60 Amp line from pole

oxfordmomDecember 14, 2009

Okay so my next question is this: In our home inspection report that was done about 3 years ago, our inspector noted that we have a 100 amp box in our house, but that the line from the pole appears to be a 60 amp line. Do we contact the power company (ComEd) to upgrade the line to the house and is there a need for an electrician to the do something in the house to upgrade the power there?

I am worse than a novice here, so please bear with me if my question is totally wrong. I guess the real question is this- who do we contact to upgrade the power coming from the pole into the house and what other measures do we need to take to ensure that this is done correctly? Thanks!

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kurto

The line from the pole almost always belongs to power company, so you could contact them for assistance. Since it's their line, you need to trust that they will do the proper thing. Call them, and ask your question. However, there's a strong possibility that you home inspector is incorrect. Unless the home inspector is intimately familiar with the power company engineering and practices in your area, probabilities are that your installation is just fine as it is.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2009 at 1:27PM
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bigbird_1

Just because you have a 100A box doesn't mean you have 100A service. What numbers does the main disconnect breaker have on it? 100A or 60A? If the disconnect breaker says 100A and you indeed have 60A service, you may have a problem. It all depends if you have another overprotection device between your distribution box in the house and the power line at the pole. Phone your power company for a free inspection if you're not sure.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2009 at 1:29PM
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spencer_electrician

Probably a "box swap" in the past. Meter was pulled, new 100 amp panel put in without the other required work done. If you have an old meter (round can slightly bigger than the meter itself), the whole service is probably 60 amp with an illegal 100 amp panel. The power company won't do a thing in that case, you would be responsible to have a 100 amp meter box installed, conduit and rain head with 100 amp rated wire and main grounding brought up to code to pass inspection. Check if your meter can is round and if there is a conduit pipe containing the wires (not just service cable coming down the wall. The other thing is that the wire is at least 10 feet above the ground.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2009 at 1:49PM
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hrajotte

Chances are it's fine. It is common to see small wire from the pole to the house, connected to the much larger wire of the house's service entrance. I recently had a 57 year old house updated from 60A to 200A service, and the same wire was used from the pole to house. I swear, it does not look bigger than 6 gauge. The engineer from National Grid said it's fine because it's in free air and able to dissipate heat. That's good enough for me!

    Bookmark   December 14, 2009 at 1:54PM
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oxfordmom

Thank you so much for your responses- they are appreciated and have been noted. We are going to call in the power company to look at it and hope for the best (and least expensive!) solution.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2009 at 9:55PM
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brickeyee

"Âthe line from the pole appears to be a 60 amp line."

Distribution wiring is exempt from the NEC.
The POCO has a different set of rules for distribution wiring than the NEC.
If the old lone is copper it will appear much smaller than newer aluminum lines or triplex.

"If you have an old meter (round can slightly bigger than the meter itself), the whole service is probably 60 amp with an illegal 100 amp panel. The power company won't do a thing in that case, you would be responsible to have a 100 amp meter box installed, conduit and rain head with 100 amp rated wire and main grounding brought up to code to pass inspection."

This all depends on your location.

In Virginia you would only need to add the 100 amp meter base, the POCO does all the rest.
New construction is different though.

Some places require you to go up to the weather head.

In Virginia you can pull a permit and upgrade a panel.
After the final inspection the POCO will get around to anything they need to do.
For a while Virginia Electric Power was even giving out 200 A meter bases for free.
They had a preferred model and wanted everyone to use it.

You install the new meter base beside the old one, run jumpers from old to new, install shorting bars in place the new meter base, and plug the meter back into the old base.
Power back on.
Call for inspection.
Once the AHJ notifies the POCO they do their part.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2009 at 4:45PM
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joed

Are you experiencing a problem that is causing you to question this line after three years? If not then the POCO will say so what. They don't follow the NEC. The line is "air cooled" and can be smaller then wires in conduits or walls.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2009 at 7:42PM
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wrayburn_stx_rr_com

my neighbors home caught fire because the line from the pole broke at the lead in to our meter, whipping and causing the grass to catch fire that within thirty minutes caught the eves on fire and burned the house to the ground. Who has liability for the line from the pole to the meter.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2011 at 9:40AM
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brickeyee

"Who has liability for the line from the pole to the meter."

The POCO sets the size of the line, and depending on local law may be responsible for maintaining it.

Unless you can show the POCO knew there was a problem with the line (you called and told them) you are unlikely to collect anything if it was done to the code for distribution wiring (NOT the same as the NEC).

    Bookmark   April 19, 2011 at 9:47AM
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brickeyee

Distribution wiring is a very differ net world, with its own set of standards.

I am sitting here looking at my electric meter plugged into an etended base with aq line feeding the neighbors house from the POCO side of the meter base.

Their underground house feed is broken under their drivway and will tanke the POCO a week or two to replace.

In the meantime there is a run of copper USE feeding their house from my meter box and just lying on the ground (and up over the fence).

It IS actually compliant as 'temporary emergency power' with the distribution code.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2011 at 2:42PM
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JZoll231_gmail_com

I have to change meter box tdue to age deterioration (60 Years old ) I can get and they sell only in my area 200 amp meter base installed in a new meter box. Will my present meter which I dont have 200 amp work in new meter box?

    Bookmark   June 6, 2011 at 12:29AM
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petey_racer

John Zollner
You should really start a new thread with your unrelated question.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2011 at 6:51AM
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