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  1. #1
    Barry Grubb's Avatar
    Barry Grubb Guest

    Default Ground wire cannot go through meter base?

    I had the electrical service upgraded on this old house I bought. Before the power company would do the switch over, they had to have an electrical inspection report by a state approved/licensed electrical inspector, certifying the service panel was installed correctly. The inspector wrote me up on the fact that the ground wire from the service panel to the ground rod went through the meter base. He told me the power company (AEP) no longer allowed this. When the ground leaves the service panel, it must go through its own hole through the wall to the grounding rod. He told me it was a recent change. The inspection itself only became a requirement in my state about a year ago. What harm is it for the ground wire to go through the meter base?

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Fletcher, NC

    Default Re: Ground wire cannot go through meter base?

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry Grubb View Post
    What harm is it for the ground wire to go through the meter base?
    This would be my guess:

    From the NEC.

    250.64 Grounding Electrode Conductor Installation.
    - (C) Continuous. The grounding electrode conductor shall be installed in one continuous length without a splice or joint, unless spliced only by irreversible compression-type connectors listed for the purpose or by the exothermic welding process.
    - - Exception: Sections of busbars shall be permitted to be connected together to form a grounding electrode conductor.


    - (E) Enclosures for Grounding Electrode Conductors. Metal enclosures for grounding electrode conductors shall be electrically continuous from the point of attachment to cabinets or equipment to the grounding electrode and shall be securely fastened to the ground clamp or fitting. Metal enclosures that are not physically continuous from cabinet or equipment to the grounding electrode shall be made electrically continuous by bonding each end to the grounding electrode conductor. Where a raceway is used as protection for a grounding electrode conductor, the installation shall comply with the requirements of the appropriate raceway article.

    First and foremost, they may be concerned that the grounding electrode conductor (GEC) may be spliced in the meter can, probably because it was for all those previous years - was done by them.

    First and foremost, (hmmm, didn't I already say that?) they may be concerned that when the grounding electrode conductor ran through the *metallic* meter can, that the meter can was not being bonded to the grounding electrode conductor as the GEC entered, and left, the meter can (must be bonded at each entry/exit point). This is probably because it was not being done all those previous years - was not being done by them.

    It's like admitting you screwed up for the past few decades, yet don't have to admit it - you just change the rules and say 'this is how we are doing it now'.

    Jerry Peck
    Construction/Litigation/Code Consultant - Retired

  3. #3
    Philip Desmarais's Avatar
    Philip Desmarais Guest

    Default Re: Ground wire cannot go through meter base?

    Keeping customer equipment and utility equipment separate may have been one of the factors in the decision by the utility to make the change. The utility certainly does not want to be held liable for something gone wrong with the GEC, a week after their folks changed out a meter, and ending up with a lot of fingers being pointed at them.
    The separation should also reduce the amount of coordination needed between the utility and the owner's electrician.
    Another plus for the utility's change of heart may be that the homeowner's electricians or home inspectors could not see/inspect/work on the GEC because it goes through equipment to which they do not have access. This is less likely a reason for the change (here's my cynical side coming out now) as when was the last time the utility instituted a change in their rules to benefit the customer?
    That said, there a lot of fine people working for utilities. (I used to be one of them.)


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