I had my main breaker crap out on me. I cut the seal, pulled the
meter, replaced the main, and then plugged the meter back in. I
called the poco aftewards and told them why I had to do it. They sent
a guy out to put a new seal on. No prob. The type of neighborhood
your old house is in may affect your results though.
"Disconnecting the juice" is accomplished, as others have said, by simply
unplugging the meter.
Whether you have to contact the power company, get a permit, have the work
done by a licensed electriction, make sure the work is inspected, submit
drawings and plans to the appropriate city office, or use only UL-approved
devices is a matter determined by your local rules.
In my case, a call to the power company was all that was required. They came
out within six hours (their standard), cut the seal, and read the meter.
When my work was completed, another call and they returned to re-seal the
meter (within twelve hours).
Hint: Label all the wires with numbered tags, noting the amperage of the
existing fuse serving the wires. Take several digital pictures. Do not have
the celebratory beer for a job well done until after the final "smoke test."
I certinally hope your replacing not just the main panel but also the
main service line and meter can. upgrade to 200 amps too this future
proofs your install......
pick a manel panel thats locally popular, for easy access to
and dont forget proper grounding
If you are asking this question, then I can only presume that you should not be
the work. Hire a qualified electrician to "side job" it for you.
Some utility companies will do one free dis/reconnect without questions, or a
If you must do the work yourself there are insulated, mechanical terminals that
be used to facilitate the easy dis/reconnection of the pre-meter conductors.
are manufactured by Polaris. If you have not done a live splice before, forget
it. Is your life worth a shortcut?
They make a cheaper product than this one, but this gives the general idea:
Again, if you don't know what you are doing and need someone to hold your hand,
do this. After the work is complete you may leave them on or have the utility
come out and "properly" connect the service. That's your call.
As for removing the meter and working on the post meter wiring, some of the
seals may be
cut in a fashion that will allow repeated removal and installation of the seal,
the same ability for the meter itself. Do the work and play dumb if questioned.
as someone else suggested, it would be a good idea to upgrade your meter main to
larger service, but this makes me ask, "does the meter not have a disconnect?"
I have not been doing a thorough read of this topic and might have missed some
that you have presented. So, forgive me if I am a bit presumptuous or seem to
without all of the facts.
Number One: Be safe and do it right. It would suck to survive the install only
to die in a fire.
You clearly don't know what you are talking about. Home service
meters do not have a disconnect. Seals are not "reusable". You are
presumptuous to advice the OP he's not capable of handling this task
and then go one to give misinformed information.
I think the thing you're calling a "Meter Main" is actually an on-off switch
for the winch used to deploy and retrieve shrimp nets on medium sized shrimp
No L.icenced electricians will NOT generally disconnect the LIVE power
drop from the post to the meter. That makes less sense than replacing
the panel live. They WILL pull the meter. And usually they WILL also
put the meter back on and call the power utility to replace the seal -
quite often done at the same time as the "inspection" which is
required - often along with a "permit"
Except all that has to be done LIVE.
You are not an electricaian, obviously.
I'm not a LICENCED electrician either, but my dad was, and I worked
for him a lot as a kid.
This might be the most intelligent post in this thread.<g> Chances
are you can find something else to do while a pro pops this out.
You can also sleep better nights knowing your insurance company isn't
going to give you a hard time if the worst case happens.
Your choice, but the job's really not that hard.
It's like changing a tire:
1. Jack up the car (remove power)
2. Remove old tire (scrap existing distribution facility)
3. Install new tire (apply new distribution panel)
4. Lower jack (reapply power)
If you do things in the common sense order, the result will be as expected.
If you scramble the sequence, such as removing the tire before you jack up
the car, you can expect damage, death, and no free flashlight.
Except a little different. With a minimum of common sense caution, a
tire change in unlikely to cause you any damage. A slip of a
screwdriver, or a sharp piece of metal could fry you in place, flash
and blind you, or start your house on fire. And it could do it 3
years from now while you're sleeping.
Being careful not to cause a short in the process-- and by bypassing a
seal that the power company put there to keep you from touching
things. By breaking the seal you likely lose your fire insurance
coverage if your bean-counting insurance company can blame the
electric lines for the fire.
