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Kevin
Kevin, Licensed Electrician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 1075
Experience:  27 years as a Licensed Electrical Contractor in Illinois, 5 year college Electrical Instructor, Former Electrical Inspector, Diploma in Digital Electronics, Former Illinois Licensed Home Inspector
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A family trustee who is handling the maintenance on house held

Resolved Question:

A family trustee who is handling the maintenance on house held in trust just paid electrical company about $400 to install "100 amp loop" I asked him once what the loop was he needed to have installed and he said it was the wiring that went from the pole to the house. Does this sound correct?

I checked the house a couple of days after he supposedly paid the local utility for this service and did not see anything had changed as far as the electrical ckt breaker box was concerned. In fact their were no wires coming from the outside connected to the circuit breaker box. ( This is a new box put in a different location from the original box by a non electrician with some wires connected to ckt breakers but no incoming wires connected.)

Does any of this make any sense to you?
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Electrical
Expert:  Kevin replied 10 months ago.

Hello.....my name is XXXXX XXXXX I will be happy to assist you with your electrical question. My goal is to exceed your expectations on Just Answer!

 

1) Originally, did the main electrical panel (breaker panel) reside at the pole and was relocated to the house?

 

2) What type of electrical service leaves the pole and into the house? Overhead or Underground?

 

3) Does the pole have the electrical meter as well as a main disconnect or do these reside at the exterior of the home? Were these items relocated?

 

4) Was there recently a service upgrade to the new electrical panel?, ie, went from maybe 60 amps to 100 amps or from 100 amps to a 200 amp service?

 

5) How many electrical panels (breaker panels) reside on the property? 1 main panel only or 1 main panel and possibly 1 sub-panel?

 

 

Customer: replied 10 months ago.

 

 

I think the trustee got himself into a mess by letting his inexperienced son do a lot of electrical wiring and now it appeaars he is not giving us the truth on what is happening.

 

1) Originally, did the main electrical panel (breaker panel) reside at the pole and was relocated to the house?

 

The main breaker panel orginally was in side the house however there was a fuse box a the pole that appeared to be connected to the two 115 volt lines coming into that pole and then going to the house. However only one line was going from the pole to the house.

 

2) What type of electrical service leaves the pole and into the house? Overhead or Underground?

 

There was just one line overhead going to the house. Back in March I noticed someone had strung another uninsulate wire to the house but the trustee claimes he does not know who did it. (I am sure he does know)

 

3) Does the pole have the electrical meter as well as a main disconnect or do these reside at the exterior of the home? Were these items relocated?

 

The pole does have an electrical meter and a main disconnect. I mentioned the two big fuses. These items were not relocated.

 

4) Was there recently a service upgrade to the new electrical panel?, ie, went from maybe 60 amps to 100 amps or from 100 amps to a 200 amp service?

 

There was a recent service upgrade from a very small panelto a much bigger panel. I am guessing the orginal box was 60 amp and the new box might be either 100 or 200A. The panel was also relocated to a different position, about 15 feet from the original box. The orginal box no longer exist. The changes in panel size was mainly to have 220. The house did not have 220 before. This was all done by the trustee's son who is not licensed.

 

About 3 months ago the trustee had the local utility check the house and that's when the trustee first mentioned something about the utility was going to have to install some kind of loop and that the pipe with the incoming wires had to extend all the way to the circuit breaker panel.

 

5) How many electrical panels (breaker panels) reside on the property? 1 main panel only or 1 main panel and possibly 1 sub-panel?

 

There is only one breaker panel and as I said when I saw it two weeks ago it did not have any wire connected to it from the pole. I am wondering if electric company told him to leave the wires disconncected until other things were corrected.

 

 

Expert:  Kevin replied 10 months ago.

1) Thank you for the replies

 

2) Depending upon the local utility, they will route the wires originating from their transformer and install the meter at the pole. Then it is the responsibility of the property owner to have a licensed electrician install a main disconnect, the Service Entrance wires into the house and the main electrical panel. The "loop" that you are referring to are the Service Entrance wires leaving the pole and routing into the house.

 

3) In more populated areas with smaller lot sizes, most electrical utilities will run their wires all the way from the electrical transformer whether underground or overhead and will terminate their wires onto the customer provided meter socket located at the exterior wall of the home. From that point, it is the property owner's responsibility to have a licensed electrician make the final connections from the meter socket into the main electrical panel.

 

4) If a panel upgrade was performed, ie, the amperage increased from 60 to 100 amps or from 100 to 200 amps, then yes, the Service Entrance wires or final loop would need to be increased in order to accommodate the higher amperage. Remember, a 100 amp service requires larger wires than a 60 amp service. And a 200 amp service requires larger wires than a 100 amp service. In summary, the larger the service, the larger the Service Entrance wires or loop conductors need to be. Distance is also an issue due to voltage drop on the wires and wire sizes are subject to being increased in size due to this.

