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two meter bases, one meter, two inside panels


Jim Baird
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Side by side meter bases outside. One has meter plugged in. The other has glass cover. They are cheek to cheek. I can see a horizontal steel strap behind the glass joining the bottom meter prongs to the metered base. Also a pair of big fat copper conductors from the metered side look double tapped on top of what look like aluminum feeders headed for inner panel from the bottom lugs of the glassed side.

4/0 aluminum SE cable feeds a 200 amp rated panel. 2/0 copper feeder feeds 100 amp rated panel.

The 200 amp panel has six pull type cartridges. That's disconnect for that one.

The 100 amp panel has toggle type main breaker.

Six plus one equals seven strokes equals too many motions to disconnect service.

Have never seen meter bases so joined. Have you?

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I would have also guessed it was formerly a 2 unit of some sort (both residentials or one commercial space and one residential space) by the sight of 2 old meter bases. I don't often see such large fuses boxes anymore.. by now, most people would have updated to more modern panels.

Since you found some issues, I'd would also call it out for electrician's review.

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My guess is that the extra meter base was once used for an electric water heater. In my area the electric water company used to charge a lower rate for domestic hot water. The house would have two meters, one for the main service panel and the second went to another fuse panel that supplied power to the water heater only.

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Interesting. I've never seen anything like that around here. Much, anyway. I once found a second, no-longer-in-use meter in a crawlspace, beside a heat pump, and was clueless as to why it was there. Having learned this lesson from youse guys, I'll bet the crawlspace meter was registering discounted juice flowing to the heat pump.

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The meter cans had the utility's little plastic locks on them, so I couldn't see in there very well, but the one with no meter had big 4/0 aluminum coming out the bottom and ended up at the old 200 amp fused panel.

The copper feeder I had to assume came from the metered can and ended up at the more modern breaker type 100 amp panel.

I have seen abandoned cans before beside viable ones. The local utilities here used to separately meter electric baseboard heaters at a lower rate. When split levels were the rage that was popular.

These were both hot, and appeared to serve a variety of circuits/equipment.

There were in fact some abandoned wall mount electric resistance heaters.

I called for sparky to fix the minor items and to advise on upgrading. There was no overcurrent protection for either feeder.

I usually see something I've never seen before.

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Originally posted by Jim Baird

The local utilities here used to separately meter electric baseboard heaters at a lower rate.

In these parts, the separate meter would have a built in timer, so the reduced rate applied to "off peak" use.
There was no overcurrent protection for either feeder.
It looks like there is and in your original post, you stated: "The 200 amp panel has six pull type cartridges. That's disconnect for that one. The 100 amp panel has toggle type main breaker."
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Disconnects are only at inside panels. None for either feeder from meter bases. NEC says six motions of hand is max to disconnect service. Without tallying the loads etc. we have a nominal 300 amp load from what is likely only a 200 amp rated meter base.

I suggested in my report that the sparky they call to get rid of the double tap on the 20 amp breaker and to take care of the cpl of aluminum branch circuits I saw would be asked to advise on upgrading/simplifying things on the service equipment and the main panel.

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