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Underground service lateral lines are unprotected.


kimball gray
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In a rural setting: below the meter is a 200 amp disconnect. The service wires go into ground without any conduit or protection. Is the conduit only required to go 18 inches into the ground below the meter? And the underground service lateral can be unprotected from there to the house? It is not visible again. Only at the panel inside can you see the entrance wires again(slab foundation) which is about 30 feet from the meter. Also, there are two sets of service wires at the meter and I have no idea where the other goes to. Maybe the neighbor is piggybacking? Do underground service laterals

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In a rural setting: below the meter is a 200 amp disconnect. The service wires go into ground without any conduit or protection. Is the conduit only required to go 18 inches into the ground below the meter?

Those are UF cables. They can be direct buried 24" deep. But they have to be protected by conduit from 18" below the ground to 8' above the ground.

And the underground service lateral can be unprotected from there to the house? It is not visible again. Only at the panel inside can you see the entrance wires again(slab foundation) which is about 30 feet from the meter. Also, there are two sets of service wires at the meter and I have no idea where the other goes to. Maybe the neighbor is piggybacking? Do underground service laterals need protection underground and for how far and how deep?

Those wires aren't nearly large enough to bring 200 amps to a house safely. Perhaps someone was trying to use them in parallel to achieve a higher ampacity. If so that would be wrong. The installation is screwed. Tell them to hire an electrician to install proper wiring from the meter to the house.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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It is 100 amp main service panel in the house. I guess I was not clear in saying that the service entrance to the main disconnect outside below the meter was a 200 amp breaker. Inside the house is 100 am and one of the conductors has seen heat...Not to mention 3 double lugged circuits. Rural OKLAHOMA!!! This home is only 1100 sq ft and has no heat or air installed and never has...Wood burning stove and window ac unit.

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It is 100 amp main service panel in the house. I guess I was not clear in saying that the service entrance to the main disconnect outside below the meter was a 200 amp breaker. Inside the house is 100 amp and one of the conductors has seen heat...Not to mention 3 double lugged circuits. Rural OKLAHOMA!!! This home is only 1100 sq ft and has no heat or air installed and never has...Wood burning stove and window ac unit.

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It doesn't look like the place has seen a trained electrician either.

The lack of a cable clamp at the very least makes that a serious hazard, IMO. Also, when I see that much insulation left on the cable inside the panel, it says "amateur". Like you say, somebody has added a feeder for some other use.

Even if there were no fried wires, you are right to call for a qualified electrician to make repairs.

The trouble with burying the cables like that, the kids can't use them for ziplines, and that's no fun. [:)]

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