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Old 10-23-2009, 04:06 PM   #1
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Need help with the lingo, inspection didn't quite pass


Last wknd I installed a temporary service pole (SE cap down to the ground rods) to receive overhead service when they bring it down the road this fall. We were a little behind schedule and apparently we missed a few things. Can you please help me with these notes: (quotations are inspector's notes)

1. "meter socket needs to be bonded - metal conduit" I know panels get bonded, don't know how to do this in the meter can?
2. "need insulating bushing in meter socket" google images didn't help with that one
3. "aluminum conductors must have anti-oxidizing paste at terminations" i assume i can get this at an elec. supply store, but what are the termination points?

I thought we did a decent job but man do I feel dumb now! Please help me finish! Thanks and have a great weekend

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Old 10-23-2009, 04:16 PM   #2
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Need help with the lingo, inspection didn't quite pass


Money, you are doing this job and don't know what these very rudimentary things are? This is not some fixture replacement. This is a service with some very bad consequences if you screw up. I think you are lucky that the inspector caught these problems. I hope there are no problems he missed.

1) You nee a bonding bushing on the conduit fitting in the meter pan. Connect a #8cu wire from it to another bushing in the panel and then to the panel ground bar.

2) #1 should cover this one.

3) Although not actually code required yes, this is a paste that you put on the AL terminations to prevent oxidation. This can be gotten from any electrical supply house or even a home center.

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Old 10-23-2009, 05:01 PM   #3
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Need help with the lingo, inspection didn't quite pass


And people think doing electrical work is so easy, but its the little things that will come back and get you.

Here is a picture of a grounding bushing
http://www.homedepot.ca/webapp/wcs/s...k=P_PartNumber

And a picture of a regular bushing
http://www.homedepot.ca/webapp/wcs/s...k=P_PartNumber

In Canada a bushing is required on #8 and bigger wire.

Last edited by darren; 10-23-2009 at 05:03 PM.
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Old 10-23-2009, 05:08 PM   #4
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Need help with the lingo, inspection didn't quite pass


Thanks Petey and Darren, especially for the pics. You noted taking it to another bushing, so would I use two of the same, one on each end of the can? ...and then to the ground bar in the meter can? I assume the pic of the plastic bushing was just for clarification, not for what I need....?

Last edited by moneymgmt; 10-23-2009 at 05:11 PM.
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Old 10-23-2009, 05:14 PM   #5
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Need help with the lingo, inspection didn't quite pass


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Originally Posted by moneymgmt View Post
Thanks Petey and Darren, especially for the pics. You noted taking it to another bushing, so would I use two of the same, one on each end of the can? ...and then to the ground bar in the meter can? I assume the pic of the plastic bushing was just for clarification, not for what I need....?
No.
Bushing inside the meter pan, over to another on the opposite end in the panel, then to the panel ground bar.
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Old 10-23-2009, 05:27 PM   #6
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Need help with the lingo, inspection didn't quite pass


when you say PANEL you are referring to the box with the breakers.... yes/no? If yes, one bushing in the meter pan, one in the breaker box, and then wired to the ground bar in the breaker box.
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Old 10-23-2009, 06:31 PM   #7
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Need help with the lingo, inspection didn't quite pass


The panel is the service panel-the thing with all the breakers in it.

DISCLAIMER-As Speedy Petey posted above, you are messing with some very very very dangerous stuff there.

A service call performed by a licensed electrician is a heck of a lot cheaper than a casket and a funeral. Be smart and safe.
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Old 10-24-2009, 11:12 AM   #8
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Need help with the lingo, inspection didn't quite pass


Aluminum wire will oxidize and the connection will stop working if you don't apply anti-oxidizing "goop" on the wire connections (get at electrical store). This would be the bare wire you torque down at the main lugs. Brush it on with a wire brush.

And another thing is you need to tighten the lugs to a certain tightness per the label on the meter panel/circuit breaker panel or noted in installation instructions (they can be a different tightness). This will be in inch pounds on the label.

12 inch pounds = 1 foot pound.

And you use a torque wrench with a hex socket to torque it correctly. The torque wrenches I have came with foot pound markings on them, NOT inch pounds!

Automotive stores sell torque wrenches and hex sockets.

If you don't torque it to the correct tightness, the connection can become warm/hot and eventually work itself loose.

Then I sometimes work with a "King Kong" guy who tends to tighten things TOO tight and strip/break things. For this guy I make him use the torque wrench so he will not tighten things too much. (Just the right amount.)

And of course ONLY do this with the electricity off! (Which means with a meter base that it is not yet connected to the power or the electric company has disconnected power at the pole.) Same with a main panel, even though the main breaker is off THE POWER IS STILL LIVE AT THE MAIN CONNECTIONS!
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Old 10-24-2009, 02:38 PM   #9
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Need help with the lingo, inspection didn't quite pass


A termination point is where the wire is connected to the lug or breaker.
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Old 10-29-2009, 08:07 AM   #10
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Need help with the lingo, inspection didn't quite pass


Thanks all for your assistance with this. My biggest confusion here was in the idea that if the rigid offset touching the meter box didn't bond it, then how was putting a grounded bushing over the top of the offset going to do any different? I ended up putting a lug on a meter box KO and wiring it directly to the ground bar. Had the inspection yesterday and we're good to go. After the fact he noted I probably didn't even need to do that because the offset wasn't PVC like he assumed..... so guess this post was just good chat.

FYI, this was a new build with no power coming into it so there was no danger there. I don't think this was anything a DIY'er couldn't or shouldn't do without the proper permits and inspections and a little electrical common sense. I truly appreciate the input given on this website and the time many of you take to ensure the DIY'er gets it right.
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Old 10-29-2009, 10:18 AM   #11
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Need help with the lingo, inspection didn't quite pass


As to the requirement for a bonding bushing, just attaching conduit to the metal box does not assure that there will be a good ground connection. Actually there can be no ground connection!

This is because the metal box is painted.

I once used an ohm meter and measured the continuity of about 20 metal wire clamps on the side of a breaker panel. I forget the results, but many of them were not electrically contacting the metal box!

So best to use a bonding bushing to get a 100% good ground connection.
(Not on romex wire clamps of course!)
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Old 10-29-2009, 12:25 PM   #12
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Need help with the lingo, inspection didn't quite pass


Money, make sure you are there when he reinspects. Then you can ask the inspector for clarification on the spot. Most (but not all) inspectors will talk you through their observations unless it's hopeless.
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Old 10-29-2009, 05:17 PM   #13
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Need help with the lingo, inspection didn't quite pass


Quote:
Originally Posted by moneymgmt View Post
My biggest confusion here was in the idea that if the rigid offset touching the meter box didn't bond it, then how was putting a grounded bushing over the top of the offset going to do any different?
The bushing isn't there to bond the meter can. That's already bonded by the neutral connection. It's there to bond the conduit (offset in your case), so bonding with a lug did not meet the requirement to bond service raceways. You NEED a bonding bushing or bonding locknut and plastic bushing.

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