Service Upgrade completed!

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by leejosepho, Dec 9, 2011.

  1. leejosepho

    leejosepho DIY scratch-pad engineer

    Here is how things finally ended up with our service upgrade. This house had been built with a 60-amp, 6-circuit XO panel inside, then an exterior panel had been added later on for some 240V circuits (dryer, oven, A/C and detached workshop) with everything still being fed by the original 60A service wire under the eaves. No electrician I had talked with thought it would be possible to move everything inside like I wanted, but then I ended up finding one who would let me do that and then do the outside work for the service upgrade ... and all of that is what you can see here. The inspection we got was little more than a drive-by, but the inspector did tell me the power company would want that strap on the riser before re-connecting from the street. I told the inspector the electrician was not sure what he might have to say about the workshop subfeed coming in through the meter base, but he let that slide and then the power company overlooked it since the inspector had said everything was fine.

    One of the new orange wires you see here is the 10-3 w/G to replace the existing 12-3 running to the dryer, and the others are for a water heater and my old 120V/30A welder. I added the six 12-2 w/G yellows to upgrade and add circuits in the house, and all of that should finally get this place into shape!

    Total cost, including permit: $1500.00

    Note: That added strap is virtually worthless in that skirt board, and I will be adding a more substantial one just above the meter socket since there is more riser above the roof than below the overhang.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Dec 9, 2011
  2. drick

    drick In the Trades

    Messages:
    392
    Some observations:

    The outside looks much better (and safer). However the ground wire from the meter base should have been inside 1/2 inch conduit to protect it from physical damage (I'd leave it alone now though, not that big a deal).

    The conduit to the shop is not vertical (or maybe it is the angle of the picture ). Not technically a problem, but it would annoy me.

    I think you should have gone with a 30 slot panel. I realize you are somewhat limited by the size of the hole that was already there, but if there was room below I'd have gone bigger while you had the opportunity. You will have little expansion room left once you tie in all your new circuits unless the plan is to pull out all the old ungrounded cables.

    Most of your existing wiring is ungrounded. If you are not replacing the wire for those circuits the outlets connected to those them the should: A) Be the ungrounded type. B) Be a GFI, or C) Be protected by a GFI.

    All insulation from the NMB wires should be removed to within 1/2 inch of the top of the inside of the panel once they are connected. I see a white cable - 10 gauge I think - on the left side with insulation on it, but maybe that is the dryer circuit you plan on pulling out anyway.

    Overall it looks like a decent job. Thanks for the update.
    -rick
  3. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

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    Looks Good Leejosepho®.

    Looks Like the Main Ground wire may be a problem, But JW will give you the final word...
  4. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

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    Hereabouts, the bare ground is common and passes. Standard for lightening rod installations.
  5. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

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    The bare may be good , but the Meter ground does not go to the Box, From what I see.
  6. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

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    Looks like a clean install... I do question what appears to be a standard locknut on the service entrance. There should be a bonding locknut and jumper to bond the service conduit to the panel.

    I see one grounding conductor on the bar, but cannot tell where it goes. All the new installs I see have 2 ground rods and any metal water service piping all bonded to the panel.
  7. leejosepho

    leejosepho DIY scratch-pad engineer

    Same here, but that is as straight as I could get it after the electrician had left. There is a knockout in the center of the bottom of the meter socket, and that is where I had assumed that would have been connected. In my own view, those are the kinds of things that make a true craftsman.

    Getting rid of at least the four old 15A circuits is definitely the plan.

    That is the existing dryer circuit, and I left that jacket on there because I plan to use that wire for two 120V circuits with a shared neutral and I do not know how those circuits might need to be marked or tagged. So until then, that jacket keeps those wires from getting lost in the cluster.
  8. leejosepho

    leejosepho DIY scratch-pad engineer

    It does not, and I had wondered about that but forgot to ask the electrician who said nothing about it.

    The nuts are the same on the ends of that piece of threaded conduit -- no compression adapters -- and they are but finger-tight. So, it would seem to me that getting a ground wire run on into the panel would be the best thing for me to do there. I was inside the house while the electrician was mounting the meter socket, so it was not until the power company had arrived to re-connect that I had noticed how poorly the meter socket is mounted to the wall anyway. My photo does not show that, but the meter socket is not against the wall because nothing had been done to offset the riser where the skirt board sits against the brick.

    That is part of the existing 12-3 dryer feed, but it only runs a few feet to a junction box in the attic where I have added a ground wire to run alongside the remainder of that 12-3 run.

    =================

    I thank all of you for your insights and comments!
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2011
  9. leejosepho

    leejosepho DIY scratch-pad engineer

    Question: Would it be acceptable/sufficient if I ran a ground wire out through the bottom of the panel then connected it to my new ground round along with the ground wire for the meter socket? That would be a lot easier for me than to have to deal with calling everyone back to finish something everyone missed.
  10. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

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    Location:
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    There are several questions that come to my mind when looking at the interior panel.

    As some have already pointed out the need for two wire receptacles or GFCI protection for the circuits that do not have an equipment grounding conductor.

