crooked conduit

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  #1  
Old 09-18-01, 04:37 AM
jn
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I recently had a new 400AMP service powered up by the power company. The closest pole/transformer was about 250 feet away from the new home and an agreement was made between the power company and myself that if I put underground 4"conduit all the way from the meter base to the pole that they would pull in the new wire at no cost. This sounded good to me because it allowed me the freedom of adding roads and driveways between the two points without worry about an exposed underground cable. Anyway...to the point...They pulled in their wire and when they did it pulled so hard on the metal sweep L and conduit at the meter head that it cocked the 4"conduit to the point where 4 or so threads are now exposed on one side of the terminal adapter where it goes into the bottom of the meter panel and the conduit has about a 5 degree angle from straight up and down. They left it this way and closed up the panel and sealed it as OK. My contractor doesn't think it will worsen and didn't think I needed to worry about it. Expansion joints are not required in my area and I didn't install one. I don't think they give any side to side adjustment anyway.I was wondering what the pros thought here and if any suggestions are out there. The power is fine...everything works but my main conduit to the meter panel is on an angle now, cocking the terminal adapter into the bottom panel.
 
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  #2  
Old 09-18-01, 03:30 PM
Wgoodrich
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This angled conduit is not a work inhibiting situation but is an eye sore to you for the life of the home. The electricity will work fine as it is at an angle.

Now this suggestion is a bit unorthodox but you can enter at your own risk. If you KNOW how that conduit is laying underground and if you KNOW that no other electrical wiring including phone, tv cables etc. are in the area to the side of that conduit, you can try the following;

Dig a hole about 6' long and 12" to 2' wide to the side of that conduit about 12" below the level the conduit is installed. Dig this hole about 1' away from where the conduit lays in parallel with that conduit underground on the side the conduit should swing to be straight. Then take your backhoe bucket and pound the ground to the oppisite side about 1' away from that conduit. As the ground compresses the conduit will push the small amount of dirt towards the open trench. At the same time the dirt is disturbed the conduit should then be able to be pulled up the few threads to where it should be at the entrance of that meter. Then backfill that trench you have dug without tamping the dirt too much. Let the rains settle and wash the dirt around and under the conduit packing it in the new position.

Just be careful and be sure where those underground cables are located. This utility feeder is an unfused feeder. If you mess up a lot of fire will fly and it will sound like a shot gun went off if the primary fuse blows at the utility pole.

Let us know how you come out.

Good Luck and be careful.

Wg
 
  #3  
Old 09-19-01, 03:21 AM
jn
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Thanks for your reply...I do know the complete layout of all utilities since I trenched them in myself...the wierd thing about this is that the electrical conduit pulled in-line with the layout of the pipe like they played tug of war with it, pulling it away from the house(not side to side).It seems as though the length of the conduit is less measuring from end to end. About 30 feet into the 250' run it took a gradual say 15 degree turn that didn't need an elbow (the conduit easily flexed enough to make the turn). This may be where it pushed to the opposite side of the trench and where my loss of length came from. So if I dig back down there and do like you said it might flex back to the closer side of the trench...sounds drastic though...maybe its time to live with the eye sore!
 
  #4  
Old 09-19-01, 05:36 AM
Wgoodrich
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If your conduit protecting that lateral is pulling away from the wall, then the following option should be available. Set up with your Inspector and Power company to pull the primary fuse of line side connection of that lateral wire they furnished.

Remove the meterbase and extend the conduit out the desired distance away from the wall to allow the conduit to be straight. Either rearrange the service conductors between the meter and main panel to obtain the needed extra wire or replace those service conductors considering the short lengths of those service conductors. Then cut short pieces of rigid conduit used as spacers and slide the short spacers over the mounting screws and remount the meterbase also away from the wall same distance required to make that downpipe straght.

I don't blame you if you decide to leave the crooked pipe as is. You have no idea in thirty years of being an electrical contractor in the field that this has happened to me. We made the installation right, but when the power company finished their connection we ended up with the same eye sore that you have. This looked bad on my company and the home owner had to look at that for years and think I should have hired a different contractor without knowing the crooked conduit with not within our control. Not fun but you have many people for company experiencing the same eye sore.

Good Luck

Wg
 
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