A friend of mine bought a house and one of the things that the home
inspector noted was some wear or damage to the insulation on the service
entrance cable on the outside of the house that runs down to the meter. She
was buying the house as-is anyway, and at a discounted price, so she didn't
ask the sellers to do anything about that before closing the deal. Now she
is just trying to figure out what, if anything, needs to or should be done
regarding repairing or replacing the service entrance cable.
I have not had a chance to look at it yet, but I will, so that I can observe
what the home inspector saw and maybe take a photo or two. If the service
entrance cable does need to be replaced, I do know of an electrician that I
can suggest to her to do the replacement.
But, my question is..., If the only issue is some minor cracking or wear in
the service entrance cable insulation, is there a way to just repair the
insulation? I assume that it is gray in color, so is there some type of
insulation repair product that can be applied that is made for this type of
situation -- possibly gray in color so it doesn't look bad?
Water can wick it's way in thru a crack in the cable and corrode
the connections inside of the meter box and/or your main panel.
If your cable repair fails down the road, you might be looking at $2000-$3000
for breaker panel and/or service entrance replacement.
How lucky do you feel?
I would seriously think about just sealing that jacket with a coat of
paint or two. There is a layer of wire and insulation between the
jacket and the ungrounded conductors.
This SE cable should be entering the bottom of the box with a drip
loop so water intrusion is mitigated
On Saturday, March 21, 2015 at 11:38:20 AM UTC-4, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Range of from wear to damage is wide. OP hasn't even seen it,
so who knows. It it's wear, some simple step probably would work.
If it's been damaging by something falling on it, crushing it, that's
The cable from the "service point" toward your house belongs to you
and typically the service point is the crimp at the service head where
the overhead drop connects to the SE cable.
In an underground lateral, the service point is usually at the street.
You own the wire underground in your yard.
The only thing the utility owns is the meter itself.
Somewhat off topic, about sewer lines with no electricity. A friend had
a clogged sewer, and the plumber came and reamed and then he was going
to dig up the front lawn and replace the clogged pipe for hundreds or
thousands of dollars,, and another friend of my friend told him to call
the city, and it turned out the city owned the drain pipe not just under
the street (and sidewalk?) but also a wider area in case they some day
wanted to widen the street. The city came out and cleaned their part,
and everything was fine again. No added cost to my friend.
Here in the midwest, it is the customers responsibility to maintain
the weatherhead, insulator, riser, meter base and service entrance conductor.
And there ain't no DIY allowed on any of it, licensed electricians only.
Toronto Canada, Everything before the meter is their problem, including
the feed to the street, but it is overhead, no buried. I had a
suspected floating neutral a couple years ago, gave the Electric Company
a call, somebody came for an inspection and actually came inside my
house looked at the panel, then he called out the crew and they repaired
a loose connection. The flood lights were bright at 2AM when they
The sure is not true here.
The power company is responsible /only/ for their own wiring.
The run from the power company wiring...down to the meter is the owner's
responsibility and I'd never seen that be a cable. It should be a
heavy-wall conduit. I'd replace it and not try to somehow re-insulate.
You should look around more. I can show you thousands of houses with
cable. When I lived in Philadelphia, I never saw a conduit entrance
unless it was from an underground entrance, a rarity. .
I'd replace it and not try to somehow re-insulate.
I'd inspect if first, then decide what to do.
It's common here in northern Illinois. Maybe code. Some wires are
strung to fascia, and some to a pipe sticking out of the roof.
Mine's a 3 1/2" pipe going 4' above the roof.
That goose-necked pipe goes to the meter.
I had a new 200 amp service put in when I bought the house, and that
pipe was on my dime.
I'm wondering how that "Flex-Seal" would work? Of course that is only
to coat some cracks oe wear spots on the outer insulation. If there are
exposed live wires, it needs to be replaced.
You could probably have the power shut off and slide it thru some PVC
conduit (the gray stuff), too. But if you're going that far, you may
want to just replace the wires you put into the conduit, and upsize them
for future upgrades.
On Sat, 21 Mar 2015 16:12:14 -0400, email@example.com wrote:
That SE cable used to be real popular in the 50s and 60s. Although they
still sell it, I dont see it used much anymore. Maybe it's no longer
code? I have not checked. The trend was metal EMT conduit for years,
now its mostly the PVC gray conduit.
But there are still a lot of older homes that have that old SE cable.
Especially rural homes. I have seen a lot of it on older barns too.
The really old stuff was coated with an impregnated cloth. I've
actually seen that stuff with over half of the outer coating missing,
where you see the wires inside, with the neutral/ground wrapped around
them. If that was mine, it would have been replaced longs ago.
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