ECN Forum
Posted By: renosteinke The Kiosk Blog - 07/02/12 03:08 AM
A new drive-up 'coffee' kiosk is being place near me, and the installation has piqued my curiosity. In this thread, I'd like yo get a discussion going, one that goes beyond the simple 'what's wrong here' type of discussion.

Here's an overall view of the kiosk:

[Linked Image from]

I'd like to open the blog by discussing the service. Mt first question to the audience is: would you allow the kiosk to be served directly by an overhead drop, or would you treat it like a mobile home, and require a pedestal be set?

Please note that the kiosk is simply sitting on the parking lot, and is not anchored in any way.
Posted By: schenimann Re: The Kiosk Blog - 07/02/12 03:49 AM
Our local codes require it to be permanently achored and you must own the land to place a meter on a mobile home. I wouldn't think that this would meet those requirements. Also, our poco would require some kind of secondary support(wires, etc)on that mast head.

Is that a an old footing around the right side or has something been trenched in?
Posted By: renosteinke Re: The Kiosk Blog - 07/02/12 04:10 AM
The pavement has been broken, but the trench for the sewer connection has not been yet dug.

Do I understand that it it your opinion that a pedestal should have been set, and the kiosk powered from the pedestal?

If so, would you require bollards or other protection for the pedestal?
Posted By: mbhydro Re: The Kiosk Blog - 07/02/12 03:22 PM
Out here the PoCo determines the service point connection style.

Because there is an existing pole line behind (in front?} they would probably want to service it from there as shown.

If they were to do u/g from the pole (at the owners expense) they would bring the service up the side wall into the meter just like a residential or small business service.

Posted By: renosteinke Re: The Kiosk Blog - 07/03/12 01:04 AM
I am going to be drawing some references from two widely scattered locations: one in serious mountain / quake country, and another in a rural flatland on the fringe of hurricane country. If I had to, I would guess you're based in one of those heavily developed areas that simply don't want trailers, period. In any event, I'd look at more than just the NEC for guidance on this issue.

I see that Article 550 of the NEC, "Mobile Homes," does have buildings such as this one covered within its' scope (550.4). I also see that the NEC does allow for a permanent power connection (550.10A and I), and does not set any conditions (such as anchoring the building). Of interest also is that the NEC appears to limit service to 'non dwelling unit' mobile homes to 60-amps; that could be a problem for a commercial kiosk.

Yet a view of the standard of NVEnergy shows an absolute assumption that the mobile home will be powered from a pedestal. The view of NVEnergy is relevant, as their area includes Sun Valley, Nv., location of the worlds' largest mobile home park.

The NVEnergy standards also call for protective barriers (bollards) where there is a danger of impact. I don't know about landlords in your areas, but I suspect property owners get nervous when you start punching holes in the parking lot and sinking bollards. (As if that trench they're digging isn't disruptive enough!).

Personally, I don't know where I stand on the matter. That kiosk can be readily shifted about simply by a snow plow pushing piles of snow about- or a distracted driver. Then again, a fixed pole or pedestal can also be hit - and you still have to make that final connection to the kiosk.

Scheineman ... that's a good observation, and I promise that the mast will be discussed once we've decided whether any sort of permanent service is appropriate.=
Posted By: HotLine1 Re: The Kiosk Blog - 07/03/12 02:04 AM
The Garden State take....service location is a POCO decission. As it is in the pic, it must have guy wire(s) on the mast. And, our POCO does not allow the GEC into the meter pan.

As to the structure, it would be required to be secured to the terra firma That's not NEC, but building codes.

If it was a UG from the POCO (at customers expense) you would be installing bollards.

Is that anoher service drop to he pylon sign??
Posted By: renosteinke Re: The Kiosk Blog - 07/03/12 02:37 AM
Good eye, Hotline ... yes, there is another service serving the sign. The sign is not associated with the kiosk. As you may have guessed, I spent some time removing any identifying names, etc., from the picture.`

I see what you mean about the GEC. Yes, that appears to be just a meter pan, with the disco in the can to the left. I'll see if I can open things up and have a look.

(Simple fact is, it's been so long since I installed a simple meter base I've forgot they exist!)
Posted By: LarryC Re: The Kiosk Blog - 07/03/12 04:46 AM
Showing my ignorance and my age, how did they power up the Foto mats of the 60'and 70's?

