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I will start this post by saying that what I did was stupid, and I shouldve known better, but I just need help righting the situation.

About 10 days ago, I got to the point in my garage remodeling project where I needed to deal with electrical. I had a service entrance wire (#10) jimmy-rigged wire coming in and wanted to upgrade to a 2g aluminum.

I knew I wanted to put a larger panel in place of the fuse box and so I set out to find some help to get the garage wired in preparation for an electrician to come run new appropriately sized service wires to the garage.

I got a referral from a friend for a guy who seemed to know exactly what he was doing. I explained that I wanted him to prep from the garage panel to the lights and receptacles in the garage only, and that I would be hiring an electrician to do the rest.

This way I would only need an electrician to come one time, and cut my costs down. I got home today and found that my meter tag had been removed, and that the gentleman who I hired to run the wires in the garage took it upon himself to pull my meter and run new Service entrance wires from my meter to the Garage without asking and left me a bill for it.

He did not contact the power company and did not ask me for permission to do this. I'm not worried about the bill, and I'm not worried about the wiring because everything looks good and operates properly, but what I am worried about is the legal and financial ramifications from the power company and my inspector when I pull a self-wire permit and need my inspection. Do I call the power company and explain? Do I tell the inspector about it when he comes to inspect? What do I do? I want to make it right.

Thanks! Joel
 

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so what exactily are you worried about ?
Are you worried it is not done properly or to code ?
sounds like he did a good job according to what you have said !
if you want to be sure ?
talk to a local electrical inspector.
:glasses:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I was under the understanding that I couldn't remove the tag and tamper with the box. And that only a licensed electrician was allowed to do that, after we pulled a permit. The work actually looks great and I am very pleased. Am I completely crazy?
 

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I was under the understanding that I couldn't remove the tag and tamper with the box. And that only a licensed electrician was allowed to do that, after we pulled a permit. The work actually looks great and I am very pleased. Am I completely crazy?
call for an inspection, and if it passes with no issues pay the guy, if it fails or needs anything changed dont pay the guy till it passes...
 

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I was under the understanding that I couldn't remove the tag and tamper with the box. And that only a licensed electrician was allowed to do that, after we pulled a permit. The work actually looks great and I am very pleased. Am I completely crazy?
Depends on your location and utility rules.

Some area you can pull the meter, some not, but a permit should have been in place before you nailed up the first box.

NO MATTER WHAT YOU DO, the county/city want their cut FIRST

I cut tags all the time, unfortunately the local utility is going to locks and other methods.
 

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Delay paying the bill until after all issues with the power company are squared away.

Cutting the meter seal without permission was improper. Whenever a seal gets cut it becomes impossible to prove how much power was used during that billing period. Your "electrician" should be held accountable for that and for power company penalties and estimated bills (if any) resulting from that.

You would be responsible for any costs and penalties for not pulling a permit for the authorized work

If a separate permit was needed for the service drop and not gotten then your "electrician" would be responsible for making it pass inspection including any fines for not pulling the separate permit..

Note: Electrical work needing inspection and not passing that inspection can result in insurance claims not being paid or insurance being cancelled.
 

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Here, we call and say we are cutting the seal and pulling the meter to do X.
They then send a new seal out when they are in the area.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
This post is informative. Thank you! The power company mainly cares whether or not I'm stealing power. And the electrical inspector wants the work to be up to code and make sure I pay for a permit/ inspection. If I call the power company first and explain my situation, is there a potential of them to call the inspector? I'm prepared to face a fine but I don't want it to turn into legal problems and ultimately screw up my inspection.
 

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Someone else did the work and you have a bill to prove it. I don't see you getting in trouble for this. When I had my solar installed, the guy came out, removed the meter, swapped the panel, and hooked everything back up. There was no power company involvement at that point, and it was like that for weeks (perhaps months) before anyone even came out to inspect it.
 

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Here I am permitted by Dominion VA Power to cut meter seals (as a licensed electrician). I always take a dated photo of the intact seal before cutting and call the PoCo immediately when done to have it re-sealed. Your best bet would be to pass inspection for all work performed and then call the PoCo to request a new seal.

Mark
 

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Shouldn't it be the contractor's job to deal with the power company since they're the one who actually did the work? I know if I hire someone, I expect them to know the proper procedures to be followed and deal with that aspect of it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Update: The PoCo finally called me back and I explained what happened. They said they would send out a technician to verify the work at the meter was done properly and safely. If it is, they will seal it back up and we will part ways, if not they are going to require me to hire a licensed electrician and get it done correctly. :) !! Best outcome I could have hoped for!
 
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