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I live in a duplex converted to a single-family residence. It is served by two electricity drops going to two meters connected to two circuit breaker boxes. The boxes are on the exterior wall and about eight inches apart.
Each month I write two checks. (I tried writing one check for both bills; one account ended up with a credit and I got a disconnect notice for the other. Go figure.). Even if I use NO power, there's still a minimum bill, around $18/month. The power company still has to read the meter, send out a zero bill, keep records, etc. I don't begrudge them this minimum amount, but there might be a way to avoid it.
I'm thinking of pushing all the power through one meter and disconnecting the service for the other side of the duplex. I did this with the natural gas connection and saved the $17.50 minimum monthly charge.
To do this, my current scheme is a pair of 60-amp breakers in the powered box leading to the buss on the disconnected side (plus the neutral).
Both breaker boxes are rated for 200-amp service, but the largest load are the a/c units and they're each served by a pair of 30-amp breakers. All other electrical items are minimal - lighting, computer, etc. Stove, dryer, and water heater are all gas.
Comments on the plan/scheme would certainly be welcome. Thanks.
P.S. I'd be doing the work myself, so a possible $800 charge for a licensed, certified, and disease-free professional electrician would not enter into the computation.
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Either keep paying for two bills or call the power company to have the two electric meters replaced with one meter feeding the two panels...
Your idea of cross feeding would not be consistent with electrical code as you are feeding a panel with a 200 amp main disconnect from a 60 amp breaker...
If the "loads" aren't such that you need two panels you could move all the circuits over to one panel and have the other electrical meter removed...
If you do it the way you described you will only find that it will cause problems down the road...
~~ Evan
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On 1/28/2012 6:34 PM, Evan wrote:

Why do you think that the power company would do this?

Why not?

Nothing wrong with that. It'll be 60 amp wire protected by a 60 amp breaker. The existing 200 amp is now moot. It would be the same if it only had main lugs

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Except that unless the OP goes before his local zoning authorities and cedes the current permitted use for two units in the duplex and obtains a new permit considering the building as only a single dwelling, each of the units need to meet code as a separate and individually considered space...
I don't see how 60 amp power supply to one of the units from the other unit's power panel would do that... Not if half of that is powering only the AC unit...
Just because the OP is presently using them as a single unit doesn't mean that they are legally considered as a single space...
Not since when constructed or last modified they were required to be provided with separate 200 amp services...
~~ Evan
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Evan wrote:

I'm in Houston. We don't have zoning. Some newer residential sub-divisions have deed restrictions, but zoning? None. I could chop this building into a four-plex (or more) and the city is indifferent. I could turn the property into a high-end dog kennel and the city is indifferent. I could convert the house into a metal stamping shop (gold plating at extra cost) and the city wouldn't care.

Half of it is not powering the a/c. The a/c is protected by a pair of 30-amp breakers, but, presumably, the a/c draws less than the full 30 amps.
I've measured the rest. With almost everything except the a/c running (lights, TV, microwave), the total draw is less than 20 amps.

My county tax assessor disagrees. I simply announced that the building was now a single-family residence and the tax dropped by 40%.

As best I can tell, when this neighborhood was built (early '60's), there was no requirement for a minimum service. Further, to the best of my knowledge, there is no city requirement along those lines even today.
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Wow... No wonder why things work so well in Texas, no zoning regulations, so like, I could drill for oil right next to a school or apartment building and no one could complain, right, since there are no regulations...
And the tax assessor relies on the property owners being honest with self reported information...
Damn... Add that up with a part-time legislature and you can really see how well that all works out for everyone...
Is it the honesty thing that works out the best ? Or that nearly everyone is so well armed in Texas ?
~~ Evan
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Evan wrote:

In Houston, yes (there's an oil well in our largest city park). Several others are scattered about. I know of at least one salt mine in the city limits. Other cities, however, DO have zoning regulations.

Of course.

Back when our legislature met for 90 days every two years, the editor of the local paper opined that it should be the reverse.

