Side by side meter cabinets sharing ground loop

IbewyeAugust 10, 2013

Hey guys, I'm working on a service for my new house and I have to relocate an existing meter cabinet that is on a pedestal right next to the transformer. Ill be building a new pedestal that will have the existing meter cabinet and my new meter cabinet side by side. I'll be installing a new pipes underground for each meter. Here's my question-can I install one set of ground rods and share them for both meters. I would give each meter its own ground wire loop but I'm not sure if they would require their own set of ground rods. I feel prettgood that its not gonna make a difference electrically.
I put a call into the utility co and as usual I'll have to call the metering dept on Monday, but I plan on finishing the services tomorrow and be ready for inspection on Monday. I can say right now I'm not willing to drive an extra pair of rods after what the way I wrestled with the first two, but if anyone can cite any code that would answer my question it would save me from having to do later.

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You have a code book? You have read Article 230.2? What exception, if any, applies in your case?

    Bookmark   August 11, 2013 at 7:28AM
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Ron Natalie

To expand on 230.2, are you really running two meters (implying two services which is not permitted) or are you just moving the service to the adjacent meter base and leaving the old base in place (but no longer connected to the service).

If you're going to abandon the old service, the existing ground system is most likely fine as far as the code is concerned, but you need to talk to the power company. They all have their own ideas as to what they require for the service (up to and including the meter base).

    Bookmark   August 11, 2013 at 8:57AM
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I will be relocating an existing meter, it's new location will be further away from the transformer. I'm also adding a brand new meter so both meters and services will be side by side on a new pedestal. I'm bringing separate conduits for the feeds to each meter cabinet, they won't be sharing anything but the pedestal and possibly (this was my original question.) the same set of ground rods but still have individual ground loops for each service. It wouldn't be practical to try and re-use the existing ground rods as I doubt I would be able to extract them. I'm hoping I can purchase 1 set of ground rods and have both ground loops attach to that one sat. The existing pedestal will be. Removed , piping abandoned well below grade ground loop cut and buried. under driveway.
Update; I finished digging my ditch for the new feeds, so all I had to left to do was unearth the existing underground service entrance conduit going from meter into house and just have it ready to be shortened and piped into relocated meter on day of shutdown. I knew it was gonna be a pain and planned on maybe 2' of digging, maybe 3' at most. Wouldn't you know the existing conduit was 5' Below grade. 5 FEET! Needless to say shovel isn't gonna cut it. , backhoe tomorrow. .

    Bookmark   August 11, 2013 at 5:19PM
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Ron Natalie

It is absolutely prohibited to serve a structure with two services except for the specific exceptions in 230,2, none of which appear to apply to you. The grounding system is the least of your issues. You're proposing an unsafe and illegal system no matter how many ground rods you put in. I'd be very surprised the poco will even go along with this fiasco.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2013 at 9:05PM
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I'm not sure how to simplify for you 2 meters, 2 feeds, 2 conduits from utility xfmr. 1 meter will serve a new home and the other meter will serve the same home it's served for years. It's not even close to what you keep referring too. Their sharing the same pedestal backboard located by the road, that's all their sharing.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2013 at 9:50PM
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I will clarify that the pedestal I'm or Backboard I'm referring to is located directly next to the utility companies pad mounted transformer at the end of our road, The new pedestal will sit directly on the property line between two separate homes in the whole the meter for each home, the homes are Roughly 400 feet away from the pedestal. I can understand if you thought I was mounting both of them on the side of one home. Either way I will be in touch with the power company tomorrow and get an answer for sure, thanks and sorry for any confusion.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2013 at 10:05PM
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Ron Natalie

Well you could have clarified it if you said there were two structures involved.

Your pedestal grounding is up to the power company.

Each structure requires it's own grounding system at the structure.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2013 at 7:00AM
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Placing the meter 400 feet from the structure to be served is not good practice. From a technical perspective, the transformer ( yes, transformer) should not be more than 200 feet from the structure. But the POCO makes that decision.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2013 at 7:33AM
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make sure you're not using PVC... You know in case there's an underground fire, wouldn't want all those toxins escaping.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2013 at 6:46PM
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Hexus-great advice,I'll be sure to seal both ends of the conduit. It's good to know there's still a few guys around here that are intelligent enough to discuss the health risks of the materials we use, most of the time its just the same old "code nothing else matters." You've shown that your much wiser than most, and were lucky to have your knowledge at our dispense.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2013 at 7:49PM
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Yes, the buried steel will not rust out in 20-25 years as will the PVC. Right?

    Bookmark   August 12, 2013 at 9:00PM
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