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Thread: Water coming out of meter base!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    Water coming out of meter base!

    Here's a good one for you. I just got a call from a client on a out of state project I did last summer. It's a vacation home in WA. The utility company phoned her to say that there is water coming out of the meter base.

    I asumed that they meant the water was coming out of panel. I told her to call the contractor that put in the water pipes that were in the same trenches as the secondary conduits.

    The well contractor went out to the site and determined that the water was actually bubbling out of the ground below the meter panel. Appearently the roughly 500 feet of trenching were acting as a "french drain". The meter location is at the lowest elevation on the property and the water from the 5 acres must be channeling to the trenched areas, soaking thru the clay soil (which doesn't hold water), into the sand bedding around the conduits, and making it's way down to the end of the trenches at the meter and coming up to the surface. The trenches were all backfilled and compacted well.

    The main trench from meter to the home site closely follows the natural drainage path .

    Has anyone ever seen anything like this before, and if so, are there any solutions to resolve this besides reworking site drainage in general?

    I guess we could turn it into leach field for the septic system when ready. Is there anything in the code against having conduits in leach field? (Joke!)
    Last edited by mrdave; 04-06-09 at 01:00 AM. Reason: spelling

  2. #2
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    My first thought would have been, "at least water is not going in to the meter base, coming out is a-o.k..
    ____________________________

  3. #3
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    Feb 2006
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    I recently installed a 400amp service on a home on a hill side. The service came in overhead to a pole @ 70' uphill from the meter base, where we went down the pole to a 3' x 4' christy box (#1) at the base of the pole, then underground (4" PVC) to another christy (#2) at the base of the new service, then into the service.

    #2 christy was only there to provide a way for drainage water from the up hill christy to stay out of the meter base. All of this was required by the POCO. The meterbase was @ 10' below the level of #1 christy, as it was a pretty steep hill. BTW, I also had to supply the 500mcm copper from the pole to the service.

    $11K service
    Last edited by electricguy61; 04-06-09 at 09:47 AM.
    ABC

    "Eschew Obfuscation!"

  4. #4
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    In the spring time water use to shoot like a water spout out of the conduit at the top of the pole, yes 30+ feet up the pole. The run is like 500' run down a mountain and obviously the person who put the conduit in the trench(probably an excavator) didn't use primer and or glue.
    Vermont Beer Tree, very rare

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    116
    I was doing some industrial machine work in New Hampsha. Behind the plant there was a large J-Box on the back of the building with 6 4" UG conduits coming into the bottom of it. The cover was intentionally peeled back at the bottom up for about 4".

    I asked the shop manager why that was. He pointed out that the transformer was about 400' away, and about 25' higher in elevation. He said when it rained, they used to get floods inside the plant, coming out of the open bottom power distribution panels in the plant.

    They decided to let the water outside the plant, as opposd to inside the plant, and that cover had been peeld back years ago.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by RJohnsonMasterElectrician View Post
    In the spring time water use to shoot like a water spout out of the conduit at the top of the pole, yes 30+ feet up the pole. The run is like 500' run down a mountain and obviously the person who put the conduit in the trench(probably an excavator) didn't use primer and or glue.
    No need for primer, but the bells were probably facing the wrong direction.
    "Electricity is actually made up of extremely tiny particles called electrons, that you cannot see with the naked eye unless you have been drinking."

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by stickboy1375 View Post
    No need for primer, but the bells were probably facing the wrong direction.
    I agree, but in Evansville Indianna you will use primer, apparently a local code, the inspector looks for it and will turn you down if he does not see it on the pipe joints.
    I came upon a CVS in coastal South Carolina that had water leaking out of the meterbase. The 600 amp disconnect next to it was a Nema 7X, I think,(stainless,gasketed). The original installer failed to tighten the EMT compression fittings coming into the top of the disconnect and leaked like a sieve! At least they used myers hubs. The neutral bar was totally corroded and had to be replaced. Luckily the wires were routed as such that the breaker stayed dry. About two gallons of water came out the door when I opened it! The water coming out of meter base was traveling through the connecting nipples.

  8. #8
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    Why are electricians so against using primer?

    I like it. It smells good and it's pretty if you know how to do it.
    Cheers and Stay Safe,

    Marky the Sparky

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by IMM_Doctor View Post
    I was doing some industrial machine work in New Hampsha. Behind the plant there was a large J-Box on the back of the building with 6 4" UG conduits coming into the bottom of it. The cover was intentionally peeled back at the bottom up for about 4".

    I asked the shop manager why that was. He pointed out that the transformer was about 400' away, and about 25' higher in elevation. He said when it rained, they used to get floods inside the plant, coming out of the open bottom power distribution panels in the plant.

    They decided to let the water outside the plant, as opposd to inside the plant, and that cover had been peeld back years ago.

    This must be what the Code means when they say "arranged to drain."
    Never fear, Slick is here.....

  10. #10
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    Mar 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by stickboy1375 View Post
    No need for primer, but the bells were probably facing the wrong direction.
    This isn't directed towards you in a negative way stickboy when I am saying "you"

    Well let me see where can I start. I didn't look to see where you are from but up in VT when it freezes a couple feet down in the winter. Its very wise to use both primer and glue to give you a water proof joint. If you happen to install conduit in a wet location and the conduit fills partially not even all the way and then freezes and you have a contractor breathing down your neck. But you can't get the wire pulled in because you wanted to save 8 bucks on a quart of primer, I don't find that very efficient.
    Glue alone will not give you a water proof fit you need the primer, just go ask a plumber.
    Vermont Beer Tree, very rare

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