 

5) If the service is overhead, then yes, the home will have an exterior Service Riser pipe (mast) installed on the exterior wall of the home in order to protect the wires and will connect to the wires originating from the pole.

 

6) I would ask him to have his son provide you and the other recipients of the home a copy of his electrical license and insurance. Most likely, he is not a licensed electrician and may have already or will cause electrical wiring problems. As a beneficiary of the trust, you and any other trust beneficiaries have the right to a properly and safe electrical distribution system throughout the home. I would demand that only a licensed electrical contractor be allowed to perform any electrical work on the property. If the trustee is not willing to hire a licensed professional, I would discuss this with your attorney.

 

If the home was not wired per the National Electrical Code as well as any local codes and code violations result, this now makes the home unsafe and a potential safety hazard. It also presents a problem when it comes time to sell the home. More than likely, any potential home buyer will hire a state licensed home inspector and electrical code violations are the number 1 item that any licensed home inspector will write up. Once electrical code violations are noted, the potential home buyer will either demand that the electrical be properly fixed at your expense or they will "lowball" on the asking price of the home. You have most likely heard of the term "pay me now or pay me later". This is what typically occurs in the real estate transactions.

 

Also keep in mind, that many lending institutions are now requiring a home inspection performed by a state licensed home inspector where the loan approval is contingent upon the home inspection. At the lender's discretion, they may or may not approve the potential home buyers mortgage... thus a possible lost opportunity for the seller .

 

 

 

Hope this helps.........If you have any additional questions, let me know and I'll be glad to answer them for you.

 

Otherwise, don't forget to rate me before you log Off.

 

The next time you have an electrical question, you can also request for me at:http://www.justanswer.com/home-improvement/expert-your-electrician
..........Thanks..............Kevin!



Customer: replied 10 months ago.


You said this:


 


 


2) Depending upon the local utility, they will route the wires originating from their transformer and install the meter at the pole. Then it is the responsibility of the property owner to have a licensed electrician install a main disconnect, the Service Entrance wires into the house and the main electrical panel. The "loop" that you are referring to are the Service Entrance wires leaving the pole and routing into the house.


 


4) If a panel upgrade was performed, ie, the amperage increased from 60 to 100 amps or from 100 to 200 amps, then yes, the Service Entrance wires or final loop would need to be increased in order to accommodate the higher amperage. Remember, a 100 amp service requires larger wires than a 60 amp service. And a 200 amp service requires larger wires than a 100 amp service. In summary, the larger the service, the larger the Service Entrance wires or loop conductors need to be. Distance is also an issue due to voltage drop on the wires and wire sizes are subject to being increased in size due to this.


 


So this check I referred to for 400 plus dollars was made out directly to the electrical utility company. (I have access to the bank records. A note at bottom of check says "100 amp loop"). You said that the utility company only runs the wire to the pole and thus my confusion.


 


 


I have two more questions:


 


1. Does the utility company ever run the wiring from the pole to the house and then connect the wires to the panel which you confirmed is the loop the trustee is talking about?


 


2. Who ever ran the loop wouldn't they have connected the incoming wires to the circuit breaker panel? There are no incoming wires connected to the breaker panel ie there is no power to the house at this time.


 

Expert:  Kevin replied 10 months ago.

1) The utility company typically never connects any of their wires past the meter socket. The meter is the point of demarcation where the utility responsibility ends and the property owner responsibility begins. However since the service is overhead, it is possible that the utility ran the overhead service wires from the pole to the service riser mast and stopped at that point. The wires running from the meter socket at the pole overhead to the house are the property owners wires and not the utility. Possible that they ran these wires as an additional added service for the trustee, thus the reason for the $400 fee.

 

I am not aware of any electrical utility in the United States that connects Service Entrance wires to a home's main electrical panel. The connection at the main house panel is always performed by an electrical contractor and not by the utility.

 

2) If the meter is located at the pole, it is possible that the utility needed to increase their conductor sizes from their transformer to the pole. Not sure if the pole which has the meter installed at also has the utility transformer? If 2 separate poles, one at the transformer and one at the property line, the utility may be calling the conductors run from the transformer pole or transformer pedestal to the pole on your property as the loop. The term "loop" is typically the final Service Entrance wires into the home. It is possible that the utility is using the term loop in a different context since this term can mean many things.

 

3) If the house has a riser mast located on the exterior wall, the wires that land at the top of the weather head on the mast need to be spliced to the wires going into the main electrical panel. This explains as to why the house has no power at this time since the wires from the weather head to the panel have not been installed.

