Looking for some options...

Status
Not open for further replies.

electricmanscott

Senior Member
Location
Boston, MA
It's a 200amp meter base.

Yet, call the serving utility to verify.
If I called my local poco and asked that question I'd probably be ridiculed and hung up on and rightfully so. If an electrician can't figure out what size meter socket he or she is looking at maybe it's time to hit the help wanted section.
 

resistance

Senior Member
Location
WA
If I called my local poco and asked that question I'd probably be ridiculed and hung up on and rightfully so. If an electrician can't figure out what size meter socket he or she is looking at maybe it's time to hit the help wanted section.
Sounds like a personal problem!

I've done my share of service changes, and I can ID most meter bases--just by looking at them. Yet some require further investigation--which includes calling the serving utility. There is nothing wrong with doing this!!! It's stupid to cut a seal (Could carry a fine) unless you are absolutely sure you are going to do the work, and the serving utility doesn't require you to call them to pull their meter.

I find it ridiculous that you would even think of insulting someone for calling the serving utility company that owns the meter--saving you time, and a possible violation.

Depending on the serving company, here is what they will do: Check there site log--giving you an answer in less than one minute. Or, they will call the supervisor in-charge of meter reading. Later calling you with an answer. When you call, you can also collect helpful information. Example of one: Meter location requirements. So don't go knocking others for asking good questions, and certainly not those giving very good information!!
 

al hildenbrand

Senior Member
Location
Minnesota
. . . the serving utility company that owns the meter--. . .
See, there's the problem. The PoCo may well not own the socket. The meter, yes, but not the base.

I personally haven't worked with a PoCo that supplied meter bases since the '70s. That's just my experience, though.

I do know, that if I called my local PoCo about an existing dwelling with a decades old service, that I would be talking to someone very disconnected to anything on the ground, most likely, and they would be real reluctant to say "The service size is XXX."

Kinda like asking an HD electrical department person how to install a new outlet.
 

resistance

Senior Member
Location
WA
See, there's the problem. The PoCo may well not own the socket. The meter, yes, but not the base.

I personally haven't worked with a PoCo that supplied meter bases since the '70s. That's just my experience, though.

I do know, that if I called my local PoCo about an existing dwelling with a decades old service, that I would be talking to someone very disconnected to anything on the ground, most likely, and they would be real reluctant to say "The service size is XXX."

Kinda like asking an HD electrical department person how to install a new outlet.
I guess it depends on the area! I've never had a problem with getting the service information. Yet, I've only had to ask three times in my career. Most areas, don't mind you cutting the seal to collect data--if you are planning a service upgrade or panel change.

I'm not going to agrue the point, if 1793 is sure he's going to do the work, then I see no problem with cuting the seal, and collecting the data required--hopefully it's still there.
 
Last edited:

iwire

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Massachusetts
Location is everything where I am the EC chooses and supplies the meter socket from an approved list from the power company. I would be very surprised if the power company knows which meter base is behind their meter at any particular address.
 

resistance

Senior Member
Location
WA
Location is everything where I am the EC chooses and supplies the meter socket from an approved list from the power company. I would be very surprised if the power company knows which meter base is behind their meter at any particular address.
Trust me, the only time they don't know, is if a service or panel change was done without a permit.
Example: I recently did an estimate for a customer who wanted to change his basement into an apartment. I had to make a few calls to find-out the status of his property, and the acceptable meter base requirements (Note: The customer had a unique meter base request). Obviously I had to call the engineering department for the serving utility. I didn't even have to ask the size of the service, because I already knew--seeing that everything was evident, yet the engineer for PSE told me (freely) that the service was currently 200 amps, and that the main service was on a remote pole. The engineer was dead-on with knowing the current service size. Reason: The work had an electrical inspection--which requires them to go out, and reseal the meter. One company here (Parkland light) is a community owned utility company. They require you to call them to remove, and re-install the meter. They also require you to submit a DLC, and new service design before any work can be reconnected by them<<<<this alone gives them the data of the meter can.
 
Last edited:

resistance

Senior Member
Location
WA
To add: Every electric utility is interested in knowing (and knows) the load on their transformer.

On a different note: If a load was added illegally, they may even notice--seeing that more work is being wasted at a specific home.
 

electricmanscott

Senior Member
Location
Boston, MA
You don't have to like my opinions but you won't stop me from making them. :rolleyes:

As I said, as an electrician you should be able to determine the amperage by looking at the setup.
 

Cavie

Senior Member
Location
SW Florida
Trust me, the only time they don't know, is if a service or panel change was done without a permit.
Example: I recently did an estimate for a customer who wanted to change his basement into an apartment. I had to make a few calls to find-out the status of his property, and the acceptable meter base requirements (Note: The customer had a unique meter base request). Obviously I had to call the engineering department for the serving utility. I didn't even have to ask the size of the service, because I already knew--seeing that everything was evident, yet the engineer for PSE told me (freely) that the service was currently 200 amps, and that the main service was on a remote pole. The engineer was dead-on with knowing the current service size. Reason: The work had an electrical inspection--which requires them to go out, and reseal the meter. One company here (Parkland light) is a community owned utility company. They require you to call them to remove, and re-install the meter. They also require you to submit a DLC, and new service design before any work can be reconnected by them<<<<this alone gives them the data of the meter can.
I would never trust you. Not in Florida. Fpl will laugh right in your face. Thay do not know nor do they care. Been here 40 years. Been there, done that.
 

