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DarkLogix
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reply to Jack_in_VA

Re: Electrical issue question

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Heres some pics

looks like the 1ton actually should be on a double pole 15amp, I hadn't looked at the lable since it was installed.


nunya
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You aren't worried about the starting amps. That's a non-factor. Load calc uses the running amps, which is going to be closer to min circuit ampacity. You use the RLA of the compressor + the FLA of the fan. See why a 200A service might be overkill now?

BTW, your existing underground service wire size is probably 100 or 125A. It isn't 200A.

Most likely, you just need to find somebody honest to replace the crap panel and clean up the wiring mess inside.

This guys little calculator comes pretty close if you feed it the correct information: »www.electricalknowledge.com/SFDLoadCalc.asp
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Zach1
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join:2006-11-26
NW Minnesota
reply to DarkLogix

You might want to edit out your meter serial numbers.
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shdesigns
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Stone Mountain, GA
reply to DarkLogix

Find out what the feed wire size is. It may already support 200A but there is a good chance it will support 150A.

If you had no problems tripping 125A, then no real need to move to 200A. 150A would probably give you more breaker space.



DarkLogix
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reply to Zach1

said by Zach1:

You might want to edit out your meter serial numbers.

I thought I did


DarkLogix
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reply to nunya

Well another came out and this one actually looked over it and thinks it the customer side of the meter connection.

so we're calling the power company to get them to unlock it so he can take a look.



Jack_in_VA
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said by DarkLogix:

Well another came out and this one actually looked over it and thinks it the customer side of the meter connection.

so we're calling the power company to get them to unlock it so he can take a look.

He must have x-ray eyes to be able to look through a metal enclosure and determine it's on the load side of the meter stab. You should have asked him what made him think that.

robbin
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Leander, TX
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reply to nunya

said by nunya:

BTW, your existing underground service wire size is probably 100 or 125A. It isn't 200A.

I'm curious how you deduced this. Are you basing your conclusion on the size of the conduit entering the meter?


DarkLogix
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reply to Jack_in_VA

said by Jack_in_VA:

said by DarkLogix:

Well another came out and this one actually looked over it and thinks it the customer side of the meter connection.

so we're calling the power company to get them to unlock it so he can take a look.

He must have x-ray eyes to be able to look through a metal enclosure and determine it's on the load side of the meter stab. You should have asked him what made him think that.

It was based on him hearing a spark sound when he fliped the main


nunya
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reply to robbin

Tiny conduit is correct. Not going to cram a 200A drop in there. Probably not a 150A either.
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DarkLogix
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ok well with this 2nd one he's going to quote for installing the panel and putting a 125a main in the panel (square D makes 125/150/175/and 200 mains for the panel)



DarkLogix
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well he came by and pulled the meter to look at the contacts.

one of the 4 contact points is clearly been over heated.

so he's going to quote replacing the meter can..


Mr Matt

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I would call Centerpoint Energy and determine who owns the meter can. In Florida, Florida Power and Light Company started supplying the meter cans in the mid 70's. Centerpoint might just change the socket if they own the meter can and refund your $50.00 premise visit fee.



DarkLogix
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Well per the electrician the meter can is the home owner's.

When we saw the over heated contacts I asked if that was for Centerpoint to replace and he said no.

Though it also looked that the contact on the meter itself was overheated so the meter also needs to be replaced (after the can)



Jack_in_VA
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reply to DarkLogix

said by DarkLogix:

well he came by and pulled the meter to look at the contacts.

one of the 4 contact points is clearly been over heated.

so he's going to quote replacing the meter can..

Line side or load side? I'm interested in knowing if the electricians x-ray vision was right.

Your situation is exactly what I was referring to here in Virginia. None of this would be your responsibility.


djrobx
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reply to DarkLogix

How long ago did they put that smart meter in?



nunya
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I think I'm thinking the same thing you are - Itron meters have caused fires. In fact, I think several of them were Centerpoint.
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DarkLogix
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1 edit
reply to Jack_in_VA

It was ont he side leading to the pole.

it was the top right connector, who's wire went around, down and into the conduit that goes into the ground.

