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Service upgrade utility connection

Posted By: schenimann

Service upgrade utility connection - 09/10/11 04:32 AM

When you guys do a service upgrade what do you use to connect back to the utility wires. I usually use Polaris lugs. I really like them but they seem too expensive to use just to have the utility guys put in a crimp and throw them away. I have used split bolts but I don't like handling them that much. can I use crimpers? Can I get the crimps to go from the #6 utilty to the 4/0?
Thanks, just looking for a better way.
Posted By: gfretwell

Re: Service upgrade utility connection - 09/10/11 07:02 AM

City electric sells a knock off of a Polaris that is a bit cheaper but they still seem pretty expensive to throw away.
Posted By: HotLine1

Re: Service upgrade utility connection - 09/10/11 06:31 PM

ECs use a variety of connections on service drop re-connects. Split bolts, crimps, etc. I have not noticed anybody using Polaris types due to $$$.

Crimps are readily available for any combonations, including the POCO common drops to our 'standard' service conductors.

Check with your local supply house for crimp availability. You may also come upon a friendly lineman who has spares, or may not throw away the 'temp' connectors.

Posted By: KJay

Re: Service upgrade utility connection - 09/11/11 04:39 PM

I like the Hubbell Fargo vise connectors for service connections, but I have the same problem when doing a resi heavy-up from a 60A or 100A to 200A using 4/0 AL with the old #6 CU solid neutral/messenger utility drop. Usually no problem though when doing a 60A to 100A upgrade. The two sizes of these connectors I stock are the GA-9040, which go from #1 stranded to 4/0 on both sides and the GA-9020, which go from #6 solid to 2/0 stranded on both sides. They are apparently only listed for AL on one side [Run], but CU/AL on the other [Tap]. This isnít a problem since all the drops the POCO drops for resi services here are AL anyway. To get the customer "temporarily" connected until the POCO can get out there to install the new drop, which can be weeks or months, I usually have to add another piece of larger CU wire to double up the wire on the utility side of the connector.

These connectors arenít really cheap either though, at around $22.00 a pop with the additional cost of the plastic insulating snap-on covers for the two ungrounded conductors, but when the POCO does finally get out there, at least they will reuse these connectors, since these are exactly what they were using up until they switched to the identical Richardsí Manufacturing brand vise connectors a while back. I would probably switch to the Richardsí connectors too, but canít find a supplier for them yet.

I also stock the Polaris connectors for up to 250 KCMIL, but at $25.00 a pop, I lose sleep at night knowing the POCO will just snip and chuck them.
I have AL/CU crimps and cold shrink sleeves, but they are not cheap either and I find that swinging a crimper around up on a ladder is very awkward for me. The POCO will also cut and toss these as well, so just seems like a waste.

Hubbell Fargo Connectors
Posted By: gfretwell

Re: Service upgrade utility connection - 09/11/11 07:04 PM

FPL does seem to be pretty good about getting out there for you. When I did my service upgrade they cut the old drop and reinstalled the new one on the same day. (two trips)

They gave me the meter base and can (picked up at the meter shop). I wasn't charged for the connections. That may be different now but I was pleasantly surprised at the time.
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