Thgose Darn PoCo's

I was doing a reverse ride along with a new inspector. Condo conversion in a courtyard style building, built in 1928. Mostly, a real good conversion.

They totally redid the electric, with big 600 amp disconnects in the basement and multiple meter panels. Six service drops in all (for each of the six “sections” of the building. 6 units per drop with 100 amp service to each unit (one and two bedroom units).


This is the drop. Six (each) of the two hot legs and neutral (Excuse me, Paul. Grounded Conductors.). Each service had its own rigid pipe service entrance, take to the 6 parts of the building (into six different basement electrical rooms. BTW: The owners thought that the electrical rooms were great places to store their bikes. What a freakin’ mess!

Each incoming SE was at least a 6/0 (Maybe 8/0. They were most probably the width of my thumb. Please remember, this was a three year old conversion, NOT a temporary hookup.

But look at what the ComEd guys used for the drop. It couldn’t have been bigger than 2/0 or 3/0.



Gotta admit, it does look funny.

The fine print requires that no two owners use their toasters at the same time. :stuck_out_tongue:

The POCO sizes their conductors to a completely different set of rules. They use the NESC. A 3/0 would be good for 500-odd amps by their rules.

But one 3/0 (at best) to SIX different SEs of 600 amps each?

So, there are 6 individual drops (six different services to six different 600 amp main disconnects, each serving six different meters with their own 100 amp meter disconnects).

And they are connected to the PoCo by one 3/0 conductor.

Of course it is ‘legal’ (PoCos are their own ‘de facto’ AHJs), but is it correct?

Want to place a wager on how many times this setup faults?

If so, call me. I will bet $100.00 that it blows at least once in the next year.

(Remember, this is Chicago.)

Birds can warm their feet in January by perching on them.:mrgreen:
Free air increases the ampacity of a conductor greatly.

Like the others said, it might be ok. However, there is also a chance that the final inspection never occured, or the clearance was never forwarded to the POCO, or they just lost it. Ocasionally I will run into a service that was obviously done several years ago, but will not be spliced in with POCO splices.

In most cities it is possible to get away with NEVER calling in for your final, it will just get swallowed up down at planning & zoning and no one will ever check up on it.

If you feel this might have happened, you could go to your building dept and look it up to see if the final electrical was ever done.

What does that say about the ‘government’ inspectors (those who deride us) who are paid by the public to protect the public?

To me it says they are understaffed and overloaded, just like the police.

I have done plenty of service inspections and I have never called the PoCo. The EC, GC or the owner does that. All they needed from me was a copy of the inspection report. I have had to fax a copy to the GC when they lost the one I left tho.

Yes Greg thats another chance for it to slip thru the cracks. It’s the same here, the POCO most receive clearance from the city or county, and they also must receive an “application” by telephone from the owner or the contractor. Any one of these things gets missed and the service could be temped in forever.