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Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 32
Howdy! The situation: Father has built a 1800sq ft shop, 2 story near house. We are refeeding both the house and the shop from a 320Amp meter base that is to be mounted on an existing private owned pole on the property. Property is about 2 acres, in un-incorporated county. mixed urban-ish. The overhead lines from the power company pole at the street, meet the pole on our property, and then will go down the pole to the 320A can, then two 2"runs,underground, one to the house, one to the shop. I had drilled a hole in the back of the 200A panel, and through the siding for a 2" LB and 2 minutes later Dad said "can't do that". It's holding up everything else. Hard to argue with Dad.

Question: Can I install an LB between the meter can and the main panel of the shop? if so, or if not, why?

Thanks! Sparkeee24

Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,372
Likes: 7
We are talking about service conductors, load side of meter to a MCB panel. which is located within a structure.....correct so far?? One run to the shop, one to a house.

Service conductors cannot be 'inside' a structure as they have no over current protection, with some exceptions.

Basically, in most jurisdictions, as long as you enter a panel with the conduit & conductors right inside the structure you are OK. Running the conduit & conductors within the structure without OCP is not allowed, unless you encase the conduit/conductors in 2" of concrete.

I'm curious why your dad said 'no way'??

Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 32
Father believes that you can't have anything you can open, like a junction box, or even an LB between the meter can, and the main OCPD. His thought is, "what if someone opens it up and sticks a fishtape in it? You can't even turn off the line side without pulling the meter, even then, the line side within the meter can is still hot". this is dangerous to people. this is how he sees it.

One comment I have as far as the installation, is that, currently, the pipe is on the outside wall of the building, right until the back of the panel, then goes through the exterior wall with the LB. No conductors within the structure before the OCPD. They will all be outside until the LB, then immediately into the MCP.

As far as I see, there is no difference in safety between the pipe coming up through the footing (as is usually the case here for nicer installs) where a person can put a fishtape straight through the pipe that enters the panel bottom and towards the meter can. the other option, is an LB into the back of the panel. The safety factor seems the same to me.

He doesn't have any better ideas, for an install. He thinks what I have already done is incorrect, and that we can't continue until "someone else tells us how to do it". He wants to have an inspector come bye, and show us what to do. I told him that's not how they work. It's not an inspectors job to tell a person how to do their install. I did call the inspector for his opinion, solely on the LB issue, and hopefully will find out in a day or two.

I am a licencensed residential electrician in WA state. But as a Son, in this instance it doesn't pull as much weight.

Thanks! sorry for the long explanations... Sparkeee24

Last edited by Sparkeee24; 08/16/10 11:19 PM.
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 265
Either use the LB, or bring the pipe up into a 200a disco, then take 4 conductors 2 hots neutral and ground from disco
into main panel inside. Need 4 wires because this will be the first point of disconect and the neutral and ground need to be seperated at this point.


Life is tough, Life is tougher when you are stupid
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 2
New Member
Unless you are running full size conductors to both structures I do not think you can do what you propose. If you are running conductors for 200A to each structure you will need OCPD of 200 amp at the pole after the meter. You are over the length of the "tap rule"

You would need to bond at the pole and run 4 conductors to each structure.

Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,872
Likes: 27
The tap rule says there is no limit on "outside" taps.

(5) Outside Taps of Unlimited Length. Where the conductors are located outdoors of a building or structure, except at the point of load termination, and comply with all of the following conditions:
(1) The conductors are protected from physical damage in an approved manner.
(2) The conductors terminate at a single circuit breaker or a single set of fuses that limit the load to the ampacity of the conductors. This single overcurrent device shall be permitted to supply any number of additional overcurrent devices on its load side.
(3) The overcurrent device for the conductors is an integral part of a disconnecting means or shall be located immediately adjacent thereto.
(4) The disconnecting means for the conductors is installed at a readily accessible location complying with one of the following:
a. Outside of a building or structure
b. Inside, nearest the point of entrance of the conductors
c. Where installed in accordance with 230.6, nearest the point of entrance of the conductors

There is no reason you can't have access to service conductors on the load side of the meter. The PoCo gets kinda funny about the conductors on their side of the meter tho wink

Greg Fretwell
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,372
Likes: 7

Going back in time our POCO's did not allow an LB or any other 'openable' fitting in a service before the meter. Exceptions were granted with stipulations that the screws or other fastners were 'inoperable'. Filing the screw slot, or using one-way screws were acceptable. Recently, there has been no objections to LBs or other fittings.

Basically, it was a way the POCO could prevent 'unmetered' use of power, by a "tap" before the meter. Over many years, I saw a few 'taps'; and a few fires resulting from same.

Ask your dad if that may be his reasoning please.


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