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.
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?
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.
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.
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
wrote in message
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
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.
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
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
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
Silly sig to prevent isp ad
a) the meter can't handle > 100A and starts ablaze under heavy
load (unlikely, but possible I suppose)
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
I spoke to Duquesne light since I am considering a service upgrade.
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
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
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.
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
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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