Meter base being used as workbox

Surely this is a no-no (making a junction in or passing through the meter base). That is an AC disconnect box on the left. I assume the rule would come from the electric company b/c I’ve not been able to find anything in the IRC.

Any help would be appreciated.


meter base.jpg

It’s permitted, by the NEC, as long as the gutter fill in the meter base is not exceeded (I seriously doubt it’s even remotely close to that limit). The power company, however, will very much frown on that. In fact, they wouldn’t hook up a service if I was to build something like that new today. If that homeowner ever has any problems with his service to the extent that the PoCo is ever involved, it’s quite likely he’ll get a 30 day notice to correct that to their rules (aka get a “red tag”) or face disconnection of utility power.

That wiring method flexible metal conduit AKA Greenfield is not permitted to be installed in this manner and is an illegal installation and in serious violation of the National Electrical Code! :twisted:

The new 2008 NEC finally removed the permission to use that wiring method in a wet location:

Section 348.12(1): Deleted provision under which flexible metal conduit can be installed in wet locations.

Is that the only meter on the house? It looks as if this could be a demand meter for the A/C.

Is the service entrance coming out of the back of the meter box? Or is that the only load on the meter?

If this is the only meter on the house then yes, this is a BIG no-no.

Thanks to everyone!

Marc, what is gutter fill?

Mr. Tedesco, thanks for the information. I’ve watched all 3 of your videos. Very good stuff for guys like me.

Speedy, it is the only meter and not a demand meter.

very humbly,

Hey, while you guys were busy with the Electrical, did you notice the lousy Brick Job. ha. ha. ;):mrgreen:

come on…that’s 1966 art!!! :smiley:

That Greenfield change is pretty much brand spanking new. For all of history, until the 2008 NEC, Greenfield was allowed outdoors. Why it was ever permitted in the first place is anyone’s guess. It was a stupid wiring method for outside.

I agree entirely.

I will say though. That looks to me to be older than (at most) 10 months.

See the 2002 NEC for example in NEC Section

**[size=2][FONT=Times-Bold]348.12 Uses Not Permitted. **[/FONT][/size]

[FONT=Times-Roman][size=2]FMC shall not be used in the following:[/size][/FONT]

[size=2]FONT=Times-Roman In wet locations unless the conductors are approved for the speci[/FONT][/size][FONT=Times-Roman][size=2]fi[/size][/FONT][FONT=Times-Roman][size=2]c conditions and the installation is such that [/size][/FONT][size=2][FONT=Times-Roman]liquid is not likely to enter raceways or enclosures to which the conduit is connected[/FONT][/size]

The way in which the product was installed in this picture was never intended, and that rule has been in the code, formerly in Article 350, since the late 70’s.

I agree that it should have never been permitted. I was happy to see the rulle deleted!

Please research the actual text so you will be able to understand the concept that was intended when that rule was added.

Hey Sparkies, including Joltin’ Joe Tedesco…

The installation pre-exists any changes to the NEC, and is therefore likely grandfathered.

To my knowledge, Marc is correct, though I havent ever seen it done this way.

Is it an AC disco, or the main disco?

By the way… that’s a DIGITAL meter. It is likely that the utility is fully aware of this installation and has blessed it, as the meter looks newer than the adjacent box. Since the utility is typically the ultiumate AHJ, this is likely a non-issue in their eyes.

Don’t bet money on it. The lion’s share of the digital and AMR meter change outs are historically being done by subcontractors.

It is an HVAC disconnect. I did think about the newer meter, but was still bumfuzzled.

FYI, my meter was actually changed by the PoCo.

You’re still going to put text in your report, addressing this as a potential problem, from an administrative standpoint, I guess? Just for my own curiosity’s sake, do you happen to know the name of the power company that serves the meter in your picture? I’m going to see if I can scare up a link to their rules book.

I did. I addressed the fact that the poco will not like it and Mr. Tedesco’s comment about the FMC.

so what is gutter fill?

Contact the Local Electrical Inspector and report this installation to him

The installation of the FMC is not correct, ask the ower for the permit number and verify inspection records.

Gutter fill has to do with NEC Article 312 requirements. I will send that information to you.

PS: Thanks for your kind words about my videos!

I think that there are far worse problems than the worry of the flex. Gosh with all these experts posting one would think that at least one of them would address the real issues.

First is that is one of the first disconnects from the point of delivery which means the disconnect MUST be service rated.

Second if there is more than that one disconnect then all the other disconnect supplied from that meter are REQUIRED to be grouped.

I would not even mention the use of the flex in my report but instead I would mention the two items above that need immediate attention and are a far more safety hazard than the flex.


Take a look at the image below. See all the wires crammed into the sides of the electrical panel (which caused an arc)? Well, that tight area (where the wires are sitting) is “the gutter fill”.

Nice picture Dave, you been doing some welding? :shock:



I saw this yesterday.