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Partial Service Upgrade - OK? #2947
07/30/01 10:01 PM
07/30/01 10:01 PM
Bill Addiss  Offline OP
Member
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 3,903
NY, USA
Situation: (Residential 120/240v)

Service Entrance cable and Meterpan must be replaced and relocated. It is 100A with a 100A MB panelboard inside. Customer would like to upgrade to 200 but doesn't have the $$ to do the whole job right now.

Question:
The SE cable and meterpan will be replaced with 2/0 and 200A Meterpan now and will continue to feed the 100A MB panelboard until that will be upgraded to 200A. Are there any concerns with doing this? Increased fault current levels?
(Service is overhead with #4 triplex Alum drop from pole)

Bill

[This message has been edited by Bill Addiss (edited 07-30-2001).]

Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades
Re: Partial Service Upgrade - OK? #2948
07/30/01 11:08 PM
07/30/01 11:08 PM
R
rmiell  Offline
Member
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 243
La Junta, Co. USA
Great question, Bill!

At first I thought that it would be a code violation, but upon further thought, I can't see how it would be. It is protected at 100amp, an amount not greater than the rating of the se conductors, so it seems to be ok.

Fault current is a concern, I would think. Let me sleep on that one.

Another thought, I would think the utility would frown on this type of set up for the following reasons. Their meter, rated for 200 amps, costs more than the 100 amp meter in place now, as well as the cost for the service man to come out to reconnect. Doing this work for only a 100amp service means that their payback period will be greater, since the load will be less than 100amps, so it will take longer for them to recoup their costs. If this was for a true 200amp service, one could assume the load would be above 100amps, thereby their intake of money would be greater, reducing their payback period. Dollars do run the industry, after all.

Just a thought.

Rick

Re: Partial Service Upgrade - OK? #2949
07/30/01 11:16 PM
07/30/01 11:16 PM
Bill Addiss  Offline OP
Member
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 3,903
NY, USA
Rick,

In my area We can only use 1 type of Meterpan for 0 to 200A. It is rated at 200A OH and UG with a bypass. They use the same meter, We just plug it back in. There is no reconnect for them either if We use the connectors that they supply. Sometimes they will come out and change the drop though.

Bill

Re: Partial Service Upgrade - OK? #2950
07/31/01 05:02 AM
07/31/01 05:02 AM
S
sparky  Offline
Member
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 5,371
U do come up with some good ones Bill ! [Linked Image]

I would thing it's ok, and a request probably more common than we let on.

What about the opposite?
A old 60A service gets a new 100A panel, but the main gets changed to a 60A ?

Re: Partial Service Upgrade - OK? #2951
07/31/01 06:31 AM
07/31/01 06:31 AM
R
Redsy  Offline
Member
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 2,056
Bucks County PA
If you are talking about increased fault levels due to the larger SE cable, I would think that it would be negligible. Even if it did increase slightly, isn't most residential service equipment rated for typical residential distribution transformer fault currents?
BTW Bill,
I've often wondered about res. meter ratings. Most of the meters around here have the designation, "CL200" on them. But, I was told long ago that this has nothing to do with the rating. Hard to believe though, because every one I know just plugs in the same meter (socket type) after an upgrade to 200A.

[This message has been edited by Redsy (edited 07-31-2001).]

Re: Partial Service Upgrade - OK? #2952
07/31/01 08:16 AM
07/31/01 08:16 AM
Bill Addiss  Offline OP
Member
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 3,903
NY, USA
Sparky,

Yes, it does seem to come up now and then where something has to be done with part of the Service right away. It makes sense to replace with a larger cable outside here because we have to install a 200A Meterpan anyway. Replacing with 100A cable now and changing it again later on seems like a big wasted expense.

Your example (unless very temporary) would make me uncomfortable, even though maybe legit. [Linked Image]

Redsy,

I really don't know about the meters. I suspect that if a different one is needed it only gets put in after the customer has shown an increased demand. Many times they don't even change the drop unless it's very old.

Bill

Re: Partial Service Upgrade - OK? #2953
07/31/01 01:47 PM
07/31/01 01:47 PM
G
glenn35  Offline
Member
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 40
What is the big hooplah all about?

Wouldn't the fault current capable of being delivered only be as much as the #4 service drop from the pole? Increasing the size of the SE conductors would not make the fault current available more or less.

