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Thread: Service Upgrade completed!

  1. #1
    DIY scratch-pad engineer leejosepho's Avatar
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    Default Service Upgrade completed!

    Here is how things finally ended up with our service upgrade. This house had been built with a 60-amp, 6-circuit XO panel inside, then an exterior panel had been added later on for some 240V circuits (dryer, oven, A/C and detached workshop) with everything still being fed by the original 60A service wire under the eaves. No electrician I had talked with thought it would be possible to move everything inside like I wanted, but then I ended up finding one who would let me do that and then do the outside work for the service upgrade ... and all of that is what you can see here. The inspection we got was little more than a drive-by, but the inspector did tell me the power company would want that strap on the riser before re-connecting from the street. I told the inspector the electrician was not sure what he might have to say about the workshop subfeed coming in through the meter base, but he let that slide and then the power company overlooked it since the inspector had said everything was fine.

    One of the new orange wires you see here is the 10-3 w/G to replace the existing 12-3 running to the dryer, and the others are for a water heater and my old 120V/30A welder. I added the six 12-2 w/G yellows to upgrade and add circuits in the house, and all of that should finally get this place into shape!

    Total cost, including permit: $1500.00

    Note: That added strap is virtually worthless in that skirt board, and I will be adding a more substantial one just above the meter socket since there is more riser above the roof than below the overhang.
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    Last edited by leejosepho; 12-09-2011 at 08:08 AM.
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  2. #2

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    Some observations:

    The outside looks much better (and safer). However the ground wire from the meter base should have been inside 1/2 inch conduit to protect it from physical damage (I'd leave it alone now though, not that big a deal).

    The conduit to the shop is not vertical (or maybe it is the angle of the picture ). Not technically a problem, but it would annoy me.

    I think you should have gone with a 30 slot panel. I realize you are somewhat limited by the size of the hole that was already there, but if there was room below I'd have gone bigger while you had the opportunity. You will have little expansion room left once you tie in all your new circuits unless the plan is to pull out all the old ungrounded cables.

    Most of your existing wiring is ungrounded. If you are not replacing the wire for those circuits the outlets connected to those them the should: A) Be the ungrounded type. B) Be a GFI, or C) Be protected by a GFI.

    All insulation from the NMB wires should be removed to within 1/2 inch of the top of the inside of the panel once they are connected. I see a white cable - 10 gauge I think - on the left side with insulation on it, but maybe that is the dryer circuit you plan on pulling out anyway.

    Overall it looks like a decent job. Thanks for the update.
    -rick

  3. #3
    Jack of all trades DonL's Avatar
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    Looks Good Leejosepho®.

    Looks Like the Main Ground wire may be a problem, But JW will give you the final word...
    Theory only works perfect in a vacuum.

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    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    Hereabouts, the bare ground is common and passes. Standard for lightening rod installations.

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    Jack of all trades DonL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ballvalve View Post
    Hereabouts, the bare ground is common and passes. Standard for lightening rod installations.
    The bare may be good , but the Meter ground does not go to the Box, From what I see.
    Theory only works perfect in a vacuum.

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    Test, Don't Guess! cacher_chick's Avatar
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    Looks like a clean install... I do question what appears to be a standard locknut on the service entrance. There should be a bonding locknut and jumper to bond the service conduit to the panel.

    I see one grounding conductor on the bar, but cannot tell where it goes. All the new installs I see have 2 ground rods and any metal water service piping all bonded to the panel.

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    DIY scratch-pad engineer leejosepho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by drick View Post
    Some observations:

    The outside looks much better (and safer). However the ground wire from the meter base should have been inside 1/2 inch conduit to protect it from physical damage (I'd leave it alone now though, not that big a deal).

    The conduit to the shop is not vertical (or maybe it is the angle of the picture ). Not technically a problem, but it would annoy me.
    Same here, but that is as straight as I could get it after the electrician had left. There is a knockout in the center of the bottom of the meter socket, and that is where I had assumed that would have been connected. In my own view, those are the kinds of things that make a true craftsman.

    Quote Originally Posted by drick View Post
    I think you should have gone with a 30 slot panel ...unless the plan is to pull out all the old ungrounded cables.
    Getting rid of at least the four old 15A circuits is definitely the plan.

    Quote Originally Posted by drick View Post
    All insulation from the NMB wires should be removed to within 1/2 inch of the top of the inside of the panel once they are connected. I see a white cable - 10 gauge I think - on the left side with insulation on it, but maybe that is the dryer circuit you plan on pulling out anyway.
    That is the existing dryer circuit, and I left that jacket on there because I plan to use that wire for two 120V circuits with a shared neutral and I do not know how those circuits might need to be marked or tagged. So until then, that jacket keeps those wires from getting lost in the cluster.
    "Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events and small minds discuss people." --Eleanor Roosevelt

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    DIY scratch-pad engineer leejosepho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonL View Post
    The bare may be good , but the Meter ground does not go to the Box, From what I see.
    It does not, and I had wondered about that but forgot to ask the electrician who said nothing about it.