Kevin, Licensed Electrician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 1075
Experience: 27 years as a Licensed Electrical Contractor in Illinois, 5 year college Electrical Instructor, Former Electrical Inspector, Diploma in Digital Electronics, Former Illinois Licensed Home Inspector
Kevin and 2 other Electrical Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Kevin replied 10 months ago.

Thank you for the excellent service rating...........much appreciated!

 

I hope things go well for you at the house and everything gets installed properly.

 

If you have any other questions, just let me know.

 

Take care and have a great evening..........Thanks............Kevin!

Customer: replied 10 months ago.


I wanted to know you have done a great job explaining things. I think the problem is the trustee is not being straight forward with us. (not your problem) I say this because there has been absolutely no change in the wiring since I was there in in May of this year. I was just there again mid sep just 2 days after trustee supposedly paid $400 to utility to run loop and there has been no change in what you have explained is the loop and even what trustee has explained is the loop.So this is just a personal problem we will have to deal with.


 


This electrical system has one pole with the transformer on it and then about 50 feet closer to the house another pole with the meter and panel with two big fuses.


 


Thanks again for your help.


 

Expert:  Kevin replied 10 months ago.

1) No problem, glad I could assist you and thanks for the kind words.

 

2) Since the transformer is located on 1 pole and the 2nd pole was used to route the overhead wires due to a distance span, the utility may be calling the wires going from pole to pole as the 100 amp loop.

 

3) As I mentioned previously, the term loop usually means the final route of the wires. However, the utility may consider the loop as the final routing of the wires from the transformer to the meter (thus the span between the 2 poles). Other terminologies of the loop will mean from the meter to the main electrical panel.

 

4) If you have any follow-up questions on this, just reply back to me at this question. No need to create a new question.

 

5) Once again, good luck and I hope everything turns out in your favor..........Thanks...........Kevin!

Customer: replied 10 months ago.

When I went to the property two weeks ago I noticed the the pole with the meter on it had two bands of orange tape wrapped around the pole just above the meter. Does this mean anything to you? I did not notice if the meter was still running our not .

 

Also what gauge wire should there be going from the pole to the house? It's about 30 ft or so from the pole to the mast on the house. The bare wire from pole to house that was installed by someone back in march appears to be about 10 gauge at most. the other wire that has always been there is much thicker.

Expert:  Kevin replied 10 months ago.

1) Not sure what the orange tape means? Probably something that the local utility uses to classify something on their end.

 

2) Before I can provide you with the proper wire gauge, I need to know if the service is 100 or 200 amps in order to calculate for any voltage drop. Look at the main disconnect breaker (should be the very top breaker located in the middle) in the circuit panel and let me know what size it is. It will either be 100 or 200.

 

3) I assume the voltage is 120 and 240 VAC?

 

4) You mention approximately 30 feet from the pole to the riser mast. I also need an approximate distance from the top of the riser mast into where the main electrical panel is installed.

 

5) Also, do you know if the wires are copper or aluminum from the pole to the house? Very possible they are aluminum. If you can visually inspect any outer insulation on the wires, it will be marked as either Cu or Al.

 

Let me know and I will calculate the wire size and will reply back to you..............Thanks...............Kevin!

Customer: replied 10 months ago.

2) Before I can provide you with the proper wire gauge, I need to know if the service is 100 or 200 amps in order to calculate for any voltage drop.


 


I believe it is 100 amps.


 


3) I assume the voltage is 120 and 240 VAC?


 


Yes


 


4) You mention approximately 30 feet from the pole to the riser mast. I also need an approximate distance from the top of the riser mast into where the main electrical panel is installed.


 


That would be about 15 feet.


 


 


5) Also, do you know if the wires are copper or aluminum from the pole to the house? Very possible they are aluminum.


 


The wires from pole to house: One wire is has a covering on it so don't knnow if it is copper or not. The one wire that has been recently added and is bare is silver in color. So I would guess aluminum.


 

Expert:  Kevin replied 10 months ago.

1) Thanks for the replies!

 

2) Using 240VAC Single Phase at a distance of 45 feet with a 100 amp load requires either 4 AWG Stranded Copper or 2 AWG Stranded Aluminum for the Service Entrance cables from the meter to the panel. The National Electrical Code recommends a maximum voltage drop of 3%. Whether using 4 AWG Copper or 2 AWG Aluminum conductors, both result in a 1% voltage drop. Therefore, either of these wires sizes are acceptable and OK.

Kevin, Licensed Electrician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 1075
Experience: 27 years as a Licensed Electrical Contractor in Illinois, 5 year college Electrical Instructor, Former Electrical Inspector, Diploma in Digital Electronics, Former Illinois Licensed Home Inspector
Kevin and 2 other Electrical Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Kevin replied 10 months ago.

Thank you for the excellent service rating...............much appreciated!

 

Let me know if you have any other questions or follow-up questions.

 

Thanks again..............Kevin!

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