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Old 12-23-2011, 03:21 PM   #1
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Drop Wire (From Weatherhead to Meter)


I am looking to upgrade my service panel to 200 amps. Currently I have a fuse panel rated at 100 amps. I have done a lot a of research on switching out a panel from fuses to cuircut breakers and the job looks fairly easy. I will probably have to run 3/0 wire from the meter to the service panel. What I don't want to mess with is the line that goes from the weatherhead to the meter, since there is no way to cut the power. Will an electrician do this part of the job or do I have to let them do the whole job? I know in some cases people pull their meters to cut off power to the service panel. Does the power company permit this and if not will an electrician run a new line from the weatherhead down to the service panel and let me complete the rest of the job? If the electrician has to run the wire down to the service panel I would like a shut-off switch installed between the meter and breaker box...is this option expensive?? My home does not have a shut off switch between the meter and service panel. My house does have central air...but there is a separate meter for the central air (power interrupt service) and this meter feeds off the main meter. With that in mind would I still need wire upgrade from the weatherhead to the service panel?

Thanks for any advice.

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Old 12-23-2011, 03:29 PM   #2
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Drop Wire (From Weatherhead to Meter)


Pulling electric meters is dangeous and not a DIY task. Some utilities do not even permit electricians to pull the meter.

Adding a disconnect ahead of the panel may be required depending on how far the other panel is inside the house. If the other panel is within a very short distance the disconnect is not required. The parts alone can add a few hundred dollars to the cost in materials alone.

All the wiring from the weatherhead down would need to be upgraded.

As to whether an electrician would let you do part of the job would be a question you would need to ask them. Many would not allow this.

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Old 12-23-2011, 03:47 PM   #3
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Drop Wire (From Weatherhead to Meter)


I agree, your going to have to get permits for all this work, most countys would never let a nonlicenced electrition have anything to do with switching out a panel and the power company will not turn the power back on intill it's passed inspection.
And no power company I've ever heard of would allow anyone to work on the lines to the power pole.
It's one thing for a DIY to change an outlet but quite another to work on 220 volt unprotected voltage.
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Old 12-23-2011, 10:18 PM   #4
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Drop Wire (From Weatherhead to Meter)


In my jurisdiction a permit is taken out. The utility company comes out and disconnects the wires at the F head.
The work then procedes as required by whomever. When the work is complete the inspector is a called for an inspection.
On satisfactory inspection, the inspector calls the utility to return and remake the connections and apply a new meter seal.
Usually an upgrade from 100 amps to 200 amps requires that new conduit will have to be installed, as well.
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Old 12-24-2011, 01:31 AM   #5
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Drop Wire (From Weatherhead to Meter)


Why is it that there are all of these people thinking that they can all of a sudden do a licensed skilled electrician job, such as swapping out every piece from a drop to the main panel. I am in the process to bid out changing a main panel, due to I do not want to deal with all of the headaches, when I can have a local company do the main panel change out, pull the meter in one cal, with minimal costs.

Too many people do not realize the huge amount that it can cost when you have to change out the drop, meter pan, meter, main breaker panel, re-hook up all branch circuits inside the home, in some ahj's, having to pull a permit, inspection, post-inspection, etc.
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Old 12-24-2011, 03:21 AM   #6
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Drop Wire (From Weatherhead to Meter)


Any Doubts...Sub it out.
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Old 12-24-2011, 09:08 AM   #7
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I allow for a full day for a typical upgrade, but the power is back on the same day. I doubt that would happen on an attempted DIY upgrade.
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Old 12-24-2011, 11:35 AM   #8
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Drop Wire (From Weatherhead to Meter)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
I allow for a full day for a typical upgrade, but the power is back on the same day. I doubt that would happen on an attempted DIY upgrade.
I'm a retired electrician and am planning to switch the panel at a place that I own, from fuses to breakers.
The problem is that I live 50 miles from the place, the inspector 40 miles in a different direction and the permit office 30 miles elsewhere.

Talk about coordination hassles.

I'm seriously thinking of hiring someone to do it, even though I have installed hundreds of services over the course of time.

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