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Old 08-21-2009, 08:31 AM   #1
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Default Wiring a new meter socket

I have a question that I want to ask you follow electricians.

Question is about a single family house.

A storm blow down the customer 30 year old electrical service. Damage so so bad that the existing meter socket and service cable where torned from the house siding.

Customer hire a electrician, name unknown to me to replace his electrical
service.

After the previous electricain had repair all the storm damage, I was
contacted by home owner to install a dryer receptacle.

Upon arrive I notice a new double meter socket service complete with
two individual double pole, service breakers. Grounding electrode wire
was attach within the double meter socket assembly.

Inside, I found a existing Murray Electrical panel, with a Main Breaker, and
12 one inch spot for circuit breakers. The panel had only one 1" spot left.

I notice that their were only three wires inside this electrical panel.
Two black, connected the panel Main Breaker, And one none insulated
aluminum round conductor attach to the neutral bus bar, All the panel
grounds and grounded conductors were terminated at the neutral bus
bar.

I believe that this panel in its present state is wire in improperly. In the
past I have alway used a 4-wire SE-R cable, and installed a grounding
bar kit, while isolating the neutral bus bar from the panel box.
Then I would connected the service cable grounded conducter to the neutral, and the ground conductor to the newly installed ground bar. Then transfer all ground wire to the newly install ground bar. NOTE:
if I could not isolate the neatral busr bar, then I would replace the panel,
with new main lug only style, unless the customer wanted a main breaker
panel, like you find in trailers.

The owner is 85 year old, in good health, and very out going.
Old people are my most difficult, of customers. I left without doing
anything, telling him the panel was short one breaker space, and I was going to check with MFG. about using tamden breakers.

All comment are welcome, don't really know how to tell the nice old
guy, that his electrical panel is wired wrong. Did I miss something?

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Old 08-21-2009, 08:42 AM   #2
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It is incorrect. The ground/neutral bond should have occurred in the disconnect outside, and a 4-wire cable used to feed the panel inside, with the grounds and neutrals separated.

Having said that, it probably isn't a big enough deal that the old man will absolutely, positively need to change it. Afterall, the grounds and neutrals were bonded in that panel when the old meter fed it, and adding a disconnect outside hasn't made it any less safe.

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Old 08-21-2009, 09:09 AM   #3
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Having said that, it probably isn't a big enough deal that the old man will absolutely, positively need to change it. Afterall, the grounds and neutrals were bonded in that panel when the old meter fed it, and adding a disconnect outside hasn't made it any less safe.[/quote]

I would agree it is just like it has been for all the years before. That said I will agree with you... you try to tell him whats worked for 30 years is now wrong and needs to be changed....well your in for a good talking to.
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Old 08-21-2009, 02:16 PM   #4
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But as electricians shouldn't it be us who fix wrong wiring?
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Old 08-21-2009, 02:44 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magnettica View Post
But as electricians shouldn't it be us who fix wrong wiring?
When we are contracted to do so. But we can talk until we are blue in the face, and most times the customer will either just shrug it off, or think you are finding problems just to get the work.

My point, really, is that you can mention it, and if he says do it, then great. But if he refuses, there is really no need to lose any sleep over it because it isn't an overtly dangerous situation.
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Old 08-21-2009, 03:20 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InPhase277 View Post
My point, really, is that you can mention it, and if he says do it, then great. But if he refuses, there is really no need to lose any sleep over it because it isn't an overtly dangerous situation.
That's how I typically feel about the vast majority of violations that I encounter.
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Old 08-21-2009, 03:29 PM   #7
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Quote:
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That's how I typically feel about the vast majority of violations that I encounter.
Only because you caused most of those violations to begin with
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Old 08-21-2009, 03:32 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InPhase277 View Post
Only because you caused most of those violations to begin with
I set myself up for that one. Ouch.
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Old 08-21-2009, 06:16 PM   #9
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InPhase277 your post hit nail right on the head.

Are you and Peter D. a comedy team?


And what is about old people and old wiring anyways.

THANKS
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Old 08-21-2009, 06:23 PM   #10
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No, Peter D is just the King of the Hacks.
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Old 08-21-2009, 06:25 PM   #11
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Why didn't you,(Or him) get the total job?
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Old 08-21-2009, 06:31 PM   #12
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bobelectric, whom is your post direct to?
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Old 08-21-2009, 06:35 PM   #13
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The guy that started this "thread".
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Old 08-21-2009, 06:54 PM   #14
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quote:"why didn't you, (Or him) get the total Job?

I start this thread, so here my answer: I was told by the customer that
the previous electrician wouldn't answer his phone, (caller I.D. or maybe
he screen all his calls), so the customer got tried of waiting for him to
come back.

There is a saying, "a picture is worth a thousand words."

Myself, it think it was my personality and his clash. I wanted to do
job the right under the NEC code. The panel wasn't done right in the first
place, in my opinion. Customer didn't understand, the word coming out of
my mouth. Don't get me wrong, there was no yelling or screaming. We
just had a parting of the ways. He has my phone number should he change
his mind.

Had your ever heard the expression, "it my way of the highway". I choice
the highway. And I haven't lost any sleep over passing on this one.

Last edited by partimer31; 08-22-2009 at 08:24 AM. Reason: spelling errors
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Old 08-22-2009, 07:13 AM   #15
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I guess this service didn't have an inspection,before you entered the picture? Beleive me,I passed on my share of possible headache customers.

Last edited by bobelectric; 08-22-2009 at 07:16 AM.
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Old 08-22-2009, 08:47 AM   #16
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In Vermont, there no law that the home owner is require to have electrical work inspected. Also the homer can do his own electrical work. The most
common found NEC code voliation is undersize boxes.
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Old 08-22-2009, 08:53 AM   #17
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i find that hard to believe. you should always get a permit, no matter if the homeowner does his own work.
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Old 08-22-2009, 09:05 AM   #18
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Spark134

Thanks for your advice. I'll look into this matter and report back later
with an up date.
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Old 08-24-2009, 08:38 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sparks134 View Post
i find that hard to believe. you should always get a permit, no matter if the homeowner does his own work.
partimer31 is right and who do you file for a permit with if no one requires it.

90% of the time there is no requirement for electrical permits in Vermont for single and double family houses. There are a few city and towns that do require permits, but very few. It is pretty much an electrical wild west in the residential electrical market up here. I did a service upgrade the other day and the conversation with the POCO went like this:
ME:I need to change over a service at .....
POCO: When are you doing this?
ME: Friday at 10 Am.
POCO: Are you going to drive two ground rods?
ME: Yes.
POCO: OK, the line crew will meet you there.

They were there on time and waited for me to finish and asked and said very little. I could have been the lawn mower man.........

No permit, no fees and no probing questions.

It all comes down to answering the phone and returning calls in order to do business in the residential market up here.
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Old 08-25-2009, 05:14 PM   #20
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thats very scary!!!

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