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Old 03-16-2010, 05:20 AM   #1
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SE Conduit & Meter placement


I am getting my SE and panel replaced. The previous owner had pretty messed up wiring.

Two questions:
In suburbs, the meter is placed outside so the utility can have someone read the meters. In the city, they are placed inside the house with a small diamond viewing window. With the new smart meters being used, does the meter still have to be mounted so it can be read? I got conflicting info from different electricians.

Right now the SE conduit is attached to the chimney, #2 wire runs halfway down the upper floor where it is spliced to a #4 and then continues down into the garage and over to the right to meet the meter. My electrician says it has to be a straight run and also that mounting to chimney isnt good. He suggests running down from the right and into the wall to the meter. What is wrong with mounting to the chimney? Is there code against that?
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Old 03-16-2010, 06:20 AM   #2
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SE Conduit & Meter placement


Shortest practical run. Remember, that is probably 400A, and unfused.

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Old 03-16-2010, 07:15 AM   #3
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SE Conduit & Meter placement


I would not want the strain of supporting the overhead from the pole on my chimney.

SE cable can be bent but unless the mounting on the house does not provide the height, or clearances cannot be met I see no reason not to mount it in the proposed location.
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Answers based on the National Electrical Code. Local amendments may apply. Check with your local building officials.
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Old 03-16-2010, 09:58 PM   #4
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SE Conduit & Meter placement


well there is the window there. Also, the houses here are side by side, so the neighbor on the right has his main entrance up a flight of exterior stairs and is basically level with my window.

How high above the access points does the cable have to be?
Also, does a smart meter have to be in view? Electrician was talking about mounting it flush against the wall on the right, so that the meter points to the left instead out the window. Right now, there is a small meter and panel mounted on a board turned 90degrees from the wall so that the meter points toward the window about 2 feet from it. This would not be to code because there needs to be 3ft clearance.
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Old 03-17-2010, 06:05 AM   #5
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SE Conduit & Meter placement


Your electrician should be familiar with the POCO , NEC, and local requirements. Obviously you are not familiar with codes. Meters do not have to be three feet from a window. At least not around Northern Indiana.

Last edited by brric; 03-17-2010 at 06:07 AM.
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Old 03-17-2010, 12:17 PM   #6
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no, i am not familiar with it. That is why i am asking.

The electricians that i've talked to seem to have different opinions about this. So just wanted to confirm who is correct, so I would hire the more knowledgeable one.
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Old 03-17-2010, 12:23 PM   #7
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The only three foot requirement is where the POCO makes its connections so no one can reach out of a window and reach them.
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Old 03-17-2010, 08:48 PM   #8
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There needs to be 2.5ft wide x 3ft deep space in front of panel (NEC 2005 110.26A). And yes, there also needs to be 3ft clearance from doors and windows (NEC 2005 230.9A).

My question was about the smart meters, the new digital ones that "phone home" with usage data such that utility doesn't need to send someone out to read it. In that case, does the meter still have to be in view to be read? If it does, then I would have keep the meter turned to face the window. In which case, I would not have the 3ft space in from of panel as required by the above code.

Last edited by acerunner; 03-17-2010 at 08:50 PM.
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Old 03-17-2010, 09:01 PM   #9
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SE Conduit & Meter placement


Quote:
Originally Posted by acerunner View Post
There needs to be 2.5ft wide x 3ft deep space in front of panel (NEC 2005 110.26A). And yes, there also needs to be 3ft clearance from doors and windows (NEC 2005 230.9A).

My question was about the smart meters, the new digital ones that "phone home" with usage data such that utility doesn't need to send someone out to read it. In that case, does the meter still have to be in view to be read? If it does, then I would have keep the meter turned to face the window. In which case, I would not have the 3ft space in from of panel as required by the above code.
230.9(A) is referring to conductors not meters. Why wouldn't you have the clearance for the panel?

Last edited by brric; 03-17-2010 at 09:04 PM.
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Old 03-18-2010, 12:07 AM   #10
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SE Conduit & Meter placement


Quote:
Originally Posted by brric View Post
230.9(A) is referring to conductors not meters. Why wouldn't you have the clearance for the panel?
yeah its two different issues. I was talking about the clearance in front of panel/meter. But you were talking about clearance to windows & doors. Just wanted to clarify that we were talking about different things, so we're on the same page.

anyway. electrician wanted to use meter-main. So meter pointed toward window means panel pointed toward window. Thus no space. So far all electricians i've talked to suggested against separate meter & panel. Reason is cost and requirement for cutoff switch.

I don't suppose there's a meter-main in which the meter comes out the side?
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Old 03-18-2010, 06:47 AM   #11
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SE Conduit & Meter placement


There is a three foot requirement whether or not the meter needs to be read. The clearance must be maintained to service the equipment. What is obstructing the needed clearance? Could you post photos?
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Old 03-18-2010, 08:46 AM   #12
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SE Conduit & Meter placement


This forum and electricians are not the people to ask about where an electric meter can be located.

Rather you should call your electric company, have someone come out, and ask them what your options are.

Also in my area at least, the electric company has what is called "Electric Service Requirements". This is a document about 30 pages long and says what is allowed and what is not allowed. The drop, the meter, everything to do with the electric service. My electric company has this on their web site.

Another thing is the height of the service wire. If it is run over a street or a driveway, it needs to be a certain height. The guy from the electric company will come out with a tall measuring stick and will be able to see if the wire height will be tall enough.

As to the chimney, structurally these can be quite weak. Also not a good idea to drill any holes in a chimney. These can get quite hot on the inside! And that heat could be conducted to the wires via metal hardware and possibly melt the insulation.

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