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danadude1 02-25-2010 10:10 PM

one service main two meters
 
hay all hows it,
I'm working on this well with a booster pump at this duplex two residents ,one service main two meters . I want to wire off both meters in to feed a 110 volt booster pump . I'm thinking I can put in a splice box after both meters wire to the main lugs both black on both meters to my sub panel at the well this way both residents pay for service. I understand that if wire both meters Wong I will end up with 240 at my sub panel .
thanks for your input.

nap 02-25-2010 10:29 PM

I am not sure of exactly how things are set up but this sounds like a really bad (and illegal) idea.

Tonglebeak 02-25-2010 11:08 PM

I agree on this being a bad idea, and I'm not even talking from an electrical standpoint.

If your idea is to draw a little bit of power off one meter and a bit off the other meter...ahh screw it, can someone please tell me how you can draw 120v from two different power sources and not make 240v (I'm still learning...would both wires have to come off the same service conductor for this)?

Anyways, from a "bad idea" perspective...if you did this...just...no. If Joe uses an inkling more water (which translates to more power) than the Jack, then Jack would have to pay for part of Joe's usage.

To make it clearer...say Joe uses 10kwh and Jack uses 2kwh. Well, with your idea, then each meter would see 6kwh...so now Jack is getting billed 4kwh that he never used in the first place. Completely wrong and unfair.

HooKooDooKu 02-26-2010 12:37 AM

I can think of ways that might be a legal and safe to share the power load between the two units. But the idea would be cost prohibitive (i.e. hundreds of dollars).

You would be better off finding a way to estimate the monthly cost to run the pump, connect the pump to just one unit, then provide that unit a rebate on their rent to account for the average power use of the pump. My gut instinct would guesstimate that the pump can't cost more than about $5/month to run (unless there's things like irrigation systems connected to the well as well).

Tonglebeak 02-26-2010 01:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HooKooDooKu (Post 406110)
I can think of ways that might be a legal and safe to share the power load between the two units. But the idea would be cost prohibitive (i.e. hundreds of dollars).

You would be better off finding a way to estimate the monthly cost to run the pump, connect the pump to just one unit, then provide that unit a rebate on their rent to account for the average power use of the pump. My gut instinct would guesstimate that the pump can't cost more than about $5/month to run (unless there's things like irrigation systems connected to the well as well).

That still would be unfair to the resident who uses the least amount of power.

HooKooDooKu 02-26-2010 08:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tonglebeak (Post 406116)
That still would be unfair to the resident who uses the least amount of power.

:huh: We have two homes, each home has it's own power meter, but they share a well. It costs $5/month in electricity to run the well pump (let's assume). How does power consumption play into this at all if the tenate who's power meter powers the pump is conpensated the $5.

Now if you're talking about the "cost prohibitive" idea I didn't detail, a sample idea would be to setup a transfer switch such that the pump gets power from only one of the two meters at a time. If you flip the transfer switch each day or each month or on any routine basis, the cost to run the pump is shared and the two electrical systems remain independant. But such a setup would cost $$$ to setup for something that only costs $ per month.

Tonglebeak 02-26-2010 08:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HooKooDooKu (Post 406172)
:huh: We have two homes, each home has it's own power meter, but they share a well. It costs $5/month in electricity to run the well pump (let's assume). How does power consumption play into this at all if the tenate who's power meter powers the pump is conpensated the $5.

Now if you're talking about the "cost prohibitive" idea I didn't detail, a sample idea would be to setup a transfer switch such that the pump gets power from only one of the two meters at a time. If you flip the transfer switch each day or each month or on any routine basis, the cost to run the pump is shared and the two electrical systems remain independant. But such a setup would cost $$$ to setup for something that only costs $ per month.

