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Old 01-06-2008, 11:20 AM   #16
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Is this a 120V setup?


A drip loop is a physically formed U shaped slack curve in the wire to keep rain water from going into the wall or into the service entrance conduit.

POCO: short for power company.

Service drop: Connection from utility pole or wires to customer location (home, etc) as if to "drop electrons into the house" given that the wire attachment on the pole is usually higher above ground than the attachment to the house.

Long ago, the two hots and the neutral hung separately from the utility pole to the house, hence the three insulator bracket at the service entrance.

The service entrance looks perfectly okay except for the thin wires tapping off of it.

While it would seem a simple matter to clip off the taps using dikes (pliers with just cutting jaws that usually make a slanted or diagonal cut across the wire), extreme precautions need to be made to not get electrocuted as there is no way to shut off the power first. With no load connected to those wires, no spark will occur as a wire is severed. The typical homeowner will save that job for an electrician.

Can you post a picture of the "triangle"? I'm curious as to how live wires could be attached to an object only about an inch in size without leaving some exposed live metal. Any evidence such as screw holes in the vicinity that might suggest what may have been installed there such as a second meter for a water heater whose hours of operation were monitored and controlled by the power company?


Last edited by AllanJ; 01-07-2008 at 11:43 AM.
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Old 01-06-2008, 12:08 PM   #17
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Is this a 120V setup?


Sorry I didn't mean to sound like you needed to jump up there and fix anything. I was just commenting that the formation of the drip loop could have been better. There are several homes of that era that have the meter hung on the outside of the garage in my area and then have rather long runs of service entrance to the breaker panels or fuse panels. Where you can have some issues is when you want to do an upgrade from 100 amp or less to a larger service like 200 amps. Most of the time everything has to change so that all those long runs of service entrance from the drop connection to the meter then to the panel are shortened. This usually requires changing the meter location or building a mast and hanging a new
meter can. The biggest issue they have is any long runs of service entrance from the meter to the main panel.
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Old 01-06-2008, 12:40 PM   #18
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Is this a 120V setup?


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Originally Posted by twilightcall View Post
The taps are connected to some kind of ------"triangle"-----. It is about 1 inch high and wide. The tap wires don't go into the house. Like I said I don't know the history. This is a property we are purchasing.

What is POCO?

Have you purchased the property yet or still in the process of buying it?

Can you post a photo of the "triangle"?
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Old 01-06-2008, 03:15 PM   #19
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Is this a 120V setup?


Heh heh....SOMBODY is stealing power.

Not to stealthy. I wonder how long it's been tapped? Blind meter reader?


Post a pic of the panel. The wires comin in are 240 but who knows WHAT is on the end of that mess


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The service entrance looks perfectly okay except for the thin wires tapping off of it.


What the.....????

You have much lower standards the I do. That thing is a mess. It looks like its about an inch from the rain gutter and unless its a 2 story house it's only 8' high. That type of attachment point looks like circa late 1940's

Last edited by 220/221; 01-06-2008 at 03:20 PM.
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Old 01-06-2008, 03:44 PM   #20
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Is this a 120V setup?


Thanks guys. I don't have a picture of the triangle but I can go take one of it. Maybe I can get a pic tomorrow. I haven't closed on the house yet.
I am starting to get a little scared after reading about all of the problems just at the service entrance.

Is the sevice entrance in that bad of shape? Does it need to be redone immediately?

What happens when the service entrance is too close to the rain gutter? Will the wires short out? Does it need a new service entrance that is raised like on newer homes?

The wires going to the meter and to the box are quite long.

I can post a picture of the wires that are leaving the breaker box.

Is the Power company responsible up to the meter or to the service entrance?
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Old 01-06-2008, 03:47 PM   #21
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Is this a 120V setup?


Here is a pic of the wires leaving the box. I don't have a key to the property so I can't open the door to where the breaker box is.
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Is this a 120V setup?-w2.jpg  
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Old 01-06-2008, 03:59 PM   #22
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Is this a 120V setup?


Twilight,

I wouldn't let the opinions of a bunch of crazy bored electricians dictate whethter you buy the house. There are millions of crappy service entrances out there that never get scrutiny like one that you post in a forum. Have you had a REPUTABLE home inspector look at the place?
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Old 01-06-2008, 04:43 PM   #23
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Is this a 120V setup?


