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Service upgrade and move

Posted 05-13-2011 at 12:11 PM by WillK

First off, I'd like to start by thanking everyone that contributed in answering some of the many questions I've had in various threads I've started in the process of planning and doing this project. Anyone else considering similar work would likely learn a great deal reviewing these discussions:

So from top to bottom, here is what I have done:

I am using 2" rigid metal conduit for my mast with a metal weather head at the top and the Halex adjustable wire holder attached 12" below the weatherhead. (I believe my requirement is that it be at least 6" below, and I figure it's good to leave the extra length in case needed.)

Inside the conduit I have installed 4/0 SEU cable with the outer jacket cut away just above the end of the 2" pipe.

The pipe is a 10' pipe cut to 7'6". There is 42" of pipe above the roofline, so 30" to the cable attachment point. My POCO does not seem to adress this, but I've read that as a requirement elsewhere for the allowable height before guy wire support is needed. I'm achieving an attachment point roughly 1' higher than what I have currently.

The length from this post to the power line where it would attach is about 50', and it's about 10' shorter than what I have currently. My new placement gets it away from the driveway.

The first attachment is a pipe clamp for unistrut with the unistrut secured through aluminum siding into the ceiling joist using a SPAX outdoor lag screw (the plain hot dipped galvanized don't impress me, particularly after I broke 2 of them trying to attach my meter socket, but I'll get back to that)

The second attachment 18" below the first and 18" above the meter socket is 2 pieces of unistrut because the offset to the wall is greater. I had to notch the unistrut because the space is more like 1.5 unistrut pieces thick. With the notch, I used a 1.5" pipe clamp since the 2" pipe clamp is too loose.

This second unistrut attachment is secured to the brick using Redhead concrete wedge anchors.

The meter socket is secured to 3 pieces of unistrut, each of these pieces of unistrut attaches to the brick wall with 2 Redhead concrete wedge anchors. This is one piece across the top where the socket attaches to 2 SAE grade 8 bolts going into the unistrut channel spring nuts. The meter socket is attached similarly with 1 bolt and nut per piece of unistrut at the bottom, I needed a break in the middle for the load side run.

The load cable will be 4/0 SEU which runs into the house through the back of the meter socket inside a 5" long nipple of 2" rigid metal conduit secured to the meter socket with locknuts on both sides. The conduit is sealed to the brick with mortar from a tube, the gap from the wall due to the unistrut gives me access to seal it with tar if needed.

The meter socket is located with the center of the face at about 5' from ground, my POCO requirement is between 3'6" to 6'0".

I'm also going to point out that my POCO wants the meter socket to not be bonded to ground, and I am aware that other locallities require it to be bonded to ground, so for anybody else reading this as reference for their own project - this is a point that will depend on your POCO so be sure to check with them.

At this point, another part of the project is the underground run to the detatched garage for my new 100A subpanel. I have materials and have done dryfitting of conduit and laid out the trench, but only part of the trench is dug and there are a lot of tree roots to cut through. I'll be using 2" rigid metal conduit and as such will only be required 6" of depth, but it will be closer to 15" because I'm setting my LB fitting close to the ground and conecting directly to the long-radius elbows. If I can get some nephews to help dig this weekend, maybe I'll have that ready for inspection next week as well.

So here's a complete materials list, it all adds up:
2" rigid conduit $53.57 4 $214.28
2" weather head $10.50 1 $10.50
4/0 SEU cable $2.50 20 $50.00
Halex wire holder $9.28 1 $9.28
superstrut $17.97 1 $17.97
3/8" lag screws $0.85 2 $1.70
washers $0.81 1 $0.81
wedge anchors $11.98 1 $11.98
3/8" spring nuts $3.99 1 $3.99
1/4" spring nuts $3.99 1 $3.99
1/4" grade 8 bolts $0.81 4 $3.24
2" pipe strap for superstrut $3.34 1 $3.34
1-1/2" pipe strap for unistrut $2.97 1 $2.97
3/8" square washers $3.66 1 $3.66
meter can $45.38 1 $45.38
2" meter hub $6.25 1 $6.25
2" dia 5" nipple $4.86 3 $14.58
2" lock nuts $1.39 1 $1.39
NOALOX anti-corrosoion grease $5.93 1 $5.93
ground lug $2.09 3 $6.27
#4 bare copper wire $24.63 1 $24.63
$6 bare copper wire $0.68 15 $10.24
ground rods $31.99 3 $95.97
1/0 THHN $0.95 150 $142.50
100A main breaker panel $48.97 1 $48.97
2" LB pull fitting $19.47 2 $38.94
2" long radius elbow $15.33 2 $30.66
Core drill rental $66.00 1 $66.00
conduit ground clamps $5.27 2 $10.54

This doesn't look like a project that's on the order of a roof, but once you go through it I can say that yeah, it is that expensive and that involved. I've read some folks say a service upgrade can cost $2500, and for just over $1000 I'm doing my own service upgrade plus running 100 amps to a new subpanel in my garage (Gotta add the permit fees to the materials).
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