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Thread: tip(s) for replacing a meter panel

  1. #1
    DIY Senior Member rdtompki's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005

    Default tip(s) for replacing a meter panel

    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. #2


    Try a wire saw. Any plumbing store will have one.

    Last edited by 480sparky; 12-11-2007 at 04:25 PM.
    Just my 2 worth.

  3. #3
    In the Trades Bob NH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 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.

  4. #4
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona

    Default cut

    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.

  5. #5


    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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