Help with PoCo please

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L.E.S.

Member
I am in the middle of a battle with the local elect utility, PG&E
On a new bldg, I installed a 120/240 single, 800amp meterstack w/a 800a pull/term. can, PG&E asked for 2 4" u/g conduits from their vault to the can @ 50', which we put in. Here is the problem, PG&E INSISTS on using 1000mcm al cable for the service conductors, and they say the 800a can is too small. we told them we would supply 3 pairs of 350mcm copper to replace the 1000mcm al, but they say no way, with no explanation, just that "they have their own guide lines"
can anyone explain their reasoning? if they would give me an explanation than at least we could explain it to our customer,
does anyone have any ideas? any ammo I can use dealing w/ PG&E?

1st/best (cheapest) fix is to find a compatible can to fit the SqD "EZStack", (start looking tomorrow, but not hopeful )
2nd choice, get PG&E to see it our way on the wire, about $3000
3rd option, larger can/meter stack combo, expensive
4th????????????

ps, it's a 4 meter w/ 4 125a indv. mains,
1000mcm al =500amps?
 

iwire

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Massachusetts
I am not sure what we can do for you. The power company is usually free to set their standards for service and they do not have to power us up if we don't comply.

Did you look at the POCOs installation requirements before you started?
 
P

Physis 3

Guest
PG&E is nothing like it was a few years ago and before. Now days they can be almost impossible to deal with. I can tell you that if you're accidentally able to talk to somebody that's actually capable of or is allowed to make decisions and you get along, things can go more like it used to, but it's pretty much pure chance anymore. They're a typical bureaucracy now. Good luck.

Edit: Not too long ago it took thirteen days for these people to reconnect a service drop after the green tag.
 
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e57

Senior Member
Ya mean Premidonna Gas $ Electric is 'causing you grief - wanna join a support group with me? :wink: I have found that if it doesn't practically install itself - they wont touch it - nor will they allow you to. Nor may you rely on any verbal and even written information - what-so-ever! Head has no idea what butt is up to.... Knee has no clue...

Anyway, take a look at page 17 and so on... here
the rest can be found here

In my own cases I usuall have to put a term can to their spec's in reguardless of the size of my own, at times it is only like an 1" wider... FYI they have approved manufacturers.... Your supply house should carry them.

Always assume their engineers will tell the crew to pull single conductors as apposed to parralel, even with a dozen conduits. If that fails they'll come back for the rest.... And they always pull AL except right at the beach.....

As for the wire size they pull what their engineers have a list for - it does not come from the NEC - the allowed amperages are much higher. (FYI they will want to pull two 1000mcm per phase.... But they would pull the same for a 600A service.) You can dig it up out of the dozen or so documents and they will still do something different at the last minute, at their own whim.... But consider yourself lucky if they allow you to talk them out of it... Some of them are not without heart.

Anyway.... I think your other problem is here on page 3. The rest of these can be found here.

Next time I suggest you reseach the death out of these doc's above and stick to 'em - and never trust anything said to you by anyone with their logo on a card. It is not that they are intentionally mis-leading you - they often have no clue and can not be held responcable for their opinions when it comes to the next portion of the assembely line that is run by someone else.
 

brian john

Senior Member
Location
Leesburg, VA
Without seeing a picture of the Meter Stack, is it possible to set an auxiliary pull box essentially modifying the existing meter termination can?
 

220/221

Senior Member
Location
AZ
It IS the holiday season.

Maybe a little somethin special in a Christmas card for the POCO guy?:wink:
 

L.E.S.

Member
brian john said:
Without seeing a picture of the Meter Stack, is it possible to set an auxiliary pull box essentially modifying the existing meter termination can?
the meter stack/termination box is the SqD ezm series, the term. box mates to the side of the meter stack w/ horizontal busses

in my orig. post I said the term box is 800a, it is 600, a SqD ezm1600tb
http://ecatalog.squared.com/pubs/El...ent/EZ Meter-Pak, Multi Metering/EZM/3369.pdf

I found out what the sticking point is, PGE wants 42" of empty space below the lowest lug for 600a + services,

so even if we could convince pge that we are less than 600amps, the SqD term box is still short,
 

augie47

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Tennessee
Occupation
State Electrical Inspector
220/221 said:
It IS the holiday season.

Maybe a little somethin special in a Christmas card for the POCO guy?:wink:
the eaisest & quickest solution, if it works
around here "you can have the 'rabbitt' " often solves simple POCO problems.
 

beanland

Senior Member
Location
Vancouver, WA
800A Single-Phase?

800A Single-Phase?

The problem you have may be that the utility "owns" the service conductors. By law, they are responsible for the wire up to the service. Other utilities require the customer to supply the service lateral. If PG&E is required by their Rules to install and own the service lateral, the wire has to be their choice. Where we might use NEC to look at opyions, they want two 1000kcmil.

In reality, the utility will install a 100kVA transformer for this service. They also use XHHW wire and run it at 90C. They could easily run two sets of 500kcmil Al XHHW and have more capacity than ever needed. You also may be dealing with a new estimator who does it by the book and may have misread it.

PG&E will pull their own wire, period. Ask to see the PG&E standard for 800A 120/240V service wire that shows them what wire they must install. They have one but they are not often shown to the public.

Try to be helpful rather than confrontational. I have found most estimators reasonable people, even if poorly trained or misinformed.
 

e57

Senior Member
beanland said:
PG&E will pull their own wire, period. Ask to see the PG&E standard for 800A 120/240V service wire that shows them what wire they must install. They have one but they are not often shown to the public.
It is ALL in the Greenbook - if you have a current copy... If you stick to it you can not go wrong. However there are estimators and even engineers who wwill tell you one thing - then the crew/supervisor comes out and refuses to do the work that managment said they would.... So IMO nothing they ever 'say' can be trusted.
 

kingpb

Senior Member
I know this isn't much help at this point, but in the future, to avoid this type of reaccurance, simply contact the POCO, and get in touch with the person responsible for the location where your doing the work. Set-up a time to meet at the location, and walkthrough the job with them. BTW: this should be done PRIOR to bidding the job, and DON'T BE LATE! Take notes and cover the requirements. Then write meeting notes and send them to him for verification/approval. Then if it ends up being different, you have recourse to go back and get an extra.

I have seen more EC's burned by not meeting with the POCO ahead of time.
 

e57

Senior Member
L.E.S. said:
PG&E asked for 2 4" u/g conduits from their vault to the can @ 50', which we put in.
Sounds like he did meet with them??? (even though the greenbook asks for 5"....) They just didn't tell him everything....

kingpb, this company is notoriously non-commital even creating a paper trail will not save you. Even if one guy does - and doubt-full they will - ever put something in writing - if it doesn't match the current greenbook they can change thier minds and just refuse to do anything.

Unlike dealing with goverment beurocracy were once you learn the process you have it down - they change the process and personel involved in any project like Mr Rogers shoes - but have more shoes than Amelda Marcos.

I know of no-one (personally - through 15 years in the trade) of whom has had a smooth experiance with them - ever!
 
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