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#36169 03/30/04 12:05 AM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 1,143
DougW Offline OP
Okay, stupid question time...

I've done / helped a dozen or so service / panel upgrades - it's either been swapping out 100A panels for ones with more spaces, or upgrading 60A's that were pre-dropped with 100A capable services. All the rest have been new installs.

I've never had to cut or re-splice a drop. My old foreman used to do it - I just pulled meters to swap panels.

I've been approached about upgrading a service for a co-worker from 60 to 100A. - Current service is one conductor 60A in 1 1/4" conduit - 60A meter base, going to an old 8 space fuse box. New stuff (obviously) will be 2 conductor in (probably) 2" to a 100/200 meter base, 20 space (breaker) panel.

We'll be running on limited circuits until the PoCo establishes a two-line incoming, and we can start breaking circuits apart.

I know when cutting the incoming to eliminate any "downstream" usage (duh - easy when pulling the meter), but once I get everything new installed, what are your recommendations to re-connect the incoming, if only on a temporary basis?

#36170 03/30/04 01:00 AM
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 105
Do you mean jumping the meter socket or just clipping service drop at the weatherhead? We've been temping with split bolts directly to the new service risers allowing about 2 ft of slop length for POCO to complete. As far as actual operation, it depends on situation. Is the weatherhead easily accessible from ladder? Is the new riser close to point of attachment? We usually just clip service, drop old risers and socket, install new socket, risers, entry, panel and then split bolt to drop for temp, call for inspection and AHJ clears job for POCO. This way usually insures only one "amish day" for the building. If you haven't clipped a service before, try to get someone who has; or be ever mindful of: integrity of point-of-attachment, any stress on conductors which may be relieved by cutting(and create motion of conductors), insulation and safety of YOURSELF. From your post, it seems that drop is a single phase(one conductor) as far as loading that until 220 is supplied, do you mean to connect both new risers to the one conductor on the existing drop? And all of the above applies to overhead service, is that so in this case?

#36171 03/30/04 10:52 AM
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 687
I don't know how the exsisting 1 1/4 mast looks but for 100 amp service you can fit 3 #2's or #3's in it with THWN's.

For clamping on to the utility I use a split bolt for the ground. The conductors I use a insulated connector. I like these better because I only need an allen wrench to tighten and that is the only thing that is live. The split bolts need two tools to tighten, I can't hold the wires at the same time as tightening, and I have 3 things that are live. They do cost me about $15 each. I think the utility just throws them out when they make their connection. Maybe I need to make a note saying "please save" one them.

I think most use split bolts because they are cheaper and it's the way it has allways been done.

As far as only haveing 120v service for now I would just leave off one of the hots on the mast and use half the panel.

If the old meter and housing is outdated like the the big shoe box style with the glass on the front cover it all has to go. You need to jump the new meter housing with something or go without power until Con Ed comes out.


#36172 03/30/04 11:15 AM
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 32
I have had good luck with the allen connectors that you are speaking of and have been able to get them back from the POCO by simply asking. On the chance that my luck may run out one day, I want to try using the connectors that "Home Cheepo" has that are screw type lugs. My thinking was that you could land the lug on one wire, tighten that end, then land the lug on the other wire and tighten. The cost of the connectors is about $4 for a pair -- that's a lot cheaper! As far as the actual cutting of the service, I tape the daylights out of everything that is conductive to avoid arching mostly (and of course shock). I use ratcheting cutters to keep the cut very controlled. This allows me to control the live wire with one hand and cut with the other. I figured that the cost of the cutters was worth the control it brings to the cut.

#36173 03/30/04 12:28 PM
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 1,158
Wow you guys are lucky.Here British Columbia We have to change the complete service Min 200 amp meter base. It does not matter if we are upgrading from 60 amp to 1oo amp .We are not allowed to change the conductors from # 6 to #3 even if the con duit is 1 1/4. We have to do a complete service upgrade.One reason is that We are no longer allowed to have the service mast concealed in a wall. It must be secured to the out side of the home.

#36174 03/30/04 02:25 PM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 1,143
DougW Offline OP
Thanks to all for the replies do far.

I'm kind of in a trick bag for the size-up on this ine. One of our part-time FF's is also the lead building inspector for the county (20+ years). Most of us have had him do "walk throughs" of houses we're looking to buy, and I'm going off of his report. I trust him implicitly, but I haven't personally seen the job yet. We've already figured that if it's the old meter base that we'll have to rip everything, so I've been calc'ing mats on that basis.

(Of course, I'm charging T&M, so it's not like I'll muff the bid. ;D)

Now it's just waiting to see if my co-worker's bid got accepted, and for him to give me a start date and some green!

Thanks again for the input... not too different from what I anticipated, but it's nice to hear from folks that have "BT,DT".

[This message has been edited by DougW (edited 03-30-2004).]

#36175 03/30/04 07:03 PM
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 91
try your local electrical supply house, see if they carry ilsco "tite bite" connectors. all you need is a ratchet, the conductors are isolated from the hex head bolt. there's no need to risk getting hit.

#36176 03/30/04 09:19 PM
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 615
I've gotten dirty looks for it, but....... We used to (when I worked for another guy) use a big blue wirenut. We'd splice a #8 to #3 and then splice the other side to the aeral cable. If it was a 200 amp service, we'd nibble the 3 ought down to a few strands.

Then we'd caution the homeowner to go easy on consumption until the utility was out.

#36177 03/30/04 09:31 PM
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 1,158
Quote" We'd splice a #8 to #3 and then splice the other side to the aeral cable. If it was a 200 amp service, we'd nibble the 3 ought down to a few strands."

I presume thats why we must wait for the POCO to do the swing over.There is no we would be allowed to do this. It is not either code or POCo compliant.

#36178 03/30/04 10:00 PM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,429
LK Offline
We like those $2.00 connectors with the two screws, between Jan and Feb we had 6 trouble calls all after hours, and they were open phase due to connector failure, plus two of these customers have called us back for other work.

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