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Old 11-20-2002, 07:08 PM
  #21
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Also check the connections have not corroded, Aluminum wire in copper clamps will corrode and still look good. They should have a conductive grease on them. I would find the split dig it up and splice. They have splice kits that feature a silicone sealant and are a heat shrink tubing over them. They are rated for under ground applications.

If the cable is bad over a distance you may want to replace that section. Use two splices and a new section of wire, If it is real bad you may have to bite the bullet and replace it all.

Carefull while digging and dont forget to pull the meter off!
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Old 11-20-2002, 07:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Iggy

You want to hear something stupid, I have a box mounted above my A/C unit that has a breaker in it. I was doing some servicing on the unit and pulled the breaker thinking it was for the A/C. NOT!
As soon as I pulled it the wife came running out asking why all the power in the house went off?
I flipped back up and all power was restored.
Damn electricians mounted a whole house disconnect outside in an unlocked box easily accessible to anyone. SOB!!! I ran right out and bought a padlock for it.

You may have to remove the padlock. In an emergency, the fire dept wants to kill the power 1st thing. However, most will just pull the meter. Kinda like parking in front of the fire hydr.

Sounds crazy, but.........
Our codes require an outside disconnect if the main feed from the meter to the panel is over 15-20' ( forget which). This is wire length, not straight line distance.
My house has the main panel in the basement, yet still < than 15' of wire was used. No problem. When I wired my brothers home, the panel was located in the utility room across hall from back door. You can touch the panel and rear door at same time, yet it was still more tha 15' of wire in order to route thru attic. Had to install a disconnect right next to the meter, which was mounted on the house. Doesn't make sense! 5 steps to panel from outside on his house. Mine, lets see.........thru house, down steps, thru basement to far back room.
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Old 11-20-2002, 08:25 PM
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I believe that all connections must be accessible. I'm not sure if a buried splice would be legal. In all honestly, I'm thinking that you'll be better off with a new service. Kinda sucks that you already have a 200amp service as this would be the time to upgrade. Call you local electrical inspector. He may know of some guys that will do this as a side job.
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Old 11-20-2002, 08:42 PM
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As was stated before most splices do not go bad. What goes bad in the wire near the spice from being hit with shovel trying to dig & find falt. We use to use spices back in the late 70's. We got tired going back & repairing a second time close to where it went bad the first time. When you replace make sure you go with conduit. It still may go bad but it least it will be easier to repair/replace.

You will hear peope tell you to install copper wire because it will not go bad. Copper will still go bad, just takes a longer time to do it. I had always hear that copper would never go bad until I had a service call at the Goodyear blimp base. They had a anchor pad out in the middle of their area. The copper wiring in conduit had been installed 10 years earlier had gone bad about mid way.

In your area their should be a phone number for you to call to get all of the other utilities in your area marked. Hate to see you hit a gas line that you did not think was there. Your problem of only one phase might turn into a small problem.

You may need a permit to do the work. Check into that before starting. May make it easier if you need one & did not pull in advance.
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Old 11-20-2002, 08:50 PM
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Disconnect both ends, buy new wire, wire tap the new on the end of old, make a lead in front of splice, hook other end of old wire to your truck. Put'r in 4 low and ...........................PULL!
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Old 11-21-2002, 09:55 AM
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Thanks for all the advice! Some interesting ideas were offered. I found one company that would guarantee the splice for 5 years - might consider them. However, the $500 they want for the splice would probably cover my costs for a new service in conduit if I do most of the work. That way I KNOW it would be done right. Still weighing my options. Hope the hot water holds out a little longer!

I have a cousin who works for the local electric company. I'm going to try to get the straight scoop from him regarding the power company's responsibility for the underground line and the meter location.

And Turbojack, I already found the gas line (the hard way) last summer! I'm on LP, and I managed to puncture the line while driving a 10" spike through a landscaping timber in the back yard. That line was probably less than 6" underground! Apparently, when the line was installed, there were no codes dictating the depth in the county in which I live. I couldn't have hit it any more dead-center if I had aimed for it - 1 inch either way and I would have missed entirely. Just goes to show the kind of luck I have with that stuff...
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Old 11-21-2002, 10:26 AM
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$500.00 !!!!


Unbelievable.... you can buy the splice kit at Home Depot for under $10.00 !!! If you can locate the break, do it yourself. No problem.... al it take is a pair of wire.cable cutters, an allen wrench and a heat gun...... if you can put a terminal lug on a 16 ga. wire you can do this. JUST BE SURE THE METER IS PULLED ON THE POLE or you will fry your a$$!! With the meter pulled you can put a "tone generator" on the bad cable and get a "tone Probe" (both from Home Dept electrical dept or GrayBar, etc) and locate the break easily. Both tools can also be used to locate wiring problems in you boat, car or home. Have fun!!
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Old 11-21-2002, 11:07 AM
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You are SOL, that service belongs to you. Call a local Eletrical supply house & get a underground splice kiit, good ones cost about $26-00 complete. Don't for get to put an Anti Oxidizing grease on connections. Do not over tighen as Al will crush & spread out of contact area. Most areas will have a Utility service marking service available, they can/ may help you locate the fault with one of the tracers they use(slip the guy 20bucks). I replace & repair service like yours all the time, a splice if done correctly will last forever. Take you time & do it right. Check up & down cable for any other nicks. You may find that when the one cable burn't, it may have damaged it's brothers alongside. $500-00 is not that bad all things considered, you never know what you may find when you dig something like that.
Thats my input..
PS I am a Electrical Contractor in Florida
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Old 11-21-2002, 12:30 PM
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I agree with JohnO, price is not that bad for $500.00 based on all the time it might take to find & fix. There may be a gotya. What if wire goes bad right next to his spice, is he going to fix that for free or another $500.00. Did you get a price from him to replace the whole thing? Be carefull. I have seen too many duityourselfers get fried or burn up something messing with electricity.

If you do it your self make sure you use all of the correct electrical pipe fittings. I don't want to see your job in one of the trade magazines where someone used plumber pipe/elbows for electrical.
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Old 11-21-2002, 01:17 PM
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The only problem is that you are dealing with a hot wire. There is no gfi breaker to save your ass either. There will be stray voltage in the area too. The right way is to have the service disconnected and then repaired. Just hire somebody and get it done.



Quote:
Originally posted by blown formula
$500.00 !!!!


Unbelievable.... you can buy the splice kit at Home Depot for under $10.00 !!! If you can locate the break, do it yourself. No problem.... al it take is a pair of wire.cable cutters, an allen wrench and a heat gun...... if you can put a terminal lug on a 16 ga. wire you can do this. JUST BE SURE THE METER IS PULLED ON THE POLE or you will fry your a$$!! With the meter pulled you can put a "tone generator" on the bad cable and get a "tone Probe" (both from Home Dept electrical dept or GrayBar, etc) and locate the break easily. Both tools can also be used to locate wiring problems in you boat, car or home. Have fun!!
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