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Old 01-12-2010, 08:11 PM   #31
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In Oregon it's a code violation to use the meter can as a pass-thru for other conductors. I suppose it would be legal if the meter lugs are rated to accept two sets of feeders to separate panels. And the service entrance conductors are sized appropriately for the combined loads.

It's seems that there are a number of issues that people are pointing out on this thread. It might be useful to hire a local electrician to do an inspection if the main and sub-panel, meter base and service drop, and the grounding system. They could point out any items that are in violation of local codes.

Or you could see if you can get a courtesy inspection by the local AHJ.
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Old 01-12-2010, 08:49 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jupe Blue View Post
In Oregon it's a code violation to use the meter can as a pass-thru for other conductors. I suppose it would be legal if the meter lugs are rated to accept two sets of feeders to separate panels. And the service entrance conductors are sized appropriately for the combined loads.

It's seems that there are a number of issues that people are pointing out on this thread. It might be useful to hire a local electrician to do an inspection if the main and sub-panel, meter base and service drop, and the grounding system. They could point out any items that are in violation of local codes.

Or you could see if you can get a courtesy inspection by the local AHJ.
As I mentioned in a previous post (on another thread) that to the local utility in New York --Con ed-- one of the biggest no no/s is "Double Lugging". And I understand the potential danger in it. In cases where an extra meter has to be added, they require to run the connections in a trough (below or above the meter) rather than tapping into the existing meter! I think the best advice for the OP would be to call a local Licensed electrician to inspect the service and give him a clear picture what he's dealing with. Calling the local Utility or the AHJ is not ideal. Because if they find something they don't like , they might shut down the power, rather than have it repaired not under stress! (No matter what) Don't drink and Drive, Ever!!!

Last edited by spark plug; 01-12-2010 at 09:52 PM. Reason: Missing letter (e)!
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Old 01-12-2010, 09:20 PM   #33
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Quote:
My concern is a 100 Main & a 200a Main ??
Quote:
Next step will be to analyzing existing circuit loads. I’ll evaluate whether I should upgrade my panel capacity while I’m swapping, and whether I need to adjust any existing circuits that might be too overloaded. I currently have 200A service, with a 100A main panel, and a 100A sub-panel (not wired to the main panel, but branched out immediately from the meter; it's newer and doe
Scuba

The second qoute from your link is what I based my reply on. He says he has a 100 amp main breaker fpe panel and a 100 amp main breaker sub-panel (square d) and 200 amp service. Both are fed from the meter base so they are not feeders. They are service entrance.

The grouped disconnect requirement has been on the books for as long as my old bones can remember.

Aside from that I agree with Spark Plug best see how that tap was made in the meter can because this smells like and looks like a previous homeowner and his knowledgable electician friend did this work.

It is very common to see sub feed lugs (tap connectors) installed on the load side terminals of a meter socket like the image below but this is never done to a 2nd panelboard location that is service equipment that is not grouped. These are for spa/pool panels. detached building panelboards, outdoor lighting panels that sort of thing.
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Old 01-12-2010, 09:47 PM   #34
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Ah....I was somehow thinking he had a 200 "Main" panel
I have heard of the double tapped meters
I thought some were made for that ?
IE - 400a service that feeds (2) 200a panels

I agree that an inspection needs to occur...if only to make sure everything is on the up & up



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Old 01-12-2010, 10:04 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
Ah....I was somehow thinking he had a 200 "Main" panel
I have heard of the double tapped meters
I thought some were made for that ?
IE - 400a servcoce that feeds (2) 200a panels

I agree that an inspection needs to occur...if only to make sure everything is on the up & up

I have done that from time to time but very limited use per NEC code plus state requirement.

That what I called take off tap there are few circitas you have to check it out before you can use the takeoff taps like Stubbie provied the photo.

Basically you will need a legit 200 amp socket not the 100 amp socket that is the whole key issue and with that set up you can have two 100 amp panels.

Merci,Marc
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Old 01-12-2010, 10:11 PM   #36
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Can you tell the Meter size just from looking at it ?
I was assuming a 200a service needed a 200a meter ?
I don't know one meter size from another



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Old 01-12-2010, 10:18 PM   #37
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Yes and No depending on which meter socket some 200 amp verison use narrow verison which it is basically the same width as 100 amp socket is.

my POCO in Wisconsin do not allow narrow 200 amp socket at all due not much margin in the tub.

In France we run CT's anything over 120 or 160 amp depending on the set up.

The narrow socket typically about 9 inches wide just wide engough for meter socket to fit in there while standard 200 amp socket typically about 12 or 14 inches depending on manufacter plus the POCO specs requirement.

Merci,Marc
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Old 01-12-2010, 11:25 PM   #38
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Sorry for the late reply, but I was out tonight...

To summarize some facts: I have 200A meter service, a 100A FPE panel in the original house, and the 100A panel in the workshop. Both are directly fed from the meter, and neither are "interconnected."