Weren't they basically stand alone buildings with a service drop to them? I don't remember bollards and underground services.
Posted By: sparkyinak Re: The Kiosk Blog - 07/03/12 08:07 AM
I wouldn't classify them as a modular home or trailer. Barring, local ordinances, How would you wire in like a job trailer? Why would you have some one chop up a parking lot for a "temporary" building? Bollards only if the service was in close proximity to traffic.
Posted By: mbhydro Re: The Kiosk Blog - 07/03/12 05:13 PM
I should have added that I was thinking its no different from site offices/job trailers.

Depending on the project they can be there for years and have a service like shown in the picture.
Posted By: renosteinke Re: The Kiosk Blog - 07/03/12 05:51 PM
550.4 extends the scope of the 'mobile home' section to cover job trailers and other permanent buildings.

When I've powered a job trailer, I've set a pole for the service, and run a flexible cord to the trailer itself. I wasn't allowed to attach the service directly to the trailer. Indeed, I've never seen even a 'manufactured home' with the service attached directly to the structure.

Of course, there are plenty of things I've never seen. I've never seen electricity, but I'm pretty sure it exists laugh

Photomats very often had powerbrough to them through a conduit set either in an extremely shallow groove in the pavement (conduit not buried), or run on the surface of the pavement with a 'speed bump' made over it. Sometimes they were simply added on to the parking lot light circuit frown Then again, in those days all they had was a light and a fan.

So far .... we seem to have a draw. Half seem to think the fixed service is OK, and half want the building anchored first.
Posted By: HotLine1 Re: The Kiosk Blog - 07/04/12 02:17 AM
Construction trailers are the same here, temp pole, and an Article 300 wiring method to the trailer.

Mfg homes/mobile homes are fed from a meter location, trenched usually with PVC conduit.

One of the last Fotomats I disconnected had its feeder pulled thru the site lighting conduits.
Posted By: renosteinke Re: The Kiosk Blog - 07/04/12 01:55 PM
As several have pointed out, that mast just doesn't look right. I've even heard a reference to Jack and his beanstalk laugh. Here's a close-up:

[Linked Image from]

It appears that there is nearly eight feet of mast above the roof deck. There are threads under the weatherhead (it was fun watching them try to install the weatherhead over the coupling), and that is a complete, uncut length of pipe. To be honest, with this location being in a parking lot, I'm in favor of raising that connection as high as possible.

The local PoCo standard reads: "Guying or bracing may be required, see NEC 230.28." The artwork shows a maximum of five feet of mast above the roof deck (and not the peak).

The NEC simply says: "Where a service mast
is used for the support of service-drop conductors, it shall
be of adequate strength or be supported by braces or guys
to withstand safely the strain imposed by the service drop."

Well, there ... that clears things up. Yea, sure it does - as clear as mud.

For comparison, another utility's standard reads:
"Periscope to be installed in accordance with NEC Article #230. Periscope structures projecting
over 30" above the roof must be braced against the normal pull (see Section 4.0) of the service
drop conductors. Larger conductor or longer spans may also require bracing. Bracing, when
required, shall consist of two galvanized steel members installed at approximately 90 spread.
Minimum size brace shall be 1-1/4" x 1-1/4" x 1/8" galvanized steel angle. Periscope bracing shall
be anchored through sub-roof with minimum 3/8" galvanized carriage bolts."
Now, that's more definite!

Considering the direction of the drop, I think that's the way to do it - with rigid bracing, rather than guy wires. Considering the arrangement of the building, you can't get that 90-degree spread, but I'd certainly want something.

To put it in perspective ... in this area I have seen masts made from 1-1/4" RMC with permanent bends caused by the weight of ice from storms - and this location is in the South, not far from Memphis. Not an area known for harsh winters.
Posted By: Yoopersup Re: The Kiosk Blog - 07/08/12 11:18 PM
Try 2008 NEC 344.30 (a).
Wouldn't tieing to the Utility company be a termination! Thus
36 inches & over support (Guy wire ) required.
Posted By: renosteinke Re: The Kiosk Blog - 07/09/12 12:28 AM
A very good contribution, Yoopersup!

I would also point out similar language was added in 2011 to Article 342.30(A), referring to IMC.

That is, in brief, the requirements are for support within:
1) 36";
2) Where structural members are not present, within 60"; and,
3) Specifically not to require support within 36" of the weatherhead.

Interesting that both PoCo standards I referenced missed this detail.

How to support the mast? I have found two commercially available bracket kits.

One type is for rigid support, and is designed to work together with 3/4" pipe as the structural members. Considering the wording of the one PoCo standard (which referenced angle iron), I'd say that EMT is not adequate.

The other comes with some extremely light duty stainless aircraft cable.

