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WAPA Power Meter Relocation

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stxrocks
March 29, 2012 07:00PM

Registered: 3 years ago
Posts: 77

I have a friend who is being "bullied" by WAPA to move his meter from the current location (in the back of his lot) where it has been for the last 25+ years. WAPA has run tall new poles up to the opposite end of his lot from where the current meter is located. WAPA is telling him he has to relocate the new meter some 300 feet from the present location, just outside of his property.

They're trying to be amenable by saying they'll run overhead lines from the new meter to the present (to be removed) meter location, but unfortunately this would be right in his beautiful view shed. Of course they didn't tell him that he's responsible for the maintenance of any connections & hardware on his side of the meter.

From what I'm told, WAPA really doesn't answer to anyone, other than the PSC whose authority is limited to ONLY issues dealing with rates. True? What if my friend refuses to relocate his meter? I understand the only reason WAPA can disconnect you is for non-payment. (Well, I guess if they found something unsafe on your property they might be able to disconnect you.)

Has anyone ever dealt with a similar issue? If so, what were your experiences and what was the outcome? PM me if you'd rather not discuss publicly.

Thanks in advance...

Re: WAPA Power Meter Relocation

DaChief
March 29, 2012 08:32PM

Registered: 2 years ago
Posts: 129

Well, where to begin..Some years ago (about 8), our property had a pole with the meter that had been renewed in December 89 after HH.
In 2003-2004 WAPA started renewing the High Tension (14 KV) distribution branch lines running from the feeders to the branch. That meant putting in new poles-

Originally, our meter box was mounted on the old High Tension Branch Pole, and we were told that new IEEE and other new regs prohibit the meter (or any other low voltage service) from being on a high tension pole. They installed the new high tension pole- and told us promptly in writing that we had to either change our pole or install a concrete meter housing or "monument". They let us slide- and we continued using our old pole- with nothing but the low voltage and meter on it.

But yes- if your meter, meter housing or service does not comply with code- they can disconnect you... BUT- two years ago, this "meter" pole started to fail, especially after storms and such- and we were forced to renew the service- this originally ran 500' down our driveway- since I am an engineer with a very strong electrical background, I suggested moving the service to another location closer to the house- and WAPA did it- Yes! they actually furnished another pole and made life easier- I still had to have trenches, underground conduit and the obligatory monument- but the line foreman in my area was a real gent and saved me thousands....

(See you guys think that I continuously bash WAPA- that's far from the truth, I just have issues with the way they run their plants and their overall management strategy or lack thereof)

So- Bottom Line- attempt to work with them. Tell them that you can't afford any big ticket electrical items- but remember that there is a pretty substantial and up to date electrical code here- and it prohibits the mixing of mutliple voltages on the same pole...especially where high tension is involved...



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 03/29/2012 08:54PM by DaChief.

Re: WAPA Power Meter Relocation

vicanuck
March 30, 2012 07:23AM

Registered: 4 years ago
Posts: 782

I had a very similar situation as well. Fortunately, I was doing some extensive renovations at the time and was able to trench from my lot line back up to the house inexpensively. I bought my cable from a distributor in Denver and had it shipped here landed at half the local cost of cable. Since we did a lot of the owrk ourselves, it wasnt a big deal.

Re: WAPA Power Meter Relocation
avatar

stxrocks
March 30, 2012 08:28AM

Registered: 3 years ago
Posts: 77

Thanks for the valuable feedback. I believe my friend's meter is mounted on an existing building and there is only a mast-head feed drop which comes from an adjacent parcel. The only voltage level on the drop is that feeding the residence. The existing feed has also been there for years.

I am not familiar with the term "renewing" of power service. I am guessing that if your power is disconnected for some reason (e.g. hurricane), WAPA then treats the reconnection as new service? Seems odd to me that if one previously has had service, with a WAPA acceptable feed, at a given location, and for whatever reason the service was interrupted, then WAPA can impose their tactics to require you to move your service to wherever they dictate?

Any further advice is appreciated.

Re: WAPA Power Meter Relocation

DaChief
March 30, 2012 09:26AM

Registered: 2 years ago
Posts: 129

I would tend to think not. NEC (National Electric Code) has pretty stringent regs for meter heads and service entries, along with UL- these are probably intergral to our code- as I remember the VI updated the code for parity...

I'll try and dig something up. But, I would also think that a residential service already existing on a fixed structure meeting code is satisfactory- WAPA could dictate moving the feeder to the service to clear obstacles, inherent dangers (trees and such) but would have NO impact on an existing service meeting code.

Ok, I am digging stuff up on this. There appears to be a minimum overhead cable requirement of 12 feet from the street level going in to the weather head leading to the service....It's interesting to note that ALL of the cable requirements are generally the responsibility of the utility- with the exception of distances over a certain lenght (some states have 1000 feet max) outside of the weatherheads...



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/30/2012 09:52AM by DaChief.

Re: WAPA Power Meter Relocation

East End Doug
April 01, 2012 07:17AM

Registered: 8 years ago
Posts: 234

The pole at the end of my driveway is leaning badly (30 degrees). One of the WAPA lines is on the ground and has been for months. WAPA came out and looked and said they would need to get a supervisor to check it out. Still nothing. The next storm it will go down along with my house power. Any ideas on how to get this fixed? Help!!!!

Re: WAPA Power Meter Relocation

OldTart
April 01, 2012 09:02AM

Registered: 2 years ago
Posts: 2,580

Quote
East End Doug
The pole at the end of my driveway is leaning badly (30 degrees). One of the WAPA lines is on the ground and has been for months. WAPA came out and looked and said they would need to get a supervisor to check it out. Still nothing. The next storm it will go down along with my house power. Any ideas on how to get this fixed? Help!!!!

Been there done that, You just have to keep calling and if, after a half dozen calls (during which you remain charmingly pleasant) nobody comes out to fix the problem then send an email to the Executive Director. I only had to resort to the latter once and thereafter I had no problems when future issues came up. Good luck!

Re: WAPA Power Meter Relocation

East End Doug
April 01, 2012 04:21PM

Registered: 8 years ago
Posts: 234

Thanks Old Tart I'll start my friendly sugar coated call program.I'll let you know how many calls it takes to get some action.

Re: WAPA Power Meter Relocation

DaChief
April 01, 2012 10:18PM

Registered: 2 years ago
Posts: 129

Also, try Lorna Nichols over at the PSC- they have done wonder with this before- sometimes an "unofficial call" works wonders- especially with Innovative....

Re: WAPA Power Meter Relocation

East End Doug
April 05, 2012 04:39AM

Registered: 8 years ago
Posts: 234

WAPA's guy came by and looked at the pole and said that we pulled the pole over and was as rude as can be. Since I lost my super powers I am no longer able to push power poles over by hand. The pole shows on sign of being pushed by a car or tractor it must be supernatural forces at work.When the next storm makes it go down I hope no one gets hurt.

Re: WAPA Power Meter Relocation

vicanuck
April 11, 2012 08:11AM

Registered: 4 years ago
Posts: 782

My pole was leaning at a serious angle and we knew it would fall over at some point. Sure enough, the WAPA supervisor came over after me calling dozens of times and said it was my problem since the pole was on my property.

Of course, it eventually fell over. When I called WAPA to fix it, they came right over, took all the copper cable from the pole to my house and the meter but refused to supply a new pole or fix anything.

My question to them was...if the pole is on my property and therefore I own it, why don't I own the copper going from the pole to my house?

They couldnt or wouldnt answer that.

My first mistake was calling them in the first place.

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