Electrical Question Panel Main Breaker

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by FullClip, Jan 18, 2020.

  1. LEO/Dad

    LEO/Dad Navy Veteran

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    We had some folks prosecuted in our community for stealing electricity by removing meter. One guy was a utility lineman.
     
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  2. picrthis

    picrthis

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    in most locations a homeowner can work on it himself, cut the seal pull the meter, fix the issue and put the meter back, call them if wish or not for them to reseal its only a tamper seal and you didn't tamper with anything, you did a repair on your home/equipment; touch nothing on that meter while you have it off. I've done it a for a couple houses I owned never a problem.
    The only thing your not allowed to is have someone unlicensed do the job for you, if you can handle the job its not illegal to do itself yourself. I even had a a nosy neighbor once call the cops on me, a cop knocked on my door and said he had a report of a electric meter being tampered with. I let him in the house, showed him the breaker box taken apart being worked on, and then walked him around to the side of the house with them meter lying on the ground. Cop said 'ok' sorry to have disturbed you, hope the repair goes well and he left, never heard back from anyone afterwards.
     
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  3. picrthis

    picrthis

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    simply pulling a meter doesn't give you free electricity, rather it stops the flow, in order to steal power you need do more than just pull it.
     
  4. MLM

    MLM

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    When I upgraded from a 100amp service to a 200amp (heat pump install), the electrician cut the tag, pulled the meter, did the work and popped the meter into the new service, all without the power company having to come out. After a few weeks, a meter reader came by and put a new tag on. Didn't get no grief or anything over it.
     
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  5. FullClip

    FullClip Native Mainiac CLM

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    Ha-Ha. Back in high school I knew some people that installed "jumpers" like this into the stabs of the meter that the electric company pulled for non-payment. They got bagged after several months and really got screwed. They also has tapped into the TV cable using a climbing deer stand to get up the pole and splice their coax cable in. They got caught on that one too.


    [​IMG]
     
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  6. sullyxlh

    sullyxlh

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    FWIW FPE lost their UL listing years ago so insurance companies dont want them around.

    They can only be replaced no licensed electrician can add any circuits to an FPE panel legally.
     
  7. Mugsie1

    Mugsie1

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    The dryer is only a small part of the load. You have a 30 amp breaker on the dryer, so let's say it's pulling 25 amps. Then elsewhere in your house some combination of things has to be pulling 75 + amps in order for the main to pop.

    If you can, turn off everything else, then see if the main pops. Too bad you can't get a clamp-on amp meter on every circuit then you'll know exactly what each leg in the circuit is pulling.

    You could also have a defective 30 amp breaker too, and because it doesn't pop, the main is handling the load. The possibilities are many.

    Your best bet is to call in a professional electrical service company and do it right and to code before you burn the house down by overlooking some facet.

    Best of luck to you..
     
  8. sullyxlh

    sullyxlh

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    Stealing power by bypassing the meter is one thing
    providing temp power for a day to get a service swapped out is another which our local ultilities have no problem with..
    [​IMG]
     
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  9. FullClip

    FullClip Native Mainiac CLM

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    The dryer is pulling 22.4 amps on the high temp setting, right about where expected. I checked that with clamp on. Water heater 13 amps. The dryer has a 30 amp breaker. Only thing that heats up in the board is one side of the main breaker and it is the only connection that looks crappy.
     
  10. sullyxlh

    sullyxlh

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    No no no..........
    Cop ain't going to do crap but an inspector would have shut you down without a permit homeowner or not.
    Just because it isn't illegal doesn't make it safe for joe homeowner.
    The basic HO is not up to date on codes and bonding and grounding requirements nor do they know what to look for beyond the issue they're originally in there for.
     
  11. picrthis

    picrthis

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    Actually not, the first time I did this I called the County and asked them, was told no permit was required for me to pull a defective breaker and replace it myself unless I hired someone, then they must be licensed, also called the power company first time I did this and was told to call them when finished and they would place a new seal on the meter. Since then I never bothered to call any of them, I guess it depends on where you live.
     
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  12. sullyxlh

    sullyxlh

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    The screw on that lug may have never been tightened properly and just worked it's way loose over time.
    Those lugs on those are prone to breakage when over tightened too...
    Whomever is in that panel NEEDS to check EVERY screw in there, ground bar, nuetral bar, breaker to buss screws and circuit wire to breaker screws and when they remove the meter they should be checking those connections too.

    Everything needs to be checked....

    Also
    Is that 30a two spaces below your dryer?
    What's up with the two conductors under it?
    The top wire looks like a 12ga wire?
    I'm seeing corrosion on that one..
     
  13. sullyxlh

    sullyxlh

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    Code(National Electrical Code) used to allow 6' in to a building but recent updates, it has to enter to panel immediately, no rules on length outside just inside.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2020
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  14. 308M1A

    308M1A

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    Thats not entirely true. They lost their ul listing sometime in the late 60s but regained it some time later. Late 80s i recall we were selling them in bulk to contractors. Certain era s were fine, its identifying which is which. The house im in now has an FPE panel, 2 150mb in fact. House built in late 70s. Only problem ive had is a dp50 on the furnace wore out from heavy load after ...35 years.

    I do want to replace it though, just a matter of time and money. A contractor had installed a sqD subpanel for extra circuits just before i bought the place but only because it was out of circuits.
     
  15. 308M1A

    308M1A

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    This happens a lot. All depends on jurisdiction and power company and that the bill gets paid. Their main concern. Deadbeats used to pull the meter and connect jumpers for free juice.
     
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  16. sullyxlh

    sullyxlh

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    Correct. My point is tho the basic homeowner isn't looking beyond the repair there are other things to look for once your that deep.
    Breakers go bad,
    The person replacing the breaker also needs to find out what caused the failure and to see if the intergerty of the buss and/or the wire or equipment was compromised which when losing one pole on a 2 pole circuit damage can occur. Also the grounding conductor and the grounded conductor need to be checked to rule them out.
    Homeowners really shouldn't be in electrical panels, lights and switches and receptacles HO's can play with and even then it's iffy, but with panels they should to stay out of them.
     
  17. kwo

    kwo

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    Smart meters have stopped the pulling of meters and turning them over. Checking for heat is a good idea.
     
  18. sullyxlh

    sullyxlh

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    As of todays date FPE Stab-Lok breakers do not have a UL listing and do not conforn to NEC standards and cannot be installed by a licensed electrician.
     
  19. flyover

    flyover

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    I remember back in this area before disconnects on irrigation wells were common, the local linemen gave Dad a bunch of the wire and plastic padlocks that were used on the meter ring. They were tired of having to come out and pull a meter so we could work on a well, electric motor or panel.
     
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  20. sullyxlh

    sullyxlh

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    These are done hot all the time there simply is no other way.

    And fwiw the job he did is prone to failure and will fail eventually.

    Just by looking at the pic there are a couple issues

    And just seeing those issues if I seen the whole job I think I could find more..

    If that was a permitted job it should not have passed............