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Old 08-26-2017, 03:12 PM   #1
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Code Requirements to Have Power Meter Installed on Utility Building


I have an 8'X10' utility building (no inside walls, just studs so wiring will be easy) but I don't know how to find the code requirements that Duke Power will want before they will install my meter and hook up the power. If anyone can point me in the right direction I would appreciate it. I was told by an electrician that I need a minimum of 3 outlets and a light but he also claims that the building has to be anchored like a mobile home. I don't know how well to trust him because he has been know to pad estimates on sidejobs in order to make more money. He provided me with a list of parts and I really don't see where I would need all that. Duke Power called me back after I had called them to find out about connection fees ($15.00 & $175.00 power deposit) and told me I really needed a 200 amp service box due to the fact that the power lines will be buried and I don't know if he is trying to work some kind of angle or not because I was already told that I only needed a 100 amp service unless I just wanted a bigger one. I need to find out the min. requirements needed on my part so they will connect the power without any problems. I am out of the city limits so that should help a lot. I sure could use some info so I can get my part completed since I need power as soon as possible. Thanks in advance for any information.
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Old 08-26-2017, 03:58 PM   #2
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Re: Code Requirements to Have Power Meter Installed on Utility Building


You will need a breaker panel, albeit a small one with a certain size main breaker. I'd check with Duke to find out what size service they will run to the shed. I had our local POCO tap off a main underground line and install a pad mount to give me a 100 amp service, although their underground would handle more. Future proofing, I guess. You will also need to connect that breaker panel, back to back with your meter base, which they may or may not provide. If the service is underground, you will need to provide conduit into the ground and turned out for the primary pull, and you may be required to ditch to the nearest pole or pad mount. As far as inside necessities, I would put in a light on a switch and a receptacle. You can grow from there, and the POCO probably won't have much to say since they are only concerned with connecting the meter base. Your local electrical inspector will need to provide an inspection clearance before the POCO will connect the meter base and energize it.

In addition you will need two grounding rods with the obligatory #6 bare wire from the panel to the meter base and to the rods, continuously. Some allow you to break it at the meter base.
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Old 08-26-2017, 04:13 PM   #3
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Re: Code Requirements to Have Power Meter Installed on Utility Building


You can be sure that the shed will be inspected, so don't do much until you have the installation approved. The inspector will also inspect the shed wiring.

I assume that your electrical contractor will buy and pay for the permit.

Dick

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Old 08-26-2017, 05:40 PM   #4
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Re: Code Requirements to Have Power Meter Installed on Utility Building


Find another electrician as you obviously don't trust this one.

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Old 08-26-2017, 09:05 PM   #5
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Re: Code Requirements to Have Power Meter Installed on Utility Building


Duke power is my power company.
In SC the only thing required for hookup is a meter can and a service panel. Wired up. Including the grounding electrode system.
No branch circuits are required.
Some inspectors want a disconnect outside, but 99% of the residential services in my area do not have disconnects.

Your electrician is blowing smoke up your ass. Duke power could care less what you got beyond the meter can.
You buy the can and install it. That's it. That's all they care about.
The inspector is the one that gives them the go ahead to connect and to install the meter. So call in the inspection office and ask them.
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Old 08-27-2017, 03:18 AM   #6
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Re: Code Requirements to Have Power Meter Installed on Utility Building


