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  1. #1
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    Default SEC replacement needed?

    Show of hands, please. How many of you would call for replacement based on the damage shown in the photo?

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: SEC replacement needed?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Arnold View Post
    Show of hands, please. How many of you would call for replacement based on the damage shown in the photo?
    I would report ( and just did on an inspection from this week) that the SE cable is damaged and it needs to be properly corrected by a qualified electrician.

    I let the electrician make the replacement call.......

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
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    Default Re: SEC replacement needed?

    That cable is reaching te end of its lfespan. If it is not replaced now it will soon need to be. The water infiltration will corrode the neutral strands. It may also leak into the meter socket or panel.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

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    Default Re: SEC replacement needed?

    I write it up like Scott.

    If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: SEC replacement needed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    I would report ( and just did on an inspection from this week) that the SE cable is damaged and it needs to be properly corrected by a qualified electrician.

    I let the electrician make the replacement call.......
    Scott,

    I'm curious ... when you go back and see that "properly corrected by a qualified electrician" ... what do you expect to find as a 'proper correction'?

    What would you *not* write up that you would consider to be a "proper correction"?

    Other than replacement, that is.

    Replace service entrance cable. There is no "proper correction", let the electrician dispute it and try to come up with a "proper correction" where there is none. But put that one the home inspectors shoulder to determine what makes a "proper correction"? Not me. I would *expect* the electrician to call the home inspector who wrote that and ask 'What is the proper correction you are thinking of and will accept?', and then the electrician will do it that way, which leaves the home inspector with nothing other than to "approve" or "accept" the "repair".

    Keep it simple, guys, "replace service damaged service cable".

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: SEC replacement needed?

    Compared to what I usually look at, it looks pretty good.
    For myself or an investor, I'd take a look at it and see if the inner cables are damaged or just the outer sheathing.
    For HI work, I'd write it up for replacement.

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    Default Re: SEC replacement needed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Scott,

    I'm curious ... when you go back and see that "properly corrected by a qualified electrician" ... what do you expect to find as a 'proper correction'?

    What would you *not* write up that you would consider to be a "proper correction"?

    Other than replacement, that is.

    Replace service entrance cable. There is no "proper correction", let the electrician dispute it and try to come up with a "proper correction" where there is none. But put that one the home inspectors shoulder to determine what makes a "proper correction"? Not me. I would *expect* the electrician to call the home inspector who wrote that and ask 'What is the proper correction you are thinking of and will accept?', and then the electrician will do it that way, which leaves the home inspector with nothing other than to "approve" or "accept" the "repair".

    Keep it simple, guys, "replace service damaged service cable".
    First off I do not design repairs, that is why I put the monkey on the electricians back. Yes, it is simple to say replace the cable but what if something else needs to be done and it is not specified in the repair. Granted this is more likely with a more complicated item like a condenser unit.

    It is very rare for me to be hired to go back and look at the repairs.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: SEC replacement needed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    First off I do not design repairs, that is why I put the monkey on the electricians back.
    That's my point ... you didn't put the monkey on the electrician's back, you implied there is (basically stated there is) a proper correction. The electrician is now looking to you for that "proper correction", and if you tell the electrician that the "proper correction" is replacement, then why not just state so in the first place?

    Yes, it is simple to say replace the cable but what if something else needs to be done and it is not specified in the repair.
    Please explain what is different between "the SE cable is damaged and it needs to be properly corrected" and replacing the SE cable ... other than replacing the SE cable removes all potential other deficiencies with the SE cable, which is what you specifically addressed - thus your comment cannot be applied beyond the "the SE cable is damaged and it needs to be properly corrected" ... regardless what else is wrong and needs correction wherever.

    It is very rare for me to be hired to go back and look at the repairs.
    Which is why I referred to a "home inspector" in my response to show that I was not directing my comment directly to, and specifically at, you, but to any and all "home inspectors" who were thinking the same thing you stated, as one other home inspector said.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    I would report ( and just did on an inspection from this week) that the SE cable is damaged and it needs to be properly corrected by a qualified electrician.

