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Thread: 200 amp upgrade confusion

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  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member bens's Avatar
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    Default 200 amp upgrade confusion

    A friend of mine is renovating his new house before he moves in.
    He had a guy upgrade his service to 200amp. The guy did a great job relocating the breaker box in the basement, great job wiring inside the house. When I looked at the new drop, though, the questions began.

    He got a permit. So somehow this is code, I guess.
    He has extended the new drop from the electric company with three red wires which look WAY undersized to carry the load of the entire house.
    Can somebody explain this to me?

    Also note the use of the gutter to hold up the wires. At the very least that's odd.
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  2. #2

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    Ok, I'm trying to justify what I'm seeing. Is the new panel fully wired in or did he just mount the panel and put in a couple of breakers? If there is only a couple of breakers, and I'm guessing that might be the case, he is just trying to give you power for lights and a few power tools and the small individual breakers will protect the wires from overload in that case.

    Clearly he is not done. He may be waiting on the power company to do work on their side of the service. It's hard to say exactly what is going on. I'd suggest giving the electrician a call.

    -rick
    Last edited by drick; 03-16-2010 at 05:42 AM.

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    DIY Junior Member bens's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by drick View Post
    Ok, I'm trying to justify what I'm seeing. Is the new panel fully wired in or did he just mount the panel and put in a couple of breakers? If there is only a couple of breakers, and I'm guessing that might be the case, he is just trying to give you power for lights and a few power tools and the small individual breakers will protect the wires from overload in that case.

    Clearly he is not done. He may be waiting on the power company to do work on their side of the service. It's hard to say exactly what is going on. I'd suggest giving the electrician a call.

    -rick
    Your conclusion was the same as mine. I figured it was temporary. The homeowner called the electrician and he didn't seem to think he did anything wrong and doesn't plan on coming back. Only thing I can think up is that he didn't think he was responsible for the drop at all, just wiring up the new box and meter.

    The power company will be called next maybe they will extend the street line to the new header?

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    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    He got a permit, but did he get an inspection? Maybe that area is different, and maybe the eave is higher than it looks, but here, the entry cap would have to be above the roof, (and the riser would have penetrated the eave and the roof), so that the service wires were a minimum distance above the ground, and there would be an anchor point for the utility's stress relief. If the wires are not adequate, the utility will not, or at least should not, attach to them. I am not sure what the top picture is showing, and cannot correlate the second and third pictures, if they are supposed to be showing the same things.
    Last edited by hj; 03-16-2010 at 09:54 AM.

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    DIY Junior Member bens's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hj View Post
    He got a permit, but did he get an inspection? Maybe that area is different, and maybe the eave is higher than it looks, but here, the entry cap would have to be above the roof, (and the riser would have penetrated the eave and the roof), so that the service wires were a minimum distance above the ground, and there would be an anchor point for the utility's stress relief. If the wires are not adequate, the utility will not, or at least should not, attach to them. I am not sure what the top picture is showing, and cannot correlate the second and third pictures, if they are supposed to be showing the same things.
    We are in the midwest, truthfully I don't see entrance caps protruding above rooflines here like I do when I'm down south. So code may be different?

    First piture is just showing location of new meter.
    Second is just the run of the little red wires across the back of the house (from the street service to the new meter around the corner)
    Third is the street side hookup.
    Fourth is the new hookup to the new cap.

    Attached a bird's eye view. Thank you!!!

    Also, the entrance cap seems sideways...is that code?

  6. #6
    DIY Junior Member bens's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hj View Post
    He got a permit, but did he get an inspection? Maybe that area is different, and maybe the eave is higher than it looks, but here, the entry cap would have to be above the roof, (and the riser would have penetrated the eave and the roof), so that the service wires were a minimum distance above the ground, and there would be an anchor point for the utility's stress relief. If the wires are not adequate, the utility will not, or at least should not, attach to them. I am not sure what the top picture is showing, and cannot correlate the second and third pictures, if they are supposed to be showing the same things.
    BTW, this isn't a ranch home. So yes, that cap is pretty high up, it's on a chicago bungalow built around 1930. Perhaps that is why this is permitted by code. They elevated the main floor quite a bit back then.

  7. #7
    Electrical Contractor Jim Port's Avatar
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    Since the power company determines where the meter and the drop will be located I don't see why it was done this way. The weatherhead should have been extended over to the point of attachment.

    I am also wondering about the length of unfused conductor inside the basement.

    I am smelling something fishy.

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