Hi folks, I need a bit of clarification on the code for a service relocation.
It's been a number of years since I have worked in the electrical trade, (I'm an Electronics Engineering Technician now) but I've always worked to code when I worked in the trade. The majority of my work was commercial/maintenance electrical, so I didn't do too much residential and am not fully familiar with some of the current residential code nuances.
My step-father needs a residential elevator/lift installed, and the only viable location happens to drop it straight in front of their service panel. (Isn’t that always the way?) I advised him that this wouldn't be safe since the elevator would be an obstruction in front of the panel (a clearance of only 4", not to mention a safety hazard if emergency access was needed) and so I have offered to move the panel for him. (plus it's an old fuse box, so an upgrade would be timely) I won't be increasing the service size though, 100A is fine for his needs.
If I recall correctly, code allows a maximum 5' of interior movement on the mains from the point they enter the house. This shouldn't be a problem, and 4' should put me just outside the range of the elevator so that I have my 3' of code required ‘working clearance’ in front of the new panel.
I'm assuming that I can just secure a solid piece of pressure treated 3/4" plywood onto the concrete blocks (it's in a basement) and then mount the new panel directly on top without need to use an additional moisture barrier on the wall. (the block is in good condition and there are no leaks)
My code-related questions are:
-When running the new pipe to the new panel, am I allowed to replace existing pipe BELOW the meter socket (it's an overhead service) without being required to replace the entire mast?
-When making the pipe run from outside to inside the house, am I allowed to use a pull elbow on the inside wall considering the elbow and pipe run will be enclosed inside a wall when complete? (the panel will be recessed in a wall that will be studded out from the concrete blocks - I can/will use nail shields on studs where required) I am aware that it will all need to be open for inspection, but does a pull elbow need to remain accessible inside?
-There is a gas main on the outside wall, which prevents me from running the pipe on the outside wall and then in. (If I recall correctly, code requires a minimum 1 meter clearance from any outside electrical installation to the gas vent on the meter, right?) In any case, is there a problem with a gas line running inside in an area about 2' above where the new panel will be placed? (it will be in a ceiling joist, and ceiling will be enclosed)
-I had planned to run a new ground wire, and the current ground is to the cold water pipe where it enters from outside in an adjoining room. If I run a new ground will I be forced to put in a secondary form of ground protection to comply with changes to the code? (if I recall correctly, new installations are no longer allowed to use cold water pipes for primary grounding because of the growing use of plastic pipes right?)
-This service has an old style 'flat rate hot water' feed in the existing disconnect (which is sealed of course), and so I'm also curious if I can pull it back to the meter base, cap it, and leave it there? (The feed obviously won’t be long enough to relocate) Or will I have to pull it back up the mast and cap it there?
This job will be a tight fit, but I always work to code, and so I’ll need/want this to pass ESA inspection when all is said and done.
Off topic, it's unfortunate that the Ontario code isn't available online. (my old copy is over a decade out of date) I would think that while it is necessary to charge for paper copies, there really shouldn’t be a charge for electronic copies. I’d love to see the code in more hands since I often see/hear about people doing sub-standard work, and with freely available code there would be no excuse for this. Anyways, don’t mind my babbling. :-)
If the service entrance conduit is in good mechanical condition, then you will not be required to change the load side conduit from the meter base.
Answer to Question #2:
LB Fitting must remain accessible during and after installation.
Answer to Question #3:
Where a gas meter is installed within a building, electrical equipment shall not be installed within 900 mm of the meter. For electrical equipment installed outdoors, it is permissible to install electrical equipment within 1m of a gas meter provided it is at least 1m from any discharge point on a pressure release device.
Answer to Question #4:
Today, an increasing number of installations are supplied by plastic water pipe systems.
The following procedures may be followed to ensure adequate grounding for the electrical system:
Where there is no assurance that metal water pipes exist extending at least 3.0 metres beyond the extremities of the building, an artificial grounding electrode meeting the requirements of Rule 10-702 shall be installed.
The well casing shall not be used as a ground electrode. However, where there is metal well casing for a well containing a submersible pump, the casing is to be bonded to ground in accordance with Bulletin 10-16-*.
This decision has been made after an expression of concern from the Ministry of the Environment.
Water Meters, and Removable Unions in Water Piping Used as a System Ground Conductor Subrule 10-902(1) requires that where the grounding electrode is a metal water piping system the grounding connection be made on the street side of the water meter or as near as practicable to the point where the water service enters the building.
It will not always be possible to make a connection in an ideal location, and there is a safety concern for anyone disconnecting any part of the piping system if there is a fault on the electrical system.
Questions have arisen about relying on the electrical continuity through water meters, and mechanical removable couplings in the grounding path of a meter or coupling.
Water Meters A bond across the meter is required where the metal water piping on the customer side of the meter is used as part of the electrical system ground electrode. Water meters are considered as not providing permanent electrical continuity.
Answer to Question #5:
Check with the local utility in the area to see if the flat rate electric water heater conductors are still required for new/upgraded/or altered services.
If flat-rate water heater conductors are to be connected to the meter socket either separate wire connectors or a wiring terminal kit shall be provided for this purpose.
These connectors shall accommodate up to a No. 10 AWG copper, or a No. 8 AWG aluminum conductor.
Wiring terminal kits for the connection of flat-rate water heater conductors and subfeed load conductors shall be designed so that (a) each kit can be installed without disassembly of factory-assembled parts (other than those parts normally disassembled for installation and wiring) and without the use of a special tool unless such a tool and instructions for its use are furnished with each kit;
(b) with the kit installed, spacings will be maintained; and
(c) the kits are marked in accordance with Clause 5.2.
Tony Moscioni Electrical Inspector Electrical Safety Authority