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Old 04-17-2008, 12:45 PM   #1
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Cant believe the utility company


So thanks to everyone on here that helped me pass my inspection for my 200amp panel upgrade. No problems there.
The problem came when the utility (www.sce.com) company came out and dissconnected my orginal 1950's 100 amp panel and added extensions (2foot of wire) to the existing wiring from the power pole the new riser to hook up the same wires on my new 200amp panel.
I ended up running 3/0 copper in my riser maybe 10ft (could have went with 2/0). They have some aluminum wire half the size being used from the pole 30-40ft to my riser.
The pole is in my back yard in the corner. So its not like they had to run a long run of wire, from some hard place to get to. Its right there. I cant believe it.
Well I picked up the sample they had cut off floor. Im trying to figure out the size of the wire. It has to be maybe 2 guage aluminum if that.
The old panel had some larger copper wire probley 1/0. Which was already alot larger then the wires running to the riser. And now with my 3/0 wiring its like attaching a kite string to a climbers rope.

So after all this wineing, is this normal or should I be on the phone yelling at the paco? At not only at the size but the splicing wiring thats to short, to make it reach. Thanks JIM


Last edited by integlikewhoa; 04-17-2008 at 01:15 PM.
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Old 04-17-2008, 01:07 PM   #2
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Sounds strange, but remember that the utility company considers that their gear. The weatherhead, rigid pipe, wire, and meter can are not yours even though you probably paid for them and installed them. The utility companies make up their own rules and standards for their work, but I'd love to see a picture of what you're talking about just to be sure I understand what you're saying. Sounds a little fishy, but not quite clear.

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Old 04-17-2008, 01:17 PM   #3
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Cant believe the utility company


There are different requirements for the POCO equipment. Think about it, their wire is surrounded by air and the heat dissapates quickly and easily and the air won't burn so the wire can get to a higher temp safely. On the other hand the wire in your riser won't dissapate the heat as fast and shouldn't be allowed to get as hot. That's my best nonelectricians explanation of why their requirements are different.
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Old 04-17-2008, 02:03 PM   #4
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Ill take some pictures tonight. Hope im making sense.

I was checking out some wire sizing calculators online and for 208v 40ft(one direction) aluminum single phase it shows #2. So maybe load wise they are within specs even tho im required to install a min. of 2/0 copper in the riser.
Doesnt make sense to me. Required to run such a short run in the riser of 2/0 copper but yet they can hook right up to it useing 30-40 feet of #2 aluminum. That has like half the max amerage rating of what I was required to use.

Another way to look at it.
If im required to plumb my house with 1" copper and I do it, then the water company comes out and runs my main supply line in 1/2" galvanized pipe.
I fill like the rest of your house is only as good as your supply. If I spent the money to upgrade my panel and wiring I expected them to up grade too. Not just splice into the old wiring to make it longer and move it over 4 foot to the new panel. I thought that they would climb the power pole and run a bigger and new line from the power pole to the riser. I guess I was wrong.
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Old 04-17-2008, 03:04 PM   #5
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Cant believe the utility company


From the service point on into your house, you are required to comply with the National, State, and Local electric codes. The service point at your house is the connectors by the weather head. But the power company is not required to comply with those codes. They have different rules, and what they did will give years of trouble free service. Remember, your wire is in conduit, makes a few bends, and enters a panel, while theirs is air cooled. Also if your insulation melts and the wires arc, they are closer to combustible material than theirs are. I'm glad you passed inspection.
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Old 04-17-2008, 04:35 PM   #6
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Cant believe the utility company


It's normal. We have to run big ass copper wire for them to tie their smaller AL triplex on to. Theirs is in free air...but still. They do the same thing with underground feeds.

Different codes. I always thought they should run the triplex unspliced all the way to the meter lugs.
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Old 04-17-2008, 05:07 PM   #7
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I know a lineman for my POCO that says they never replace the drop for service upgrades. They'll let the wire burn out before they run a new one. Scary.
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Old 04-17-2008, 05:20 PM   #8
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It might sound scary, weird, and totally wrong, but it really is normal.

Everyone has to have huge electrical services but when it really comes down to it, the demand at a given time really isn't that great. It isn't uncommon for a house to pull less than 20 or 30 amps even with some large appliances running.
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Old 04-17-2008, 06:04 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by junkcollector View Post
It might sound scary, weird, and totally wrong, but it really is normal.

Everyone has to have huge electrical services but when it really comes down to it, the demand at a given time really isn't that great. It isn't uncommon for a house to pull less than 20 or 30 amps even with some large appliances running.
True. If you consumed 25 amps continually, at 240 volts that's 6000 watts, or 6 Kw. At 12 cents per Kwh, your monthly bill would be $535.68 without any taxes or fuel adjustments...

IMHO a 200a service is effectively 100% larger than most homes require 99% of the time.
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Old 04-17-2008, 07:08 PM   #10
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Cant believe the utility company


Quote:
Originally Posted by LawnGuyLandSparky View Post

IMHO a 200a service is effectively 100% larger than most homes require 99% of the time.

that is probable true but in 1% of the houses, 99% of the time the service is never loaded greater than 47% of its capacity except on Superbowl Sunday where it is always loaded more than 86% of it's capacity if the leading team has 12% points more than the losing team but that is only during the first 50% of the game after which it changes to 73% of capacity but this is only 12% of the time and only when there is a point difference of 27% or greater 18% of the time.

Agree?
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Old 04-17-2008, 08:57 PM   #11
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Cant believe the utility company


Here's a random example of the difference in capacity of wire in conduit vs. in free air.

Not more than 3 #4's in conduit at 75C is good for 85 amps. A single #4 in free air at 75C is good for 125 amps.

As stated above, the POCO is not bound by the NEC. They can use whatever they want. Their choice of wire is based on many years of experience, and very rarely burns up.

I know what you mean though, it looks really stupid to have a a nice big wire spliced to a much smaller one.

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Old 04-18-2008, 08:55 AM   #12
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Thanks guys for all your replays. Looks like thats how its going to be.
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Old 04-18-2008, 10:01 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nap View Post
that is probable true but in 1% of the houses, 99% of the time the service is never loaded greater than 47% of its capacity except on Superbowl Sunday where it is always loaded more than 86% of it's capacity if the leading team has 12% points more than the losing team but that is only during the first 50% of the game after which it changes to 73% of capacity but this is only 12% of the time and only when there is a point difference of 27% or greater 18% of the time.

Agree?
Nominated for post of the week.
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Old 04-18-2008, 11:12 AM   #14
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Cant believe the utility company


Quote:
Originally Posted by nap View Post
that is probable true but in 1% of the houses, 99% of the time the service is never loaded greater than 47% of its capacity except on Superbowl Sunday where it is always loaded more than 86% of it's capacity if the leading team has 12% points more than the losing team but that is only during the first 50% of the game after which it changes to 73% of capacity but this is only 12% of the time and only when there is a point difference of 27% or greater 18% of the time.

Agree?
You couldn't be more than 51% wrong, 49% of the time.
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Old 04-18-2008, 12:20 PM   #15
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Cant believe the utility company


Quote:
Originally Posted by nap View Post
that is probable true but in 1% of the houses, 99% of the time the service is never loaded greater than 47% of its capacity except on Superbowl Sunday where it is always loaded more than 86% of it's capacity if the leading team has 12% points more than the losing team but that is only during the first 50% of the game after which it changes to 73% of capacity but this is only 12% of the time and only when there is a point difference of 27% or greater 18% of the time.

Agree?
Almost, but you've made a rookie mistake here. You didn't include the de-rating factors based on the type of dip you're serving.

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