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Thread: Proposals and comments – I am talking residential here

  1. #1
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    Proposals and comments – I am talking residential here

    Introduction:

    As always, pardon my English idiomatic expressions and grammar.

    I was in Tucson for many years and I never used POCO to cut the power out in all my upgrades. I cut the service drop and hold it, if needed a new mast, on any manner on the roof and do the complete upgrade, then I “temporary clamped” the new ungrounded conductors to the service drop and “double clamped” the neutral (I always overdone things as you know the consequences of a loose neutrals. Never POCO questioned my system and even they recommended me to customers as the complete upgraded was done in 4 (+-) hours. Later code enforcement inspectors inspected, approved and POCO did the permanent connection. The same on lateral services that didn’t need a meter/meter base replacement. Of course, if the upgrade consists in replacing the whole service on a lateral, including the meter, then POCO did the cut at the transformer, but I did the rest and later POCO powered the system, etc. See the photo as example, the lateral needed to be cut by POCO but not the overhead one.

    When I was doing an upgrade in WA and waiting for POCO, the inspector was present and told me: you are an electrician, you know what you are doing, go ahead and do your thing, and I did the same, only once as I did in Tucson.

    So, investigating the same situation in Phoenix area, I found that it is a felony, punish by jail time and monetary penalties if a contractor do the above.

    So, the contractor need to call POCO to cut the power, do the upgrade, wait for Code Enforcement inspector to approve and then call POCO to reactivate the power. Well, a process that can take + or – 4 hours takes 10 hours or more, and most of the time involved is WAITING! AND I find this ridiculous; we are the electrician, the experts.

    Proposal #1

    So, I propose that POCOs, nationwide, provide a certification to the electricians that “pass their examination and qualifications” to do the above. Sometimes we “create an emergency” to do our own off/on power, but that is not the way it should be.

    Introduction:

    In early 90, I starting using double pole breakers for all multiwiring circuits and using plastic ties to group the neutral of those circuits, some critiqued me for that, but later on it was “mandatory” in later NCE codes.

    Proposal #2 (I don’t know if there is something related)

    Manufacturers should manufacture for new installations a cable exclusively for multiwiring, Red, Black, Bare and neutral with 3 vertical lines as Blue, Red and Black and fabricate rolls of white with the same colors: Red, Black and Blue vertical lines for conduit installations.

    Proposal #3

    For retrofit, upgrades, etc., manufacturers should fabricate sleeves (like the shrinking ones) in white with the same colors: black, Blue and Red vertical lines to sleeve in existing neutral for multiwiring when doing the repairs/upgrades, in this way the multiwiring neutral will be permanently identified.

    Introduction:

    Sometimes we have to notch the framing and those are only 1 ½” (2 x 4, 2 x 6, etc.) and we protect the cable with a plate of the same wide dimension, but many times when the drywall is been installed the installer, today, go on fast sequence with an automatic drill/driver and many times (happened to me twice) the drywall screw slips on the plate and hit the cable. In one occasion, the screw damaged a neutral in a multiwire cable and had bad consequences.

    Proposal #4

    Manufacturers should manufacture a 3” wide plate so we can have 1” extra on each side to avoid screw penetrations. (I am using now two plates taped on the back and the drywall installation keeps it in place)

    And finally, I think we should propose some of the above to NEC

  2. #2
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    Sorry, forgot the photo

    Here is the photo
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Esthy View Post
    Introduction:
    So, investigating the same situation in Phoenix area, I found that it is a felony, punish by jail time and monetary penalties if a contractor do the above.

    So, the contractor need to call POCO to cut the power, do the upgrade, wait for Code Enforcement inspector to approve and then call POCO to reactivate the power. Well, a process that can take + or – 4 hours takes 10 hours or more, and most of the time involved is WAITING! AND I find this ridiculous; we are the electrician, the experts.
    For me, unless you want to take the risk and do it illegally, a service change out was always figured as a one day job. Phoenix, Tempe, Peoria, whereever. Mesa is it's own animal since they are the AHJ and the POCO.
    Schedule a 7:00 AM disconnect w/ APS or SRP. Let SRP know you'll be ready for their inspection by noon (or, whenever). Tell the coordinator that you are going for a 12:00 city inspection.
    Schedule your city inspection. Leave your number for them to call for special instructions. Online or by VRS. Let the inspector know you are going to be ready by noon. You'll get a feel for inspectors after a few times.

    When you replace your panel, complete all the grounding and bond first because, if they show up an hour after you have started and that is done, they'll give you a utility clearance and you don't have to worry about anything after that. If you are far enough along, a lot of times, they'll just give you a final.

    A lot of times the Troubleshooter or Lineman will check back on you after they eat lunch.

