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#183832 - 01/23/09 11:12 AM Service upgrade rules working with the utility?
mikesh Offline

Registered: 06/07/06
Posts: 614
Loc: Victoria, BC, Canada
For as long as I have lived in Victoria BC (29 years) the utility has permitted contractors to make a temporary connection when upgrading or replacing a Domestic Service. For all intents and purposes a 120/240 volt max 200 amp 1 phase service. This meant the electrical contractor could cut the old consumer's conductors (not the utility drop) at the weather head and do the work then reconnect and apply a tag to the meter giving the meter info, reading, contractors info, and permit number. The utility would return and change the drop if an upgrade or make permanent splices.
About a year ago the rules changed and the utility now requires a "Work With" IE the utility comes and cuts the service in the morning and returns later in the day to re-connect. Now a contractor needs an appointment, and has to change the service within 4 or 5 hours or the customer goes without power until the next day or Monday if on a Friday. Of course this only applies where the new service has to be in the same location as the one it replaces.

How about where you live? What procedures are required where you work? All jurisdictions please.

Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades

Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades
Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades
Arc Flash Clothing, Gloves, KneePads, Tool Belts, Pouches, Tool Carriers, etc. etc....

#183836 - 01/23/09 01:00 PM Re: Service upgrade rules working with the utility? [Re: mikesh]
HotLine1 Offline


Registered: 04/03/02
Posts: 6832
Loc: Brick, NJ USA
NJ, PSE&G areas allow EC's to cut/reconnect resi services (OH) on upgrades, etc.

JCP&L/First Energy areas are out of my area, and their rules may or may not be different.


#183837 - 01/23/09 01:42 PM Re: Service upgrade rules working with the utility? [Re: HotLine1]
mbhydro Offline

Registered: 02/21/03
Posts: 344
Loc: Winnipeg MB Canada
In Winnipeg, Manitoba Hydro will be called by the city inspector to do the connection once the service is approved.

You have call the inspector before 9:30 in the morning to arrange a time before 3:30 in the afternoon to come out for an inspection if the service is to be connected the same day.

In the rural areas Manitoba Hydro is the AHJ so they inspect and connect at the same visit.

#183843 - 01/23/09 06:02 PM Re: Service upgrade rules working with the utility? [Re: mbhydro]
renosteinke Offline
Cat Servant

Registered: 01/22/05
Posts: 5305
Loc: Blue Collar Country
Not only does our PoCo allow us to disconnect, and make up the permanent connections ... they provide the connectors to do it!

You call ... they break the meter seal ... your work, you hook up, you call the city to inspect. After passing inspection, the City calls the PoCo to restore the seal.

#183844 - 01/23/09 06:42 PM Re: Service upgrade rules working with the utility? [Re: renosteinke]
pdh Offline

Registered: 01/20/05
Posts: 354
I remember a case when I was Director of Operations for an internet provider in Texas. The building was a divided office pad. We had been subletting space from another business that had merged 2 office units into one. They decided to move out to another location, and we took over leasing 1 of the 2 office units. So the landlord re-divided them. That involved splitting the electricity, again. Each unit had its own transformer inside, but both were coming off the same meter. Due to various other reconfigurations that had been done in the past, a new meter box had to be installed. We had about 2 hours UPS capacity, and the electrician was able to do all the work in about 45 minutes. He cut the power at the old meter, split the services, and and put us on the new meter. In retrospect, he should have reversed that and put us on the old meter and the empty unit on the new meter. He then connected both services live. And BTW, this was a 600 volt feed (meter read 606), not 480 as is usual. He was allowed to connect it back up, but the utility had to bring in a new meter. The meter socket was the pass through type.

The utility was waiting for the inspection, which was scheduled for the next day. The inspector shows up early in the morning before any management was in, and left the paperwork indicating a failed inspection. There were no actual red tags, and no wording on the paperwork of what failed. I called and left messages and the inspectors office, and got no replies for a long time. The electrician said he had no idea what was wrong with the inspection, but said as soon as someone would say, he'd immediately come out and fix it.