The inspection is going to take place this week or early next week. This is my first house and I am a little scared. I want to be completely prepared. I have waited a long time for this and I don't want to buy a peice of junk. I am getting a full home inspection and a pest and termite inspection.

I just thought I would post here with some questions and try to learn. I am a DIY but I don't have a lot of experience in home repair. I have replaced hot water heaters, dishwashers, replaced some electrical items, etc but nothing like rewiring a house etc.

I want you guys to be honest with me but I can't gauge how serious this is since I don't have a lot of experience in home electrical. I have been reading many books and I am trying to comprehend as much as possible. I greatly appreciate all of the help that I have received.

Would it help if I built a little cover (roof) for the service entrance to protect it from water? Thanks.

Stubbie do you think I will need to upgrade to a 200A panel in the future? It is a 1000 Square Foot House. I plan on having central heat and air put in but I don't plan to run too many heavy loads. Washer, Dryer, Water Heater, Range, a few tvs and Dvd players.

Last edited by twilightcall; 01-06-2008 at 04:47 PM.
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Old 01-06-2008, 04:57 PM   #24
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Is this a 120V setup?


I guarantee the H-I will call that service out as defective or inadequate. H-I's love this sort of stuff. It gives them something to call out.
Let them tell you the service needs to be looked at by an electrician. From the looks of it it WILL need to be replaced very soon.
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Old 01-06-2008, 05:12 PM   #25
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Is this a 120V setup?


Dude, the whole thing is a mess.

Tell them you want a $2000 allowance for repairs.
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Old 01-06-2008, 05:16 PM   #26
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Is this a 120V setup?


Will $2K cover the service entrance and running new wires to the meter and panel?
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Old 01-06-2008, 05:31 PM   #27
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Is this a 120V setup?


You can have the current home owners repair or replace the service before you buy this house. The inspector should catch this and if not bring it up to his attention and if he doesn't say anything about this i would question his quality.
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Old 01-06-2008, 07:32 PM   #28
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Is this a 120V setup?


Quote:
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Will $2K cover the service entrance and running new wires to the meter and panel?
Depending on your location $2k should be a fair compromise.
The seller is NOT compelled to do anything.
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Old 01-06-2008, 07:38 PM   #29
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Is this a 120V setup?


A) I WANNA SEE the triangle thingy

B) I am starting to suspect a hoax.
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Old 01-06-2008, 08:11 PM   #30
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Is this a 120V setup?


100 amps will be pretty challenged if you have electric central heat and electric water heater, range, etc... I would have to believe the home inspector is going to write that service entrance so I would just wait and see and maybe tell him you want him to take a good look at the electrical. Then see if the sellers will comply with any repairs. With the housing market in the trenches I would think if they are smart they would take care of it. You cant really ask for an upgrade but you might want to work a compromise out with the sellers. A lot of times the sellers don't have the money till after you close but do not take an allowance on the selling price . You want cash. That is immediate help if your on a tight budget. Most people are when buying their first home. I do not see anything that would keep me from buying the place as far as that service entrance. It doesn't in my opinion appear to be done by the poco or an electrician it looks like DIY to me or as I said someone that was drunk. Meaning it is very poor workmanship.

The cables that I can see in your photo are just old pitched tar cloth cables and should not be a problem unless those cables are exposed to the elements.

Do you know if the branch circuit wiring cables have grounding wires or is it two wire no ground?

You can usually tell this if the receptacles are 2 prong with no ground pin hole. But you have to be careful cause homeowners often install 3 prong grounding type receptacles when there really is no ground present. The era of that home would be likely to not have a ground in the cables. Talk this over with the inspector. This isn't a reason to not buy the house but is something you should be aware of as some equipment like surge protectors need a ground. It is impossible to go over all the things to look for... that's why you hire a home inspector and it still is no guarantee that all issues will be pointed out.

As Speedy said the sellers are not obligated to do a darn thing so I would wait until after the inspection to see what issues the H-I finds and how cooperative the sellers are to addressing them. But I will bet that if you make it clear to the sellers that the sale is in jeopardy without some effort to meet you at least half way they will come around. I do not feel that electrical issues should stop you from buying. Old plumbing that is in bad shape, foundation problems that sort of thing are sale stoppers.


Last edited by Stubbie; 01-06-2008 at 08:18 PM.
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