Identifying Service Conductor Size

Hello,
My aluminum underground service entrance conductors are not marked with their size on the visibile part of their insulation. And the local utility claims not to have the size information on file. So I took a closer look at the conductors. Each one appears to have 19 strands, as 6-7 strands are visible around half the perimeter. The outer diameter of the bundle of strands is 0.36" +/- 0.01", measured with plastic calipers.
I cross-referenced this info with one current manufacturer's data, and I came up with a size of 1/0. Does this sound right? Are the stranding and total OD of stranded wire standard across the industry, or is it possible that this cable is actually something smaller than 1/0? My information is that these wires were installed in 1989.
Thanks, Wayne
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On Fri, 28 Jul 2006 15:34:31 GMT, Wayne Whitney

1/0 aluminum is good for 100-125a depending on which table you use. Does that seem to match your main breaker? Using the residential feeder table a 2/0 (.418") would be good for 150a. Turn your calipers to measure the high points
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The existing main breaker is 100A, but the service conductors appear to be sized for 125A, hence my confusion. I'm replacing my combo meter base and main panel, and I would like to put in a 125A breaker in the new main disconnect if possible.
The basic question I have is this: if you can't see the writing on a conductor's insulation, can you determine the conductor size from the number of strands and the outer diameter of the strand bundle? For example, Anixter's "Wire and Cable Handbook" says their Class B concentric 1/0 stranded conductors are 0.373" in outer diameter and have 19 strands. Does this mean that any manufacturer's Class B concentric 1/0 stranded condcutors will be the same?
Thanks, Wayne
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I think it would be pretty hard to determine circular mils on an installed conductor. How do you determine that the area you check is round or oval
wrote:

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On Fri, 28 Jul 2006 21:31:49 GMT, Wayne Whitney

With aluminum you have to be sure whether it is regular stranded or compact conductor. The stranding is not as obvious on compact since they squeeze all the air out. There are tables in the back of the NEC that have conductor diameters and the various diameters of insulated wires so measuring is a valid option. The number of strands really only determines the class of sizes you have. The bigger the size the more the strands but several sizes between increments.
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Right, but if I assume that it is concentric (regular stranded) and impute a wire gauge from its OD, then if it is in fact compact conductor with the same OD, it will be a higher wire gauge than might imputed wire gauge. So its ampacity will only be higher than I assume, and all is well.

True. It happens that 1/0 is the smallest size that uses 19 strands, for the manufacturer I mentioned previously. Will this be universally true?
Thanks, Wayne
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If these conductors are truly "yours", they are subject to NEC rules, however if they are owned by the utility company, they decide how much amperage they care to pull through them. For example in NY, you may have a 400 amp service with 500 MCM copper on the owners end, connected to a set of 1/0 aluminum conductors on the utilities end

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,ake sure the meter can is approved for 125 amps
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Good point, the meter base is being replaced, but before the meter base there is an overhead pull can from the conversion to underground service. I need to check its capacity.
Thanks, Wayne
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RBM (remove this) wrote:

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