I've gotta install a new electrical service. The existing one uses
fuses, it's fifty years old, and it's 60 amp.
The meter sticks out of the bedroom wall, to the exterior, toward the
back of the house. The meter reader can read it over the back gate, even
though it's kind of far away. The fusebox goes inside a bedroom closet,
opposite the meter. A weatherhead and mast drops straight down from the
roof, inside the bedroom wall, to the fusebox/meterbox.
A few years ago, I installed an aluminum patio cover. It now covers the
area where the meter is located, but only overhead. It's not the kind of
patio cover you could ever close in. It's got those self-supporting
aluminum panels overhead. I got a permit for it. I know the service drop
must be at least three feet above the top of the patio cover. It is.
The building inspector says I can't just replace the electrical service
because there's something in the uniform building code that says an
electric meter can't be located under an aluminum patio cover. He says
the rule was written because too many people enclose patio covers so
that the meter reader can't see the meter.
I replied that if I made the meter impossible to read they would cut off
my electricity. (The city owns the electric company.) I also pointed out
that it would be very difficult -- and foolish -- and illegal -- and I'd
get red-tagged -- to enclose this patio cover. The upgrights are too
spindly and far apart. He curtly said it was the law, not open for
The inspector wants me to move the meter way around closer to the
street, on the side of the garage, with a main breaker, then run conduit
over to where the existing meter is. This is a big job, expensive, it
requires pulling a lot of heavy, expensive cables through a lot of
expensive rigid conduit and elbows, on the exterior of the house. (I
can't go underground because there is a slab in the way.
Everybody I talk to says they never heard of any such code provision.
They suspect the inspector is trying to make life difficult for me, so
I'll hire one of his contractor buddies to do the job.
I also understand remotely readable meters are widely in use now, which
makes the rule seem even more stupid.
Can anyone tell me what section and paragraph this guy is talking about?
(I'm in California.)