    I let the electrician make the replacement call.......
    And if the electrician just taped it up? You 'provided' that out for the electrician by not recommending 'replacement'. I would agree that if you called for "replacement" and the electrician did anything short of "replacement", then you are totally free and clear as your recommendation was not followed in any way, shape, or form.

    I realize this gets into territory many do not want to think about and/or plan for, but those things happen, and the wording in the reports can either save the home inspector or hang the home inspector.

    So, I will ask, what would you consider to be a "proper correction", other than 'replacement'?

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: SEC replacement needed?

    I'd have to see it up close and personal, but it looks to me like the sheath was damaged by a fastener. It's entirely possible a little good tape and a bit of Scotchkote is all that's needed here.

    Occam's eraser: The philosophical principle that even the simplest solution is bound to have something wrong with it.

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    Default Re: SEC replacement needed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post

    So, I will ask, what would you consider to be a "proper correction", other than 'replacement'?
    IMVHO, replacement would be the proper repair for this problem. But then I'm not a licensed electrician so I will still let them design the repair. Wether they replace it or not is up to them. It all boils down to personal reporting styles, I don't see either way being right or wrong.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
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    Default Re: SEC replacement needed?

    I agree with Scott and do the same. I do see you're point though, JP and concde in a perfect world it would work like you describe. The problem is all it takes is a contractor to disagree with you (even if you're right) and you get caught up in a firestorm of emails and phone calls and it's just an overall PITA.

    The analogy I give is that it's like when you go to your general doctor and he refers you to a specialist. The general doctor doesn't tell the specialist what to do. I also use this for re-inspections from time to time when someone is pressing me to come back and critique someone's work. Usually when it's electrical or HVAC.


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    Default Re: SEC replacement needed?

    Licensed electricians are hired for their licenses, not to follow someone else's directions.

    I'm also a licensed surveyor, but would not feel comfortable taking a job that spelled out exactly what result I was supposed to give.

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    Default Re: SEC replacement needed?

    A couple keywords worth remembering..........

    "KISS" & "Vague"

    Simpley state that "damage is present and recommend specialist further evaluate/correct."

    Oh, and my report clearly defines "specialist."

    Bruce Low
    Bottom Line Home Inspection
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    Default Re: SEC replacement needed?

    I have to agree with Jerry on this one.

    The service cable was damaged and needs replacement.

    I frequently am asked to go back to re-inspect corrected work. And when I do the client expects (and deserves) that I am able to tell them if it is fixed or not.

    This is a great "test" when you give recommendations in an inspection report.
    Ask yourselves "If I go back and re-inspect - what fix would I agree to"

    Ken Amelin
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  15. #15
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    Default Re: SEC replacement needed?

    I like Bruce Lows' answer KISS keep it simple, doesn't look right better get an expert in that field 2 weeks ago I had one almost same as in picture.recommend calling an electrician


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    Default Re: SEC replacement needed?

    Wisconsin's Standards of Practice for Home Inspectors requires we "Describe the condition.........."

    Wisconsin's Standards of Practice for Home Inspectors also states we are not required to give a "Reason for the........... repair," or a "Method of making any repair or correction............"

    I would guess that this is typical in other states. So, why would you go "officially" (in writing) beyond? It would be foolish to do so.

    Oh, and a couple more keywords..........

    "Mitigate liability"

    Shift your potential liability to others.

    Happy Holidays,
    Bruce Low
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    Default Re: SEC replacement needed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
    That cable is reaching te end of its lfespan. If it is not replaced now it will soon need to be. The water infiltration will corrode the neutral strands. It may also leak into the meter socket or panel.

    Worth repeating.



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    Cool Re: SEC replacement needed?

    I too as a Wisconsin inspector agree with Bruce. I know it's unacceptable. I do not inspect to code. I would recommend repair by a licensed electrician. I state the problem and show a picture and recommend repair. The electrician needs to do a repair that is consistent with code and his license. If he fails it's his problem not mine. Not to mention. Too often the current owner might replace the wire. With a substandard or incorrect cable or conductor but hey!!! I replaced the cable just like the inspector said. Now what? This could come back to me.


