Service upgrade without telling the power company

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My next door neighbor had an electrician upgrade his panel to 200 A without 1) a permit, and 2) telling the power company.
I'm curious how that was accomplished, or at least I'm wondering what the power company is going to say when the values on his meter changes overnight, not to mention his meter won't have a seal on it either.
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Eigenvector wrote:

If it's an overhead service, he could have disconnected the hot service conductors at the weatherhead and then reclamped and retaped them when he was done; he wouldn't necessarily have to break the seal on the meter.
What makes you think the meter is going to change? Or even that the monthly electric use is gonna rise dramatically?
Bob
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Well, and correct me if I'm wrong here, but I thought when you went from 100A to 200A service the meter had to change as well. I'm sorry if I wasn't clear in the post, but he added 200A service to his house, he didn't simply upgrade his panel.
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Depends on the rating of the meter. I have 100A service, but the meter is rated at 200A.
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wrote in message

rated at.
It's not like I'm gonna rat the guy out or something, I just wondered what would happen the next time the power company read his meter and noticed it was totally different than the previous one. But it sounds like the meter can do 200A service as well.
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The meter reader may or may not notice the new service. Without going out of his way, he'd have no way to know if the job was filed or not, and I don't see where he'd have any incentive to care
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The incentive is that it can me a money maker for the service provider Or electrical contractors Make money for the city where the permits were pulled.
They could come out and yank the meter if they see it was upraded and no permit pulled.
When you upgrade a service it is not just replacing the panel. If you change the panel out you need to make sure the service passes current codes. SE conductors. Primary and secondary grounds and clearances.
If they see all that and if they feel it is a safety issue they will yank the meter for sure. The meter readers are told to look out for such things. In our area anway.
There wont be a difference in billing from a 100a or 200a. Watts used.

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Eigenvector wrote:

I doubt if they would be interested in the permit. They for sure will notice that the seal is missing and will do a -very- thorough inspection for illegal power use. Happened to me when my electrician died a year after changing my panel and feed from the meter and had never notified the power company that he had worked in the meter box. (he had more work to do but never came back to finish). When I told them of the missing seal, they were there within driving time from the office.
Harry K
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It would be the same meter, although the meter box would be changed to 200 amp. Probably, the only thing the utility may notice is the missing seal, and in some areas, the electrician can just notify the utility that he removed the seal to service the equipment. IMO unless the guy did a horrific job of the service, no one would give it a second glance

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Unless they put in a new meter, unlikely since meters come from the power company, the readings won't change.
A permit is the problem of the local town authority, so they may have a problem, but not the power company.
In summary, as long as the same meter is used, the power company won't know/care.
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UNLESS... a) the meter can't handle > 100A and starts ablaze under heavy load (unlikely, but possible I suppose) or b) the distribution transformer can't handle the number of houses it currently serves if Joe Neighbor starts using double his prior load capacity.
So, if the original poster starts noticing power sags about the same time, say, their neighbor fires up their brand new [large current device of some sort, enabled by the new service], then he'll be suffering the problems associated with electricians quietly upgrading services without the power company being notified.
Best Regards, -- Todd H. http://www.toddh.net /
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On Sat, 7 Oct 2006 12:23:22 -0700, "Eigenvector"

Hmm... When I had an electrician to upgrade my service to 200 amps, the power company gave me a new meter for the new meter box, they replaced the overhead line from the house to the nearest pole, and they even replaced the pole and transformer. Everything made sense to me, except the pole and transformer. The old pole looked like it could last for another 50 years. I think they replaced the meter with one they could read remotely from the van, so I don't know if there was also a need for a higher amperage rating.
If, somehow, your neighbor's service requires some of those changes, the power company may have something to say to him.
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One of the power company's in New Jersey does not require any contact for a single family residence unless the service will be bigger than 320 amps which is what they rate their lines at. If it was a very old meter an adapter would have to be obtained from the power company to make it work until they install a new one.
It was foolish of your neighbor not to demand a permit and inspection. How does he know that the job was done correctly and meets code requirements? It was also foolish of the electrician to do the work without a permit. I'm wondering if he was a licensed electrical contractor or a moonlighter.
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He was a licensed electrician, I met him because he was doing the work at the same time the electrician I hired to do my circuit breaker box came out. Permit and inspection wasn't required for the work I had done, as it was only a repair to an existing system. My next door neighbor is one of those people who does everything on the cheap because he doesn't have any money and prefers to do everything through the buddy system anyway.
The electrician was a friend of a friend who agreed to come out and do it on the sly.
I agree with you though, I wouldn't think of upgrading my service and/or swapping out my panel without at least an inspection - its just too critical a component to your house.
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I spoke to Duquesne light since I am considering a service upgrade.
Kinda surprised!
All existing Triplex is cleared for 200 AMP service and they really dont care what you do.
I have pulled meters, broken fuse, stuff like that twice. they said pull meter if you know how safely just let us know so we can reseal it when you are done.
basically they sell power and dont care as long as you are paying for it legit......
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That's not what I heard when I spoke with my power company.
"Schedule upgrade 2 months in advance. Provide us with name of contractor doing work. We will shut off your power at the meter in the morning, and will only turn it back on at the meter after seeing inspection report and permit."
Basically it sounds like they don't want anyone messing with their stuff. As I'm sure its a royal pain to obtain service if they catch you doing something they don't like, I don't intend on messing with the service.
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wrote:

That has been my experience.
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duquesne light will disconnect power first thing in the AM and reconnect later in day for 350 bucks....
havent called for fee if I pull meter, install new service head and drop with new meter can and main, leaving old one in place. In this case power company would come out and move wires to new service drop when we are done, then we could safely remove old disconnected drop from side of house.
I have done lots of house wiring over the years and watched closely when I had my service upgaded from 60 amp to 100. really regret I didnt go 200 amp at that time..........
We have a variety of things we want to do, having a FPE stab lock panel makes me concerned
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On Sat, 07 Oct 2006 22:17:39 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote Re Re: Service upgrade without telling the power company:

My experience also.
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To email me directly, remove CLUTTER.

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Swapping out a panel and upgrading service is really a very simple job. It may seem of major proportions if you have never done it, but for a pro, it is on the same level as a DIY homeowner change of a light switch. I'm not an electrician, but I've done two upgrades of panels and installed one from scratch and the inspector put his sticker on them.
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