The project reached several important milestones last week!
First was the double meter base installation that was completed on the 22nd. Everything got underway at about 8:30AM when I started up the genset to power the house electronics/server systems for the extended outage.
This portable system puts out 5000 watts maximum and easily powered the home systems/server farm which draws a constant 600 watts.
Once everything was running, the electrician pulled the meter to shut down the house, then flipped all the breakers off. Then he cut the POCO wires at the weatherhead.
The new base was quite a bit taller than the original, so the plan would be to lift the service mast up to accommodate, increasing the height of the weatherhead itself about a foot or two. Since the mast was simply sealed with mastic at the roof, we had to first carefully loosen it up so that roof shingles wouldn’t go along for the ride too.
Here he is working on the weatherhead. You can see the glob by his feet where the service mast was sealed. The original meter base is still in place too.
The next step was to lay out the new meter base, double check the fit and install conduit fittings. Once that was accomplished, the old base could be removed and the new one installed.
When he got the base apart, I got my first bad news: the conductors from the main panel were too short and needed replacement. That was a bit of a bother since my panel has three grandfathered in code violations: The service entrance is underground and feeds into the back of the panel, the bonded grounding system isn’t attached to our municipal water feed at its own service entrance (below the meter), and the front panel access itself is recessed about 2″ behind the sewing room wall.
Because the conductors were new, the main panel now needed inspection and this meant that the inspector, if he wanted to, could call out the three existing violations requiring me to make extensive (spelled “expensive”) modifications to correct. Hopefully, this won’t be the case….
Anyway, once assembled, the electrician got up on the roof and lifted the service mast up while I slipped in the new base.
The result can be seen here. Everything looks pretty good at this point!
Next the electrician ran new service mast wires and installed a new weatherhead. Then he re-spliced the POCO conductors. This is done hot, so he wore big rubber insulating gloves while he installed the splices. Interestingly, once everything passes inspection, WE energies will be notified and they will send out a lineman to install their own splices and place a seal on the meter. I’m not really sure why they do this, since the electrician’s splices looked identical. Bottom line: I pay double I guess.
Everything was pretty much complete at this point, so the electrician re-installed the meter, inserted a plastic cover for the soon-to-come second meter and switched on the breakers. Finished!