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Self Help Service Disconnect "Upgrade"

Posted By: tdhorne

Self Help Service Disconnect "Upgrade" - 12/01/10 02:11 AM

In these pictures you can see someones attempt at an "upgrade" to their electrical service. Look at the photographs really carefully and see how many things you can identify that this installer missed.

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I would also like some feedback on whether folks here believe a mast would be required to elevate the Service Drop conductors were they pass over the roof for about three feet.
Posted By: sparky

Re: Self Help Service Disconnect "Upgrade" - 12/01/10 03:20 AM

This is everyday for me here TD

it's always the 'lesser of evils' for me in the field when DIY'ers are let to run amock


to make matters worse, the poco's play the 'real sparky on the job' double standard , in effect enablaling it's continuance

and yes, a mast would , simply by right of the w/h being lower that the point of attachment, be required

unless a DIY'er did it....

~S~
Posted By: Trumpy

Re: Self Help Service Disconnect "Upgrade" - 12/01/10 03:44 AM

What on earth happened here?
I'm tending to think that the wires that head inside the building are going through the wrong sort of clamp (if they needed to be clamped at all).
Are you allowed to use a disconnect like this in a residential installation, before the main panel?
Also, what is going on with that CATV box, below the meter base?
Posted By: Trumpy

Re: Self Help Service Disconnect "Upgrade" - 12/01/10 03:52 AM

Having said the above, I don't think this work was done by anyone licenced.
Note the amount of bare wire on the disconnect terminals.
I also get the impression that the ground wire was too large for the terminal, hence the core(s) wrapped around the wire below the terminal.
Posted By: gfretwell

Re: Self Help Service Disconnect "Upgrade" - 12/01/10 08:13 AM

Tom I agree you need a mast to get the 230.24 mandated 18" using ex3. The other option would be to swing that hanger bracket down to the corner of the brick wall assuming all other clearances can be met out to the pole.
I also do not see bonding bushings on the nipple between cans or a connection to the ground electrode.

The DSS is a mess but that was probably a "professional" install. (AKA the contract trunk slammer the satellite company hires)
Posted By: KJay

Re: Self Help Service Disconnect "Upgrade" - 12/01/10 11:24 PM

I think the mast looks to be a given. That poor SEU looks a little thread bare too.
Besides the bonding jumper already mentioned, for wet locations, 312.2 also says to use fittings listed for wet locations on raceways entering above the level of uninsulated live parts like in that disconnect.

What's going on with that bare EGC on the SER? It looks like it's either a different type of wire where it goes up into the lug or some of the strands were back wrapped to make it fit a lug that's too small for it.
I believe the connector clamp should be outside the enclosure, unless it's also listed for use that way.
Posted By: Texas_Ranger

Re: Self Help Service Disconnect "Upgrade" - 12/02/10 03:24 PM

I might be completely wrong since I've never seen a US meter base in person, but how is the black phase conductor connected?
Posted By: EV607797

Re: Self Help Service Disconnect "Upgrade" - 12/02/10 03:42 PM

No bonding on the pipe nipple between the meter base and the disconnect. It doesn't appear that the jacket of the SER cable makes it beyond the clamp and into the enclosure; No GEC at the disconnect and of course, the EGC from the SER is far to large for the lug in the disconnect.

Oh and yes, Mike. This type of setup is perfectly legal and preferred when the panel can't be mounted immediately inside. That is assuming that it is done correctly of course.

That original installation looks to be one that may have been completed by the POCO. In this area, it was (and still is) preferred that they provide and install the cable on the top half of the service and provide the attachments. PEPCO and VA Power use those offset brackets to "reach around" the edge of the roof quite frequently.

Oh, and Tex: The black and red phase conductors land on individual jaws in the meter socket. The neutral conductor passes straight through. From the angle of the picture, it is difficult to see that there is separation between the upper (line) and lower (load) jaws on the left side.
Posted By: Texas_Ranger

Re: Self Help Service Disconnect "Upgrade" - 12/08/10 11:11 PM

Ah, that was what I'd been wondering about.
Posted By: mikesh

Re: Self Help Service Disconnect "Upgrade" - 12/11/10 01:56 AM

No ground wire on the neutral, only the bond wire that is too big to fit in the lug. connector installed inside the switch and is there a locknut on the other side. I think Service entry cable is only for underground distribution in Canuk land.
Attachment above the eaves which must be from 150 to 300 mm below the weather head. and even that might be too low for the drop. 11 1/2 feet is minimum height over an area only accessible to pedestrians.
No bonding bushings on the nipple between the meter and switch, Possible dry location connector in the top of meter base.
Posted By: tdhorne

