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Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 133
I've seen recommendations on this forum to use ilsco "tite bite" or "insulation piercing" connectors for overhead service connections. I haven't used these before but they sound like a good choice for safety and ease of use. Are these only intended for temporary connection or are they approved for permanent connection. They seem to be fully insulated. Is it necessary to tape/seal them?

Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 914
These are for permanent installs, but I don't think they were intended for the kind of weather exposure you're talking about. They also aren't cheap!

Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 806
I use the Ilsco "Kupler" insulation-piercing connectors for reconnecting service drops all the time. To me, they are much safer than trying to strip the (often weatherbeaten) live triplex with a utility knife while standing on a ladder, and then having to assemble (and tape) splitbolts or setscrew connectors. Just cut the wire ends square, insert into the holes, and tighten the (insulated) bolt with a 9/16" socket. No taping needed. I have heard some other posters complain about long-term reliability, but since the POCO gets rid of them to make their permanent splices anyway, this isn't really an issue around here. I have had a few run for several years before the POCO showed up, with no problems. AFAIK, they are approved for permanent use, not just temp service.

The only real downside to these things that I can see is the cost. They run almost $20 each in the size needed for 2/0 Cu or 4/0 Al. I make a point of getting them back whenever possible, and lately have been charging a $50 "deposit" on them to make sure the homeowner asks the POCO crew for them. They are reusable several times, with only a cleaning and replacement of the corrosion inhibitor grease.

Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 133
I know they are not cheap and I was wondering about the weather exposure myself but according to ilso's web site these are approved for outdoor use. Below is the spec note from their website. Anyone using these for service connections? If so, I'd like to hear your opinion.

KUP-L-TAPĀ®, for indoor/outdoor use are dual rated for copper and aluminum wire and can be installed on energized conductors. They run cooler than the conductor yet require no
cover or tape over the connectors. No need for stripping or oxide inhibitor.

Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 133
Thanks NJWirenut, that's just the info I was looking for. I couldn't agree with you more about the safety factor relative to working live on a ladder. I have no problem paying a premium for that. I do however, work in areas that require the EC to make the permanent connection. From what I read on the Ilsco website I can't see why these would not be approved as permanent connections. Anyone else using these for permanent service connections that would care to share their experience?

Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,429
LK Offline
Here in Central Jersey, these are great, they have given us a lot of work and usually any new work from the homeowner, this winter we had at least 5 calls for phase out, most of the calls were in the winter, I have used these on riser panels with no problems, so it may have something to do with outdoor use.
We have PS and JCP&L for utility, and they do not come back to reconnect unless a new drop is needed.

[This message has been edited by LK (edited 05-10-2004).]

Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 524
... I agree with NJWIRENUT,in that the PoCo usually cuts your "bugs" off, and installs their own..It seems a shame,but I always use an Ilsco "in-line" hex,set-screw type bug,about $8.00 each,never to recover them,'cause the PoCo will often let them stay on,sometimes 6 months or more before finally re-bugging..I actually know a guy who uses ROMEX connectors,and doesn't want to splurge on a decent bug..He says its "job security"..Scary thought..if that connector works its way's arc city!! Sit back and watch the fireworks!!

[This message has been edited by Attic Rat (edited 05-11-2004).]

.."if it ain't fixed,don't break a Licensed Electrician"
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,438
Typically it depends on what Poco area I'm doing the change in if I splurge for something expensive to tie the overhead in with....
So Cal Edison can take FOREVER to get out.. if they ever do! (I came across a 10 year old panel that had blue wirenuts on the service drop!) In these area I typically use "Insultaps" or "Polaris" taps...
San Diego Gas & Electric, LADWP, Anahiem Power, Glendale power, etc are pretty fast at getting out, so if I can use something a little less pricey, "safely", I will... (typically a double lug similar to those in underground splice kits)


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