there was no PVC cement.

So I am going to dig slowly with a hand shovel. If I see a horizontal piece, I will stop digging. I will report back tomorrow if it doesn't rain. Thank you gentlemen.
 
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Old 03-27-20, 07:37 PM
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Instead of digging 18" of hard clay with a hand shovel, I decided to cover up the gap with a 2" connector, sawed into 2 pieces, individually glued. It looks like a typical home owner's fix. I will use an oscillating multitool to make it look cleaner. I am happy with it. Thank you all.

Do you recommend I call the power company and ask them to check if the wires are slipping from the lug? I suppose I have to pay for their service, correct?
 
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Old 03-27-20, 07:51 PM
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Do you recommend I call the power company and ask them to check if the wires are slipping from the lug? I suppose I have to pay for their service, correct?
An excellent idea and the power company should not charge for that inspection.
 
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Old 03-27-20, 10:26 PM
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Thank you. Will call the power company and report back with updates.
 
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