Re: Self Help Service Disconnect "Upgrade" - 12/19/10 06:24 AM

Here is what I have done so far in remedying this boot leg upgrade.
1) Installed Two driven rods and connected them to the unused upper lug in the picture.
2) Installed additional lug on wall of disconnect, with the paint sanded away underneath it, to receive the Equipment Grounding Conductor; that was previously terminated in the small lower lug by inserting as many strands as would fit.
3) Ran a new Grounding Electrode Conductor (GEC) to the Copper underground water pipe lateral that extends back to the public water main. The GEC is connected on the street side of the main water shut off less than one foot from were it comes through the basement wall into the house. The new GEC is now connected to the small lower lug that used to have the feeder EGC partially terminated to it.
4) Separated the EGCs from the Grounded Current Carrying Conductors (Neutrals) in the panel that the feeder supplies.
5) Removed the bogus connection in the feeder supplied panel that was between the neutral buss and the interior water piping several yards away from were the water pipe enters the home.
6) Removed the bonding screws from the feeder supplied panel's neutral buss.
7) Since the service entry cable is 2/0 AWG I replaced the two hundred ampere fuses with 150 ampere fuses.
8) Removed some creatures store of nuts from the meter enclosure and installed a KO blank in the opening in the bottom of the can were the original service entry cable was before this "upgrade" was done.
9) Removed the rest of the service entry cable that was abandoned in the wall beneath the meter and filled the hole with duct seal.

I'm going to confess that I missed the absence of bonding on the nipple between the meter can and the disconnect enclosure. So let me ask for opinions on how to remedy that and the absence of a watertight connection on the disconnect end of the nipple.

I propose to install bonding locknuts on both ends of the nipple and add a sealing lock nut to the nipple on the outside of the disconnect enclosure.

For right now I'm going to have to leave the service entry cable undisturbed because the young widow that is paying the mortgage, who's husband was murdered in Iraq for cooperating with the US, cannot afford to hire a locally licensed electrician to complete the repairs. I have been doing the work thus far as a church volunteer. I cannot afford to take the money out of my families budget in order to become licensed in that state and county in order to pull a permit there. Having decreased the fuse sizes down to the existing cables ampacity I have done what I can to make this basically safe. I'm afraid I'll have to leave it there once I clear up the bonding and watertight connection issue.
Posted By: tdhorne

Re: Self Help Service Disconnect "Upgrade" - 12/19/10 06:32 AM

Quote
No ground wire on the neutral, only the bond wire that is too big to fit in the lug. connector installed inside the switch and is there a locknut on the other side. I think Service entry cable is only for underground distribution in Canuk land.
Attachment above the eaves which must be from 150 to 300 mm below the weather head. and even that might be too low for the drop. 11 1/2 feet is minimum height over an area only accessible to pedestrians.
No bonding bushings on the nipple between the meter and switch, Possible dry location connector in the top of meter base.


The connector on top of the meter enclosure is of a weather proof design and as they always do in this area VEPCO has added duct seal on top of that.
Posted By: Electrichorseman

Re: Self Help Service Disconnect "Upgrade" - 02/21/11 11:30 PM

OK I'll bite.

I see at least 5 violations.

Not enough clearance between the service entrance conductors and the low voltage utility/ sat. TV cables.

Metal conduit connecting the meter hub and the disconnect not bonded (PVC would have been a better pipe for this use)

Wires connecting the load side of the meter and the line side of the disconnect are from the SEC. These wires are only allowed for use in the cable assembly they came from. THHN/THWN conductors would have been a better wire for this use. Also, it's hard to tell from the pic, but, I would question the size of the conductors vs. the allowable conductor size of the line and load lugs on the disconnect. It's possible the cable is too large for the lugs.

That neutral block appears to be installed too close to the disconnect load side terminal. Also, the cable assembly ground doesn't fit in the lug on the neutral bar. I would question if this block is approved for the use. Overall I would ask to see the disconnect switch manufacturers installation instruction as per location and catalog # for the neutral block.

No supplemental ground (water pipe or rod) bonding taking place at the service entrance neutral bonding point.

I'd also like to see the "suitable for use as service equipment" approval on the disconnect.

Let me know how I did.

Ken C.
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