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    Default Re: SEC replacement needed?

    I would certainly hope that no HO tries to replace that service cable. It is spliced directly to the utility lines and is hot all the time. Also many utlities will prosecute for breaking the meter seal that would need to be done to make the connections in the socket itself.

    I would expect this replacement to need permits and inspections in most areas.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: SEC replacement needed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Low View Post
    A couple keywords worth remembering..........

    "KISS" & "Vague"

    Simpley state that "damage is present and recommend specialist further evaluate/correct."

    Oh, and my report clearly defines "specialist."
    So, in your reports, instead of giving useful information to your client you simply tell them to have blah-blah-blah "evaluated" by a person who knows what they are doing and thus can do the "evaluation" ... so ... what to heck are you charging your clients for? Obviously not for doing the evaluation they hired you for.

    And to your follow-up post to:
    "Mitigate liability"

    Shift your potential liability to others.
    Sounds like you should not be in the home inspection business with that attitude.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  21. #21
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    Default Re: SEC replacement needed?

    Joe,

    Wow! " I do not inspect to code."

    Exactly what standard do you inspect too? Also, when you write up an electrical issue, how do you answer the sparky's rebuttal that it is in fact to code?

    Please tell me your keyboard is imbibing to much Christmas cheer. :-)


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    Default Re: SEC replacement needed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    I would report ( and just did on an inspection from this week) that the SE cable is damaged and it needs to be properly corrected by a qualified electrician.

    I let the electrician make the replacement call.......

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    And if the electrician just taped it up? You 'provided' that out for the electrician by not recommending 'replacement'. I would agree that if you called for "replacement" and the electrician did anything short of "replacement", then you are totally free and clear as your recommendation was not followed in any way, shape, or form.

    I realize this gets into territory many do not want to think about and/or plan for, but those things happen, and the wording in the reports can either save the home inspector or hang the home inspector.

    So, I will ask, what would you consider to be a "proper correction", other than 'replacement'?
    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Kriegh View Post
    I'd have to see it up close and personal, but it looks to me like the sheath was damaged by a fastener. It's entirely possible a little good tape and a bit of Scotchkote is all that's needed here.
    Happy Xmas, everybody.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

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    Default Re: SEC replacement needed?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    Happy Xmas, everybody.
    John, you missed one ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    IMVHO, replacement would be the proper repair for this problem.
    I wonder if Scott would accept something taped up when (if) Scott went back to do a re-inspection and found it 'all taped up and not replaced' ...

    It's one thing for an electrician to 'tape it up' and another thing to stand behind it for a sale where the responsibility shifts from one person (current owner) to another person (buyer), I wonder if Jim would advise the seller that it would be better to replace the SE cable rather than tape it up because of the change in ownership and responsibility/liability for it in the future ...

    Just full of questions and ponderables today ...

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  24. #24
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    Smile Re: SEC replacement needed?

    Hi Scott, I would vote for correcting this item, hope this is helpful: Was this cable installed per your state code or the International electrical code? It appears to be a non-matalic cable leading from inside the house to possibly underground. #1 per the international electrical code section E3703.3, Direct buried conductors and cables emerging from the ground shall be protected by enclosures or raceways extending from the minimum cover distance below grade required by section E3703.1 to a point at least 8 feet above finished grade. #2 Any cable below grade must be an approved cable for ground contact or within an approved water tight conduit. Non-matalic cables entered the market in the 1970's and the photo appears to be a plastic coated Romex type material indicating installation after mid 1970's. This product is not approved for underground installation, if above ground and outside, it must be UV rated.Hope this is helpful and have a great coming year.


