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Old 04-09-2019, 05:02 PM   #1
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Hey guys ive gotta a somewhat new to me issue that I am trying to assist a customer with. Their outside smart meter burned up and took the can with it. They hired a licenses EC to replace the can amd were paid. They failed their inspection and refused to re-do any work.

The service comes from under ground into the meter can, then through the roof to the 200 amp house panel with main breaker.

The city inspector who failed the previous company is saying thay 230.70 requires a mean of disconnect at the outside meter and the 1st means of disconnect can not be the inside panel.... Even though every single home is currently the same way in this city.

Other counties and citys have let us replace the outside meter cans no problems. The way I am reading this code is that it is "outside of building or INSIDE nearest point of entrance" which it is.

Are we now suppose to be adding disconnects at all new replacements meter cans outside?

Thanks.
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Old 04-09-2019, 05:08 PM   #2
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The service comes from under ground into the meter can, then through the roof to the 200 amp house panel with main breaker.
What do you mean that it goes thru the roof?

The NEC does not say how close the disconnect has to be to the point of entry, so that is generally determined by the AHJ.

How far is the main panel from where the service enters the house?
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Old 04-09-2019, 05:26 PM   #3
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If this is a one for one repair the inspector is standing on a thin reed.

The only thing that could justify his objection would be if the run from the meter socket to the disco is way too long -- inside -- the home. Many jurisdictions are pretty restrictive on that distance. ( Idiot homeowners damage their conductors and can't shut the power off -- so they watch their house burn down. )

I don't follow your roof comment. Did the other EC actually rope cable all the way up and then snake it down the wall to some interior panel? I can't picture it.

If that's what they did, I can see what the AHJ is on about.
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Old 04-09-2019, 05:36 PM   #4
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Quote:
The service comes from under ground into the meter can, then through the roof to the 200 amp house panel with main breaker.
What do you mean that it goes thru the roof?

The NEC does not say how close the disconnect has to be to the point of entry, so that is generally determined by the AHJ.

How far is the main panel from where the service enters the house?
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Originally Posted by telsa View Post
If this is a one for one repair the inspector is standing on a thin reed.

The only thing that could justify his objection would be if the run from the meter socket to the disco is way too long -- inside -- the home. Many jurisdictions are pretty restrictive on that distance. ( Idiot homeowners damage their conductors and can't shut the power off -- so they watch their house burn down. )

I don't follow your roof comment. Did the other EC actually rope cable all the way up and then snake it down the wall to some interior panel? I can't picture it.

If that's what they did, I can see what the AHJ is on about.
Sorry. Let me clarify. This is an existing 1980s home. Power comes frim the power company in ground into the meter can. Out of the meter can it goes through conduit and LB's into the attic where the conduit continues about 25 ft to the main panel. This is all original and nothing was modified or changed other than just replacing the outside meter can since tlthe (power companies) smart meter burned up. Hell, the previous EC could probably just swapped the guts.

But the inspector is saying it needs to be brought up to new code standards and wants us to install a disconnect on the outside of the house next to the meter can. Seems a little ridiculous to me and im guessing the other EC thought the same ... lol
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Old 04-09-2019, 05:38 PM   #5
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Old 04-09-2019, 05:40 PM   #6
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Sorry. Let me clarify. This is an existing 1980s home. Power comes frim the power company in ground into the meter can. Out of the meter can it goes through conduit and LB's into the attic where the conduit continues about 25 ft to the main panel. This is all original and nothing was modified or changed other than just replacing the outside meter can since tlthe (power companies) smart meter burned up. Hell, the previous EC could probably just swapped the guts.

But the inspector is saying it needs to be brought up to new code standards and wants us to install a disconnect on the outside of the house next to the meter can. Seems a little ridiculous to me and im guessing the other EC thought the same ... lol
That is definitely against code. The inspector is correct.

25' thru the house is no where near the "nearest point of entrance" requirement.

Put a disco next to the meter. Home Depot sells a really nice Square D QO 200 disco for about $120.
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Old 04-09-2019, 05:41 PM   #7
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A repair ought to be grandfathered... but it doesn't look like it's going to happen.
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Old 04-09-2019, 05:43 PM   #8
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A repair ought to be grandfathered... but it doesn't look like it's going to happen.
Thats what I was under the impression of.
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Old 04-09-2019, 05:45 PM   #9
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Sorry. Let me clarify. This is an existing 1980s home. Power comes frim the power company in ground into the meter can. Out of the meter can it goes through conduit and LB's into the attic where the conduit continues about 25 ft to the main panel. This is all original and nothing was modified or changed other than just replacing the outside meter can since tlthe (power companies) smart meter burned up. Hell, the previous EC could probably just swapped the guts.

But the inspector is saying it needs to be brought up to new code standards and wants us to install a disconnect on the outside of the house next to the meter can. Seems a little ridiculous to me and im guessing the other EC thought the same ... lol
That is definitely against code. The inspector is correct.

25' thru the house is no where near the "nearest point of entrance" requirement.

