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Old 09-16-2013, 06:25 PM   #1
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New house under the old oak trees


This fall we will start building a new 1200 sf house under some very big old oak trees. The position of the new house will cause the service drop to be under numerous limbs that could fall on it and cut our power at any time, especially during storms and hurricanes.

Rather than attach the service drop to a weather head on the new house, I prefer to build a hollow concrete pole at the property edge so the service drop can run to the top of this pole, then down the inside to the meter, then to a disconnect switch on the pole. From there I plan to run underground to the utility room in the house.

I hope to route the power in this manner for three reasons:

1- To keep the main drop away from tree branches.

2- To have an outside disconnect where anyone can run to it and disconnect the power in an emergency.

3- To lock the disconnect in the OFF position when power is lost. Then I can crank up the generator, plug it into the house wiring, and rest assured that no backfeed will occur.

Is this an acceptable service plan? If not, can you suggest a better way to accomplish these goals?
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Old 09-16-2013, 06:58 PM   #2
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New house under the old oak trees


By reading your plans, I HIGHLY suggest you (at minimum) consult a local electrical contractor.

Your plan for running the service wires will not pass code. If you are that concerned about trees falling on the drop, spend the money to put the lateral underground.

Your method of using the generator is also flawed. You will either need a transfer switch, or mechanical interlock.
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Old 09-16-2013, 07:13 PM   #3
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New house under the old oak trees


She little house.
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Old 09-16-2013, 07:39 PM   #4
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New house under the old oak trees


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Originally Posted by k_buz View Post
By reading your plans, I HIGHLY suggest you (at minimum) consult a local electrical contractor.

Your plan for running the service wires will not pass code. If you are that concerned about trees falling on the drop, spend the money to put the lateral underground.

Your method of using the generator is also flawed. You will either need a transfer switch, or mechanical interlock.
1 - I thought that he wanted to put the service lines underground ?
from his drop pole ?
what part wont pass code ?

Did I mis interperate ?
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Old 09-16-2013, 07:42 PM   #5
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New house under the old oak trees


No. Use an approved transfer or interlock switch for the generator. Do not use patch cords plugged into anything other than an outlet designed for the purpose. As in, NOT a regular wall socket.

Put the meter on the house where it belongs and run the lines to it underground. Having a remote cut off somewhere out on a pole won't help you when everyone that would know what to do in an emergency is wasting time looking all over your house for it.

Meanwhile get an arborist out to look at those trees and their root systems. Best to deal with them now if they need it.
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Old 09-16-2013, 07:47 PM   #6
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New house under the old oak trees


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1 - I thought that he wanted to put the service lines underground ?
from his drop pole ?
what part wont pass code ?

Did I mis interperate ?
The unfused service conductors will not be allowed to be concealed like he wants to do. Now if he build a structure and ran the service conductors on the outside of that structure, that might fly, but I really don't know why you'd go thru that trouble when you could simply bury the conductors from pole to meter socket.
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Old 09-16-2013, 08:09 PM   #7
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New house under the old oak trees


Where do they put the main service fuses ?
In Australia they are on the pole in the street,
So all of the service line from the pole to the house are protected,
Is it different in the USA ?
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Old 09-16-2013, 08:11 PM   #8
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New house under the old oak trees


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Originally Posted by dmxtothemax
Where do they put the main service fuses ?
In Australia they are on the pole in the street,
So all of the service line from the pole to the house are protected,
Is it different in the USA ?
Yes. In USA, service from transformer to service drop, to meter, then to either main disconnect or main breaker panel
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Old 09-16-2013, 09:43 PM   #9
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New house under the old oak trees


I have 3 houses with meter pedestals. Two have them in front, one out back off the alley. The meter is on the meter pedestal. The service comes in to the meter pedestal underground, and goes to the house underground. On one home, I have 100 amps feeding a garage directly from the meter pedestal as well. One thing I do which is frowned upon is that I have a piece of 2" conduit coming in the same trench as the electrical. In that 2" conduit, I have a string. With that string I pull cable lines, telephone lines, etc. The part that is frowned upon is that I use the meter pedestal box for the cable or telephone to come in the box, then out again and into the 2" conduit.