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    Default Re: SEC replacement needed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Tatro View Post
    Hi Scott, I would vote for correcting this item, hope this is helpful: Was this cable installed per your state code or the International electrical code? It appears to be a non-matalic cable leading from inside the house to possibly underground. #1 per the international electrical code section E3703.3, Direct buried conductors and cables emerging from the ground shall be protected by enclosures or raceways extending from the minimum cover distance below grade required by section E3703.1 to a point at least 8 feet above finished grade. #2 Any cable below grade must be an approved cable for ground contact or within an approved water tight conduit. Non-matalic cables entered the market in the 1970's and the photo appears to be a plastic coated Romex type material indicating installation after mid 1970's. This product is not approved for underground installation, if above ground and outside, it must be UV rated.Hope this is helpful and have a great coming year.
    Chuck - If you're referring to my photo that I started this thread with, it does not have any ground contact. The photo is at a point about 12 feet above grade. The cable goes down to the exterior meter which is at a typical height above grade.

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  26. #26
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    Default Re: SEC replacement needed?

    I often see SECs wrapped with electrical tape. But from my understanding, there is no recognized or allowable repair for damaged sheathing. Wrapping it with tape may work but I have heard from an electrician that it is not allowed so replacement would be the only option.

    Damage/deterioration like this will allow water to get into the service panel so I call for flat out replacement.

    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

  27. #27
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    Default Re: SEC replacement needed?

    There was obviously a strap there at one time and the jacketing was, for reasons unknown, opened by that strap. It should be noted to the client as a potential problem to be profesionally investigated. In a verbal debrief I would de-emphasis the danger because I see it as little to none. The report, as always, must have the appropriate CYA verbiage.


  28. #28
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    Default Re: SEC replacement needed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Low View Post
    Wisconsin's Standards of Practice for Home Inspectors requires we "Describe the condition.........."

    Wisconsin's Standards of Practice for Home Inspectors also states we are not required to give a "Reason for the........... repair," or a "Method of making any repair or correction............"

    I would guess that this is typical in other states. So, why would you go "officially" (in writing) beyond? It would be foolish to do so.

    Oh, and a couple more keywords..........

    "Mitigate liability"

    Shift your potential liability to others.

    Happy Holidays,
    Bruce Low
    Bottom Line Home Inspection
    The Bottom Line - Through an Engineers Eyes
    Sounds like a graduate of the NACHI school of home inspection.


  29. #29
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    Default Re: SEC replacement needed?

    If that's just the outer jacket that is damaged you can "tape" it up, they make cable jacket repair tape for this very reason.

    I'm curious too, if you guys show up and see the tape there, do you remove it to see whatís under it, or just mention it in your report?

    Donít be so hard on the WI boys. The State requires reporting of any condition that, if not repaired, will have a significant adverse effect on the life expectancy. In this case, they would note the damaged cable and that if left this way will significantly reduce its life span. They are not required to list any method of repairs or corrections.



  30. #30
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    Default Re: SEC replacement needed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Kleisch View Post
    If that's just the outer jacket that is damaged you can "tape" it up, they make cable jacket repair tape for this very reason.

    I'm curious too, if you guys show up and see the tape there, do you remove it to see whatís under it, or just mention it in your report?

    Donít be so hard on the WI boys. The State requires reporting of any condition that, if not repaired, will have a significant adverse effect on the life expectancy. In this case, they would note the damaged cable and that if left this way will significantly reduce its life span. They are not required to list any method of repairs or corrections.
    But is this product acceptable for use per current electrical codes?

    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

  31. #31
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    Default Re: SEC replacement needed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Ostrowski View Post
    But is this product acceptable for use per current electrical codes?
    Sure, 3M's 35 Elec. Tape comes in colors so you can use gray to help hide it. They are UL listed up to 600 volts and are UV resistant and protect conductors from moisture, acids, corrosion, abrasion, and weather.

    You could step up a degree and go with 3M's 2234 cable jacket repair tape, but probably over kill for this situation.


  32. #32
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    Default Re: SEC replacement needed?

    I personally just love when an exterior cable jacket is taped up for repair.
    I don't accept it as an AHJ, but I've sure made $$ over the years as an electrician. In time, it will corrode not only the covered conductor but the meter terminals and the main in the basement.


