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So Ive been an Electrician for 7 years now and Ive never done a full service change. Ive swapped out panels before, but never disconnected and reconnected the utility line. I know how its done, but how do you do it safely? Most houses around me are row homes and have the lines running right across them. They are very close to each other.. Maybe 2-3" apart. Ive worked live up to 480volt and am confident in my work. Just want to know your tricks. Gloves, rubber mats, etc.
 

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One cable at a time. Shut off the main first so there is no load.
Gloves are a good idea. But you can handle the wire as long as there is no path for the juice to go.


...suggesting this type of service change without proper PPE is dead wrong, dead wrong.

You should be trained properly before attempting this type of change over.
 

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We aren't allowed to do it here any more. For many years tho no problem. As mentioned one wire at a time, maybe gloves. Fibreglass ladders.

Or have the power company do it.

I'm old school. Things are different now and take longer to accomplish but safer I guess.
 

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I myself have never done it as well never intend to either. The company I worked for used to do residential then we dropped it and went strictly commercial & industrial. Once I finally learned to do controls, plc's , and vfd's I decided that I am just going to do commercial & industrial work.
 

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Unless your a lineman and working for the power company, you have no business touching them in my area, and why would you want to.
 

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It's really not a big deal. My first time I was sweating . But after popping my cherry it gets easier.
Obviously it can be hazardous. You must be careful and alert. But it can be done safely.
If you can't tie in 3 wires without ****ing it up you're not even cut for being a lineman.
I'm not saying it's not possible, or even difficult, but I don't have any interest in doing it because it's not worth the risk. And of course our PoCo doesn't allow it anyway. They have servicemen who get paid to do that stuff. I prefer to get paid to stand around and watch them.
 

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erics37 said:
I'm not saying it's not possible, or even difficult, but I don't have any interest in doing it because it's not worth the risk. And of course our PoCo doesn't allow it anyway. They have servicemen who get paid to do that stuff. I prefer to get paid to stand around and watch them.
I hear ya. I don't have to do stuff like that but it sounds like it might be sop in a lot of areas.
 

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It's just standard practice. Hence to most guys around here it is no big deal.
Of course it can be hazardous.
But if all nessescary precautions are taken. It can be done safely.
If you have never done it, I can see why it may seem dumb or un nessesary.
But if I didn't do it here it could be weeks before the utility reconnected it!
I have started using n.s.i. connectors now. So as I disconnect each conductor I strip it and put the n.s.I. on then it can't come in contact with the other wires.
 

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Most important thing is dont get comfortable working hot....your bound to have an accident. It's dangerous every time you do it.

Row homes are particularly dangerous to tie in.....some of the threes story houses here in philly are a bit hairy....you are usually dealing with two houses connected to short hot wires and you are 25' in air on a ladder.

Anyway

For service tie ins...1st thing is make sure there is no load.... Shut the main and pull the socket....I usually megg the line to make sure I have no shorts... In a pinch on low voltage I will just use my ohm meter.

I will usually tie the neutral in first mainly because it is bare and less likely to hit the hot wires if its connected.

Then I tie in the hot wires one at a time.....I do temp electrical taping of hot ends while I am working. I have a set of insulated tools I use for hot work.

I do wear ppe....I use hard hat, safety glasses, and wear 600v rubber gloves, FR shirts and pants are standard gear for me.
 

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...suggesting this type of service change without proper PPE is dead wrong, dead wrong.

You should be trained properly before attempting this type of change over.
I see PPE as a personal choice. If you feel safer wearing it, good. Back when I did side work I did quite a few service upgrades. Around here the electrician does the tie in. I didn't even have gloves back then. I'd use a fiberglass ladder, leave the meter out so there's no load, handle 1 wire at a time, and pay attention. I never had any issues. Is it safer to use ppe? For some maybe. I prefer not to wear gloves unless absolutely necessary as I dislike the loss of dexterity. If you prefer gloves then use them. I would never discourage someone from wearing ppe if that's what makes them feel more comfortable, but things can be done safely without also.
 

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I see PPE as a personal choice. If you feel safer wearing it, good. Back when I did side work I did quite a few service upgrades. Around here the electrician does the tie in. I didn't even have gloves back then. I'd use a fiberglass ladder, leave the meter out so there's no load, handle 1 wire at a time, and pay attention. I never had any issues. Is it safer to use ppe? For some maybe. I prefer not to wear gloves unless absolutely necessary as I dislike the loss of dexterity. If you prefer gloves then use them. I would never discourage someone from wearing ppe if that's what makes them feel more comfortable, but things can be done safely without also.
...if you where to get hung up, do you even have any idea what the power company is fused at on the primary side of the transformer, and what that converts to on the secondary side?
 

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...if you where to get hung up, do you even have any idea what the power company is fused at on the primary side of the transformer, and what that converts to on the secondary side?
What does that have to do with anything? If you get hung up on a 15 amp circuit it's not gonna trip the breaker. Breakers/fuses aren't designed to protect people. Whether it's fused at 1 amp or 1000 amps makes no difference. In all the times I bare handed tie ins, I never experienced as much as a tingle. Is it possible to get hung up? Definitely. Is it possible to do it safely with no negative impact? Of course. Every one should do their own risk assessment and do what they feel is necessary.
 
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