Replacing electric panel in basement?

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Old 01-14-21, 06:00 AM
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Replacing electric panel in basement?

I am curious if anyone can shed some light here.
My plan is to update my electrical panel in the basement with a new/breaker panel to replace the old fuse panel.
I did this before at my old house, when I needed to do, I called DTE and they came and removed my actual meter and put copper bars in. I removed the bars, hooked up new panel, then put the bars back in. Called them and said its done and ready for new meter. Guy came out and put in new meter.

I called with my plan recently, the lady said I need to have a contractor remove the meter. I took that as not even contact DTE. Sure I can cut the little wire/lock on the meter outside and pull it off, hook up my new service and then replace meter, but, I thought that if the meter is off for too long, it will freak out and shut off? Not saying I'll pull the meter for days, and not sure of the meter time limit being removed either. It was really confusing discussing with the lady at DTE.

Someone else has done this before, how did you go about it?

Thanks!
 
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Old 01-14-21, 06:31 AM
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Do you have the space to install the new panel next to the old panel and also install a new meter box and a new cable connecting the two?

You might need a new meter box anyway depending on the size (amperage or watts) of the service needed to go with the new panel.

You don't want to use as many of the old parts as possible and then find out that you cannot take advantage of the size of the new panel because the service is inadequate. Then you have to call the power company back a second time to hook up new parts.

If you did need to and did install a new meter box and cable & conduit up to the overhead connection then all the power company needs to do is connect the overhead wires to the new overhead connection and then you can remove the old parts at your leisure. You would also install a (probably) 6-3 Romex cable from a 50 amp side breaker of the new panel to the top of the old panel. Then at your leisure move circuits from the old panel to the new panel.


A very experienced professional is recommended for installing the parts from the overhead connection to the new panel box itself inclusive.




 
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Old 01-14-21, 12:32 PM
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From DTE energy.....
Customers or contractors are not authorized to break seals to open or move meter connection cabinets without obtaining permission from an authorized representative of the Company.

DTE Energy guidline pdfs

You'll need to look at "service equipment" under Electric service installation- Green book

Have never heard of a Poco putting in copper bars in a meter. That would keep the service live.
You are "replacing an old fuse panel". What does that mean exactly..... just a panel or an entire service ?
 
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Old 01-14-21, 02:32 PM
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PJ, thanks for posting.

Last time at previous house someone came out and removed the meter and put copper bars in. We pulled the bars so we could replace the service from the meter down to the panel. Then hooked up the panel, when finished, put the bars back in and turned it on.

Now, I'm getting weird information as stated in original post. When I get to the point I am ready to do the task, I'll call again and see what they say, or how to obtain permission. I'd prefer if they come out and do the same as what we did before with the bars, but...???
I need a way to turn off the power from the meter down so I can remove the current fusebox, replace the service cable from meter down to panel in basement.

@Allan, there is not enough space in the area where everything connects to do what you suggest, that would be great if there was, but, no deal here.
 
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Old 01-14-21, 05:02 PM
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Now, I'm getting weird information as stated in original post. When I get to the point I am ready to do the task, I'll call again and see what they say, or how to obtain permission. I'd prefer if they come out and do the same as what we did before with the bars, but...???
Could simply be they changed their policies or your state or local AHJ has become more restrictive about what homeowners are allowed to do on their own (this is common and is the trend as we move toward fully nanny state).
 
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Old 01-14-21, 06:07 PM
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Someone else has done this before, how did you go about it?
How someone else did this is irrelevant. What you need to do is hire a qualified licensed electrical contractor who will provide the necessary permits, get the necessary inspections and know how to deal with the power company.
 
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Old 01-15-21, 09:43 AM
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Pulling a meter is not a DIY skill. They do not have the training or protective equipment to do this. The meter should be pulled by the power company.

Waring Extremely Graphic, If you want to see what can go wrong search Arc Flash Blast.
 
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Old 01-15-21, 10:10 AM
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Pulling a meter is not a DIY skill. They do not have the training or protective equipment to do this. The meter should be pulled by the power company.

Waring Extremely Graphic, If you want to see what can go wrong search Arc Flash Blast.
Does shutting off all the loads (i.e., shutting off main breaker) greatly reduce the risk of arc flash?
 
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Old 01-15-21, 11:02 AM
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Does shutting off all the loads (i.e., shutting off main breaker) greatly reduce the risk of arc flash?
No. Most arc flash incidents are caused by shorts to ground/neutral. The arc from a 20A load in your house is nothing compared to a hot-ground short on the 1000A fused service entry.

There are way too many stories of rusted bus bars in the meter pan, loose connections, etc. where something slips as the meter is being pulled out that cause either an arc flash or the meter/glass actually exploding due to the short. It's rare of course, but rather dangerous if it does happen.
 
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