    Quote Originally Posted by cacher_chick View Post
    Looks like a clean install... I do question what appears to be a standard locknut on the service entrance. There should be a bonding locknut and jumper to bond the service conduit to the panel.
    The nuts are the same on the ends of that piece of threaded conduit -- no compression adapters -- and they are but finger-tight. So, it would seem to me that getting a ground wire run on into the panel would be the best thing for me to do there. I was inside the house while the electrician was mounting the meter socket, so it was not until the power company had arrived to re-connect that I had noticed how poorly the meter socket is mounted to the wall anyway. My photo does not show that, but the meter socket is not against the wall because nothing had been done to offset the riser where the skirt board sits against the brick.

    Quote Originally Posted by cacher_chick View Post
    I see one grounding conductor on the bar, but cannot tell where it goes.
    That is part of the existing 12-3 dryer feed, but it only runs a few feet to a junction box in the attic where I have added a ground wire to run alongside the remainder of that 12-3 run.

    =================

    I thank all of you for your insights and comments!
    Last edited by leejosepho; 12-10-2011 at 05:36 AM.
    "Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events and small minds discuss people." --Eleanor Roosevelt

  9. #9
    DIY scratch-pad engineer leejosepho's Avatar
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    Question: Would it be acceptable/sufficient if I ran a ground wire out through the bottom of the panel then connected it to my new ground round along with the ground wire for the meter socket? That would be a lot easier for me than to have to deal with calling everyone back to finish something everyone missed.
    "Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events and small minds discuss people." --Eleanor Roosevelt

  10. #10
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonL View Post
    Looks Good Leejosepho®.

    Looks Like the Main Ground wire may be a problem, But JW will give you the final word...
    There are several questions that come to my mind when looking at the interior panel.

    As some have already pointed out the need for two wire receptacles or GFCI protection for the circuits that do not have an equipment grounding conductor.

    Someone said something about the nipple connecting the meter pan to the panel. If this is a metal raceway it will need to be bonded on one end or the other but that could have been done in the meter pan as well as the grounding electrode conductor which can be seen coming out the bottom of the meter pan. See 250.92 for more information


    The neutral coning from the meter to the panel is not identified with white marking or tag.

    Can’t see but I think that on the left side of the neutral bar there is a green bonding screw that bonds the neutral to the panel enclosure. If not then the bonding needs to be done in some manner.

    This must be a temporary CO as a permanent CO can be issued only after all circuits are installed and terminated. You need to check on this as it can and will cause some insurance issues should you ever need them.

    It is permissible to feed the work shop from the load side of the meter but the panel in the work shop must be installed as service equipment with the proper bonding and earth grounding required for service equipment. It is service conductors supplying the work shop now and not feeders. Feeders will have overcurrent at the point where they originate and these don’t have any overcurrent protection making them service conductors. See 230.40 exception 3 for more information

    The meter pan will stand off the finish wall ¼ inch so the two-hole strap is alright and all that is needed to secure the riser. The screws do not need to penetrate the brick. Be sure to plug the holes left from the removed raceways so bats do not decide to make you attic their home.

    Lee listen closely to this statement; It is not only the inspector that you are wanting to satisfy it is also your homeowner’s insurance. Please be sure to have the inspector return after you terminate the circuits that are not terminated so it will be documented at the inspection department which relieves you from the insurance company should something go wrong. Based on your original post in this thread I can determine that the inspector only looked at the service change and that is all that will be documented. Any and all other work that is being done will not. You really need this work documented as passing an inspection or the insurance company can cause a lot of stress should they ever be needed.

  11. #11
    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    All and good, but I see many houses burn down that you could have kicked over with bare feet, and wired and plumbed by crack heads - and the insurance company always pays. Its cheaper for them than a lawsuit.

    And around here, fire departments are just for hosing down the embers, so little remains of interest. One house burned last week, and no- one noticed it for 5 days. Probably a bit different in Boston.

  12. #12
    DIY scratch-pad engineer leejosepho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwelectric View Post
    There are several questions that come to my mind when looking at the interior panel.

    As some have already pointed out the need for two wire receptacles or GFCI protection for the circuits that do not have an equipment grounding conductor.
    There are a couple of existing 3-wire receptacles I need to investigate since there are no ground wires in any of the 120V circuits, and I will deal with those as necessary.

    Quote Originally Posted by jwelectric View Post
    Someone said something about the nipple connecting the meter pan to the panel. If this is a metal raceway it will need to be bonded on one end or the other but that could have been done in the meter pan as well as the grounding electrode conductor which can be seen coming out the bottom of the meter pan. See 250.92 for more information
    That is definitely a metal raceway and I did not look closely to see where the grounding electrode conductor got fastened, but I do know there is nothing more than a metal nut and plastic bushing on either end of that piece of threaded pipe.

    Quote Originally Posted by jwelectric View Post
    The neutral coning from the meter to the panel is not identified with white marking or tag.
    I will attend to that.