IMO, the installation above would require the use of a rigid support method.

One matter that concerns me is the PoCo specification for carriage bolts. In my experience, it it is almost never possible to access the underside of the roof deck, or to even find the framing members. Both of the commercial kits I've used came complete with 5/16" lag bolts.

While extreme at this job site, the lack of support of service masts seems to be quite common.
Posted By: gfretwell Re: The Kiosk Blog - 07/09/12 01:34 AM
I don't have a problem with the service if the building is tied down but that mast is very troubling when you look at the length of pipe going into the hub vs the height above the roof. That is a heluva lever. I would want to see it supported in two axis. (the line pull and the lateral forces from wind)
Posted By: harold endean Re: The Kiosk Blog - 07/09/12 02:11 PM
I think you might be able to call it a "Temporary" site as long as it follows the rules of 590 of the NEC?


Is there a ground rod? Then maybe it is attached to the earth. Kinda sorta? smile
Posted By: harold endean Re: The Kiosk Blog - 07/09/12 02:14 PM
I hope that green sticker isn't permanent, it is crooked! Your ye will tend to go and look at the crooked sticker.
Posted By: renosteinke Re: The Kiosk Blog - 07/09/12 02:19 PM
Oddly enough, the ground rod is one of several details I'll be expanding upon. Not that I object to the arrangement; just that it's done a little differently than I would have done it.

Instead of the usual "it's wrong" sort of declarations - I don't see anything outrageous in this kiosk - I thought I'd try to get a thread going that actually discussed the various alternatives, issues, and regional practices.

That's what really caught my eye: that the details of this job are so different from what I would have done.

I also see this as a good chance to -again- reference standards besides just the NEC.

I'd like to give folks a bit more opportunity to discuss the service mast ... then I'll post some ground rod pics- OK?
Posted By: renosteinke Re: The Kiosk Blog - 07/09/12 02:27 PM
Harold, let's look at your suggestion, that we consider this as 'temporary.' Would that have changed anything about this service?

You also raise a good point: just what constitutes anchoring the kiosk to the ground? Do we need a slab with anchor bolts every few feet ... or would a couple tent pegs be enough?

Though 'anchoring' the service is a good point. After all, tap that kiosk and it will move - with the service drop immediately responding to the impact. While a pedestal is not proof against impact, at least a stiff breeze won't send it skittering across the parking lot.
Posted By: gfretwell Re: The Kiosk Blog - 07/09/12 05:38 PM
In Florida there would be augers every 4 or 5 feet around the perimeter, screwed about 4 feet in the ground with flukes about 5" in diameter. These require 1.5" straps that go over the building to the auger on the other side.

You even need that on a back yard shed.

As Ron White says, "it is not THAT the wind is blowing, it is WHAT the wind is blowing.
You don't want that kiosk tumbling up to your house/store/car at 50-60 MPH.
Posted By: HotLine1 Re: The Kiosk Blog - 07/09/12 07:47 PM
Interesting point to add:

Per PSE&G Green Book (POCO REquirements)

Unguyed service mast is acceptable with a max height above 'highest support' to the point of attachment for size 2/0 or smaller service drop wires....

2" conduit, max height 2 feet
2-1/2" conduit, max height 4 feet
3" conduit, max height 7 feet

note 5: When back guying is required for heights exceeding those listed above, the following requirements shall apply:
- Guy shall be securely fastened to anchored stud
- Guy wire shall be minimum 1/4" galv. wire.
PSE&G assumes no responsibility for building damage associated with this type of construction.

That's a CYA for sure!

On the drawing (Exibit 4) a Minimum of two (2) supports (straps) are required above the meter pan 'with 1/2" machine thru bolts through wall studs; capable of withstanding a 1000 lb horizontal pull.

I'll see if I can scan the pages from the book soon.

Book is 2005, so there may be some changes. Mast services are not common in my twp.

Posted By: renosteinke Re: The Kiosk Blog - 07/09/12 08:18 PM
HotLine, those are interesting requirements; are they ever enforced?

I did a service recently, where I mounted the pan on strut specifically so I could get the lags into studs, and not just siding. In most circumstances, I don't know how you could locate the studs, under the sheathing and the siding. In my case, the inside wall was opened up. Even so, I used only 1/4" lag bolts.

Other trade forums have expressed very strong, negative opinions regarding strut on houses; it is felt to be ugly.

For our kiosk, I don't see where you could place two straps - unless it was acceptable to place them right next to each other.