Cavie

Senior Member
Location
SW Florida
I would not attempt to change just the panel. Chances are the service wire won't reach anyway due to new bending spaces requirements. In 40 years, I never did 1/2 a service change. Try and change the service wire and the meter jaws will most likley break. All or nothing.
 

iwire

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Massachusetts
I would not attempt to change just the panel. Chances are the service wire won't reach anyway due to new bending spaces requirements. In 40 years, I never did 1/2 a service change. Try and change the service wire and the meter jaws will most likley break. All or nothing.
How would you know what would happen, you just told us you never tried. :grin:
 

electricmanscott

Senior Member
Location
Boston, MA
I would not attempt to change just the panel. Chances are the service wire won't reach anyway due to new bending spaces requirements. In 40 years, I never did 1/2 a service change. Try and change the service wire and the meter jaws will most likley break. All or nothing.
I do them regularly. No big deal.

Would you replace your rims just because you get new tires?
 

Cavie

Senior Member
Location
SW Florida
I do them regularly. No big deal.

Would you replace your rims just because you get new tires?
Location, Location,Location

You Mass boys need to come to Florida and see what humidity and salt air do to the 70's installed aluminum wire and alm meter jaws, nuts and bolts. I always saved ALL the old meters cans I could get my hands on to replace broken and burned parts in metercans when someone absolutly had no money for a service change.
 

resistance

Senior Member
Location
WA
You don't have to like my opinions but you won't stop me from making them. :rolleyes:

As I said, as an electrician you should be able to determine the amperage by looking at the setup.
I agree, but not every situation is evident. Remember, we are talking about knowing the service size @ the meter (Not the service panel), without breaking the meter seal. If the job is yours, then I see no reason why you can't investigate further---breaking the seal, and getting meter can information. I just didn't like the way you presented your opinion. But I respect it! :D


I would never trust you. Not in Florida. Fpl will laugh right in your face. Thay do not know nor do they care. Been here 40 years. Been there, done that.
Hun??????? That's fine! I'll leave bragging about years of experience to you. I can tell you this,our company doesn't do hack work, we do our homework--which includes coming to Mike's site. We don't know everything about our evolving trade, but we do our homework before starting any job we are not familiar with. I am proud to say we are known, and complimented by inspectors, and customers a like! Our company has only failed two electrical inspections since being in business, and I've only failed four in my entire journeyman career! There is nothing wrong with getting all the information you need to complete a job safely, and is certainly doesn't mean I can't be trusted because i'm telling 1793 to confirm my assumption--if he's not breaking the meter seal, and can't get a service size based on panel information. Insulting me without knowing me, just tells me you aren't familiar with checking the facts before speaking! :roll:

Actually that hurts to hear Cavie make a comment about trust!! I take a lot of proud in my company, and we do everything by the book!!
 

Cavie

Senior Member
Location
SW Florida
:smile:
I agree, but not every situation is evident. Remember, we are talking about knowing the service size @ the meter (Not the service panel), without breaking the meter seal. If the job is yours, then I see no reason why you can't investigate further---breaking the seal, and getting meter can information. I just didn't like the way you presented your opinion. But I respect it! :D


Hun??????? That's fine! I'll leave bragging about years of experience to you. I can tell you this,our company doesn't do hack work, we do our homework--which includes coming to Mike's site. We don't know everything about our evolving trade, but we do our homework before starting any job we are not familiar with. I am proud to say we are known, and complimented by inspectors, and customers a like! Our company has only failed two electrical inspections since being in business, and I've only failed four in my entire journeyman career! There is nothing wrong with getting all the information you need to complete a job safely, and is certainly doesn't mean I can't be trusted because i'm telling 1793 to confirm my assumption--if he's not breaking the meter seal, and can't get a service size based on panel information. Insulting me without knowing me, just tells me you aren't familiar with checking the facts before speaking! :roll:

Actually that hurts to hear Cavie make a comment about trust!! I take a lot of proud in my company, and we do everything by the book!!

It appears my tag line has more truth than I realized. You are reading way more into what I said then is there. I was referring to the power company having records of the size of the service not in your or your company's abilites or or experiance. "Trust you..."needed a :grin: I guess
 

Jim W in Tampa

Senior Member
Location
Tampa Florida
From picture that does not look like 4/0 alum at best 2/0 (just going by looks)
been a while but pretty sure you could buy a 30/40 with main 150. Check out homeline and cutler hammer.
Would look at wire first before replacing.
Customer might rather pay to upgrade to 200 amp
Is no way i would upgrade to 200 if wires are under 4/0
 

resistance

Senior Member
Location
WA
I'm here to report. I spoke with a "some what" friend that works for a utility company. He agreed with you guys, but he also said that they do have a record of service size, but they normally don't give it out. I guess I was the exception on two occasions. I just find it hard to believe they wouldn't know, seeing that some require design plans, "It's a profit for them to know." It's really strange they make it their business when it comes time for a service up-grade---requiring our customers to pay for larger transformers, from 25Kva to 50Kva. <<<<This means they have a record once the service has been changed, or installed.

Yet, I did get this information on two occasions--one volunteered the information. ***This doesn't mean we should fully rely on the information we receive from others***Yet, when we do have work, I can pretty much tell the size by looking at the meter, or simply looking at the main service rated panel. I've seen 200 Meter cans serving 100 amp panels--which made my job easy, because I didn't have to upgrade the entire service. Anyway, just wanted to clear that up!
 
Last edited:
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top