    Definitely develop a rapport with the coordinators (especially) and linemen. They'll remember you. Don't ever bull-poopoo the coordinators because when you really are in a pinch they will help you if you aren't always BSing them or being real pushy.

    My 2-cents.

  4. #4
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    Esthy, the power company's are not governed by the nec and each one has their own rules and are independent of any national rules
    They say I shot a man named Gray and took his wife to Italy
    She inherited a million bucks and when she died it came to me
    I can't help it if I'm lucky



  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis Alwon View Post
    Esthy, the power company's are not governed by the nec and each one has their own rules and are independent of any national rules
    I know that, but my point is to "lobby" to get qualified contractors to have the ability to do that as I was allowed to do that in the past, I don't know now as I don't work anymore in Tucson.

    I don't know where (WA?) that if you get certified by POCO you can do as I was doing in Tucson. I quit IAEI after many years because they are not help for anything but to sell products, I was hoping that they can do something about, but negative. It is ridiculous spend so many hours "waiting" when we are most than qualified to do our own. But I think I am losing the battle before it started.

    How about the other proposals?

  6. #6
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    There is a liability issue with the power company allowing you to work on their lines. Most will turn their heads because it saves them time but IMO, they cannot say go ahead and do it. Others would rather you not touch it. Fortunately, in this area we can the disconnect/connect ourselves
    They say I shot a man named Gray and took his wife to Italy
    She inherited a million bucks and when she died it came to me
    I can't help it if I'm lucky



  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis Alwon View Post
    There is a liability issue with the power company allowing you to work on their lines. Most will turn their heads because it saves them time but IMO, they cannot say go ahead and do it. Others would rather you not touch it. Fortunately, in this area we can the disconnect/connect ourselves
    Exactly the issue with those that won't let you do it. Working on the live equipment is not what is a felony, the possibility that you may be trying to steal service is what is a felony. They don't want anyone messing with anything inside or on the supply side of the meter, doing so could be seen as an attempt to steal service. If a POCO allows you to do things with things normally under their control, then they are not as concerned with potential liability on their part. Many have probably had attorneys tell them to have the strict policy that quite a few have these days though.

    Your last three items are design and/or product ideas that provide some convenience. There should be no code requirements that you use said products. Some products mentioned possibly are already existing. I know I have seen wide steel protective plates before.

    The first proposal - NEC doesn't cover safety of how to perform installations, that is not in the scope or "purpose" of the NEC, see 90.1.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwired View Post
    Exactly the issue with those that won't let you do it. Working on the live equipment is not what is a felony, the possibility that you may be trying to steal service is what is a felony. They don't want anyone messing with anything inside or on the supply side of the meter, doing so could be seen as an attempt to steal service. If a POCO allows you to do things with things normally under their control, then they are not as concerned with potential liability on their part. Many have probably had attorneys tell them to have the strict policy that quite a few have these days though.

    Your last three items are design and/or product ideas that provide some convenience. There should be no code requirements that you use said products. Some products mentioned possibly are already existing. I know I have seen wide steel protective plates before.

    The first proposal - NEC doesn't cover safety of how to perform installations, that is not in the scope or "purpose" of the NEC, see 90.1.
    But the last 3 could be a code proposal ...

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Esthy View Post
    But the last 3 could be a code proposal ...


    Proposal #2 (I don’t know if there is something related)

    Manufacturers should manufacture for new installations a cable exclusively for multiwiring, Red, Black, Bare and neutral with 3 vertical lines as Blue, Red and Black and fabricate rolls of white with the same colors: Red, Black and Blue vertical lines for conduit installations.
    You already can get conductors with colored traces, numbering, other codes marked on them. May need to special order to get exactly what you want and/or may need to purchase a fairly big lot if it is not something they normally make/stock. NEC already has provisions that allow for in the field identification and this is nothing more then a design decision to use such a product as you propose here. Such a product only relieves you from having to use field marking methods.

    Proposal #3

    For retrofit, upgrades, etc., manufacturers should fabricate sleeves (like the shrinking ones) in white with the same colors: black, Blue and Red vertical lines to sleeve in existing neutral for multiwiring when doing the repairs/upgrades, in this way the multiwiring neutral will be permanently identified.
    My response to #2 mostly is same thing I would respond to this one with.


    Proposal #4

    Manufacturers should manufacture a 3” wide plate so we can have 1” extra on each side to avoid screw penetrations. (I am using now two plates taped on the back and the drywall installation keeps it in place)
    As I said I have seen larger protective plates then what most are accustomed to seeing. The reasons for needing a plate and the thickness of the plate are already pretty clear in the NEC. Nothing needs to be in there to tell us how big the plate is, other then it needs to be large enough to protect the item it is there to protect. There is nothing wrong with putting in a 4' x 8' x 1/16" thick sheet of steel to protect a pretty large area if you wanted to - dry wallers will really like that

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