    Quote Originally Posted by jwelectric View Post
    Can’t see but I think that on the left side of the neutral bar there is a green bonding screw that bonds the neutral to the panel enclosure. If not then the bonding needs to be done in some manner.
    The silver screw in the center of the neutral bar just above the main breaker is one I added at that appropriate place (as far as I know) to bond the panel. But if the head of that screw needs to be green, I can make it so.

    Quote Originally Posted by jwelectric View Post
    This must be a temporary CO as a permanent CO can be issued only after all circuits are installed and terminated. You need to check on this as it can and will cause some insurance issues should you ever need them.
    I am assuming it is a permanent one, but I have no idea what the electrician might have noted when he got the permit. I do understand the insurance issues, and I might begin dealing with that by first talking with the insurance company.

    Quote Originally Posted by jwelectric View Post
    It is permissible to feed the work shop from the load side of the meter but the panel in the work shop must be installed as service equipment with the proper bonding and earth grounding required for service equipment. It is service conductors supplying the work shop now and not feeders. Feeders will have overcurrent at the point where they originate and these don’t have any overcurrent protection making them service conductors ...
    Even though they really should not, those conductors actually do come all the way in through the meter socket to a 30A double-pole breaker in the house panel. So, I still have the same protected circuit going out to the bonded workshop panel with its own ground rod we had discussed in the past. I knew those conductors could have been connected as service conductors, but I did not want them "always hot" in case somebody might some day hit that underground line with a shovel or whatever ... and if the insurance company or anyone else ever questions their going in through the meter socket, they can always be moved down out of there and run through the wall to get back to their present breaker.

    Quote Originally Posted by jwelectric View Post
    The meter pan will stand off the finish wall ¼ inch so the two-hole strap is alright and all that is needed to secure the riser. The screws do not need to penetrate the brick.
    There is where the code might be quite insufficient, in my own opinion, or at least in this case. My new riser stands at least 2' above my roof line and is holding the pressure of at least 80' of service wire stretched from the pole at the street. This roof is decked with solid 1" x 6" material, so I have no concern there. However, there is little more than the soffit's 1/4" plywood presently holding that riser from pulling sideways on the hub of a loose-on-the-wall meter socket that is actually being held in place by nothing more than the conduit going in through the wall. So, I have purchased some flat stock to use in fabricating a heavy strap to help the soffit hold the riser's lateral load ... and at that point, I will not care how many squirrels get to bouncing the incoming line!

    Quote Originally Posted by jwelectric View Post
    Be sure to plug the holes left from the removed raceways so bats do not decide to make you attic their home.
    Ah yes!

    Quote Originally Posted by jwelectric View Post
    Based on your original post in this thread I can determine that the inspector only looked at the service change and that is all that will be documented. Any and all other work that is being done will not. You really need this work documented as passing an inspection or the insurance company can cause a lot of stress should they ever be needed.
    Understood.

    ============

    Here is what I have done to address the matter of the missing ground wire. I could not add a washer to the inside clamp and still get it to thread into the plywood backer panel, but I still figured this was at least better than just having that wire go out through a 1" hole in the panel ...

    Note: The panel *is* flush with the wall, but my picture angle gives the illusion it is not.
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    Last edited by leejosepho; 12-10-2011 at 11:29 AM.
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  13. #13
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    Okay I see those two red feeders now. It is a violation to have fused and non-fused conductors in the same raceway. I would address this in some manner or the other.

    I am sure that your state and my state have pretty close to the same laws concerning as the licensing of the two states will reciprocate electrical licenses. Here only a temporary CO can be issued unless the job is complete.

    Quote Originally Posted by ballvalve View Post
    All and good, but I see many houses burn down that you could have kicked over with bare feet, and wired and plumbed by crack heads - and the insurance company always pays.
    Did you collect? Just how do you know they always pay unless you are the one collecting?
    I went to Hollywood once and stayed for one day. That was more than enough to let me know that I have no desire to ever return. Yes you are almost correct; Cal. has nothing more than a bunch of crack-heads.
    Maybe a Cal. thing about insurance with all the lawyers being nothing more than crack-heads but if you read carefully I think I said it could not that it would.
    When we had our fire 12 years ago there were issues with the insurance company but we were able to prove that any and all work was done before we bought. This is first hand info not something someone else said or thought.

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    Test, Don't Guess! cacher_chick's Avatar
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    I hate to say it Lee, but that is going backwards from a code standpoint. There can be no splices in the grounding conductor.


    The bonding bushing I referred to earlier looks like this-

    Name:  nut.jpg
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    If it's not done in the meter box or in the panel, the meter will need to be pulled so the service conductors can be taken loose and the proper locknut and bushing installed.

  15. #15
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cacher_chick View Post
    I hate to say it Lee, but that is going backwards from a code standpoint. There can be no splices in the grounding conductor.


    The bonding bushing I referred to earlier looks like this-

    Name:  nut.jpg
Views: 313
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    If it's not done in the meter box or in the panel, the meter will need to be pulled so the service conductors can be taken loose and the proper locknut and bushing installed.
    Not to mention the parallel path he just installed

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