outdoor junction box under meter

Hello, I inspected a 4 unit building. Under the meter, there was a big junction box. Tried to make sense of it but couldn’t.

The box wasn’t rated nema3, didn’t lock and showed sign of rust so I called for an inspection by a master electrician.

I would like to understand what exactly is this setup… thanks

just to add… there is more than once service entrance conector, so it’s not just used to split the service entrance into 4 meter…thanks

Standard service equipment. The “box” is normally referred to as a gutter. There’s nothing in your pictures that would warrant a call to an electrician.

The trough is being used to split one service off to multiple units.

The fact that the gutter isn’t waterproof (inside rust and no gasket whatsoever) doesn’t warrant a call to an electrician? wouldn’t want to be touching the enclosure in a rain storm!

The trough should be bonded to ground.

It looks like there are door over the recess for the panels. Are there doors?

It would not be sealed if it is after the meter.

there is a plywood pannel but it is nowhere near weatherproof. I consider the gutter to be outside.

Sorry for all my question, but I don’t see a lot of that, usually it’s one mast, one meter… per dwelling.

I sometimes see an outside main disconnnect, but it’s always rated nema3.

Now you are looking at a service for 4 dwellings. plus possibly a public panel.

I call them raceways.

Around here they are usually interior and I like to check them for old wiring and inappropriate taps to others branch circuits.

Gutters / Raceways … Very common. Don’t see anything in your pics to recommend a referral to electrician. I think you’re not a commercial inspector.

Just some additional comments. This appears to be prior to the meters so chances are it is being used for service taps. What you see here is not technically a “gutter” as it is more a “wireway” but alas basically the same thing.

Later (current) editions of the NEC require that tap to be shielded or insulated from potential touch hazard but probably not required at the time this was installed. Also in terms of the ratings, you have to remember that not all jurisdictions adhere to code rules precisely the same way so with that said if you notice abnormal rust, lack of wireway bonding and so on…defer it as you did and let the Licensed Electrician sort it out.

Continue to do your review and note all that you are concerned about. However, remember it only takes one issue to defer for evaluation by a specialists (you are a generalist) as other hidden issues could be found.

Again I did not examine the image so other issues may be present. In a perfect world it would be rated for it’s environment but not always and you can also mention it (saves your butt on that part) but since it has been in service for quite some time…defer it , make comment on it and then address the other issues.

Just my thoughts on it.