Not x-ray eyes just good hearing, we could hear it arcing when the main breaker was toggled.

and when he came by saturday to lok at it after it was unlocked we saw the blackened connector and whitened plastic around it and over all bad looking on that one connector.



DarkLogix
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reply to djrobx

said by djrobx:

How long ago did they put that smart meter in?

Not sure I didn't note when they installed it.

BTW per the electrician the meter can is the home owner's responsibility but the meter itsself is centerpoint's.

for now the meter can is unlocked till we call to have it relocked, we should have teh quote for the meter can and for the panel monday.

Centerpoint said to call them when we're ready to have it relocked, and as its in bad shape we need to replace the meter can asap and have the meter replaced too.

Bob4
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Claim that they damaged it when they installed the smart meter. Make them pay to fix it and to give you your $50 back, too.



Jack_in_VA
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reply to DarkLogix

said by DarkLogix:

It was ont he side leading to the pole.

it was the top right connector, who's wire went around, down and into the conduit that goes into the ground.

Not x-ray eyes just good hearing, we could hear it arcing when the main breaker was toggled.

and when he came by saturday to lok at it after it was unlocked we saw the blackened connector and whitened plastic around it and over all bad looking on that one connector.

So it was on the line side and not the load side (customer) that he originally said. I realize he could hear arcing but unless he had x-ray vision there was no possible way he could determine which was faulty.

Is this situation you are in a Texas unique to POCO procedures there where they can create damage installing a new meter and transfer the total cost to you? I'm asking because that could never happen here. I think if I were you I would press the POCO to pay for the total repair since they are the ones that caused the damage.

You are lucky. One of my friends had the same situation and it almost burned his house down. Luckily a neighbor saw the flames and called the fire dept. Loose connection on the line side of the underground feeder to the meter base was the cause.


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reply to Bob4

said by DarkLogix:

said by djrobx:

How long ago did they put that smart meter in?

Not sure I didn't note when they installed it.

Go back to your old electric bills. The bills should show the meter number as well as the beginning and ending meter reading. This should tell you exactly when the meter was replaced. Since this particular meter was made in May 2010 it was installed sometime within the last two years.

said by Bob4:

Claim that they damaged it when they installed the smart meter. Make them pay to fix it and to give you your $50 back, too.

The smart meter replacement is by far the most likely cause for this. What may have started initially as simply a poor contact between meter and jaw in the meter socket was over time getting worse as resistance heat caused additional damage to the socket.

Don't call the utility on the phone to ask for reimbursement. Find out what the proper claims procedure for your utility is (which certainly requires filing a claim in writing and often has a mailing address that is distinct from other utility contacts such as customer support or billing) and follow whatever procedure they require. Be sure to include pictures of the damaged meter socket and the meter itself as well as a copy of the repair estimate from the electrician (this needs to be an estimate that is for replacement of the meter base/socket only and doesn't include the replacement of your main panel; if it is a combined estimate the parts and labor for the meter base/socket replacement needs to be broken out separately).
Also include a copy of the receipt for the $50 safety inspection by your utility and if you got the inspection results in writing include those too.

In your claims letter mention:
- all the problems with your power that you have been mentioning here in the thread. Try to be as specific as you can with regards to when it happened the first time and the frequency with which it was happening (including any increases in frequency that are typical for this kind of issue).
- when and how you contacted the utility about your problems and summarize the outcome of each of those.
- definitely include that you paid $50 for a safety inspection that failed to find a rather obvious issue inside the meter base.
- that you hired an electrician who finally located the cause of the problem in the meter base. (Be sure to include the bill for the electrician if the inspection was a separately invoiced item or shows up as separate line item).
- be sure to mention that the arcing in the meter base was bad enough to be audible with the meter base still closed.
- if during this time you had any electronic/electric items fail (where the failure was likely due to power conditions in your home) list those together with their fair market values (alternatively age and replacement costs).