  33. #33
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    Default Re: SEC replacement needed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Garry Blankenship View Post
    In a verbal debrief I would de-emphasis the danger because I see it as little to none. The report, as always, must have the appropriate CYA verbiage.
    Hate to break this to you, but doing that "In a verbal debrief I would de-emphasis the danger" and then doing this "The report, as always, must have the appropriate CYA verbiage" cancels out any CYA you may get from your report as your verbal contradicted your written report.

    The CYA verbiage works because it expands in more detail on what you told your client ... SHOULD have been telling your client.

    Telling your client one thing (de-emphasis of the danger) and then stating something different in the report (emphasis of the danger) simply means that your report cannot be taken at face value and thus NOTHING IN THE REPORT can be used to CYA for all the things SAID or IMPLIED differently.

    You probably got that idea from one of the home inspector schools which turn out real estate agent friendly inspector ...

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  34. #34
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    Default Re: SEC replacement needed?

    I've seen service panel interiors completely rusted and corroded due to water penetration that came in through the service cable. When you see an exterior SEC with deteriorated sheathing or damage like the one in the pic John included in his original post, look at the bottom of the service panel box before you even take the cover off. Many times you'll see rust and water stains. I've opened panels and seen water dripping off conductors, puddled at the bottom of the panel box, and in between breakers. At a rough replacement cost of around $1000.00 +/- for a new SEC, I'll err on the side of caution and call for replacement every time I see a cable with damage like the one in John's pic.

    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

  35. #35
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    Default Re: SEC replacement needed?

    I would write it up for replacement and leave it as that. that way your covered and no micky mouse patch jobs by homeowner is acceptable. duct tape is not the answer here!! do it right the first time and no need to wonder what if's later. make it look proper and safe then no worries


  36. #36

    Default Re: SEC replacement needed?

    John: I would NEVER advise anyone to replace anythng!!! always tell them to have an applicasble contractor to evaluate and repiar as needed.....

    This is all you need and will stand up in Court....


  37. #37
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    Default Re: SEC replacement needed?

    Referring such a condition to a licensed, qualified or whatever other form of electrical contractor is recognized in your area would be the proper thing to do when encountering such damage.

    Such a referral is not placing the onus of the burden onto someone else.

    An electrical contractor should know what the right thing to do is.

    I'm not going to tell HI's how to do their job.

    Why should they tell an electrician how to do theirs?

    As an electrical contractor, I would insist that an SE cable in that condition be replaced for many of the reasons cited.

    As an Electrical Inspector, I would not allow such to be taped even though some have alluded that a tape specified for such is available.

    SE cable is a UL listed assembly.

    The assembly is listed attesting to the fact that it meets certain criteria established, one of which is the ability to protect the conductors contained within from exposure to corrosive elements such as water penetration.

    Therefore any defect that would compromise the integrity of the assembly requires replacement.

    Under certain conditions, UL listed equipment can be repaired, however;
    any field modification of a UL listed assembly requires such to be re-listed by UL.

    Yes, I realize that the cost of replacement is more expensive than the cost of a roll of tape, however; tape would only be a temprorary solution at best.

    Most electrical contractors would have to charge for a service call.

    That rate varies regionally but how would you justify charging someone the service call rate for applying tape?

    Taping such hides a defect.

    Any electrician that would do so should not justify such for cost or any other reason.

    You're simply prolonging the inevitable and you may in fact cause further damage to the equipment that such a cable serves, which inevitably will cost the customer considerably more down the road.

    If the customer insisted on tape, I would insist that they call someone willing to perform such an improper repair.

    BTW.... the conductors that emanate from such an assembly CAN be taped when the insulation becomes brittle or otherwise compromised.

    Once the conductors exit the assembly, they are no longer considered a listed assembly, they are individual conductors and repairing the insulation covering such is acceptable.

    The above is an acceptable repair only when the remainder of the service components are intact.

    Taping an SE cable however is "hiding a defect."


  38. #38
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    Default Re: SEC replacement needed?

    The cable itself may not be "repaired". There are however alternatives to replacing the entirety of the existing cable if the remainder is undamaged, should there not be a prohibition to have contained proper splices. I would not recommend for SE, however if SER.


