tip(s) for replacing a meter panel

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by rdtompki, Dec 11, 2007.

  1. rdtompki

    rdtompki New Member

    Dec 21, 2005
    I've got to replace the ancient meter panel (combination of meter and 12 circuit panelboard that services my barn and hayshed. I'm going to get a permit and have PG&E do a disconnect. I'm competent to do the changeover with one minor question: the replacement panel is longer than the original. What's the easiest way to cut the old sch80 conduit to length that is running up from the ground?I could use a hacksaw blade and careful go around the circumference. Is there a special tool?

    I don't want to pull the wires out of the conduit unless I absolutely have to.

  2. 480sparky

    480sparky In the Trades

    Oct 8, 2007
    Electrical Contractor
    Try a wire saw. Any plumbing store will have one.

    Last edited: Dec 11, 2007
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  4. Bob NH

    Bob NH In the Trades

    Oct 20, 2005
    New Hampshire
    The wire saw will cut the pipe but it will not necessarily avoid cutting the insulation of the conductors inside the pipe.

    I would try a short stiff hacksaw that doesn't have a frame and work around it trying to get almost all the way through the wall of the pipe. Then I would try to break off the pipe and clean up the end.

    If you can remove or detach the box from the wall you may be able to spring the pipe away from the wall far enough to use a pipe cutter.
  5. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Aug 31, 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona

    I would either use a nylon string, or heat the tip of a hooked blade linoleum knife and melt through the pipe, working around the perimeter and repeating the heating process when necessary.
  6. Alectrician

    Alectrician DIY Senior Member

    Jun 15, 2007
    What size is the conduit?

    A tubing cuter is ideal if you have one big enough and if there is room to use it.

    I would use a sawsall with a steady hand around the perimeter of the pipe. I never had much luck with the string cutters.

    It's only scary if its energized.

    Try this. You should have enough room to make it work. Get a short piece of EMT that will fit OVER the wires but INTO the PVC (typically one trade size smaller). You can then cut the PVC without worrying about damage to the wires.
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