[volt-nuts] current-nut question .. total waste of ones time type question

ed breya eb at telight.com
Wed Apr 30 14:01:34 EDT 2014

I agree with John on this one - put in another meter socket 
downstream if you really want to experiment, and be sure to have a 
main disconnect besides the utility's meter.

If you are changing the service entrance, you will likely have issues 
with the local permits for it, and with the utility company - they 
don't like to see anything unusual or confusing.

A couple of years ago I put in a new service at our vacation house, 
that had an ancient mish-mosh of crap that was ready to catch on 
fire, stuffed into too small a panel, and with no main disconnect 
except by pulling the utility meter outside. I collected a nice new 
meter box/load center and other needed parts, assuming I could just 
have PGE pull the meter outside, replace the old load center with the 
new, and have my own meter and disconnect inside. When I applied for 
the permit from the county, this caused nothing but grief and 
confusion - they didn't understand, and neither did PGE, why anyone 
would want a second meter. They get suspicious I think, because they 
don't want multiple residences set up on single-residence zoning, so 
another meter is a red flag, even though I explained many times that 
it was just in series, for monitoring and alternative energy 
experiments such as grid-tie stuff to come later. Furthermore, I had 
to make it meet all current codes, which meant I needed to have a 
separate disconnect on the outside, and updated grounding. 
Ultimately, I ended up replacing the whole works with my new 
meter/load center on the outside, with PGE's meter installed, and 
another new meterless load center on the inside. It all worked out 
OK, but it became a week-long project involving a big hole in the 
wall and reframing, instead of a one day quick-changeout as I had planned.

I can now change it and add meters and CTs and whatever, downstream, 
but I kind of lost interest after going through all that. The novelty 
wears off quickly when you have to first get all the basic stuff 
properly working.

Also, whatever you add should be done in ways that are safe common 
sense-wise, and meet electrical codes. A mistake in fooling with a 
typical 200A 240V main may cause much more than a spark and a pop.


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