Water inside breaker box?

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DesertRider

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The problem with that is when I pulled the cover and added a rubber gasket the meter reader called it in as not having a tag, (they must get bonus points for every one they write up), they came right out, pulled the cover, ripped off the weather stripping, came to my door to make sure I knew they were there and that adding anything to the meter constitutes 'Tampering'.

They retagged the meter and told me that its illegal to remove the tamper tag, and doing so is a crime, next time they're going to file a police report.

Right now its still raining, I've still got the bag duct taped around the face of the box.
(The fact that a bag taped around the front cover and meter stops all water, tells me its not leaking in from the SE cable above or at the top of the box).
not saying to do it, but you can buy every type of “Tamper Seals “ on eBay... cut theirs, do what you need to do and replace... as long as it’s the same style seal, they have no idea.
 

louder

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I watched the meter reader the other day, the first thing he does is scan the tag, then he reads and enters the reading off the dials and hits enter.
There's a bar code on the tag, and the lock tag number is on the monthly bill next to the 'date of reading'.
The old tag was the same, but in a lighter color.
The numbers on this tag are deeply imprinted in the plastic, but the bar code is just surface printed or applied to it, you can feel that the bar code is smoother and slightly raised as if it were a decal of some sort It doesn't peel off, there's no edge to the bar code.
The tag that was on it originally had only a number and a four digit alpha numeric code stamped into it.
The last three they put on were like this one.
(Years ago the tags were all metal, a steel ring with a crimped aluminum or tin body with a number in the crimp).

100_0334.jpg
 

Sparky617

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I would NEVER count on an extended power outage to do this work or work on hot wires. The potential for serious injury/death is too great at service entrance level currents and voltages.
 

Eddie_T

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I said extended outage only as an additional safety I would still treat wires as is hot. YMMV but my electrician installed a new panel hot and I watched how careful he was. He removed the feed wires (wearing gloves) one leg at a time and taped them. Then removed and replaced the panel. With the new panel in place he first routed the feed cables to near proximity then installed the main breaker, un-taped and connected the feeds. He left the main off and proceeded to add breakers and connect branch circuits.

The greatest concern regarding current would be an arc flash and he was careful to avoid any possibility of that. Shock hazard is still only 120V unless you touch both lines or both rails. Though I don't recommend live work he did it to avoid inspection. We didn't know if panel clearance issues would be grandfathered in with inspection (plus I have no GFCI or AFCI breakers or receptacles).
 
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bud16415

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As a DIY forum and being a Mod here I’m going to say No to any type of “HOT” electrical work involving 120/240V circuits. Be it a light switch or receptacle and certainly a service panel. No one here should be recommending any such work.



I actually believe the more professional the advice giver the more likely they will be to agree working on anything in home electrical other than making measurements with approved test meters should be done “COLD” and verified cold with a meter before starting.



Trying to do any work during a power outage is about like playing Russian roulette.

If anyone feels they want to work hot that is up to them, but as an advice giving forum I have to say no to suggesting it.
 

louder

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This is one of the reasons I'd like to see a whole house shutdown switch on the outside by the meter, but adding one here changes everything.
If the shutdown switch is a breaker, it acts as the main breaker and safety switch, thus making the inside panel a sub panel. This changes both the type and wiring for the breaker panel inside because it then becomes a sub panel.
There doesn't seem to be a non-breaker type safety switch option available, at least not one that's part of the meter pan itself.

Most homes that were built more recently or those which have had full upgrades done to the main service have combination meter/main breaker panels outside with no main breaker in the panel inside.
A few have all in one type meter/breaker panels but I do not like the idea of having to go outside in the cold to reset a breaker. Not to mention doing such a conversion here would mean that each and every wire currently going to my downstairs breaker panel would need to be extended or replaced so it would reach an outside box. That's not an option.

I don't have a problem working on it hot, but if pulling the meter is all it takes to be able to do it more safely, then I'll pull the meter and simply tell them the tag fell off or something. They have no reason to inspect anything inside just because the tag is off, and I do not have to let them inside the house.

Having owned a dozen or so homes over the years, I feel I'm very capable of basic electrical work and after having to fix some supposedly pro-repairs in the past, I strongly prefer to do the work myself.
Just looking at what is here in this house, and the way they ran the cables and mounted the panel, which was apparently done by a pro a long time ago, I'm not impressed. The whole mount looks more like a temporary installation that never got finished. The panel is hanging on two 2x4's extended down from the floor joists rather than being mounted to the wall. The 2x4's were only attached with two nails which were hammered in leaving both boards loose. The panel itself was just a row of 1x4 planks nailed together and then nailed to the two short pieces of 2x4 hanging down.