Put a disco next to the meter. Home Depot sells a really nice Square D QO 200 disco for about $120.
For sure. It goes to the garage. However I figured a simple replacement/repair would be allowed to be grandfathered. Every other city we have made these repairs the inspectors allowed it. I am guessing times are a changing
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Old 04-09-2019, 05:47 PM   #10
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Ok, I see now. You only replaced the meter pan.

Yeah, I guess he is just being a d1ck. Can you go above him?
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Old 04-09-2019, 05:52 PM   #11
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Well...... This is one of those things that is up to the inspector to determine. The code doesn't say anything about the length of unfused service conductors. Many inspectors allow a "back-to-back" install where the meter and panel are on opposite sides of the wall. Others allow some arbitrary number like 6 or 10 feet.

And of course there is the "how much repair can I do before it becomes a new install?" question, which is also up to the inspector.
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Old 04-09-2019, 05:53 PM   #12
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Ok, I see now. You only replaced the meter pan.

Yeah, I guess he is just being a d1ck. Can you go above him?
The 1st electrical company repaired the can. When they told the inspector it should be grandfathered and the inspector said no, he refused to refu d the customers money or come back.

I am the 2nd EC. I understand the customers point of view. It was the damn power companies smart meter that failed in the 1st place. They admitted it.

The issue now is that the wire is too short from the power company. Its direct burial from the pad transformer. I order to add the disconnect next to the outside meter can the power company admits they need to dig and run a new line.

It isnt a simple fix for the customer like it should be and they are allowing him to go to a hearing to plead his case. I just didnt know if anyone else had one of these ... inspectors.
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Old 04-09-2019, 05:57 PM   #13
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I used to replace meter cans/guts all the time without inspection, but here in Texas a burnout calls in the POCO, insurances, inspectors, etc.

So long as you're getting paid to do it, I don't see a problem with bringing the install up to code.

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Old 04-09-2019, 06:10 PM   #14
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I used to replace meter cans/guts all the time without inspection, but here in Texas a burnout calls in the POCO, insurances, inspectors, etc.

So long as you're getting paid to do it, I don't see a problem with bringing the install up to code.

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I dont mind, just always trying to understand new and wxistinf codes and what can be done to minimize cost on tje costumer. A LOT of my customers are repeat and appreciate me going out of the way to help them.
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Old 04-09-2019, 06:32 PM   #15
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It may have always been a violation. You can’t extend a violation.

At what time was it allowed to run 25’ of un-fused SEC inside the house?
I never see it around here.
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Old 04-09-2019, 06:45 PM   #16
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I've known FPL to be very forthcoming as far as paying for damages which are demonstrated to be their fault or responsibility. They very well may be paying the bills on this. I'd ask the customer about that. If so, T&M them for emergency work and make sure you get comfortable margins.

Just curious: Are these customers without power right now?
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Old 04-09-2019, 07:02 PM   #17
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I've known FPL to be very forthcoming as far as paying for damages which are demonstrated to be their fault or responsibility. They very well may be paying the bills on this. I'd ask the customer about that. If so, T&M them for emergency work and make sure you get comfortable margins.

Just curious: Are these customers without power right now?
Nope. The previous EC replaced the meter can and FPL replaced the smart meter. Everything works perfect. The issue is the open permit that the inspector wont sign off on till a disconnect is added.

The FPL service guys have told me in the the past they see these burned legs/smart meters/cans a lot more lately. The older cans legs are not as tight as the new cans or the smart meters legs are smaller than the old ones... IDK something along those lines. Either way, they are putting this one on the customer because it is "his" can thst burned up.
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Old 04-09-2019, 07:03 PM   #18
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It may have always been a violation. You can’t extend a violation.

At what time was it allowed to run 25’ of un-fused SEC inside the house?
I never see it around here.
All original. Either early 80s or late 70s home. 1st time hes ever had a problem.
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Old 04-09-2019, 07:22 PM   #19
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maybe the inspector knows something you don't. maybe there is a pattern of burned up houses appearing and the town building official is protecting the public. who knows. But if the thing burned up once and the homeowner is lucky enough to have a house left, you might want to consider the notion that the inspector is doing the homeowner a favor, in an indirect sort of way. grandfathering is often a bad alternative for reasons like this. this is not a major expense, either. It is hard for me to understand why the previous electrician wasn't brought before the board.
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Old 04-09-2019, 07:46 PM   #20
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maybe the inspector knows something you don't. maybe there is a pattern of burned up houses appearing and the town building official is protecting the public. who knows. But if the thing burned up once and the homeowner is lucky enough to have a house left, you might want to consider the notion that the inspector is doing the homeowner a favor, in an indirect sort of way. grandfathering is often a bad alternative for reasons like this. this is not a major expense, either. It is hard for me to understand why the previous electrician wasn't brought before the board.
Not sure either. This will for sure cause these sorts of jobs to go up going forward thats for sure.

I appreciate everyones input for sure. Thank you.
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