Thanks for the input guys. My "electrician" is my so called friend and yes, I think he is blowing smoke to get some kind of angle to make money off of me. I talked to Duke Power and they have my work order on hold until I am ready for them to hook me up. One of their guys called me when he saw the work order and asked me some questions about how far it is to the nearest pole, etc. and he said they would be burying the cable at no cost to me other than the $15.00 hookup fee but I agree that they will almost certainly want me to provide the line from the meter box down to the ground in conduit or pvc (whatever the code is). The guy from Duke wants me to put in a 200 amp service due to the size wire they will be using for the underground line and I don't really have a problem with that so long as it isn't a big difference in price. I also agree that I only need to install a light and 3 outlets for the bare minimum for them to connect power because after they are done I can always add whatever I want. I was aware of the grounding rods and I am going to put my meter box and breaker box back to back on the wall to save wire/cost plus it's just a neater install that way. I am not in the city limits so no one has said anything about a permit and if anyone asks the building has been there for years, I am just now deciding to install power. I am unsure about the issue with securing the building to the ground like you do a mobile home. Never heard of having to do that with a storage building but that is why I am on here to learn what I really do need to get done and what is not necessary. I think my friend just wants to do a lot of extra stuff so he can try to charge me. When I questioned him about what had to be done according to code and what I could get by without having to do to save money he acted irritated like I was an idiot or a child asking foolish questions but I have news for him, I know enough that I can tell when someone is being evasive. I can wire the outlets, lights, service panel, all the indoor work myself but I am just not familiar with the correct wiring from the breaker box to the meter box and down to the ground and also I could use some help installing the ground rods properly. Other than that, like you guys said, Duke power doesn't care too much about my building so long as the wiring is safe to put power on it and it is up to code but the inspector will check that before he OK's Duke to hook me up. Is there a code book anywhere online I can look at to check some of these things??? Thanks again for the replies guys. I feel a lot better about it now. My friend made it out like a big deal but I don't see that much involved; not really, I just want to keep my costs down. Any ideas on that??
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Old 08-27-2017, 04:49 AM   #7
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Re: Code Requirements to Have Power Meter Installed on Utility Building


Our local POCO gives out the specs when you pick up the permit and meter box. You then have to pass inspection before they come out and install the meter.

While there are code books out there, Wiring Simplified gives me all the info I've ever needed [as an non electrician]
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Old 08-27-2017, 05:02 AM   #8
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Re: Code Requirements to Have Power Meter Installed on Utility Building


You may not be in the city, but there is certainly a county inspector to sign off on the work, so there will be a permit. Check into it as you don't want to have un permitted work done, waiting on an inspector who may or may not show up to give approval, and have the POCO not connect the service.
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Old 08-27-2017, 09:57 AM   #9
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Re: Code Requirements to Have Power Meter Installed on Utility Building


Thanks so much for your help and fast response. When I called my local power company (Duke Power) they gave me a quote of $175.00 deposit, $15.00 connect fee, $19.39 minimum monthly power fee regardless if the power is used but if so the fee goes toward the actual power usage cost. I also have the phone number of the inspector to call when I am ready for him to inspect and the work and authorize the power company to connect my meter. You guys have already helped me so much and put my mind so much more at ease, if I could ask one more question please. Where would I look or who to contact about the permit? I have heard all about people doing work without a permit when it is needed and having to redo things or at the least aggravate the inspector which is something I don't want or need to do, lol.
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Old 08-27-2017, 10:02 AM   #10
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Re: Code Requirements to Have Power Meter Installed on Utility Building


Your inspector works for the building department and should be able to give you the exact way in which to obtain the permit. Permitless work can lead to problems with insurance and with resale should the question ever arise as to whether it was properly permitted. What will aggravate your inspector is to have him arrive at the site and no permit available for him to sign off on. Seek his/her advice first.
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Old 08-27-2017, 10:28 AM   #11
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Re: Code Requirements to Have Power Meter Installed on Utility Building


I agree totally. Nothing worse than a ticked off inspector. Nobody told me anything about a permit and even though I figured I probably needed one (Need permit to do anything these days) I just didn't know where you go to get one and I am sure my friend (lol) knows but he is obviously trying to work some kind of angle on me and he has no reason to because I help him all the time and ask for nothing in return, don't even expect anything. Thanks for all your help. Forums like this are what the internet was meant for. Sharing knowledge and helping others.
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Old 08-27-2017, 11:34 AM   #12
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Re: Code Requirements to Have Power Meter Installed on Utility Building


Duke Power will install the lateral. That is the underground conduit and wire to the meter can. They will then terminate the wires in the can and wait for the inspector to give them the okay to install the meter.