That part is similar-- but be sure to inspect, with your
non-professional eye, every wire that you remove.-- and don't pull any
insulation off under a staple or though a cable connector with your
clumsy, inexperienced fingers.
Here's where it gets fun-- rerouting all those wires so they fit
isn't likely. You will probably have to make some junction boxes. In
the time you spend scratching your head and trying to decide how best
to do this-- the pro who has been here 100 times before has the job
done and is picking up his tools. [and if he screwed something up-- he
gets a call and comes back to fix it]
I'm all for DIY- and have done stuff that everyone said to leave to
the pros. But the risk/reward on replacing an entrance panel doesn't
make it sound like a good idea to me.
Yeah, but things can go terribly, terribly wrong in replacing a tire, too
(like not tightening the lug nuts).
Two years ago we got a bid to replace a 200-Amp distribution panel.
After buying all the parts (retail, at Home Depot), my son and I spent a
leisurely Saturday afternoon on the case. Admittedly, we had to make two
additional trips to HD for overlooked gizmos to finish the task, but the
out-of-pocket expense came to $320.
We saved $900 (not counting the beer).
Aside from the smoke, the thing's been working swell ever since.
Exactly what clause in your fire insurance policy permits them to do that? I
can't find any such in mine and I've looked very carefully (Texas HO-1B). The
only thing that is close would be if they decided I did it deliberately with the
intent to burn the building down. Stupidity doesn't count. -- Doug
If you are installing the same amperage panel, the old wires may not be
long enough. Replacing the wires from a meter socket with a hot supply
side is hazardous, particularly in the old sockets that did not shield
the meter jaws. The hazard is not only electrocution, but the high
currents that you can get if there is an inadvertent short - somewhere
like 5,000-10,000 amps with not a lot of protection from the utility.
Tools can vaporize.
If doing the same amp rating and the wires are long enough, pulling the
meter should be OK. Else, an electrician might cut the service wires at
the utility connection and reconnect them, or have the utility cut and
reconnect. The way it is done varies with location.
There are a number of requirements for service panels that you do not
have with subpanels.
Is it your old house ? If yes then if you can safely do the work
(which isn't recommended because you would have to kill the
power by undoing or cutting the feeder cables near the service
entry head to make even the meter socket enclosure totally
safe to work in) go nuts... If you are NOT the homeowner and
you are doing work on this "old house" for its owner, then you
can't do that type of project for them without an electrical
Replacing an electrical panel is not "handyman work"...
Upgrading an old fuse panel to a new circuit breaker panel
is not as easy as it seems and might require replacement
of the main feeder wiring all the way up to the service drop
from the utility pole where you make the connections to
the wires for the meter socket at the service head... This
could include installation of a new metering socket if the
old service was not 200 amps as well as having the power
company having to install larger gauge drop wires to feed
But if you think its simple, go nuts... Its only someone's
home that will burn down if you don't do every aspect of
the project correctly...
If he is replacing "like with like" there is no issue with the service
drop or any cabling. IF he is capable of removing the main fuse holder
and taping up the ends of the wire, it IS possible to change the panel
with it live.
I've done it severalt times - but you DO need to bw carefull, and you
DO need to know how to work safely with live circuits. You DO need to
have a lot of respect for electrons!.
When the cables are disconnected and taped, remove the old panel -
then feen the taped cables into the new panel and connect to the main
breaker - and securely fasten the panel to the service board. Then
re-enter all the branch circuits.
It IS safer to have the meter pulled and work on it "dead" if at all
I have seen meter seals popped off and re-installed ( if they are the
plastic type they often break on their own from weathering) and some
utilities use a "generic" seal, while others use "personalized" seals
with their name on them so they can easily identify tampering.
On May 11, 12:27�pm, email@example.com wrote:
I have pulled meters its no biggie and far safer than working live!!!
Duquesne light didnt care as long as I informed them the next day.
A fuse broke off in its holder the glass seperated from the base.
around here they no longer look at meters to read them just drive up
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