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Old 10-17-2008, 12:53 PM   #1
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Upgrade Meter Box Help


Hello All!

I have been reading your site for sometime now and I love the knowledge. As for electrical it is the one thing I am not perfect on. I recently upgraded all the wire in my house. My home was built in the 1940's while running all new wire I realized my breaker box is only 100 amps. I wanted to put my microwave, stove and fridge on its own breakers. Right now the kitchen and dining room are all on one. In addition, I have built my wife a home salon but I need to upgrade power.

I had the meter box upgrade priced out and it came back at about $2500. However the elect. that came over encouraged me to it myself. He said the cost is really about $300 if you do it your self and he felt I was handy enough to figure it out on my own. I have my permit and submitted a sketch that I found on this site, but what I am looking for is some step by step instructions.

I am going to upgrade to 200 amps. I know I need to drill through my rough to put in the metal conduiting for the wire. I know how high my box needs to be. But that is about it. Can anyone help?

Thanks again!

BenJoe

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Old 10-17-2008, 01:18 PM   #2
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Upgrade Meter Box Help


The cost for materials is a little more than $300.
It also depends where you live.
Does the POCO cut your power?
If they do, they won't connect it back until it passes inspection.
In my area they won't come out for an overhead.
I have to cut and reconnect with power on myself.
I do not recomend this task to any diy'r.
$2500 is a reasonable price for a 200 amp service upgrade.

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Old 10-17-2008, 02:18 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by hpp58 View Post
The cost for materials is a little more than $300.
It also depends where you live.
Does the POCO cut your power?
If they do, they won't connect it back until it passes inspection.
In my area they won't come out for an overhead.
I have to cut and reconnect with power on myself.
I do not recomend this task to any diy'r.
$2500 is a reasonable price for a 200 amp service upgrade.
Thanks for the response. My neighbor next door just did his by himself that is where I got the $300 from. However he is now out of town for 2 months or I would have him help me. As for location, I live in Utah.

As for power, yes they will shut off the power and turn it back on after it is inspected.

Any other help will be great.
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Old 10-17-2008, 03:28 PM   #4
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Upgrade Meter Box Help


I suggest you read up on the nec 2008, you will need to sink 2 ground rods (unless you already have 2) You cannot have unfused service wires entering more than 5 ft into the structure.
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Old 10-17-2008, 03:52 PM   #5
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As HPP 58 stated this is not a diy project if you have to do it "live". If the poco or an electrician can disconnect it for you then you can do it. Another option is that if you have the space you can set the new service up next to the old one and then when it is inspected have the poco connect the power to the new service drop. I did my own 200 amp service about 5 years ago with the help of a friend of mine who is an electrician. It cost me about $600 then and that is before the price of copper took off, so I would plan on spending more than your estimate.
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Old 10-17-2008, 07:53 PM   #6
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Upgrade Meter Box Help


My opinion is not that this isn’t a DIY project, but rather it’s not a project that should be taken on by someone inexperienced in this magnitude of a project without qualified help. Talk to your inspector. They are loads of information. Treat him/her nice and be upfront, and I’ll bet they’ll be more than happy to help with your questions. After all, they are the ones that are going to give you your final ‘ok’. (I’m surprised KCTermite hasn’t chimed in yet)
Also, talk again with the electrician you had out there. Maybe you can pay him a fee for some of his time and assistance, if needed. Do as much research as you can, and by all means, feel free to post your questions here…there are many excellent electricians here to help.
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Old 10-17-2008, 11:32 PM   #7
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Thanks for all the great comments. This has been really helpful. I found also an electrician neighbor who has done this before. He sat down and wrote me out a list. I went and purchased everything this afternoon and cost me $430, that included the permit. But I am sure I will have questions as a prepare. The POCO is coming on Wednesday at 8 am to shut the power off and the city inspector will come by at 3 pm to see how we are doing. Since I live 2 blocks from the city office this will be fairly easy.

Here is a question I have. I have two neighbors who have their ground wire attached to a copper rod that they drove into the ground inside their window well. But most people have told me to drive it into the cement to get a proper grounding. Obviously I will need to ground to the water line inside the basement, but with the second ground; does it matter? The window well would be a lot easier.
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Old 10-18-2008, 01:02 AM   #8
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Upgrade Meter Box Help


Note the electric company has electric service requirements. And you need to ask the electric company if you can upgrade to a higher amperage service. They need to check a few things out.

I think you have the same power company I do (Pacificorp/Pacific Power/Rocky Mountain Power). Here is their Electric Service Requirements...
http://www.pacificpower.net/Navigati...ation1931.html
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Old 10-18-2008, 01:46 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Billy_Bob View Post
Note the electric company has electric service requirements. And you need to ask the electric company if you can upgrade to a higher amperage service. They need to check a few things out.

I think you have the same power company I do (Pacificorp/Pacific Power/Rocky Mountain Power). Here is their Electric Service Requirements...
http://www.pacificpower.net/Navigati...ation1931.html
Thanks! This link was really helpful in making sure I am on the right path!

I had Rocky Mountain Power come out last week and look at my current setup and the gave me some good advice too. But this really helps me see what else I need.

Thanks.
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Old 10-19-2008, 08:01 PM   #10
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FYI...
V=IR and SpeedyPetey, I moved your exchange to a new thread since V=IR's quiestion was hijacking this thread. The new thread can be found here:
Grounding, generator switch
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Old 10-24-2008, 10:58 AM   #11
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Hello all! Thanks for all your help.

I wanted to let you know how things went.

Total cost was $412 for the project. It took about 5 hours to complete. But in the end it all worked out. I ended up with enough time I installed a whole new breaker box as well.

Your help was great. Couple of tips I learned.

1. Dig a 6 inch hole where you are going to put your grounding rod. Hammer that sucker down to the bottom of the whole and connect your ground. When they come and inspect show them the hole and then bury it. It made things go quick.

2. Test the threads on your 2'' steal rigid pole. I got the pole in place and went to screw it in and noticed the threads were damaged and I couldn't get it to connect. I ended up pulling it out and going to get a new one. That cost me 45 minutes. I would have been done sooner if that had not had happened.

3. Double check with POCO. They forgot and came out an hour late. I almost didn't get my inspection in time.

Have fun! It was an intense DIY project. But saved me nearly $2100.


Last edited by BenJoeM; 10-24-2008 at 11:13 AM. Reason: spelling
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