Conclude the claims letter with your opinion that the problem started as minor damage to the meter socket when the smart meter was installed which over time grew into the current dangerous situation requiring immediate repairs.
Clearly state which expenses you expect them to pay by listing and providing a grand total for:
- entire meter base or just the socket (based on electricians invoice)
- electrician labor for identifying the problem
- labor for meter base/socket replacement
- $50 for failed utility inspection
- fair market value of damaged equipment (if any)

Claims processing is typically slow and there is no guarantee that you will get the full amount you are asking for (especially since there is no way to proof that the problem started with the smart meter install). However it is certain that you will get nothing if you don't file a proper claim. I think it is very unlikely that the claim will be completely denied.
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DarkLogix
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reply to Jack_in_VA

said by Jack_in_VA:

said by DarkLogix:

It was ont he side leading to the pole.

it was the top right connector, who's wire went around, down and into the conduit that goes into the ground.

Not x-ray eyes just good hearing, we could hear it arcing when the main breaker was toggled.

and when he came by saturday to lok at it after it was unlocked we saw the blackened connector and whitened plastic around it and over all bad looking on that one connector.

So it was on the line side and not the load side (customer) that he originally said. I realize he could hear arcing but unless he had x-ray vision there was no possible way he could determine which was faulty.

WTF are yout talking about?

The guy said it sounded like it was in the meter can and it was stop making crap up.

When did I claim he said he know which side it was on?


Jack_in_VA
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1 edit

WTF are yout talking about?

In your own words:

»Re: Electrical issue question

said by DarkLogix:

Well another came out and this one actually looked over it and thinks it the customer side of the meter connection.

The customer side is the load side.

quote:
so we're calling the power company to get them to unlock it so he can take a look.

The guy said it sounded like it was in the meter can and it was stop making crap up.

re-posting your words is not making CRAP up. you need to remember what you post.

When did I claim he said he know which side it was on?

»Re: Electrical issue question


nunya
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reply to DarkLogix

I can tell you right now, a 125A main will probably cost you more than a new panel.

In fact, when I need new main breakers, I buy a whole new panel, take the main out, and scrap the panel. New panel w/ main breaker = $100. New main breaker alone = $125 - 250. Crazy isn't it? Wasteful too.
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DarkLogix
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reply to Jack_in_VA

Well we had assumed the power company hadn't lied.



Jack_in_VA
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said by DarkLogix:

Well we had assumed the power company hadn't lied.

I understand that. We like to be trusting as to when someone tells us something it's factual and not a flat out lie. I would bet they never checked it because if they had pulled the meter and inspected the stabs, connections and voltage test they would have seen the problem. You are lucky that nothing adverse like a fire resulted.

I commented on the x-ray vision because nobody can observe a metal enclosure like that and determine which lugs or stabs are arching with only the audible sound inside. I wonder why he would even make that guess.

I'm waiting until it cools down a little and I'm going to pull my meter and check the connections on the load side and condition of the stabs. While I have the meter pulled I'll check the connections to the main breaker and 100 amp circuit breaker for the garage.

All I have to do is call the POCO and tell them I'm cutting the seal to check connections and after I'm finished call them to replace the seal.


DarkLogix
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Well with how bad it looked on mine all you'd have to do is pull the meter and you'd see the overheating damage right away (almost instantly)



Jack_in_VA
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said by DarkLogix:

Well with how bad it looked on mine all you'd have to do is pull the meter and you'd see the overheating damage right away (almost instantly)



That's why I think the POCO never checked it like they told you. I also think they owe you $50 back.


DarkLogix
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I don't think they did ether so if the $50 service fee is there on the bill we're going to complain.