am a contractor changing out a box for a client. He had a electrican who on the side came and changed out his box and left him with this(see pics, I broke it open so you can see ALL views, from the shoddy work to where the wire enters from the outside) and $800.00 broker.For those of you who suggest I hire a electrician unless your goign to donate money for the cause this is impossible due to lack of finances for the client. I am doing this because I have done alot of work for him in past, and the current condition that the stupid electrician left for him I wouldnt' trust another electrician to come in cause I could do better work than this clown can. Even though i'm not a electrician I do have experience with similar such as 220v installs, subpanels, wiring new homes and such. I built additions and installed jacuzzi tubs and rewired fans and all sorts of nice electrical projects. However, I know just little beyond common knowledge along lines of dealing with meters and service cable. first off the guy bought this box installed half a** and left with the clients money never to return. Its a 200amp box i belive, I didn't pay attention I could be wrong, the client told me thats what he was supposed to be installing a 200amp anyway, So really Im just going by that guess. So heres my questions 1. what size service cable do I need for the entrance for a 200amp service, He doesnt' run nothing to heavy, has electric range,no dishwasher, no jacuzzis or even forced air ac. He rents the basement and upstairs and will be using 4 window ac units total, his furnace is over 17 years old. Just basic lights, he dont' even use a computer. However! he wants to sell it soon, and who knows what the future holds for the new would be owners electrical needs. Maybe a 100amp or 150 would suffice. 2. how do I disconnect the power so I can run the wire? do I remove the meter head(part thats enclosed in glass)? Its not locked or tagged as you can see iin the pictures, After I remove it its safe correct? They wont upgrade his meter UNTIL the box is upgraded. Then if I remove the power to connect the new wire obviously I wont' have power to the house, which I guess I'll have to call them to schedule my time to connect it to the box? Or do they connect it to the box as well? ir is just to the meter are they responsible for? Do I just run the wire through a new hole, leave it all disconnected until they show then while they are changing out the box, i remove the old wire and install the new ones? or perhaps remove the meter head to disconnect all electric to box, change everything out run wires as needed, get it all framed in and when finished reconnect the meter head, or before reconnecting the meter head do I just run the new service cable from my new installed box to the old box totally eliminating the old cable, then reconnect the head, and when they come out they will remove the newly installed cable and reconnect to the new meter? 3. the current meter is 100amp correct?, so this would be changed out if wanted to upgrade, If I leave it at 100a then what main breaker would I use? a 100amp breaker then go from there? I understand that the 100amps you use is only calculated at load(current use, as everything not on at once). Heard one similar answer on 100a service, to use a 90A breaker instead Heres another question, if you look on this new box why does this not have a main breaker? the wires run straight to the buss? NO breaker to flip in case of emergency? why? I want to eliminate ALL wires that are not necessary, so that grey box that is there is going bye bye,(If it cannot, please explain why), the junction box rewired, and all the wires properly in grommets and fasten down all wires. 4. Should I ground this to cold water pipe or should I run 2 rods in the ground for this? dont' see where they grounded this, How do I tell if its grounded? 5. I know basic loads, but not qualified to do a house load calculation what is the formula to figure this out? Or any directions to any websites would be useful, perhaps you know of one I have yet to visit. How about any sites on volt meter usage, I'd be interested in learning some of this stuff in my spare time. Any advice from the experienced that may be of use? 6. last simple question, I put electrical tape on all my connections, is this a sign of an amateur? I was told that it was unnecessary and was a sign of a do it yourselfer/amateur...he was nice about it(i think) but I keep wondering what this licensed electrician said was true, because the pictures you see if from a electrician and he taped teh connections(very badly I might add) Just letting you know ALOT of these questions I ask I already have an answer for or already think I know the answer, but asking just to reassure myself. Just lettign you know as the only wrong answer or comment that anyone can post is to hire a qualified electrician After all if I do electrocute myself its more work for you guys in the future since I won't be around..LOL sorry for any confusion, but I have to get to teh jobsite and Im in a hurry. so disregard any spelling or grammer issues. Looking forward to any and all comments and hopefully learn some new things. Thanks in advance to all who help me out, it is greatly appreciated, and any advice given would be given credit for, but I WILL NOT!! hold anyone responsible for any ADVICE given.