Just for the sake of illustration, here's a picture of a mast with guy wire support. A commercially prepared 'kit' was used, and that cable is a lot smaller than 1/4":

[Linked Image from]
Posted By: renosteinke Re: The Kiosk Blog - 07/09/12 08:26 PM
By the way, as a side note ... I'd like to illustrate two equivalent ways of doing this service: the "East Coast" and the "West Coast" way.

The kiosk uses the "East Coast" way, where the meter pan / disconnect is apart from the panel:

[Linked Image from]

Especially for a smaller service such as this one, I personally prefer the "West Coast" practice of using an "All in One." That's where the same can contains the meter, disconnect, and branch circuit breakers. This one has ten spaces under the lower half of the cover:

[Linked Image from]
Posted By: HotLine1 Re: The Kiosk Blog - 07/09/12 08:49 PM
The POCO requirements are the responsibility of the POCO wiring inspectors; they do enforce. As I said, masts are not common in my Twp.

In the last 10 years, I have only seen two (2) 'all in ones' here. For whatever reasoning, they are not used.

I'm going to scan that POCO pages tonite.
Posted By: HotLine1 Re: The Kiosk Blog - 07/10/12 01:26 PM
Here is a link to the PSE&G spec book on line.

Mast install is on page 104 & 105 of the PDF file.

This link is the whole spec book. It's the 205 edition, but there are amendments.
Posted By: renosteinke Re: The Kiosk Blog - 07/15/12 06:36 PM
In the picture of the All-in-One, some have wondered about the gizmo on the top of the can:

[Linked Image from]

This is the "intersystem bonding termination." That is, a place for the phone guy to land his ground wire.

This particular version is made by T&B, and self-clamps to the can. A more common version is the type used on this kiosk:

[Linked Image from]

With the 2011 NEC, section 250.94 requires such a provision. It's worth a close look at 250.96.

As I read it, at least, there's no requirement that that you use a listed gizmo for the connection, or that the connection be made to the EGC. It appears that a simply length of free #6 wire (how would you support or anchor it?)would suffice, as would simply mounting a ground buss to the outside of the can.
Posted By: renosteinke Re: The Kiosk Blog - 07/15/12 06:46 PM
Since we're talking about the ground, or EGC ....

As you can see in the earlier pictures, the kiosk appears to use a #4 bare copper wire, in PVC conduit. Here's the termination at the rod end:

[Linked Image from]

How local practices differ! I would not have done it anything like that - as I am accustomed to running the EGC in EMT. Here's an example of how I expect a rod connection to appear:

[Linked Image from]

(Picture was taken before hole was filled in).

I must admit that running a simple wire to an acorn sure does look a lot easier.

Some might have concerns about this ground rod being vulnerable to damage, or posing a trip hazard. To be fair, I don't see this as an issue; it's placed such that one is not likely to encounter it. The electrician was there probably before the plumber tore up the pavement ... though I agree it would have been better for the rod to be completely buried.

Regarding the lack of mushrooming on either rod pictured:
The kiosk's rod is in soil that allows for an exceptionally easy driving of the rod; there is very likely an entire 8-ft of rod there.
The other rod pictured was set in a dug hole, a hole used to place a pole, and backfilled. No 'driving' was necessary. Indeed, the rod is partly encased in the concrete of the post footing.
Posted By: gfretwell Re: The Kiosk Blog - 07/15/12 07:19 PM
This is a picture of the typical service I saw in the DC area (Taken in Alexandria Va a week or so ago)

[Linked Image from]
Posted By: HotLine1 Re: The Kiosk Blog - 07/15/12 07:55 PM

The types of IBT devices that mount on the meter pans are not allowed by POCO (PSE&G). Neither is any ground conductors alowed in the meter pan, or passing thru it.

The majority of grd rods are terminated with the acorn clamp; the conduit methods are rare.

Posted By: gfretwell Re: The Kiosk Blog - 07/15/12 08:32 PM
That just shows the difference on PoCos. FPL likes the ground electrode in the meter can.
I agree PVC has become the EGC protection of choice lately but the old City hub with EMT makes a better installation. Most of the fault current will go down the EMT anyway.
Posted By: renosteinke Re: The Kiosk Blog - 07/16/12 12:55 PM
HotLine, you're jogging my memory ...

I vaguely recall recently seeing a rule somewhere - could it have been in the NEC itself? - that frowned upon the various devices that we've seen used by the phone and cable guys to attach their grounds to the ground can. I almost recall the rule mentioning something about not interfering with opening the can, etc.

