Main at meter pole, distribution in home

At todays inspection, house was built in 1999, and is in the county, not city. The main panel was on the meter pole at the far end of the yard and with no common connection (fence) to the home. 2/0 CU to a 200 Amp panel, with 200 amp main breaker.

In the house was another 200 Amp panel with 3 wire feed, neutrals (grounded) and grounding mixed under the same terminal screw, and it was bonded.

In my tired brain condition tonight this would need (correct me if I’m wrong, please) –

  • remove bonding strap
  • add grounding bus bar and separate the grounded / grounding conductors
  • what about the missing incoming ground?

I would refer to qualified electrician, but I need to know for my own info.

You might have to under the 2008 code but this is fine before that. (separate structure, no metalic paths).

Was it a manufactured home? If not, its odd to have a meter on a pole if its relatively new construction (1999)

Some thoughts,…

  • The pole main panel could have been service for an empty lot, someone may have used for hooking up to a camping trailer etc.
  • There may have been an old manufactured home site prior to the new construction and they left the meter on the pole and then tapped (split) off at the meter making two main panels, etc.
    Too many “what if’s” to make recommendation for “corrective” repairs. You can call it out as non standard, note your support info and have a qualified electrician review for determination of proper set up. I wouldn’t recommend correcting anything per say, let the electrician determine proper set up fist as it might be ok… IMO

We have a lot of this here. Either customer poles or what we call pedestal services. Just the meter on a pedestal and then on to the house. Many times we will put a feed-through panel (similar to the one in the pic) on the pole or pedestal for construction power. Then later go from the feed-through lugs to the house.

As Greg said, it is perfectly legal and typical to run a “3-wire” service lateral to the house and treat the house as a “main” service.

So unless the house was built under the 2008 NEC this is quite typical and correct.


Only thing I don’t see is IS there a disconnect for the house? A main lug panel is NOT sufficient without a disconnect somewhere at the structure.
Problem is the fact that the panel THEN becomes a sub-panel and the grounds and neutrals must be kept isolated.

Sorry for the duplicate post. Thought I lost the first one, and created a second.

The conduit from the meter pole to the house is PVC.

The panel at the pole has breaker for water
well, previously had breaker for RV at the adjacent barn. I ‘assume’ the conductors from bottom of this panel is for the barn panel.

Not used for manufactured home.
There is no shut-off in the house. Only in the meter pole panel, which is a long way to go in an emergency.

I will refer to electrician for evaluation.

Thanks for the help,

I have heard this debated a lot at inspector meetings.
230(A)(1) Readily Accessible Location. The service disconnecting means shall be installed at a readily accessible location either outside of a building or structure or inside nearest the point of entrance of the service conductors.

It does not specify a distance inside or outside the building.
In Linda’s case I would raise the “readily available” flag due to the fence.
There is also the question, is a pole a structure? making the house the second structure.

Except for possibly the distance between the two locations, this arrangement is pretty common in our area. However, the inside panel is almost always treated as a subpanel fed with a 4 wire circuit.

and remove the bird’s nest