    Someone said something about the nipple connecting the meter pan to the panel. If this is a metal raceway it will need to be bonded on one end or the other but that could have been done in the meter pan as well as the grounding electrode conductor which can be seen coming out the bottom of the meter pan. See 250.92 for more information


    The neutral coning from the meter to the panel is not identified with white marking or tag.

    Can’t see but I think that on the left side of the neutral bar there is a green bonding screw that bonds the neutral to the panel enclosure. If not then the bonding needs to be done in some manner.

    This must be a temporary CO as a permanent CO can be issued only after all circuits are installed and terminated. You need to check on this as it can and will cause some insurance issues should you ever need them.

    It is permissible to feed the work shop from the load side of the meter but the panel in the work shop must be installed as service equipment with the proper bonding and earth grounding required for service equipment. It is service conductors supplying the work shop now and not feeders. Feeders will have overcurrent at the point where they originate and these don’t have any overcurrent protection making them service conductors. See 230.40 exception 3 for more information

    The meter pan will stand off the finish wall ¼ inch so the two-hole strap is alright and all that is needed to secure the riser. The screws do not need to penetrate the brick. Be sure to plug the holes left from the removed raceways so bats do not decide to make you attic their home.

    Lee listen closely to this statement; It is not only the inspector that you are wanting to satisfy it is also your homeowner’s insurance. Please be sure to have the inspector return after you terminate the circuits that are not terminated so it will be documented at the inspection department which relieves you from the insurance company should something go wrong. Based on your original post in this thread I can determine that the inspector only looked at the service change and that is all that will be documented. Any and all other work that is being done will not. You really need this work documented as passing an inspection or the insurance company can cause a lot of stress should they ever be needed.
  11. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

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    All and good, but I see many houses burn down that you could have kicked over with bare feet, and wired and plumbed by crack heads - and the insurance company always pays. Its cheaper for them than a lawsuit.

    And around here, fire departments are just for hosing down the embers, so little remains of interest. One house burned last week, and no- one noticed it for 5 days. Probably a bit different in Boston.
  12. leejosepho

    leejosepho DIY scratch-pad engineer

    There are a couple of existing 3-wire receptacles I need to investigate since there are no ground wires in any of the 120V circuits, and I will deal with those as necessary.

    That is definitely a metal raceway and I did not look closely to see where the grounding electrode conductor got fastened, but I do know there is nothing more than a metal nut and plastic bushing on either end of that piece of threaded pipe.

    I will attend to that.

    The silver screw in the center of the neutral bar just above the main breaker is one I added at that appropriate place (as far as I know) to bond the panel. But if the head of that screw needs to be green, I can make it so.

    I am assuming it is a permanent one, but I have no idea what the electrician might have noted when he got the permit. I do understand the insurance issues, and I might begin dealing with that by first talking with the insurance company.

    Even though they really should not, those conductors actually do come all the way in through the meter socket to a 30A double-pole breaker in the house panel. So, I still have the same protected circuit going out to the bonded workshop panel with its own ground rod we had discussed in the past. I knew those conductors could have been connected as service conductors, but I did not want them "always hot" in case somebody might some day hit that underground line with a shovel or whatever ... and if the insurance company or anyone else ever questions their going in through the meter socket, they can always be moved down out of there and run through the wall to get back to their present breaker.

    There is where the code might be quite insufficient, in my own opinion, or at least in this case. My new riser stands at least 2' above my roof line and is holding the pressure of at least 80' of service wire stretched from the pole at the street. This roof is decked with solid 1" x 6" material, so I have no concern there. However, there is little more than the soffit's 1/4" plywood presently holding that riser from pulling sideways on the hub of a loose-on-the-wall meter socket that is actually being held in place by nothing more than the conduit going in through the wall. So, I have purchased some flat stock to use in fabricating a heavy strap to help the soffit hold the riser's lateral load ... and at that point, I will not care how many squirrels get to bouncing the incoming line!

    Ah yes!

    Understood.

    ============

    Here is what I have done to address the matter of the missing ground wire. I could not add a washer to the inside clamp and still get it to thread into the plywood backer panel, but I still figured this was at least better than just having that wire go out through a 1" hole in the panel ...

    Note: The panel *is* flush with the wall, but my picture angle gives the illusion it is not.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Dec 10, 2011
  13. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

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    Location:
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    Okay I see those two red feeders now. It is a violation to have fused and non-fused conductors in the same raceway. I would address this in some manner or the other.

    I am sure that your state and my state have pretty close to the same laws concerning as the licensing of the two states will reciprocate electrical licenses. Here only a temporary CO can be issued unless the job is complete.

    Did you collect? Just how do you know they always pay unless you are the one collecting?
    I went to Hollywood once and stayed for one day. That was more than enough to let me know that I have no desire to ever return. Yes you are almost correct; Cal. has nothing more than a bunch of crack-heads.
    Maybe a Cal. thing about insurance with all the lawyers being nothing more than crack-heads but if you read carefully I think I said it could not that it would.
    When we had our fire 12 years ago there were issues with the insurance company but we were able to prove that any and all work was done before we bought. This is first hand info not something someone else said or thought.
  14. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

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    I hate to say it Lee, but that is going backwards from a code standpoint. There can be no splices in the grounding conductor.


