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Thread: service riser needs for an electrical service upgrade?

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member
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    Default service riser needs for an electrical service upgrade?

    We are currently looking at upgrading our electrical service into the house. One of our quotes came back and was very reasonable, but had something that made me pause. For the service riser (aerial) he is suggesting we replace the existing pipe and wires with a grey cable...no pipe.

    Does this seem right? Or at least, a good idea? I'm not worried about the asthetic really since its just a little cape...the cable barely goes 15 feet up and is screened by a bush half the way. The color will blend in too. But I am concerned about how good an idea it is not to have the cable protected by some sort of piping.

    could definately use some advice!

  2. #2
    DIY Member Lightwave's Avatar
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    You'll have to ask your local electrical inspector and power company to get a definitive answer whether cable is acceptable for service hookup in your area.

    Personally, I'd go with conduit (pipe) even if cable is legal. There's more than enough ampacity in a service drop to ruin your day several times over. Every extra bit of protection between the service conductors and carelessly swung hedge trimmers (etc) is a good thing.

    Last edited by Terry; 07-18-2010 at 07:45 PM.

  3. #3
    Licensed Electrical Contractor Speedy Petey's Avatar
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    If it is code compliant in your area it is FINE. I bet 99% of the homes in your area have it, don't they.
    Answers based on the 2008 & 2011 NEC. If you're on the '14 already I feel sorry for you.

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    It may be legal in your area but in my opionion it's a horrible idea.

    It has never been allowed in my area.

    Again, it is my opinion is that unprotected, unfused wires/cable should never be strapped to a house.

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    Electrical Contractor Jim Port's Avatar
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    SE cable is commonly used in the Mid Atlantic area with no problems.

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    it is code compliant, but honestly most homes around here DO have conduit. At least the newer installations do. There seems to be some contention on whether it is a bad idea or not....hopefully a few more people weigh in so I can make a decision with a clear concience!

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    Test, Don't Guess! cacher_chick's Avatar
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    I would say that installation in conduit is safer given the protection provided by the conduit. Without the conduit there is a greater risk of the cable being damaged and the results could be very bad.

  8. #8
    Senior Robin Hood Guy Ian Gills's Avatar
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    My rambler has its original SE cable without conduit and has been fine for 60 years (although needs to be upgraded soon). The only ones in conduit around here are those cables that go through portions of the roof.

  9. #9
    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    Ever see what a 4 year old can do with a step ladder and dads corkscrew? What, is pipe that expensive these days? Cut your seatbelts out of your car and pulled the air bag fuse too? Put knob and tube wiring in on your remodel? They make half pipe with a nail flange that might save some lives cheap.

  10. #10
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    well the contractor is charging 250 extra to install with conduit. BUT, the more I've thought about the bushes in front and looked at the other houses in the area, the more I feel you are probably right...it's best to just go with the extra. Although I may try to talk him down on the cost for it...seems a little excessive when I could buy it from graybar for 50 bucks or so.

    Now I just need to figure out how to cover the hole left in my siding when they move the meter up 3 feet!

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