  39. #39
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    Default Re: SEC replacement needed?

    Given the limited amount of cable between the weatherhead and the meter it would make little sense to splice the cable. You could also end up with an ugly junction box on the side of the house.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

  40. #40
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    Default Re: SEC replacement needed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
    Given the limited amount of cable between the weatherhead and the meter it would make little sense to splice the cable. You could also end up with an ugly junction box on the side of the house.
    It makes sense if a seller or buyer is looking for cheaper, faster, quicker, "minimum" type as is often the case in HI findings, alterntives.

    Proper weatherproof and contained splices with shorter sections can be faster & cheaper than the cost of materials of replacing the entire length of service entrance cable.

    I didn't say it would be pretty, nor is uglieness nor prettiness neither a code or an HI issue.

    Only that there can and may be alternatives (repairs) to full and complete replacement of hundreds of dollars of SE or SER, and any or all things which may be envoked (Mortgage program/asset qualifiction, home insurance underwriter/risk analysis, PoCo or Local Code) when doing so (for example a grandfathered 60 amp service, service equipment, outdoor shut-offs, etc.).


  41. #41
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    Default Re: SEC replacement needed?

    For the cost of the 3 Polaris connectors you could replace the service service cable material cost. Add in the labor cost savings and reliablity of a new cable there is no reason to even suggest a half-assed splice as a reasonable "fix". You are not talking about hundreds of dollars in materials. Anyone that knew what they were doing could remove the old cable from the straps and use them to secure the new cable. The only holdup would be waiting for the power company to make the connections. You also would not need to wait for the power company to disconnect the old overhead so the splices could be made.

    The splice would not address any possible damage the cable has suffered from water infiltration through that hole.

    Last edited by Jim Port; 01-02-2013 at 05:02 PM.
    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

  42. #42
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    Default Re: SEC replacement needed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
    For the cost of the 3 Polaris connectors you could replace the service service cable material cost. Add in the labor cost savings and reliablity of a new cable there is no reason to even suggest a half-assed splice as a reasonable "fix". You are not talking about hundreds of dollars in materials. Anyone that knew what they were doing could remove the old cable from the straps and use them to secure the new cable. The only holdup would be waiting for the power company to make the connections. You also would not need to wait for the power company to disconnect the old overhead so the splices could be made.

    The splice would not address any possible damage the cable has suffered from water infiltration through that hole.
    As per my original post, I agree that the only "fix" is to replace the SE cable.

    In this area, the utility would also demand that the meter cabinet be relocated to the exterior if such was previously inside and of course all components of the service would be subject to inspection subsequent to such a repair including but not limted to updating the Ground Electrode System which is customarily woefully inadequate.

    It never ceases to amaze me however, as evidenced by preceding posts, how much time, effort and ultimately expense people will go through in an attempt to avoid doing what's right.

    Just for information, the utility here still allows the electrical contractor to perform their own disconnect/reconnect.

    You do have to sign a waiver of liability, get the homeowner to sign off as well and I think there is something about a first born male child as well.


  43. #43
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    Default Re: SEC replacement needed?

    I was addressing the general first question and generic replies. John later indicated (post 25) that this damage was ahead of the meter socket at about 12 feet above grade, roughly seven or so feet above the meter socket. When I think of Philly, etc. I recall many much taller buildings than mere ranch type on grade, narrow, if any, space between buildings, and difficult ladder work, with a host of flat roofs.

    Had the damage been on the house side of the meter socket a splice would be far less difficult to accomplish and involve little-to-no "waiting" time. If replacing the entirety you'll still need new connectors at the drop transition, so your claim that the materials expense or the entirety would be the same is frankly false.

    Protecting from damage in narrow gangways in philly and elsewhere up to that height and even higher is a good idea (raceway arranged to allow drainage), replacing envokes upgrades if not currently met.

    Although there is a a likely association between a support and the damage to the cable sheath - it may be due to a host of different events. Crimped, bend, broken strand, event line side, arc, ice accumulation pulling, external damage event - ladder, anything.

