meter box

redwindJuly 19, 2010

We have underground wiring in my neighborhood. The riser (not sure if this is the correct term) that goes from the ground to the meter box has started to rust around the bottom.

What type of problems can this cause? Can it pose a danger to myself or anyone ele?

What is the best/easiest fix?

I have heard that if I completely replace it a permit would need to be pulled. The house is about 20 years old, does this mean that my entire hous would need to be rewired so that it is up to code?

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If it is just a steel conduit riser and is only surface rust you probably have years before it becomes a problem. Depends on how severe the rust is.
The best, and likely only fix, will be to call a couple of good electrician to give you an estimate. This is no simple DIY job.

This has nothing to do with the inside wiring of your home.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2010 at 10:45PM
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If it's rigid conduit with surface rust only, there is probably no immediate issue. If a hole is rotting through, have an electrician evaluate.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2010 at 8:15AM
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Ron Natalie

You can clean it up (use a Scotchbrite pad rather than a wire brush or steel wool, you can find them in the PAINT sectio of the home center. Then repaint with a good quality paint like rustoleum. The conduit there is primarily to protect physical damage, so as long as it's in decent mechanical shape, you should be fine.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2010 at 8:17AM
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Depending on your location it may be the POCOC problem.

In some places the POCO is responsible for everything up to the meter enclosure once it has been installed by the builder.

If you want to make it look nicer some Scotch-brite and paint will do the job.
A metal brush would also be OK if used carefully.
Avoid wire wheels on power tools, especially if any insulated wires are exposed through the hole.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2010 at 8:54AM
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or just rub some ospho on it .. converts rust to a primer like substance... then some nice zinc paint over it.

Wonderful stuff, Ospho (phosphoric acid & lanolin).. most all hardware/paint/building supply stores have it around here. Little goes a long ways. Amazed at what a totally rusted shed looks like years later after using ospho here topped with rustolium.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   July 21, 2010 at 10:40PM
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"or just rub some ospho on it .. converts rust to a primer like substance..."

Given the usual high prices for anything dealing with boats and the marine environment there are numerous rust conversion products on the market (try an auto paint store or larger auto parts store).

You still need to remove loose rust, but not surface rust that is tightly adhered to the surface.

It will make a smoother surface if you at least knock off any 'peaks' in the rust.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2010 at 8:42AM
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I would start by evaluating why it rusted in the first place.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2010 at 1:07AM
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