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#39146 - 06/10/04 12:06 PM Underground service
SJT Offline

Registered: 07/24/02
Posts: 242
I've done quite a few overhead services, and the home I'm buying has underground, 100 amp. That's another thing that will be goin, and I'll upgrade to 200 amp. I've heard that guys do them live, instead of calling the power Company to disconnect and reconnect. I don't think I want to chance it, just in case the sevice lateral shorts, as I go to remove conduit. Have you guys had good luck working the cable live onto the lugs of the meter pan. I may call, and ask for a shutdown.

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#39147 - 06/10/04 01:36 PM Re: Underground service
SteveMc Offline

Registered: 02/05/04
Posts: 61
Loc: Rock Hill, SC
Personally, I would never attempt a service change without a service disconnect. The results of one little mistake could be fatal.

#39148 - 06/10/04 01:49 PM Re: Underground service
Bill Addiss Offline

Registered: 10/07/00
Posts: 4196
Loc: NY, USA

If you call LIPA and ask for a temporary cutoff they will schedule it with you. The times I've done it took about 2 weeks to get an appointment. Typical scenario is they'll meet you first thing in the morning to disconnect and return later in the day to reconnect. Sometimes all I had to do is change the pan and they may hang around a bit if it's not going to take you long.


#39149 - 06/10/04 08:52 PM Re: Underground service
Lostazhell Offline

Registered: 02/21/04
Posts: 1248
Loc: Bakersfield, CA (Originally Or...
While I personally do not recommend doing pretty much any electrical work live that can be shut down.. I have replaced underground fed panels hot before... one of the power companies here will disconnect for you, but will not reconnect until the city signs off, calls the power company, & then the power company will "try to squeeze you in". In all taking about 3-5 days where the customer has no power, which makes for a not-so-happy customer, with a defrosted refrigerator & spoiled food!

In the service industry, people want their power back on -yesterday- even when a panel goes down due to failure.. I charge an extra $800 to do a hot connect in this area.. or give them the option of waiting for things to matriculate through the city & then the power company...

Hair-raising stuff!, when I do do a hot connect, I'm wearing long rubber gloves which go to the elbow, a welding face shield, & a heavy wind-breaker jacket, while standing on a thick rubber doormat I keep for this kinda thing... & then smoke about 6 cigarettes once its hooked in!


#39150 - 06/10/04 09:03 PM Re: Underground service
srscott Offline

Registered: 05/11/04
Posts: 15
Loc: Crystal Lake, IL
Randy, great advice! Too many heroes put themselves or others in danger trying to "be a man". We've all been bit, but it only takes one big one.
Of couse there are times when one cannot work dead, but realize the difference. I'm too old to try and impress people while simoultaneously jeapordizing lives or even equipment. I'd like to retire the old fashioned way, by a car accident or something, not something that could be avoided. Scott

#39151 - 06/11/04 08:06 AM Re: Underground service
kyme Offline

Registered: 09/25/03
Posts: 40
Loc: Kentucky
in my opinion a disconnect is the only
way to do this type of changeout.

#39152 - 06/11/04 10:51 AM Re: Underground service
earlydean Offline

Registered: 12/22/03
Posts: 749
Loc: Griswold, CT, USA
You intend to do an upgrade without notifying the PoCo about it? That's a sure recipe to disaster. Why upgrade if the feeding service conductors can still only handle 100 amps? You now place a 200 amp OC device on these 100 amp conductors and calmly load these conductors up to 180 amps. Do you think that maybe the insulation may suffer? Do you think that maybe the voltage drop will be a problem?
The PoCo I work with will gladly pull in new conductors for you for free. Yes, you will have to cordinate a time for both of you to do this.

#39153 - 06/11/04 10:57 AM Re: Underground service
pauluk Offline

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
I'm an ocean away I know, but here in England it is the PoCo that would actually upgrade the service itself, and their engineers alone who are authorized to run anything on the line side of the meter.

For panel changes in general though, in my area the local utility will arrange for a disconnect and reconnect on the same day.

In fact if everything is ready to go without too much delay, the local engineers can usually be persuaded to hang around for a little while and save the customer a double call-out fee (particularly if offered a sandwich and a cup of coffee )

#39154 - 06/11/04 09:59 PM Re: Underground service
Lostazhell Offline

Registered: 02/21/04
Posts: 1248
Loc: Bakersfield, CA (Originally Or...
earlydean wrote
You intend to do an upgrade without notifying the PoCo about it?

Here, the AHJ notifies the Poco after inspection & then the poco decides if they want to change their feeders... Alot of areas here have oversized feeders already installed for future upgrades (one house had 4/0 CU feeding a 100A panel!) most poco's here will allow a 200A panel to exist on 1/0 AL XPF type feeders underground.. Another poco wants a 3" conduit for 200A underground! & then they pull 1/0's... Little overkill for the wire size???

If the AHJ doesnt call the poco for you, you should let them know so they can evaluate their feeders for your intended upgrade... I'm just used to not having to worry about it!


#39155 - 06/12/04 07:57 PM Re: Underground service
rizer Offline

Registered: 01/03/04
Posts: 90
Loc: bradenton ,fl.,usa
i hope the "wind breaker" you use isn't nylon or you'll go up in a ball of flames! i prefer a carhardt jacket (etc) if i have to change out a 480v bolt-in breaker.

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