    Some local jurisdictions and some PoCos don't permit splices between drop & meter socket, or between socket & service equipment, still. The NEC has permitted interim splices in service-entrance conductors since 1999 230-46, 230.46 2002 and thereafter. Prior (1996 NEC and earlier) the language was restrictive and prohibititive. My point was merely that there may be alternatives to full replacement, esp. as the areas above (uphill) may not require replacement, and that a full replacement of service-entrance conductors sometimes envokes additional upgrades and replacement/relocation of additional equipment, which involves more cost, to re-establish service.

    What varies regionally, and specifically to a particular situation, the exact location of the "service point", the status, ampactiy and rating of the existing, the ratings required by the current distribution network (PoCo) PoCo rules and local rules in the electrical codes, property maintenance codes and the residential codes regarding such maintenance, repair, and/or replacement and the extent of what (if any) upgrades are envoked.

    There is no question the existing, as photographed evidences damage, which requires corrective measures. Tape or shrink repair of cable sheath is not sufficient. This is not a burried lateral, and not a feeder.


  44. #44
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    Default Re: SEC replacement needed?

    Whether the cable was replaced or the half-assed splice done you would still need the connectors to the service triplex so the cost issue is the same. Three Polaris connectors are going to cost more than that short amount of service cable. Figure in the cost of two additional SE connectors and the cost of a weatherproof splice box and the cost really favors the only correct thing to do. Replace the entire cable and be done with it. The intangible benefit of many years of dependable service vs an unknown lifespan of the existing cable that possibly has hidden damage just adds to the reason to replace the cable.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

  45. #45
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    Default Re: SEC replacement needed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
    Whether the cable was replaced or the half-assed splice done you would still need the connectors to the service triplex so the cost issue is the same. Three Polaris connectors are going to cost more than that short amount of service cable. Figure in the cost of two additional SE connectors and the cost of a weatherproof splice box and the cost really favors the only correct thing to do. Replace the entire cable and be done with it. The intangible benefit of many years of dependable service vs an unknown lifespan of the existing cable that possibly has hidden damage just adds to the reason to replace the cable.
    Not necessarily.


  46. #46
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    Default Re: SEC replacement needed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
    Whether the cable was replaced or the half-assed splice done you would still need the connectors to the service triplex so the cost issue is the same. Three Polaris connectors are going to cost more than that short amount of service cable. Figure in the cost of two additional SE connectors and the cost of a weatherproof splice box and the cost really favors the only correct thing to do. Replace the entire cable and be done with it. The intangible benefit of many years of dependable service vs an unknown lifespan of the existing cable that possibly has hidden damage just adds to the reason to replace the cable.
    Not to mention that an additional connection (or three) is another possible source of failure of continuity of the conductor. A continuous conductor is always favorable when compared to splicing.


  47. #47
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    Default Re: SEC replacement needed?

    Why not have an electrician install rigid conduit upside the wall, properly sealed to the meter can, and pull that perfectly good bundle of conductors into it, with a nice new weatherhead on top?

    This subject needs to be replaced before damage occurs.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  48. #48
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    Default Re: SEC replacement needed?

    Further evaluation / repairs recommended by a qualified contractor.


  49. #49
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    Default Re: SEC replacement needed?

    At a rough replacement cost of around $1000.00 +/- for a new SEC,
    Wow. At $1.75/ft. for 200A SEC, that's about $250/hr in labor costs, even with a new meter can. Nice work if you can get it.


  50. #50
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    Default Re: SEC replacement needed?

    It looks rather minor. Repair it. No need to get all anal and "what if" it.

    "Get correct views of life, and learn to see the world in its true light. It will enable you to live pleasantly, to do good, and, when summoned away, to leave without regret. " Robert E. Lee

  51. #51
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    Default Re: SEC replacement needed?

    No matter how everyone puts a spin on their reply, suggest replacement to CYA.


  52. #52
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    Default Re: SEC replacement needed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Roland Miller View Post
    It looks rather minor. Repair it. No need to get all anal and "what if" it.
    The only acceptable repair is replacement. I thought an HI was supposed to have the interest of the buyers in mind?

