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Self Help Service Disconnect "Upgrade" #197453 11/30/10 10:11 PM
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 345
tdhorne Offline OP
In these pictures you can see someones attempt at an "upgrade" to their electrical service. Look at the photographs really carefully and see how many things you can identify that this installer missed.

[Linked Image from]

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I would also like some feedback on whether folks here believe a mast would be required to elevate the Service Drop conductors were they pass over the roof for about three feet.

Last edited by Trumpy; 11/30/10 11:38 PM. Reason: Images added to thread.
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Re: Self Help Service Disconnect "Upgrade" [Re: tdhorne] #197454 11/30/10 11:20 PM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 5,389
sparky Offline
This is everyday for me here TD

it's always the 'lesser of evils' for me in the field when DIY'ers are let to run amock

to make matters worse, the poco's play the 'real sparky on the job' double standard , in effect enablaling it's continuance

and yes, a mast would , simply by right of the w/h being lower that the point of attachment, be required

unless a DIY'er did it....


Re: Self Help Service Disconnect "Upgrade" [Re: sparky] #197457 11/30/10 11:44 PM
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,379
Trumpy Offline
What on earth happened here?
I'm tending to think that the wires that head inside the building are going through the wrong sort of clamp (if they needed to be clamped at all).
Are you allowed to use a disconnect like this in a residential installation, before the main panel?
Also, what is going on with that CATV box, below the meter base?

Last edited by Trumpy; 11/30/10 11:46 PM.
Re: Self Help Service Disconnect "Upgrade" [Re: Trumpy] #197458 11/30/10 11:52 PM
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,379
Trumpy Offline
Having said the above, I don't think this work was done by anyone licenced.
Note the amount of bare wire on the disconnect terminals.
I also get the impression that the ground wire was too large for the terminal, hence the core(s) wrapped around the wire below the terminal.

Re: Self Help Service Disconnect "Upgrade" [Re: Trumpy] #197464 12/01/10 04:13 AM
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,575
gfretwell Offline
Tom I agree you need a mast to get the 230.24 mandated 18" using ex3. The other option would be to swing that hanger bracket down to the corner of the brick wall assuming all other clearances can be met out to the pole.
I also do not see bonding bushings on the nipple between cans or a connection to the ground electrode.

The DSS is a mess but that was probably a "professional" install. (AKA the contract trunk slammer the satellite company hires)

Greg Fretwell
Re: Self Help Service Disconnect "Upgrade" [Re: gfretwell] #197476 12/01/10 07:24 PM
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 763
KJay Offline
I think the mast looks to be a given. That poor SEU looks a little thread bare too.
Besides the bonding jumper already mentioned, for wet locations, 312.2 also says to use fittings listed for wet locations on raceways entering above the level of uninsulated live parts like in that disconnect.

What's going on with that bare EGC on the SER? It looks like it's either a different type of wire where it goes up into the lug or some of the strands were back wrapped to make it fit a lug that's too small for it.
I believe the connector clamp should be outside the enclosure, unless it's also listed for use that way.

Re: Self Help Service Disconnect "Upgrade" [Re: KJay] #197492 12/02/10 11:24 AM
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 2,492
Texas_Ranger Offline
I might be completely wrong since I've never seen a US meter base in person, but how is the black phase conductor connected?

Re: Self Help Service Disconnect "Upgrade" [Re: Texas_Ranger] #197493 12/02/10 11:42 AM
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 745
EV607797 Offline
No bonding on the pipe nipple between the meter base and the disconnect. It doesn't appear that the jacket of the SER cable makes it beyond the clamp and into the enclosure; No GEC at the disconnect and of course, the EGC from the SER is far to large for the lug in the disconnect.

Oh and yes, Mike. This type of setup is perfectly legal and preferred when the panel can't be mounted immediately inside. That is assuming that it is done correctly of course.

That original installation looks to be one that may have been completed by the POCO. In this area, it was (and still is) preferred that they provide and install the cable on the top half of the service and provide the attachments. PEPCO and VA Power use those offset brackets to "reach around" the edge of the roof quite frequently.

Oh, and Tex: The black and red phase conductors land on individual jaws in the meter socket. The neutral conductor passes straight through. From the angle of the picture, it is difficult to see that there is separation between the upper (line) and lower (load) jaws on the left side.


"But the guy at Home Depot said it would work."
Re: Self Help Service Disconnect "Upgrade" [Re: EV607797] #197599 12/08/10 07:11 PM
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 2,492
Texas_Ranger Offline
Ah, that was what I'd been wondering about.

Re: Self Help Service Disconnect "Upgrade" [Re: Texas_Ranger] #197628 12/10/10 09:56 PM
Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 613
mikesh Offline
No ground wire on the neutral, only the bond wire that is too big to fit in the lug. connector installed inside the switch and is there a locknut on the other side. I think Service entry cable is only for underground distribution in Canuk land.
Attachment above the eaves which must be from 150 to 300 mm below the weather head. and even that might be too low for the drop. 11 1/2 feet is minimum height over an area only accessible to pedestrians.
No bonding bushings on the nipple between the meter and switch, Possible dry location connector in the top of meter base.

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