I added four full length 2x4's and extended the panel to a full 60" long, then fastened the bottom to the wall. Its now held in place with a half dozen deck screws up top, and two drive-it fasteners at the bottom. I also intend to make up a vinyl shield to keep the wires that come down from the above wall off the edge of the concrete blocks.

I'm also not fond of how they jammed the panel in the corner like they did, its crammed between the water main, water meter, and the plumbing for an outside faucet, and the drain and vent line from the kitchen sink runs directly above it. I can't move it to the right because of a window, and beyond that is the porch foundation. It just seems that if they had put the service on the opposite side of the house, it would have solved a bunch of location issues, but apparently local codes require it be on the front corner on the left side of the house.
 

Sparky617

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New combination panel/meter bases have a main shut off breaker installed and are required by code. My 1998/99 built house doesn't have a main breaker. The outside panel under the meter has breakers for my garage sub panel, range outlet, two HVAC outside units and now an 50 amp EV outlet and 100 amp basement sub that I just added. It is now full. I put the new breakers in place before I started working inside the panel to cover the hot buses and to prevent an accidental contact. Since my house was built to code at the time, I'm not required to upgrade the panel to add the additional breakers.

I suspect if states start really trying to push all electric to reduce fossil fuel use a lot of electrical services will need an upgrade. Add in a 50 amp EV outlet and 200 is going to be just enough capacity. My heat, range, water heater and clothes dryer are all gas, taking quite a bit of load off my electric service. Summer load is higher with AC usage.
 

bud16415

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New combination panel/meter bases have a main shut off breaker installed and are required by code. My 1998/99 built house doesn't have a main breaker. The outside panel under the meter has breakers for my garage sub panel, range outlet, two HVAC outside units and now an 50 amp EV outlet and 100 amp basement sub that I just added. It is now full. I put the new breakers in place before I started working inside the panel to cover the hot buses and to prevent an accidental contact. Since my house was built to code at the time, I'm not required to upgrade the panel to add the additional breakers.

I suspect if states start really trying to push all electric to reduce fossil fuel use a lot of electrical services will need an upgrade. Add in a 50 amp EV outlet and 200 is going to be just enough capacity. My heat, range, water heater and clothes dryer are all gas, taking quite a bit of load off my electric service. Summer load is higher with AC usage.
Around here they are already talking farmers into long term leases or sales with annual income to give up land for solar farms. They send you a 57 page contract to study with your lawyer. No big deal for the food supply as most of the farmers are growing corn, beans and switch grass now to make alcohol or bio diesel for fuel. Now they will be growing solar electric for EVs.



We haven’t had a sunny day in 2 months and likely none for the next 4-5 months. Hope they thought this thru.

My mechanic told me the other day he got his first EV in for state inspection. I asked him if it passed the smog test and he said he couldn’t find the gas cap. The woman told him she was zero emissions now and he asked her where do you think the power comes from and she pointed to the street and said out of the wires. She told him she parks in the driveway and had a long cord added to power up the charging station cost her $5k and will charge in 8 hours. He was wondering what snow and ice will do to the plug in setup.
 

Sparky617

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In NC EVs are exempt from emissions tests and they don't stick anything up the exhaust pipe do them anyway. They plug into the OBD2 connection and read the computer codes. I'm planning for the future by putting the outlet in my garage. I don't have an EV, but I figure when I buy my next car it'll probably be an EV, the writing is on the wall and there will be a lot more options in the next couple of years. As the American Economist Thomas Sowell said, "There are no solutions. There are only tradeoffs." Europe was big, much bigger than the US on diesel, and then VW got caught gaming the system. Pretty soon you won't find a new diesel car for sale in Europe. They're going EVs there.