After over 3 WEEKS I finally got hold of someone in the inspection office. But they didn't have the paperwork and couldn't tell me what was wrong. They finally decided to have someone come out again. Turns out the problem was the one place I didn't look at: the office unit number was not properly marked on the meter. I went to the hardware store and got some nice bright metal number stickers with strong permanent glue on the back and stuck them on the meter myself, showing our unit number. The next day the inspection passed, and a week later, the utility installed a meter.

The real problem was a failure to communicate by the inspector. Does anyone ever have problems like that, where an inspection fails, but you have no idea what the failure is?

#183850 - 01/23/09 09:51 PM Re: Service upgrade rules working with the utility? [Re: pdh]
leland Offline

Registered: 08/20/07
Posts: 856
Loc: Lowell area, Ma. USA
20 mile radius- 4-5 POCOs': Permit pulled (after a servo # collected from the POCO- (ALL)).

Some, call and they cut power and seal. You work, call back and they reconnect.

Others, you cut and reconnect,they return for permanent connections (at their leisure).

Still others,you cut and restore permanent connections. After notifying the POCO.

Just don't do a thing with out their knowledge!!!! WHOAAA big world of 'Poop' then!

Then, Deposit the check and call for the local Inspector (All).

#183924 - 01/26/09 09:15 PM Re: Service upgrade rules working with the utility? [Re: leland]
Obsaleet Offline

Registered: 04/05/03
Posts: 361
Loc: Pa
We cut and reconnect temp like untill inspection and they contact poco they do permanent, unless u are on there fastrak program then you do all and they reseal meter after inspection. They even supply connectors.
Choose your customers, don't let them choose you.

#184037 - 01/30/09 08:20 PM Re: Service upgrade rules working with the utility? [Re: Obsaleet]
Narrowbackpride Offline

Registered: 11/26/08
Posts: 14
Loc: Tac,WA
Here in Washington state, you are legally required to cut and re-make connections. You then call for inspection, and get green tag or not, (15 days to fix wiring defects) and customer calls POCO to re-make connections when they can, no readings required. There is a $200 civil fine for cutting meter tags, but in 15 years I have cut many, many tags with and without permits and no problems.. fines go to meter account anaway. If a above board EC cuts tags=no worries at all. POCO dont care as long as the meter is spinning when you are done.
How many maintenance guys do you know that "used to be" electricians?

#184039 - 01/30/09 09:59 PM Re: Service upgrade rules working with the utility? [Re: Narrowbackpride]
leland Offline

Registered: 08/20/07
Posts: 856
Loc: Lowell area, Ma. USA
Originally Posted By Narrowbackpride
board EC cuts tags=no worries at all. POCO dont care as long as the meter is spinning when you are done.

Bottom line.

Here, Massachusetts, I have NEVER seen a "Tag" (inspection) red Green or other (never even heard of it, until I found these sites). however inspections are HUGE around here (read public dole-..(I digress AGAIN)....) You best be there for the walk thru (inspection)..Or No inspection.
Some exceptions for residential, home owner OK. But then again,Why? Dumb looks can't seem to reason.

#184046 - 01/31/09 12:32 AM Re: Service upgrade rules working with the utility? [Re: leland]
Trumpy Offline


Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8560
Loc: SI,New Zealand
Bottom line is really,
If you intend to cut PoCo seals on meters, you are required to let that PoCo know before-hand and get permission.
All of us Lines Co inspectors over here (in my area anyway), use crimp tools unique to each Inspector, to crimp lead/wire seals.
On the other side of the coin, all electricians in this area have our cell numbers and ask if it is OK to cut any of our seals, I've never turned an electrician down yet.
Let's face it, these days if you're not young, you're old - Red Green grin

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