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residential electricians please come in here,

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by R77K10, Apr 17, 2006.

  1. R77K10

    R77K10 Banned

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    hey i am replacing the main house service cable to the breaker box and it is 12/2 aluminum strand

    was done in 1982

    is gray plastic sheathed


    for basic 100amp service what size and type should i replace with ?

    i am replacing due to relocation of the electric meter, i am moving from the side of the house to a utility pole i am putting in by the house

    so it needs to be extended about three feet almost

    ive already removed the meter box and had the power company cut the overhead lines this mornign and put them to the pole that is out by the driveway away from the house


    i am sheathing and siding the house

    also where do you get a weather head for 1" steel pipe that screws on the pipe ?

    we only have a big R farm supply store and uhmm nothin else

    lol

    thanks for anything
     
  2. surpip

    surpip 1 ton status

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    we sell the weather heads at home depot
     
  3. mofugly13

    mofugly13 1 ton bucket of rust Premium Member

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    What he said, Home Depot has the weatherheads. As far as the wire, you are going to want at least #2 Copper. If you use aluminum wire, you will need to make it bigger than #2, prolly #1, but I'll have to check. Don't use aluminum. It must be terminated properly in order to avoid excessive heat at the termination. Is the wire you are going to add exposed, or it it in conduit? If exposed, you'll want Service Entrance Cable, if in conduit, you would want individual conductors.
     
  4. R77K10

    R77K10 Banned

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    2/2 aluminum is whats in and was on the house now and is what size the power line from the pole is too, it is service entrance cable

    notice up there i said it is gray sheathed stuff ?

    am re-using the same meter box and all,

    it will be identical connections when done,
    same ground and all too,

    im not changing anything at all except length of the cable from meter box to fuse panel in the house and am not mounting the box back onto the house

    thats all

    so i dunno about this terminated properly thing you say

    im not changing any such thing

    why should i use less resistance cable after the meter box when the resistance is gonna be more before the box due to everything everywhere being aluminum 2/2 ?

    pointless imho


    im going to be running the cable in a 1" steel pole from the top of the meter box to the weatherhead that i need to locate

    it wasnt before though- it was just nailed ot the house side- exposed, attached to house with nail clamps


    im relocating it all to a utility pole right that i am going to install next to the house

    so nothing will attach to the house anymore now


    also do you have to make the invidual conductors from sheathed ones, or can you buy individual conductor ?

    what code letter is what i want for the stuff i would want for putting in the pipe ?


    thanks for further
     
  5. justinf

    justinf 1/2 ton status

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    First off, are you replacing the wiring from the meter box to your panel? It is a code violation to splice the wiring from your meter box to the panel.

    If you are not running conduit, then you will need to use service entrance cable (the jacketed stuff similar to what it sounds like you have now). You can't run individual conductors without conduit in most cases.

    I agree with mofugly, use #1 cable if you are putting aluminum back in. I would strongly suggest you go with copper though. Aluminum connections tend to work loose over time since the aluminum expands and contracts more, and a loose connection can lead to fire.

    Just because it is #2 cable right now, doesn't mean that it's fine and dandy.

    You will have to meet code, or the power company won't hook it back up, so make sure you know what you are doing.

    As far as what the power company is doing, they do not have to follow the same code requirements as you do. So it doesn't really matter what they are doing. If you don't follow code, and your house burns down, have fun trying to get the insurance to pay for it.
     
  6. mofugly13

    mofugly13 1 ton bucket of rust Premium Member

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    Right, just 'cause the utility company did it, doesn't mean it's ok for you. And, reread your first post, I am assuming now that it's a typo, but you said 12/2. Only good for 20A.

    Typically, peckerheads don't thread onto the service riser pipe, they have a clamp-type attachment.

    Like justinf says, aluminum will expand with heat, making your connections loose over time, and when you have a loose connection, you will get some minor arcing, which will turn the aluminum into aluminum oxide, which is almost non-conductive, which will then create more heat because you have pretty much put a resistor in the line. You need an oxide preventer, like noalox, properly wire brushed onto the stripped aluminum wire. So go with copper, it's not like aluminum is that much cheaper. If you will want to run individual conductors. #2 THHN copper is what you'll want. Three of them, two hots and a neutral. Where is the ground rod driven, is it at the meter? If so, you'll need a ground from the pole to the house panel. Make sure you run a messenger wire from the pole to the house to support your cable, don't just let that $hit hang there under it's own weight. Also like justinf said, I am not sure if it's code to run individual conductors in free air, I *think* it's OK as long as they have the right insulation, but I'll have to dig out my code book to check.
     
  7. justinf

    justinf 1/2 ton status

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    Yes, it is okay to run individual conductors in free air, as long as they have the correct insulation. Make sure of what you are buying.

    Are you going overhead or underground from the pole to the house?
     
  8. R77K10

    R77K10 Banned

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    Location:
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    its remaining overhead

    i ma putting a small utility pole up next to the house about a foot away from it away from where the gutters will stick out and moving the meter box to it and looping entrance cable right into the side of the house where its already at, but i have to get longer cable

    so thats why this dilemma in the first place

    i looked again and its 2/1 guage aluminum


    i mistyped the 12/2 in the first post


    lol


    what would be equivalent size in copper to 2/1 aluminum? as far as resistance value?

    thats all i need to know now so i can go get my cable
    and get this done finally

    the power line is the same aluminum 2/1 small stuff

    so..


    thanks
     

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