The T&B gizmo, with the multiple terminals, might be exempt from such a rule; it is listed as an IBT.
Posted By: gfretwell Re: The Kiosk Blog - 07/16/12 06:33 PM
For a while in the 2000s the standard was just stubbing out a #4 through the wall here but after the code change they started using a terminal block. It may be screwed to the meter can or it may just be attached to the wall. Prior to that, everyone who was actually being responsible, attached to the ground rod. Satellite companies are the worst and most STILL drive that 3' rod for their dish, calling it done.
Posted By: renosteinke Re: The Kiosk Blog - 07/16/12 10:46 PM
I wouldn't have focused on these details, save for one set of circumstances ...

Back in the 60's we were happy with any sort of wire going to a ground rod. Them a series of pictures in the IAEI News led to ever-increasing wire sizes.

The problem? Damage from lawn mowers and weed-whackers. Until, ultimately, many places started requiring the EGC be #4 solid wire.

Then, all of a sudden, it was noticed in many places that the wires were missing. It was speculated that, at some unknown time, some unknown person had salvaged the copper. Sound familiar? So, the solution was to now require the wire to be run in conduit.

Well, inflation is hard on all. The copper thief lobby, feeling the pinch of higher living expenses in this down economy, was successful in requiring that we now have TWO ground rods- meaning more copper wire to steal. This helps offset the loss of opportunity as folks switch to concealed UFER electrodes.

(Believe the last paragraph, and I'll tell you another one! laugh )

In a related development, the code whizards suddenly discovered that folks have telephones in their homes, and that the phone system needs a ground attachment. It is only pure irony that this discovery was made at a time when folks are 'cutting the cord' with the traditional phone system, opting for cell phones alone. Well, there's still cable and dish TV - oops, there's Netflix and Redbox. OK, there's internet service - oops, some places are installing community-wide wireless access.

So, now we are required to furnish some means to ground these auxilliary wires. Most of the available gizmos attach to the #4 EGC .... that's inaccessible, since it's in pipe. If the wire is accessable to the phone guy, it's available to the thief.

I'd say 'just stub out a short piece of wire for the LV guys,' except I am not really looking forward to buying a 'Kenny clamp.' .

Have we gone full circle .... or painted ourselves into a corner? laugh
Posted By: gfretwell Re: The Kiosk Blog - 07/17/12 02:49 AM
It has always been necessary to ground phone systems, just because of lightning. When people get killed on the phone, I suspect the grounding was not done correctly. The same is true about people getting killed in the shower or any of the other lightning stories you hear.

When we started hanging electronics on these services, cross connecting phone, cable TV and power, it became necessary to concentrate on inter system grounding but that should have happened 2 decades ago. Computer people certainly knew about it by the early 80s.

You can't let thieves rule your life. Mount things to make them hard to steal and get on with your life. I still like the "turned up rebar" ufer as a good compromise between safety and theft prevention. The copper doesn't get installed until the house is ready to be closed up.
Posted By: Texas_Ranger Re: The Kiosk Blog - 07/17/12 01:32 PM
Could you use other materials?
In Europe, grounding systems are often galvanised or stainless steel up to a terminal box above ground, usually set into an exterior wall of the house. Connections from the rod are commonly 8 or 10mm diameter steel wire, rods are often steel too. Copper rods exist, but seem to be much less common.
Posted By: renosteinke Re: The Kiosk Blog - 07/17/12 05:23 PM
Texas, we are pretty much required to use a copper wire.

The rod itself is almost always steel- though the copper cladding makes it look like it's made of cooper.

What is copper cladding? Simple: a copper tube is heated up to expand it, a steel rod is inserted, and the copper shrinks to the rod as it cools. This is much more copper than you would get by simply plating the rods. How are the ends sealed? I don't know.

We have galvanized steel rods, stainless steel rods ... indeed, most any material can be used for a rod. The copper clad steel rod is by far the most common.
Posted By: gfretwell Re: The Kiosk Blog - 07/17/12 07:15 PM
The code says you need copper within 18" of the ground and the GEC is generally supposed to be unspliced with very few exceptions.
That means the wire to a rod will be copper.
The easiest solution is to use a PVC raceway and terminate the whole thing below grade. Not many thieves are going to willing to dig and rip out a raceway for a half buck's worth of copper. If your area is really that hard core, run it in RMC to a city hub below grade. In that situation the copper is really redundant anyway. The fault current will go down the pipe.
Posted By: harold endean Re: The Kiosk Blog - 07/25/12 02:46 AM

I saw another crooked green sticker. smile

© ECN Electrical Forums