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#28910 - 09/04/03 01:06 PM Meter Cans and the Power Co.  
ALWIRE  Offline
Junior Member
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 6
Aurora, CO, USA
When you must move/replace the meter can, do most EC's work it hot or call the power co. to shut off the power?
Just trying to get an idea of how this is usually handled.

Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades

#28911 - 09/04/03 02:45 PM Re: Meter Cans and the Power Co.  
ThinkGood  Offline
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 1,081
Milwaukee, WI
First, I'm not an electrician. Second, I'm in New Jersey. That said...

From the few electricians I've spoken with around here, "by the time the POCO comes out..." I've seen them wire the meters while hot.

I have yet to see PPE used, except for when I did see someone from the POCO "cutting" my neighbor's new service after it was already installed. He had gloves and glasses. I'm not sure if more than that is called for on a residential meter.

I'm sure the others on the board here will have more information for you. Meanwhile, does anybody recall where the photo is of the meter that arc flashed?

#28912 - 09/04/03 03:08 PM Re: Meter Cans and the Power Co.  
sparky  Offline
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 5,311
I usually cut an OH service, then do my work , why work it hot if you don't need to...?

This is contrary to poco rules, so i've researched the state laws here to make sure i'm ok, which i am

#28913 - 09/04/03 03:33 PM Re: Meter Cans and the Power Co.  
Bjarney  Offline
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 2,527
West-Southern Inner-Northeast ...
Acceptable meter-socket models and their various distribution modes seem to be an intensely regional practice. The only aspect that offsets this variable a bit is that most large and a growing number of smaller utilities {of which there are no slight number in the US} are publishing their policies/specs at their websites.

{Read on only if you’re really, really bored…} There is one industry-standardization group Out West, but even within “EUSERC” the variety of drawings and specs for sockets above a residential 200-amp form-2S can be vast.

It is worth noting that typically a 'cold turkey' call to a utility meter department will guarantee strict “by trained stuntmen only“ orders that seals, meters and service-drop/-lateral conductors are not to be touched by non-utility personnel, but if you’re one of their established/local “good ol' boy” contractors, the practice is condoned and sometimes expected by them.

OTOH, way back when I remember one utility feigning convulsions while threatening to call the National Guard, Mental Hospital and Governor’s Office for doing the same. [They were also indeed most uncooperative and non-committal about responding to a disconnect and reconnect for a bonehead farmhouse service change. They were, however, good for sometimes leaving behind a very cool “Salisbury Joint Paste Pot,” canvas bucket or an occasional wood-handled Burndy MD-6 press, but if you wanted to get a service knob or a PG connector from them, you had to drive to their corporation yard on the opposite end of the county with a minimum 2-pound can of coffee as barter.]

[This message has been edited by Bjarney (edited 09-04-2003).]

#28914 - 09/04/03 04:06 PM Re: Meter Cans and the Power Co.  
ALWIRE  Offline
Junior Member
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 6
Aurora, CO, USA
Also, does the POCO generally charge to upgrade their wires to handle service upgrades in your jurisdiction? Here is CO, they're telling us $800-$1000 to upgrade their wires?

#28915 - 09/04/03 08:26 PM Re: Meter Cans and the Power Co.  
Electric Eagle  Offline
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 914
Alpharetta, GA
There are occasions that we cut the tag and pull the meter, such as an emergency panel replacement.

Our Poco's don't charge for service upgrades, but they rarely upgrade their wire. If we upgrade someone to underground from overhead they will charge.

#28916 - 09/04/03 09:00 PM Re: Meter Cans and the Power Co.  
sparky  Offline
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 5,311
ALWIRE, i suggest you do a little research into what i assume is poco competition, most states have legislative issues on line

example, Vermont Statues Annotated.......

Title 13, Chap 081, #3784 of the VSA....

3784. Interfering with meters
A person, other than an authorized agent or employee acting for the owner, manufacturer or operator thereof, who maliciously opens, closes, breaks into or in any manner adjusts or interferes with a meter, or other regulating or measuring device or appliance attached to or connected with wires, pipe lines, mains, service pipes or house pipes owned or used by a manufacturer or furnisher of electricity, gas, or water shall be imprisoned not more than three months or fined not more than $100.00, or both.

#28917 - 09/04/03 09:33 PM Re: Meter Cans and the Power Co.  
HotLine1  Offline

Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 6,864
Brick, NJ USA
Overhead resi and comm up to 400 amp, 3 phase, we cut at the drop, do what is necessary, and then re-connect.

All of the above is done after a permit is obtained, and the utility is notified.

Meter can seals we cut, after advising the utility.

Upon approval of inspection by the town, a cut-in card is issued to the utility, and they re-seal and install their crimps on the drop.

Wait for the POCO; don't hold your breath around here. (Bless the deregulation)



#28918 - 09/04/03 09:57 PM Re: Meter Cans and the Power Co.  
Ryan_J  Offline
Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 1,374
West Jordan, Utah, USA
Heres the part that drives me nuts. As already mentioned, the POCO rarely upsizes their service entrance conductors. That being said lets take this scenario: Existing 100A service gets changed to a 200A. New meter is installed, new panel, new breakers, yadda yadda yadda. What is unfortunate is that 250.66 (GEC sizing) is driven by the size of service entrance conductors. If the POCO doesn't change their wires, the electrician doesn't have to change the grounding electrode conductors. This would bother me if I paid for a service change...

Ryan Jackson,
Salt Lake City

#28919 - 09/05/03 06:24 PM Re: Meter Cans and the Power Co.  
targetshootr  Offline
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 55
in nc, our local poco is immune from a lot of the code also. made me nuts when i first found out.

did a generator panel recently where they originally ran TWO underground runs of 350mcm/al into the ct cabinet on a 5000 sq ft house with gas heat. of course on an upgrade, they dont upgrade much if anything.

to the original question, i never have and never will kill anything on the line side of a meter. but i pull meters all the time and have no qualms about it.

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