service riser needs for an electrical service upgrade?

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by myladyfae, Feb 12, 2010.

  1. myladyfae

    myladyfae New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    Boston
    We are currently looking at upgrading our electrical service into the house. One of our quotes came back and was very reasonable, but had something that made me pause. For the service riser (aerial) he is suggesting we replace the existing pipe and wires with a grey cable...no pipe.

    Does this seem right? Or at least, a good idea? I'm not worried about the asthetic really since its just a little cape...the cable barely goes 15 feet up and is screened by a bush half the way. The color will blend in too. But I am concerned about how good an idea it is not to have the cable protected by some sort of piping.

    could definately use some advice!
  2. Lightwave

    Lightwave New Member

    Messages:
    98
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    You'll have to ask your local electrical inspector and power company to get a definitive answer whether cable is acceptable for service hookup in your area.

    Personally, I'd go with conduit (pipe) even if cable is legal. There's more than enough ampacity in a service drop to ruin your day several times over. Every extra bit of protection between the service conductors and carelessly swung hedge trimmers (etc) is a good thing.

    [video=youtube;fCZOd2MPoMY]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fCZOd2MPoMY[/video]
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 18, 2010
  3. Speedy Petey

    Speedy Petey Licensed Electrical Contractor

    Messages:
    991
    Location:
    NY State, USA
    If it is code compliant in your area it is FINE. I bet 99% of the homes in your area have it, don't they.
  4. Alectrician

    Alectrician DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    689
    It may be legal in your area but in my opionion it's a horrible idea.

    It has never been allowed in my area.

    Again, it is my opinion is that unprotected, unfused wires/cable should never be strapped to a house.
  5. Jim Port

    Jim Port Electrical Contractor

    Messages:
    156
    Location:
    Maryland
    SE cable is commonly used in the Mid Atlantic area with no problems.
  6. myladyfae

    myladyfae New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    Boston
    it is code compliant, but honestly most homes around here DO have conduit. At least the newer installations do. There seems to be some contention on whether it is a bad idea or not....hopefully a few more people weigh in so I can make a decision with a clear concience!
  7. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

    Messages:
    3,244
    Location:
    Land of Cheese
    I would say that installation in conduit is safer given the protection provided by the conduit. Without the conduit there is a greater risk of the cable being damaged and the results could be very bad.
  8. Ian Gills

    Ian Gills Senior Robin Hood Guy

    Messages:
    2,780
    Location:
    USA
    My rambler has its original SE cable without conduit and has been fine for 60 years (although needs to be upgraded soon). The only ones in conduit around here are those cables that go through portions of the roof.
  9. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    northfork, california
    Ever see what a 4 year old can do with a step ladder and dads corkscrew? What, is pipe that expensive these days? Cut your seatbelts out of your car and pulled the air bag fuse too? Put knob and tube wiring in on your remodel? They make half pipe with a nail flange that might save some lives cheap.
  10. myladyfae

    myladyfae New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    Boston
    well the contractor is charging 250 extra to install with conduit. BUT, the more I've thought about the bushes in front and looked at the other houses in the area, the more I feel you are probably right...it's best to just go with the extra. Although I may try to talk him down on the cost for it...seems a little excessive when I could buy it from graybar for 50 bucks or so.

    Now I just need to figure out how to cover the hole left in my siding when they move the meter up 3 feet!
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