    The bonding bushing I referred to earlier looks like this-

    nut.jpg

    If it's not done in the meter box or in the panel, the meter will need to be pulled so the service conductors can be taken loose and the proper locknut and bushing installed.
  15. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

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    Location:
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    Not to mention the parallel path he just installed
  16. leejosepho

    leejosepho DIY scratch-pad engineer

    No problem, and I was only meaning to address the matter of the panel not having a grounding conductor. In any case, the electrician who was too busy to come do this job had warned me to watch this guy closely, and it should not take him (the first electrician) very long or cost me very much to correct everything.

    Not to argue, but to learn: What is paralleled there? The grounding conductor from the panel would/should have gone into the meter socket and connected with that same wire anyway.

    ==========

    Here is what I have done to address my concern about the riser, and the squirrels will have to get mighty big before this gets pulled from the wall! Also, here is a picture of my nearly-punctured "safety hat" that took the punishment when the meter cover fell on my head just before the power company had arrived ...

    Attached Files:

  17. leejosepho

    leejosepho DIY scratch-pad engineer

    Now that I know where to drill, I can take them in through the wall and that hole in the panel where I presently have its grounding conductor running out.

    The inspector's sticker on the meter socket says "Code Compliant Electrical Inspection", but I do understand that does not automatically mean everything is said-and-done in relation to insurance coverage and/or liability.

    ===============

    Overall, I truly appreciate everyone's help here!
  18. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

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    Location:
    northfork, california
    9-1-2011 ALDRICH FOSSILS, WALKER, MURITTA 108.jpg

    Try and find this solitude in NC.

    And I thought I had the prize for wild opinions! Got me beat. Drove through North Carolina on a motorcycle one winter, and
    Though I could'nt tell what drugs or moonshine they prefer, most of the folk walked on their knuckles, and had trailers and "houses" with sofas and upside down cars in the yards that would not survive a good backfire from a truck.

    My point was that fire inspectors look for evidence of ARSON, especially in this economy. I had a place burn, and the electrical panel internals would need a $2000 forensic scientist to decipher, since the internals were mostly aluminum and just a blob on the ground.

    I had a few years in the Los Angeles area, and if it broke off and fell into the ocean, I wouldnt be a bit sad. Even had to pull a pistol twice when building an elaborate home, and entering the motel to keep from being robbed and knifed. Now, you might guess California has a few magical places, since its perhaps 5x the size of NC. Thats where I live, and the only crack in the tri-county area is when a plumber bends over. Next time, go to Yosemite, Death valley, Mono lake, and the redwoods. Now you might consider what the states make up really is. And most of us actually follow the sacred NEC.
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2011
  19. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

    Messages:
    2,565
    Location:
    North Carolina
    North Carolina carried the reputation of being the moonshine capitol of the world at one point in time. People my age knew how to cook off a bunch of sour mash by the age of 6 and could carry a 60 pound pack of sugar down to the steel and return with a case (6 gallons) of shine.

    Every one of us had a couch on the front porch where we sat to watch for revenuers. There was also an upright freezer that we kept all our road kills in for eating purposes along with what we had shot thinking the revenuers was coming toward the steel.

    We also found out that it was easier to change the tires on a car if we turned it over first but some just can’t comprehend this aspect of wisdom.

    I haven’t figured out why we have to have either a red bone, walker, black and tan or some other mutt lying around all the time unless it was to eat the left overs and keep the critters ran out of the chicken house because one thing is sure and certain, we ain’t going to waste energy walking with them dogs in the woods at night.

    Should you decide to return to NC let me know and I will have a mess of collard greens and a side of meddling meat cooked with a pone of corn bread. This will slide down good with a knee high glass of goat’s milk.

    P.S. The goats keep the yard mowed.
  20. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    northfork, california
    Glad to bring out the humor in you. Should you come to Yosemite I'll have some home made red wine, a fresh organic chicken raised on the range and fed only certified organic grains, and baby greens from Santa Cruz, hand picked by unshaven 60 year old hippie farm gals in gypsy garb - while smoking medicinal, prescribed marijuana.

    My road kills get boiled fur on, and fed whole to the chickens. Prefer that to any corn, anyday. Hereabout they turn cars over to work on the transmission, but usually never get around to getting it fixed. Every time my renters move out, I get 2 or 3 free cars. Covers the last 2 months rent they forgot to pay.

    Since the enviro's closed the huge sawmill here, in a county with more pine trees than all of India, renters that work at burger king, with three kids are not a good bet. And your NC sent nearly 80% of its furniture factories to Vietnam, and now a chair can be bought for less than I can buy the wood. Although they only last 3 years where ours went to the kids. Road kill will be a important protein supplement in NC after the food stamps run out.
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