I had a POCO inspection just last week, since I've been planning to replace the FPE panel, and wanted to assure no surprises when I requested them to reinstall the meter when the work occurred. He reviewed the whole setup, and said everything was okay from the POCO side. He even let me snap a photo of the inside of the meter (see attached). Said they'd upgrade the meter service level if I needed to increase the size of the new panel. Discussed everything openly.

I've already marked the feed wires in the workshop panel, and re-seated the wires in the problem breaker. I also moved the doubled-up neutral wires into separate slots. Also tightened up some of the other breaker screws which had come a bit lose. Tomorrow I'll try to find a suitable bonding screw.

Since the POCO is okay with the way the wiring comes out of the meter box, I guess I need to look at resolving the issue of how to set up a grouped disconnect. If I may, a couple questions:
  • Any way this can be a DIY project? (That's why we're at this site, right)?
  • Any reason why the grouped disconnect cannot be established in the workshop? As an intregal part of the house, it'd still be "in the house." Also, the original panel is in a bathroom, and there's not lots of room for adding additional switches. (I'd love to move the whole panel to another location, but I'm concerned that'd be too difficult for DIY, and too expensive to contract out).
Thanks for your ongoing help!

Dan
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Old 01-13-2010, 12:02 AM   #39
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Ok as I did see the photo that is narrow 200 socket { my terms sorry about that one }

However the only quirk is netural connection due the meter socket cover it up but as long you got the POCO inspected you should be ok.

If this was done in my way I will use proper meter socket and have a disconnection switch right next to the meter socket that will take care all the issue related to the disconnecting means due you allready ran that to second main panel if this is detached garage then you must have main breaker at the meter socket.

Now you mention bathroom this is not my favour spot at all.{ the code is pretty specficed on this matter } and per current code we can not install the breaker box in bathroom in resdentail building.
What you have on the other side of the wall where the breaker box located?

Adding a disconnection switch near meter socket at DIY level ,..

Well if you are well verised and the local inspectors do not have any issue and POCO cut the drop off it can be done however before you start anything here it is a good time to check the local office to see what they stand on this matter due some area they do not want the DIY touch the meter socket { simaur way with some POCO }

The other issue is power outage expect at least minum of half day I am qouteing from my experanice so it can go long as a full day without power in case something else do come up so just Attendez-vous l'inattendu.{ expect the unexpected }

If you have question just holler here one of us will help ya.

Merci,Marc
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Old 01-13-2010, 07:12 AM   #40
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Wouldn't the easiest solution be a new meter/base with a main 200a disconnect ?
POCO here would not allow me to replace service feed, never asked about the meter setup
I'm willing to bet I could have done the meter & new panel & then just hired an electrician to make the final connection with new feed

That's nice that you snapped that pic, ends all doubt as to how its all hooked up



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Old 01-13-2010, 07:17 AM   #41
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Don't forget if you put the main disconnect (group disconnect) at the meter, then both panels have to have ground wires strung to them through the respective conduits and have neutrals and grounds separated within the panels.

Does this project have to be done yesterday? Or can you leave it as-is whil you think about the alternatives?
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Old 01-13-2010, 09:36 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by frenchelectrican View Post
What you have on the other side of the wall where the breaker box located?
The breaker panel is located directly behind the meter, mounted into the exterior wall. I'm attaching a diagram that gives more detail to the layout.

De temps en temps au moin l'inattendu. (My wife's quote from barely-remembered highschool French...)

Dan
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Old 01-13-2010, 09:40 AM   #43
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Well at least there isn't a shower in that bathroom - less moisture

A question for the Pro's
Did it ever meet code to have panels like this in 2 different locations ?
If so, then it's pre-existing...maybe



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Old 01-13-2010, 09:42 AM   #44
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Does this project have to be done yesterday? Or can you leave it as-is whil you think about the alternatives?
Nope, I can wait! I'll get the bonding screw in today, but otherwise I'm still in planning mode (and may stay that way for a while; this situation's definitely more complex than I expected).

Is there a reference source for learning more about setting up group disconnects? I'd like to get more details about the materials involved, and the standard setup...
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Old 01-13-2010, 12:57 PM   #45
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It's always hard to say if previous installations were inspected or not. This installation likely would not have been approved. The poco guy may not have a problem with the meter can but IMO your building code inspector isn't going to like it one bit. And then again he may let it go as is ..

Your eventually going to have to deal with the local codes authority to determine how they want the grouping of disconnects. But it won't be at the workshop it will be close to the meter location and likely in the form of a meter/main enclosure or main disconnect enclosure close to the meter. Both disconnects must be together not on one side of the wall from each other.

The poco will have a list of meter enclosure manufacturers the accept or they may not care and you can get whatever you want....usually though they have preferences.

A simple way to be compliant (if the local codes authority wants grouping) is a meter/main. What you ideally want is some way to use the wires to the workshop panelboard without splicing them. The wires to the fpe panel board behind the brick are short so replacing them is not an issue.

Or you can have two service disconnects on that outside wall by the meter.

Anyway I don't see any reason to correct this grouping thing till you have time to look at options and talk to the local code people.

The bonding screw needs to be a sqaured d 'green' bonding screw which you can get at an electrical supply. I wouldn't use just any ole machine screw.
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