Well, er, don't they go together?
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On 1/28/2012 11:50 PM, Evan wrote:

Fair enough. I just don't see most locations as being quite as controlled or regulated as where you are. In my area, the four power companies that I work with, don't do jack on a residential dwelling. It's all done by the electrician. Regarding the adequacy of the service itself, my impression was that 200 amps per side of a duplex that has gas cooking and heating, was way overkill and once converted to a single family, you'd be eliminating one kitchen, so the entire panel would only be doing lights and outlets. (except for the A/C) which I would move to the main panel, or increase the feeder to the sub to 100 amps.
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Evan wrote:

Thanks for the advice. What problems "down the road?"
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Two units currently being used as one with "dodgey" crossfeeding ? Why were 200 amp services installed to each side of the duplex to begin with ? How large in total area are both of the units ? Just because your present usage can be met with one 200 amp service doesn't mean that you should remove and try to cobble together the two separate services into one...
You aren't using both kitchens are you ? Does that mean you should remove one ?
~~ Evan
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Evan wrote:

Because the building was a DUPLEX.

1500 sq ft

I agree. But it doesn't mean I can't or shouldn't either.

One kitchen HAS been removed - to meet the definition of "single family residence." That is, the stove and refrigerator were taken out and replaced by a mini-fridge and a microwave. The area formerly known as "kitchen" is now called the "snack area and bar."

Okay, all that said, I'll repeat the question: "What problems 'down the road' ".
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snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Oh. I wasn't aware he was a nay-sayer or a carrier of a sign saying "Thy Doom Is Nigh." I've sent his name off to the "It's Not A Pustule" society.
And thanks for the examples.

Again, thanks for the endorsement.
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So you have 1,500 total square feet ? Or 3,000 total square feet ?
There is a difference there...
I guess it sounds like you can do whatever the fuck you want since your area has no code oversight and no zoning rules...
Thank god I am not in Texas...
~~ Evan
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Evan wrote:

3,000 total. Each side was 1,500.

Right. One is larger than the other. I have two degrees in mathematics and you can take my word for it.

I'm glad you finally see the error of your previous posts.

So am I, but for the THIRD TIME, I'll ask "What problems 'down the road'?"
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On 1/30/2012 6:42 AM, HeyBub wrote:

governmental agency. To him it's inconceivable that the building could possibly have twice as much electrical service as is necessary, therefore it's impossible that despite the removal of a kitchen, it could function properly on half
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My understanding is that you want to join the two, then get the electric company out to essentially pull the second meter. If that is correct, and since you are messing with the EC's meter, you might want to ask them if they have internal requirements, not talking about code, but how THEY work. From my experience with local utils, they generally view such things as playing with the meters and the service drop with a very conservative (if you will excuse the expression) eye. You may not have problems with them, but then you again you might.
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wrote:

In most places you can just pull the meter and drop it off at the PoCo (call for the right location). It is hooking them up that they care about. Blank cover the can and get on with your life. They may want to reseal the can or cut their drop. That is their business.
Personally I would call them and have them come for the meter and cut the drop. In the mean time, pull it, turn it 90 degrees so the jaws are not engaged, put the cover back on and do your work. Put a tywrap on the can.
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wrote:

Just be sure they are not going to be sending you a bill for a service fee or some kind of taxes, simply because you still have the meter. You also need to disconnect the SE cable somehow.
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wrote:

RBM is a licensed electrician in ONE jurisdiction...
Apparently his territorial land is located in the middle of the spectrum between NO regulation and the safer places where when electrical fires DO happen it is because of what people have plugged into the outlets, not mistakes made inside the walls that were never checked by someone who actually knows what they are doing...
As far as your bullshit about HVAC, yes, NOTHING is allowed to be vented to the atmosphere under EPA regulations, NOTHING... Anything put into an HVAC system has to be recovered and properly disposed of... Get caught doing what you described and you won't be doing any further work on HVAC equipment when the EPA shuts you down...
As to the PVC vent piping on high pressure boilers, umm yeah, let most of the people here who have trouble making WATER tight joints in PVC pipes call a professional who makes many joints in a day be the one to work on those vent pipes, because vapor tight connections aren't something the average homeowner is going to be able to do -- but then again there are a few people here who ask stupid questions who could probably make the world a better place if they died from CO poisoning from a leaky pipe...
Yes... The zoning board determines how many occupancies may exist on each plot of land... If the dwelling is approved and permitted as TWO units, then until the owner gets approved to reduce the number of units to ONE, all services to that dwelling must be maintained as if it were two separate units... Which means a separate electrical service, a separate water connection, et al... Just because someone declares that they have changed the use of some building in most places doesn't make it so, the OP seems to live in the land of exceptions, where he can do whatever he wants without seeking approval... That is just not the case in most places with an actual population density where safety is important because you are within arms length of your neighbor...
RBM advocated the use of an existing 200amp service panel which includes a 200amp rated main disconnect as a sub panel being fed from a 60 amp branch circuit -- that would not fly anywhere around here, you would have to remove that main disconnect... So you would be looking at replacing the panel which has the disconnect with one which uses main lugs and supported fewer branch circuits based on the amperage...
I hardly ever see any good advice from you either, so perhaps that feeling is mutual...
~~ Evan
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There you go again. Show us the data that says fires are being caused by homeowners doing their own electrical work.