One time, a cable guy told me he wouldn't put the cable in the electrical box. I told him if he could get it in there, I could pull it into the house. Otherwise, he would have to bury it up to the house, then bore under a sidewalk and dig down to the hole in the basement wall. Or I would route it through the electric box for him. He opted to let me do that. I suppose one could put up a separate metal box near the electrical box for the cable and telephone to come in, then everyone would be happy.
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Old 09-17-2013, 01:39 AM   #10
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New house under the old oak trees


I'm getting up in years and one thing myself and utility companies have learned through the years is that allowing trees to dictate is a big mistake.
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Old 09-17-2013, 08:10 AM   #11
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New house under the old oak trees


yes i would do it that way, meter/disconnect box combo on a pole far from the trees then underground to the house. all houses should be like that it make a cleaner job, no wires in sight. just dont forget to add some conduit for low voltage cabling (phone cable if you need them)
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Old 09-17-2013, 09:20 AM   #12
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New house under the old oak trees


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The part that is frowned upon is that I use the meter pedestal box for the cable or telephone to come in the box, then out again and into the 2" conduit.
Not only frowned upon but against code unless the cable line have 300 volt rated insulation.
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Old 09-17-2013, 10:20 AM   #13
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New house under the old oak trees


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Originally Posted by owkaye View Post
This fall we will start building a new 1200 sf house under some very big old oak trees. The position of the new house will cause the service drop to be under numerous limbs that could fall on it and cut our power at any time, especially during storms and hurricanes.
i would be FAR MORE worried about the trees falling on the house.

do you want to save a lot of money and troubles ? = cut down those trees now.
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Old 09-17-2013, 11:18 AM   #14
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i would be FAR MORE worried about the trees falling on the house.

do you want to save a lot of money and troubles ? = cut down those trees now.
is this serious?? do all people cut trees near houses since they can fall on houses in most cities you can't even cut big trees unless they represent a very big danger
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Old 09-17-2013, 01:03 PM   #15
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New house under the old oak trees


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Having a remote cut off somewhere out on a pole won't help you when everyone that would know what to do in an emergency is wasting time looking all over your house for it.
Everyone who lives in the house will absolutely know how to go out to the pole and turn the disconnect OFF in an emergency. They will also know about the main breaker in the load center inside the house. So we will have two places to cut off the power, one inside and one outside. Nothing wrong with this, is there?

Most houses don't even have a service disconnect switch! All they have is a main breaker to cut off the power. So can anyone tell me why an extra disconnect on my own meter pole is not acceptable? In the event of a house fire or flooded house that disconnect will certainly be a much safer place to cut off the power.

Quote:
The unfused service conductors will not be allowed to be concealed like he wants to do.
I failed to mention that I will use a FUSED disconnect. Sorry about that. Now that this is clear, can you think of any other reason why my plan won't be allowed?

Quote:
In USA, service from transformer to service drop, to meter, then to either main disconnect or main breaker panel.
This is basically what I suggested: transformer to service drop to meter to (fused) disconnect to main breaker panel.

Quote:
Put the meter on the house where it belongs ...
Why does the meter belong on the house? My original post lists three good reasons to put it on my own meter pole, and here's another: In the future I intend to run another line underground from the pole to the shop. This path makes more sense than running from the house to the shop.

Quote:
I have 3 houses with meter pedestals. Two have them in front, one out back off the alley. The meter is on the meter pedestal. The service comes in to the meter pedestal underground, and goes to the house underground. On one home, I have 100 amps feeding a garage directly from the meter pedestal as well.
I will use my own meter pole instead of a meter pedestal, but this is essentially what I want to do, including the 100 amps feeding the future shop directly from my meter pole.

Quote:
Do not use patch cords plugged into anything other than an outlet designed for the purpose. As in, NOT a regular wall socket.
I will use a receptacle that's rated well in excess of the generator output.

Quote:
yes i would do it that way, meter/disconnect box combo on a pole far from the trees then underground to the house.
Thanks for understanding what I consider to be a common sense plan.

Quote:
i would be FAR MORE worried about the trees falling on the house.
Quote:
is this serious?? do all people cut trees near houses since they can fall on houses
Absolutely not. I proposed what I thought was a simple and practical solution that works for me, and it does not include cutting down any trees. I bought this place specifically for its healthy, vigorously growing 300 year old live oak trees. I love living under these trees and cutting them down is completely out of the question.
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