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

  53. #53
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    Default Re: SEC replacement needed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
    The only acceptable repair is replacement. I thought an HI was supposed to have the interest of the buyers in mind?
    I have been astonished by home many HIs seem to put the seller's interests or the deal's interest (for the real estate agent?) above the interests of their client.

    Not a good sign.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  54. #54
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    Default Re: SEC replacement needed?




  55. #55
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    Default Re: SEC replacement needed?

    Call as you see it. Its is damaged and needs to be replace very simple.


  56. #56
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    Default Re: SEC replacement needed?

    "Wow" is all I can say- do you guys ever get a chance to drop the forum and look at a house? I get to this site once every few months and it's always the same few guys nit-picking each others answers. This one is stupid simple- "The cable is damaged and will probably need to be replaced. Contact an electrician for repair options." It's clear, decipherable to an individual of the meanest intelligence and litigation free.

    I'm going to go look at a house and leave it with you guys to argue whether the report should say "may need" or "might need" or whatever. Have fun!


  57. #57
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    Default Re: SEC replacement needed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Brainerd View Post
    "Wow" is all I can say- do you guys ever get a chance to drop the forum and look at a house? I get to this site once every few months and it's always the same few guys nit-picking each others answers. This one is stupid simple- "The cable is damaged and will probably need to be replaced. Contact an electrician for repair options." It's clear, decipherable to an individual of the meanest intelligence and litigation free.

    I'm going to go look at a house and leave it with you guys to argue whether the report should say "may need" or "might need" or whatever. Have fun!
    "I'm going to go look at a house and leave it with you guys to argue whether the report should say "may need" or "might need" or whatever."

    Actually, Gary, you said that very same thing with "The cable is damaged and will probably need to be replaced. Contact an electrician for repair options" ... "will PROBABLY need to be replaced" ... "REPAIR OPTIONS" ... ??

    Make up your mind ... ... "replace" or "repair options" ...

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  58. #58
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    Default Re: SEC replacement needed?

    I think the cable will need to be replaced, but I don't hold an electrician's license- I'll leave the path to "repair" or "to restore to a good or sound condition after decay or damage; mend: to repair a motor." (Dictionary.com) . My primary responsibility is to note the defect.

    I do not hold an electricians license, neither do I hold an English degree. Even so, I don't think repair necessarily excludes replacement. I do hold an engineering degree. My technical writing professor would probably have stated it like this "In order to repair the defect, the component will need to be replaced." I don't know about you, but I can't replace a defect. I can note the defect and recommend that it be repaired. Is that splitting hairs? Yes, but that's what this site always seems to degenerate to.

    If I say it has to be replaced and it becomes a battle between the seller and the buyer and the deal falls apart, some lawyer will sue me because that's what you guys do. All they need is one electrician that says "3M makes an appropriate repair kit for that" and I'm the bad guy. It's happened to me before- I was found in the right, but that doesn't mean I didn't lose money over it.

    On that line, we need a national law that the loser of a suit pays the prevailing parties legal costs. That would ease a lot of this nonsense.

    Sorry to be so cranky, but it's freezing and windy here and I froze my butt today.


  59. #59
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    Default Re: SEC replacement needed?

    I am so glad I do not see that type of cable here in my neck of the woods. Everything out here is in conduit.

    Don Hester
    NCW Home Inspections, LLC
    Wa. St. Licensed H I #647, WSDA #80050, http://www.ncwhomeinspections.com

  60. #60
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    Default Re: SEC replacement needed?

    The HI would not be called back to confirm an electrical repair, and an Electrician would not solicit the HI's opinion for a code compliant repair. Approval of such repair lies with the local CI.


  61. #61
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    Default Re: SEC replacement needed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy Roberts View Post
    The HI would not be called back to confirm an electrical repair,...
    Happens all the time. It is the real estate agents who want the HI to bless the work of the electrician. I agree that the HI Should not be called back, but that is different than Would not be called back.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

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