Does that include the brain farts you periodically discharge, like in this thread? Kindly show us all where the law is that says that I can't allow nitrogen from an HVAC system to enter the atmosphere. If I buy a new coil, how is it shipped? Hmmm? It comes with a small charge of nitrogen in it and expansion plugs in the braze connections. So, tell us smart guy, how do I use it without allowing the nitrogen to escape? Without some new invention, when I remove those plugs, the nitrogen is coming out into the atmosphere. Hold your breath! Will the whales all die? What percent of the atmosphere is already nitrogen? Maybe they should shut down Rheem for supplying dangerous crap like that which can't be used without, according to you, violating the law.
Geez, guys like you are really scary. You know just enough to be dangerous, but think you know everything, how the world should work and want to regulate the rest of us and tell us what we can and cannot do.
>Anything put into an HVAC

If I pee in it do I have to recover that too? Where do I take the pee?
We all know that REFRIGERANTS must be reclaimed and not allowed to enter the atmosphere deliberately. Kindly provide a cite that says EVERYTHING must be recovered.

Priovide us with a cite or STF up.

You Sir are so full of crap, it's unbelievable. Who said anything about high pressure boilers? It's just another example of how you drag all kinds of etraneous nonsense into these threads. I don't have a high pressure boiler and never said a word about them. I was talking about HIGH EFFICIENCY furnaces or boilers. You know, the kind that folks here actually have.
And regarding making PVC joints, I can see where you're coming from. It's likely a great challenge for you. So, you think the typical homeowner can't do it. Everyone else here pretty much has no problem making them and it's no harder, more difficult, more demanding to make one for a PVC vent pipe for a furnace than it is for a water pipe. Watch the guy with the butt crack showing sometime. It's prime it, apply the cement and join. So, stop the hysteria.

Look, homeowners are installing their own gas stoves, gas water heaters, gas overns, gas dryers. Funny thing, I don't see houses blowing up everyday where the cause was attributed to it being done by a homeowner versus a professional. And I think if there were a demostrable case that homeowner jobs were sooo much more dangerous, that politicians and regulators like you would have done something about it a long time ago.
As for your silly CO leak, the amount of gas that could escape from a tiny leak in an imperfect PVC vent pipe from a furnace is pretty damn small. And it's pretty damn hard to wind up with a leak. How exactly do you know the guy with the butt crack or his imbecile $7 an hour helper are doing it perfectly either? And the products of combustion from a normally functioning furnace have only trace levels of CO. You get CO from a malfunctioning furnace. In fact, prior to direct vent furnaces, you know where the backup vent for those gases was, in case the chimney was blocked? It came right out the face of the furnace into the house or basement. Yet I'm supposed to believe that I'm too imcompetent to make a PVC joint on a furnace vent and folks are gonna die?

Who the hell cares. Rag on

You seem to live in the land of "know it all"
where he

Rag on.

The main disconnect is NOT CONNECTED. Maybe they would fail it for that where you are. But so what? Are you 100% sure of what an inspector wherever you are would say? Is that what you posted? No, youcame at Heybub, like he was the village idiot. RBM is a licensed electrician and he says it's OK in his location. A lot more useful than your blanket black and white hysteria.

I sure hope it's mutual, because I wouldn't want you agreeing with me on anything. You see anyone else here agreeing with you?
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