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Strange Service #39364 06/17/04 11:29 PM
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 558
ga.sparky56 Offline OP
Did some work in the Atlanta area this week,and ran across something I've never seen before.

The OH drop from the transformer went to a weatherhead coming thru the roof of the garage. Entrance cable traveled about 5o feet thru the attic,into the basement,then thru the block wall into the meter base.

50 ft. of entrance cable in the house with no OC protection.

The other odd thing was that the panel had a sticker on it reading "Property of Ga. Power do not remove cover"

An old gentleman at a supply house near there told me it was commonly done back in the 60's and early 70's there.

Does anyone else see anything like this in their area?


Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades
Re: Strange Service #39365 06/18/04 06:32 AM
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,520
pauluk Offline
It's not uncommon to find the service entrance conductors run a long way like this in British houses.

The typical setup has the overhead drop terminated on a bracket at eaves level, then the cables run along the outside wall to the point where they go through to the inside metering equipment. But in some cases the cables are taken into the attic and then dropped down the the meter panel.

A couple of places I've worked locally have the cupboard with meter and panel located pretty much in the middle of the house, and those service cables run about 25 ft. through the attic.

They are just PVC-insulated cables, no conduit, and with only the main pole-mounted fuses on the local 240/415V wye network for protection.

Re: Strange Service #39366 06/18/04 07:32 AM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 914
Electric Eagle Offline
I'm Surprised you've never seen this before. I live in your area and this is the way almost every house built between the 1950's and the 1970's was done. Just look around and you'll see it everywhere.

Re: Strange Service #39367 06/18/04 07:53 AM
Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 4,283
electure Offline
I've never even seen a piece of this SE cable, and just recently learned about how it's used on a Fri. Nite Chat (how's that for living a sheltered life?).

I'm glad we don't use the stuff out here in SoCA. You could take an axe to one of our service risers, and you'd just wear your arms out chopping...S

Re: Strange Service #39368 06/18/04 08:08 AM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,391
iwire Offline
Russel I have never seen it done that way.

Scott I missed that at the chat and I agree an axe swing to SE cable will result in at least a little damage. [Linked Image]

But consider 90% (a guess) of the services here are SE and with 20+ years in the trade I have only seen one time where an SE sustained damage that RMC would have prevented.

A cable TV installer drilled from inside the house to outside the house and hit the surface mounted SE. BOOM!

I am told he was fine and no fire resulted, I did see the see th SE and it was pretty messed up for about 6" either side of the incident.

My own service is SE, I bent up a piece of RMC to fit but it looked to ugly on the outside of my house, the 200 amp copper SE that I used instead hides a lot better. [Linked Image]

SE is Service Entrance Cable after all. [Linked Image]

Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician
Re: Strange Service #39369 06/18/04 08:49 AM
Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 524
Attic Rat Offline
Your SE has copper conductors?? All the SEU cable we get around here,(NJ),has aluminum conductors.I didn't know they made it with copper..Here it's predominantly SEU cable for services,...pvc schedule 80 conduit if located on the driveway side of the house..

.."if it ain't fixed,don't break a Licensed Electrician"
Re: Strange Service #39370 06/18/04 09:21 AM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,391
iwire Offline
Hi Russ what you describe sounds just like here, SE, or PVC if subject to damage like at a driveway.

Most times it is aluminum, I asked for copper and the supply house I go to stocks it, many of the smaller supply house do not stock copper SE.

Nothing wrong with aluminum, copper lets me use a smaller cable and hide it better. [Linked Image]


Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician
Re: Strange Service #39371 06/18/04 04:51 PM
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 558
ga.sparky56 Offline OP
LOL,I guess I'm a little sheltered too.

I've done residential work in NE Ga. Western N.C.,S.C.,and a bit in Tenn.(both new and remodel)and I've never seen this on a house in any of those places.

None in my area dating back to the 30's have a service like this.

I guess you learn something new every day. [Linked Image]



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