A Q for you Bill, is 2/0 rated for 200A service? You could not get by with nothing but 3/0cu. here in Houston.

Our meters here are of but one type also. They are all CL200(class200). And yes that is rated for 200A service. Older installations when most services were 100A used a CL100. All are the same now for socket type meters. The CL100 meter gets changed to a CL200 if the customer upgrades their service, but very seldom as you stated Bill does the #4 drop get replaced with 1/0 unless the drop is old or there is evidence that the cust may be adding load(adding on a room or two, pool)otherwise the #4 drop that has served so well for 20 years is still capable of handling the cust needs.

Meter ratings are as follows;

CL100- 100Amps and 60A services
CL200- 100AMps to 200A services
both are socket type meters

CL400- 400A service which is a bolt-in type meter.

And just one more Q Bill,
The utility allows the electrician to make the permanent conn. at the WH? Even if they supply you with the connectors. You would have a band of furious lineman on your hands if you tried that down here [Linked Image]
Down here the electrician at his discretion will make temp conn so the cust will have power until the utility makes perm conn.

Re: Partial Service Upgrade - OK? #2954
07/31/01 02:17 PM
07/31/01 02:17 PM
R
Redsy  Offline
Member
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 2,056
Bucks County PA
Quote
Originally posted by glenn35:
What is the big hooplah all about?

Wouldn't the fault current capable of being delivered only be as much as the #4 service drop from the pole? Increasing the size of the SE conductors would not make the fault current available more or less.

A Q for you Bill, is 2/0 rated for 200A service? You could not get by with nothing but 3/0cu. here in Houston.

Our meters here are of but one type also. They are all CL200(class200). And yes that is rated for 200A service. Older installations when most services were 100A used a CL100. All are the same now for socket type meters. The CL100 meter gets changed to a CL200 if the customer upgrades their service, but very seldom as you stated Bill does the #4 drop get replaced with 1/0 unless the drop is old or there is evidence that the cust may be adding load(adding on a room or two, pool)otherwise the #4 drop that has served so well for 20 years is still capable of handling the cust needs.

Meter ratings are as follows;

CL100- 100Amps and 60A services
CL200- 100AMps to 200A services
both are socket type meters

CL400- 400A service which is a bolt-in type meter.

And just one more Q Bill,
The utility allows the electrician to make the permanent conn. at the WH? Even if they supply you with the connectors. You would have a band of furious lineman on your hands if you tried that down here [Linked Image]
Down here the electrician at his discretion will make temp conn so the cust will have power until the utility makes perm conn.


I think the available fault current would be determined by TOTAL impedance of the ckt, which would be different, however slightly, for #2 al. vs. 4/0 al. tapped onto the #4 svc. drop.
In Phila., area the electrician makes permanent taps. The utility does not provide connectors. This confusion has resulted in some electricians installing romex connectors for "temporary taps, until the utility replaces them".

BTW glenn35,
Regarding the so-called "trans-socket" meter pans used these days for residential 400 amp svcs. I thought they used a 200 amp plug-in meter, and if needed they could be outfitted with CTs and connected to a transformer-rated meter. How recently have 400 amp line-current meters been used?




[This message has been edited by Redsy (edited 07-31-2001).]

Re: Partial Service Upgrade - OK? #2955
07/31/01 05:33 PM
07/31/01 05:33 PM
F
Fred  Offline
Member
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 449
Straughn, IN 47387
Bill, I've been doing that for years. Since both serving utilities require a minimum 2" rigid for a risor if it is the attachment point for their triplex, I run 3/0cu and use a 200A MB. The utility stopped supplying meterbases a few years ago. The electrician has to supply them and a 200A costs $21.50 and a 100A runs $16.50-not much more. I lost track a long time ago how many of these 100A upgrades I was called back to re-upgrade. I always tell a customer who wants to limit their upgrade to 100A to save money that the labor charge is the same and the materials costs are less than 20% more for the 200A but you just can't reason with some folks.

Re: Partial Service Upgrade - OK? #2956
07/31/01 07:57 PM
07/31/01 07:57 PM
A
Anonymous
Unregistered

>A old 60A service gets a new 100A panel, but the main gets changed to a 60A?

I have no problem with that, in fact, I recommend it.

I like to do this, that is, use a 200 A panel to get the spaces and the heavier bus, but put in a 100 A main because of the present service rating. Even if the service remains 100 A, it is served by a bigger panel. I prefer working in a larger panel.

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