It's one thing to reimburse someone for power they didn't use. It's another to to not reimburse (in the TC's case, it sounds like he wants to pass the well pump costs directly to the residents, except this isn't the way to do it). Why not just eat the $5 a month and not rip off tenants?

nap 02-26-2010 09:07 AM

I believe tonglebeak is simply stating that even if you do split the cost equally, it would not be fair as one party may likely be using the well more than the other.

while I agree, without getting very complex, splitting equally is about as fair as the guy is going to get.


the simplest way I can think of doing this is:

installing a meter in the line that feeds only the pump. (yes, you can purchase electrical use meters (non-POCO) that would work for this) That will register the amount of power used by the pump. Then, presuming it is fed from only one of the units, LL would calculate the cost of use for the month, divide that in half, credit the tenant that the pump is on their meter with 1/2 and charge the other tenant that 1/2.


the method the OP is attempting would not work as the power drawn from one metered unit compared to the other (presuming he can figure out the logistics of hooking it up) would not be accurate as a greater amount of power would be drawn through the connection the provided the least resistance to the circuit so that meter would register a greater amount of power consumed compared to the other meter, regardless which unit used the pump.

Now, if the OP wants to get really fair, he can install the separate meter such as I suggested PLUS installing water flow meters to each unit. That way, he can calculate the cost to run the pump and he also would have a means to accurately calculate how much each unit used compared to the to each other and the total use. Using those numbers, it would be easy to calculate how much either unit should be credited or charged.

as hooku has alluded to; this is all going to cost a lot of dollars in an attempt to recoup the costs of the well and attempt to be fair.

actually there may be a legal issue here though as it is at least unfair, and depending on how the rental contracts are written, possibly a legal problem with the system in place.

If that is the case, OP may have no choice but to divvy the cost of operation of the well.

joed 02-26-2010 09:27 AM

Is this a booster pump or the actual well pump. A booster pump is used to boost a pressure that is too low. A well pump actually pumps the well water.

It would be safer to install two booter pumps and use some check valves.

AllanJ 02-26-2010 07:57 PM

Connecting two power feeds together (or combining two power feeds) at a downstream location is a no-no.

If you do install a transfer switch (so for example every other week the other family covers the power for the well), you must switch the neutral as well as the hot. Connecting two power feeds' neutrals together downstream is also a no-no.

Feed the transfer switch from branch circuits off of each residence's panel, not from meter lugs. Already you can see some of the expense of installing the transfer switch (additional cables).

For educational and study purposes only: If you tried to connect together power feeds from each residence, even from branch circuits, all electrical usage, not just the pump power usage, will be shared between the two meters.

Pudge565 02-27-2010 03:35 PM

Someone correct me if I am wrong, but if you have a multi-family dwelling I thought all shared loads must either be on a seperate meter or have two of whatever the load is one on each meter. For example entry lighting if there is a common entrance there must either be a single light off of a third meter or 2 lights one off of each tenants meter.

nap 02-27-2010 03:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pudge565 (Post 406902)
Someone correct me if I am wrong, but if you have a multi-family dwelling I thought all shared loads must either be on a seperate meter or have two of whatever the load is one on each meter. For example entry lighting if there is a common entrance there must either be a single light off of a third meter or 2 lights one off of each tenants meter.

are you speaking by code or law?

Pudge565 02-27-2010 04:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nap (Post 406904)
are you speaking by code or law?

I thought it was by code but I can not find anything on it. Plus I guess that would fall under POCO rules and not the NEC.

AllanJ 02-27-2010 06:53 PM

Having separate porch lighting, etc. for each unit comes about because if the tenant whose service feeds the light or pump should turn it off, it might be a lease violation against him but any code violation (safety code and sanitary code as well as perhaps electrical code) would be against the owner.

Speedy Petey 02-27-2010 07:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pudge565 (Post 406902)
Someone correct me if I am wrong, but if you have a multi-family dwelling I thought all shared loads must either be on a seperate meter or have two of whatever the load is one on each meter. For example entry lighting if there is a common entrance there must either be a single light off of a third meter or 2 lights one off of each tenants meter.

This is a vigorously (state) enforced POCO (law) rule around here.


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