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Old 07-03-2013, 02:00 PM   #1
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200 AMP Service fed with #2 Copper!!!


I can't believe what I just found. I have been doing some investigating into possibly adding a subpanel to my 200 amp service and found some very questionable wiring. My meter is fed with 4/0 aluminum which is OK but then someone ran 2 gauge copper from the meter to my 200 amp panel!!. Now, the panel isn't very far away, but still, 2 gauge for 200 amp. Im glad I saw this before adding an additional my subpanel.
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Old 07-03-2013, 04:25 PM   #2
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200 AMP Service fed with #2 Copper!!!


Just out of curiosity, are you employed by the power company (poco) or an electrician?

If the answer is no, who gave you permission break the seal on the meter socket?

You could have opened the breaker panel to see this.

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Old 07-03-2013, 06:48 PM   #3
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200 AMP Service fed with #2 Copper!!!


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Originally Posted by Gac66610 View Post
Just out of curiosity, are you employed by the power company (poco) or an electrician?

If the answer is no, who gave you permission break the seal on the meter socket?

You could have opened the breaker panel to see this.
+1!!


You also have a grounding conductor run with the service entrance conductors. That's not right either.
At some point though someone had to have inspected this and gotten it turned on by the POCO.
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Old 07-03-2013, 07:37 PM   #4
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200 AMP Service fed with #2 Copper!!!


I simply lifted the little lever on the front of the box. There wasn't any seal preventing me from entering. I live in the county and there are no inspections. I also didn't think the ground was correct. The ground going from the main panel to the grounding rod is all that is required, correct? It simply needs to be removed from the neutral lug to be correct, yes?

Last edited by hartkem; 07-03-2013 at 07:40 PM.
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Old 07-03-2013, 07:42 PM   #5
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200 AMP Service fed with #2 Copper!!!


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Originally Posted by Speedy Petey View Post
+1!!


You also have a grounding conductor run with the service entrance conductors. That's not right either.
At some point though someone had to have inspected this and gotten it turned on by the POCO.

Not sure Speedy.... I'm certainly not Mr Code.... but we had a thread not long ago that indicated it could come off the meter or the main SE.... and even the drop.

If I understood right, code allowed either, but the POCO might further restrict it. I'll see if I can find it. It was from one of our reliable sparkies.

(I'm just a GC.... and I never had run into it.)

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Old 07-03-2013, 07:49 PM   #6
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200 AMP Service fed with #2 Copper!!!


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I simply lifted the little lever on the front of the box. There wasn't any seal preventing me from entering. I live in the county and there are no inspections. I also didn't think the ground was correct. The ground going from the main panel to the grounding rod is all that is required, correct? It simply needs to be removed from the neutral lug to be correct, yes?
Hart.... I'm a GC... not a sparky.... but AFAIK... No.

If just a ground rod, and can't prove less than 25 ohm on it, then need either a second rod, metal water pipe, or a ufer.

I believe if it's on the meter, it definately has to be to the neutral (not even the meter pan. If it's at the main, I think it's fine if on the neutral bar, but any ground bar has to be bonded to neutral (either through panel or jumper)

Hopefully, wait for confirm/correction from our sparkies.

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Old 07-03-2013, 08:28 PM   #7
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200 AMP Service fed with #2 Copper!!!


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Originally Posted by hartkem View Post
I simply lifted the little lever on the front of the box. There wasn't any seal preventing me from entering. I live in the county and there are no inspections. I also didn't think the ground was correct. The ground going from the main panel to the grounding rod is all that is required, correct? It simply needs to be removed from the neutral lug to be correct, yes?
Maybe, open your breaker box snap a photo and post it, I'm wondering if the grounds and neutrals are not bonded in the panel.

Normally poco does not let just anyone in the meter, for a couple reason, the main is safety.
If something were to short out in the meter while someone was inside it, do you know how many amps could be present?
I don't know the exact number it would depend on the KW rating of the transformer.

But with that said, yeah you have a few issues. (glad you found them)
The service wires to the panel appear to be to small, you said #2 cu, looks about right, should be 2/0 cu.
The bare wire running to the panel may be an issue, if the neutrals and grounds are bonded in the panel.
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Old 07-03-2013, 10:20 PM   #8
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200 AMP Service fed with #2 Copper!!!


I removed the main breaker panel cover. It appears the neutral and ground are bonded with a large aluminum bus bar. I attached a picture. The bare ground on the left is from the meter and the one on the right goes to my copper water supply pipe that enters my basement concrete pad

Sorry or the poor picture
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Old 07-04-2013, 04:53 PM   #9
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200 AMP Service fed with #2 Copper!!!


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Originally Posted by hartkem View Post
I can't believe what I just found. I have been doing some investigating into possibly adding a subpanel to my 200 amp service and found some very questionable wiring. My meter is fed with 4/0 aluminum which is OK but then someone ran 2 gauge copper from the meter to my 200 amp panel!!. Now, the panel isn't very far away, but still, 2 gauge for 200 amp. Im glad I saw this before adding an additional my subpanel.
To me, it appears that the grounds are just a splice between the panel and ground rod.
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Old 07-04-2013, 05:17 PM   #10
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200 AMP Service fed with #2 Copper!!!


Quote:
Normally poco does not let just anyone in the meter, for a couple reason, the main is safety.
Actually the main reason is they don't want anyone tampering with or bypassing the METER, that is why the seals I've seen on meters here say something to the effect that if it's broken there's a criminal or civil penalty and they can refuse to connect power to that house.
They just don't want someone bypassing the meter to run all the growlights and stuff for their big hidden weed farm, running up hundreds of dollars a month and not PAYING for it.
People have figured out ways to bypass such meters since they were first invented, and they'll happily risk death to try and hook a wire up to a line on a power pole even.

Quote:
If something were to short out in the meter while someone was inside it, do you know how many amps could be present?
Lotsa amps, but that's not the POCO's legal liability problem if the opener breaks the seal and gets fried.
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Old 07-05-2013, 01:08 AM   #11
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200 AMP Service fed with #2 Copper!!!


First of all you will have to fix that #2 conductor from the meter to the main breaker ( you will have to ask the POCO to tempory turn the lateral run off ) and replace that cable to proper size as 4/0 Al or 3/0 cu.

I think when you got that place and someone whom own it before and they really cheapen themself by useing #2 conductor with 200 amp breaker is useally not a very wise move.

I have see like that few time but only way it can be legit is install 100 amp breaker ( you will have to run this in reverse mode and have hold down kit add to it.) but myself I rather do it right from begin.

Merci,
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Old 07-05-2013, 08:08 AM   #12
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200 AMP Service fed with #2 Copper!!!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Speedy Petey View Post
+1!!


You also have a grounding conductor run with the service entrance conductors. That's not right either.
At some point though someone had to have inspected this and gotten it turned on by the POCO.
Depends on where they are. Here they run a ground from the meter pan to the Earth ground, then ground the main panel inside the home to a cold water pipe.

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