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AssuredElectrical, Master Electrician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 4241
Experience:  Contractor-42+ Years in the ElectricalTrade
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I have a pole mounted breaker box with a main disconnect in

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I have a pole mounted breaker box with a main disconnect in it, along with many slots for individual breakers. I don't use the individual breakers. It has pass thru lugs which are controlled by the main breaker. A bare ground wire exits the meter loop (which sits directly above the breaker box) and goes to a ground rod beside the pole. From the pass thru lugs I ran large wire, underground, to feed my house which is 60' away. I only ran three wires (hot, hot, neutral). I understand that I should have ran a fourth smaller wire for a ground. I'm not sure if I can do that now without a whole lot of digging. If I remove the 200 amp breaker box, move the ground rod to the house, and use something without a disconnect would that solve my problem? What sort of box would that be? I already have 200 amp disconnect breaker mounted inside my house.

Welcome. My name is XXXXX XXXXX would be glad to assist.

Can you remove the breaker box at the pole and run the underground cable directly to the meter base?

Have you spoken with the local utility company on this situation?

If you were to run the cable to the meter, can you mount a main on the outside of the house before the cable gets to the panel? Or is the panel with main right at the point of entry into the house?

Is this a new installation? or a rework situation?

Was the installation proposed and approved before permitting for the installation?


Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I can remove the breaker panel at the pole but I would be about 2 feet short (the height of my box) and would have to splice the cables.


To be blunt, I have no interest in involving utility companies or codes officials. 100% of my work is to code. If I can get this issue resolved, I don't need their advice. Also, I have built this house over the last 5 years and no one has ever looked at it or inspected it, so I clearly don't have a picky code inspector. I just want the installation to be safe.


I have a main inside my house,within 4 feet of the point of entry, and don't wish to mount anything to the outside of my house. It enters beneath the house. I have a crawl space.


It is a new installation.


It is possible that I can flip my breaker box (I have a horizontal main) and bottom feed it. The would give me enough cable length to attach them directly to the meter (assuming the removal of the pole mounted breaker box).


With any scenario the main thing I would need to know is: At what point is the neutral and ground bonded and how is it accomplished.

Ok, thanks.

I was trying to see if you could get the cable to the meter after removal of the breaker at the pole.

Connecting the cable to the meter, eliminates the main at the pole.
The cable to the house would just be the continuation of the service drop.

That allows the panel at the house to become the main.

This allows only 3 wires from the meter to the house panel because it becomes the main.
Once the house panel is the main, then you merely add the ground rod/s at the house and start the ground at the panel.
Separate ground bar and neutral bar at the house panel.
Ground rod connects to the ground bar along with all the cable grounds and
the neutral bar is strictly for the neutrals.

Code dictates that the main inside should be at the nearest point of entry of the service cable.
It is normal to have the meter and panel back to back in these situations, and why I had asked if you could install the breaker panel outside of the house to have the main at the house and feed the panel inside from that point.

I was asking on the utility to be sure they would have no objections for the meter at the pole and underground cable becoming the service line and no main at the pole.
Utility companies have their rules and all are different.

Just reply for any other clarifications, thanks.

Diagram of the situation below.


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