moving condo service cable

Recently, Xcel Energy installed a new pole and transformer outside our condo building in St. Paul, Mn. Our service entrance runs down the old pole and then underground into the building where it is then connected to the meters for each unit. Xcel wants us to remove our cable from the old pole and re-route the cable to the transformer on the new pole. Unfortunately, the cable is about six feet too short to reach the new transformer. We contacted a contractor and were told that the entire service cable from the transformer to the inside of the building would have to be replaced. We asked why it couldn't be spliced and were told that it just couldn't be. I know that underground cables are spliced regularly. An explanation as to why we can't have a splice would be appreciated.

Len Lorence
 

roger

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Fl
Occupation
Electrician
We asked why it couldn't be spliced and were told that it just couldn't be.
Len Lorence
Uhuh. t's the old "because they can't" explanation. Tell the contractor to read 230.33

Roger
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
Direct buried conductors/cables can get spliced with direct burial rated splicing methods.

Open aerial conductors can be spliced in open air.

Conductors in raceways are not supposed to be spliced in the raceway but rather in a junction box, or some other accessible enclosure.


What exactly are you splicing and how?
 

roger

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Fl
Occupation
Electrician
What was OP's question then? Seems to me it was on the topic of splicing something.
It was

An explanation as to why we can't have a splice would be appreciated.

Len Lorence
And 230.33 explains that the contractor who said Service Conductors cannot be spliced was wrong.

We will not go into methods or DIY answers, the OP can point the contractor to the code article.

Roger
 

roger

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Fl
Occupation
Electrician
Maybe we should have told the OP we can't answer his question then.
Telling the OP yes he can or no he can't with an article section to show his EC for substantiation is not answering a "how to" question so all is fine.

Roger
 

growler

Senior Member
Location
Atlanta,GA
Open air cables can be spliced.
It is just that company chooses NOT to.
Maybe misplaced concerns about long term
Reliability or legal liability.


I agree the cable can be spliced.



This cable runs underground to the meters so I'm assuming that it could be the old style of direct burry cable. If it is some of the older cable it may be a much better decision to replace it now and be done with it.

I would contact a second or even a third contractor and get other opinions and prices.
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
Seems odd that POCO wants the owner's EC to connect to the tranny on the new pole. Am I reading that wrong?
The POCO may do the final connection, but wants the owner/EC to provide materials and labor for the bulk of the installation. I run into that often.
 

growler

Senior Member
Location
Atlanta,GA
Xcel wants us to remove our cable from the old pole and re-route the cable to the transformer on the new pole. Unfortunately, the cable is about six feet too short to reach the new transformer.
Seems odd that POCO wants the owner's EC to connect to the tranny on the new pole. Am I reading that wrong?
He doesn't say they want the cables connected to the transformer but he does say they want the cable routed to the transformer.

I'm surprised that they would let anyone run anything up one of their poles. Here you leave POCO poles alone and are not allowed to attach anything.
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
Here I would usually run to the pole and POCO will finish running up the pole (with materials I provide) and make connections at the top with their own connector devices.

Some cases I bury raceway to the pole, provide enough raceway to run up the pole, but POCO pulls in the conductor and finishes raceway up pole. Most of those instances is from meter socket on the supplied structure to the pole, POCO takes over maintenance of the conductors should they need it down the road.
 

iwire

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Massachusetts
I'm surprised that they would let anyone run anything up one of their poles. Here you leave POCO poles alone and are not allowed to attach anything.
Depending on which local power company it is we often have to run up the pole at least 10' and leave enough wire to reach the top.
 

mgookin

Senior Member
Location
Fort Myers, FL
Now that you guys say that I remember as a (very) young man running u/g to a pole, installing the first length of riser guard and leaving a coil sufficient to reach the connection. Then the pole climbers would come and finish it up from there. That was one summer of brutal underground construction in hard ground.
 
thanks

thanks

Given the information you have all given me, we are asking the contractor for an explanation as to why the splice can't be done. They want $26k to do the work so I want to be sure that we aren't getting ripped off.

Once again, thanks for the response.
 

don_resqcapt19

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Illinois
It appears that the service point is the utility transformer secondary terminals. That it typical for commercial and multifamily occupancies around here.

Was that the case when the original conductors were installed? If the power company supplied and installed them they probably are not sized per the NEC.

With the service point now at the transformer, you may have to replace the conductors with larger ones.
 
condo service

condo service

The current conductors are owned by the condo, installed by our contractor, and were connected to the transformer. When Xcel installed the new pole, they left the conductors on the old pole and ran a splice from the new transformer to the existing conductors. We have been told by Xcel that it is our responsibility to move the conductors from the old pole to the new pole and then connect to the transformer. Since it was already spliced, we just assumed that it would be a fairly straightforward job to attach the cable to the new pole. We've contacted two contractors and both refuse to just move the existing cable. Will continue to ask them for justification.

Once again, thanks.
 
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