Not to completely derail this thread, if you're serious about climate change the only solution that will meet the base load without burning coal, gas, or oil is nuke. Try building a new hydro plant in the USA today.
 

louder

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Where I'm at, there's been very little support for EV's, they did put in a few natural gas stations, but too few and far between to matter and the vehicles suffer engine issues early on due to a lack of top end lube. I bought a used van from the gas company a few years back, it had 38,450 miles on it, and needed two new cylinder heads. (Cheaper to just buy two new heads then to rebuild). Then after a year, my insurance company started to surcharge me saying that aging gas powered vehicles posed a high risk in accidents due to the high pressure tanks.
Not able to sell it, I converted it back to gasoline and sold it soon after.
I had two hybrids, one Prius, one Ford. The Prius was fine for the first 5 years, when I was looking at having to replace or rebuild the main battery, I sold it. It had only 22k on the odometer.
The Ford was similar but I never liked the slow, heavy feel of the 4 cylinder engine and heavy battery pack. I sold it after only a year, but got lucky and got nearly what I paid for it since new models were scarce.

I had the chance to buy a Tesla from an estate sale but the prospect of not being able to do any work on it myself, and the charging issues, combined with the fact I don't drive much these days, I couldn't justify it.
No doubt however, sooner or later there will be no other option but I still don't think battery technology is up to the task or affordable enough for it to replace gas or diesel yet.

My pickup is diesel, its 18 years old and has only 21,000 miles or so on it. It only gets used when I need a bigger truck or need to tow something.
It should outlast me. I thought about selling it but likely wouldn't get enough to buy something much better. The same with my car which is also 18 years old and has only 33k on it. Between being semi retired, and what work I do I do from home, my vehicles don't get much use these days. The diesel truck does get plugged in on cold days, especially if I intend to use it, and all three have battery maintenance chargers on them. I currently have a 20a outlet on the side of the house that I plug only the truck into in the winter, it handles its heater and the charger.
I tried those portable solar chargers you put in the windshied but they seemed to draw the batteries down faster for some reason and you had to remember to unplug the things before starting the car. If you forgot, the thing would stop working and then become a draw on the system if left connected, killing the very battery it was supposed to charge.

Farms around here are all growing acres of fuel corn, so much so its been hard to find sweet corn grown locally lately. All the corn I saw for sale this summer was trucked in from out of state. NJ is supposed to be the 'Garden State", but locally grown anything is getting harder and harder to find.
High taxes and high real estate prices have made farm land too valuable to just grow crops. Most have turned into multi-million dollar deveopments with $650k cookie cutter homes. They build the fancy homes in farmland, then they hassle the remaining farmers over dust, smell, and noise.

Three years ago I looked seriously into going solar here, but the after crunching the numbers, and figuring how much roof space this little house would supply, the consensus was that I do not have enough roof space to generate enough power to even lower my current electric bill, and if I were to toss the oil heat in favor of all electric heat and then add in the prospect of an EV, I'd likely still be paying the same as I am now for electric and fuel oil combined, plus either paying for the cost of the solar array. None of the large solar companies who install panels thought it was worth their while since I do not have a southern facing roof angle and even with removing two large trees, I'd still not have sufficient space and exposure to generate enough power to make it worth while. They did talk a few neighbors into it though simply on the premise of 'going green' regardless of the cost.
All five companies I spoke to came back with an estimate that had me paying $30-$40 more per month for my electric, and that was without dropping oil heat or going to adding an EV or connecting the garage.
For me, if its not going to save me money or make me money, I'm not doing it. Then there's also the expense of roof repair when you have a solar set up on the roof.

My roof at the time was also only 5 years old, and every company required me to replace the roof before the install at my expense.
That wasn't going to happen. The roof up there now hopefully will last the rest of my years, beyond that, I don't much care.

Part of the problem here also is that the local power company will not buy back excess power, they even went so far as to not allow the 7 or 8 large solar farms set up here to connect to their system. We have huge solar farms, but they don't supply a drop of energy to this area. Word is they are not concentrating on new sources but on rebuilding the old oil/coal generator station to try to reduce costs after the cost of natural gas has soared recently. From what I was told, the major push to go all natural gas in 2015 has backfired and the one station is under performing and the other is too costly to run. The 100+ year old main plant is supposedly under overhaul to allow the use of oil or coal again to cut costs. We're paying 1/3 more these days for power than other areas with other electric companies. When they voted to re-tool the system, the idea was to keep costs to customers low, the end result has done just the opposite.

Its a small power company, supplying only a few square miles of customers, so minor cost increases get spread over only a few customers. It also means a smaller customer base allows them to keep close watch on everyone.

When I came here, the idea was to only stay long enough to get the house in shape to sell and to move south, but costs are so high, and zoning so restrictive, its nearly impossible to get anything done and every year the taxes go up another $400 or $500.
 

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