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OT - Need advice from an electrician...

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Old 11-20-2002, 03:30 PM
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Unhappy OT - Need advice from an electrician...

Any of you guys in the residential electrical trade? I have an underground 200 amp electrical service line that has developed a break in one of the power legs. I have talked to several companies that say that they can locate the break and repair it with a splice. Others say that I might as well run a new service, because the splice is a temporary fix. Of course, running a new service will cost a lot more (there go my Merlin heads), and there are a lot of underground tree roots to contend with. Anybody have any advice to offer?
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Old 11-20-2002, 03:46 PM
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IS THE SERVICE FEED IN RIDGID CONDUIT ?IF IT IS JUST PULL NEW WIRE THRU THE PIPE USING THE OLD WIRE AS A FISH
 
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Old 11-20-2002, 03:50 PM
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CRUBOSS,

Wish it was that easy - unfortunately, it is direct burial. If it was in conduit, I would most likely not have this problem. You can bet that it WILL be in conduit if I have to run a new service line!
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Old 11-20-2002, 03:55 PM
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How did it just break? Was any digging going on or trenching? How far is the run? 4/0 URD Triplex is $ 1.12 per foot.
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Old 11-20-2002, 03:58 PM
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It has been my experience that the electric utility will replace the cable for free if it is on the field side of the meter & you did not cause the fault. They are the ones that profit from the electric anyway & must disconnect the cable at the main terminal in order to repair or replace it. Call them, you might be pleasantly surprised.
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Old 11-20-2002, 04:03 PM
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I don't think it actually broke. I think something breached the sheathing at some point, which allowed moisture to invade and corroded the aluminum wire inside. Probably built up a lot of resistance over time, and eventually burned up. AllI know is everything was fine until last night, when certain circuits were dim. Checked a couple of receptacles with a DVM, which were showing 37 volts instead of 120. Eventually deduced that I only had one leg (120V) of service, instead of 240V. So all of the circuits that were dim were actually being back-fed current via my 240V circuits.

Total distance of the run is about 100' straight, but I have to curve around some trees, so closer to 125'.

HD wanted $1.46/ft for 4/0 URD. Not sure if it is triplex - does that mean three strands? If so, then I will only need to run one line, right?
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Old 11-20-2002, 04:07 PM
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Formula,

Utility company has washed their hands of it because the meter is located out by the pole, and the break occurred between the meter and the house - so they say that it is my responsibility. We did not build the house, and it is beyond my why the goofy sum***** builder did it that way. Utility company must have had him in his back pocket. Funny thing is, all the other houses on the street (that were by the same builder) have regular overhead service off the pole. Just my luck, I guess...

I'll never buy another house with underground electrical service unless they can PROVE to me that it is run in conduit!
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Old 11-20-2002, 04:11 PM
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Why not just move the service meter to your house. I moved my meter and the power company came out and moved the feed, no charge. They even came back when I took all the lines down with a tree, it fell in the right spot just didn't think it was that TALL. Again, no charge.
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Old 11-20-2002, 04:18 PM
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Mr_Velocity,

I'm not sure they would like that too much - they have too good of a deal going now! I would like to move the meter - might explore that option when I meet with an electrician this afternoon. Going with overhead lines would involve the installation of a utility pole on my property, since I am on an acre and the house sits back from the road a bit.
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Old 11-20-2002, 04:27 PM
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When we built the house buried service was required even though all the neighbors have overhead.
I think the failure you have is uncommon and I would not reject buried service for your replacement even without conduit. That said I would still aproach the utility company about moving the meter to your house. Sight security concerns or something. Who knows that in itself could be a code violation. the advantage is they become responsible for the wire up to your meter. BTW many homes in my area are 100 feet from the pole and do not have a pole on their property. good luck.

Steve
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