There is no requirement for any lights and or receptacles installed by Duke power.
Now, you may have an ass for an inspector and he has you do more than really is required.
Call the people that are going to inspect. Like is said. Duke could care less what you do. They require the inspector to sign off on the work to install the meter (turn on the power).

Don't overthink this.
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Old 08-27-2017, 12:01 PM   #13
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Re: Code Requirements to Have Power Meter Installed on Utility Building


Locally the power company issues electrical permits and handles the inspections but many areas run all this thru the city/county bldg dept. Duke power will know and will tell you where to get your permit.
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Old 08-27-2017, 03:08 PM   #14
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Re: Code Requirements to Have Power Meter Installed on Utility Building


Every jurisdiction and power companies have different requirements and practices.

I was building a 1600 sf 3 bedroom lake home. It was to be referred to as "cabin" for the first two years. This was very common since the county is all lakes, woods and some low ground and most jobs never are done soon since they are mainly built by future residents that are only 140 miles away. They all end up eventually being year-round homes.

When I started building, I called the utility to get power in and the only option was buried from the gravel road through the woods. I put a flag at the corners of the planned cabin. The next week-end, when I went up to fish, I saw a creosoted 6x6 with a meter and a locked service box about 100' from the road and 10' from the "cabin-to be". I never did find a initial set-up charge on my bills.

Two months later, the cabin shell (walls and roof) with no windows or doors was there. On the next Monday, I called a electrical contractor to get a service panel (200 amps was the standard) installed in the attached garage. That Friday night when I got there the service box in the garage was installed and live. He called and paid for the inspection.

I never saw the electrical inspector for over a year (very common) since they issue a permit to the contractor and assume the construction will take some time. The inspector a look at my fireplace that still had the everything exposed and all electrical on the exterior block walls was in conduit. I did the conduit and pulled the wires and my 12 year old son did the connections. He looked at one outlet and approved everything. He assumed did it all myself.

My septic was even easier since I located/flagged the general location and called the man that did the adjacent cabin and it was approved a week-end later. I never saw the septic tank installer, but I saw the notes left behind between the contractor and inspector. He even cut and removed the trees he cut. One week later, I got a gold edged and sealed certificate from the state describing the system installed. When I sold that first thing asked for was the septic approval.

I eventually meet both the inspectors about 2 years later.

Every location has it's differences and concerns.

Dick
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Old 08-27-2017, 04:40 PM   #15
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Re: Code Requirements to Have Power Meter Installed on Utility Building


I only mentioned the light and outlets because I was led to believe by my so called friend that you had a min. amount of electrical work to be installed in order for you to get approved for power hook up. I was told that the code called for a minimum of 3 electrical outlets and 1 light w/switch as well as no less than a 100 amp service. I really didn't care because I plan on having more outlets than that anyway. I am going to be doing computer repair and will have several computers and devices that need outlets. I am beginning to really see just how much dis-information I have been receiving. I can't believe anything that my so called friend has told me about this electrical service. I am beginning to think he is just a loser with a tool belt, lol. I should have seen the warning signs when he couldn't keep a job longer than 10 weeks. I believe he has been around electrical work and knows the language enough so that he can get by an initial job interview but when it comes to the everyday grind he can't cut it and he can only make so many excuses before they find out he isn't what he claims to be. He has quit or lost jobs that paid double what I would have been happy with and I couldn't believe he would just have that attitude about it all like it didn't matter and it was of course always someone else at fault that he lost his job. I think he would talk the talk but couldn't put up when it came time to do the work. I was appalled that he would just so carelessly let go jobs that paid close to thirty dollars an hour. I don't care who you are, that is good money in my book. Anyway, I blew the day off but will get back on things tomorrow and check on the permits and start getting some prices on materials (groan). Thanks for being there with the advice and I enjoyed your story about the lake house I guess I would call it.
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