WAPA Power Meter Re...
 

WAPA Power Meter Relocation  

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stxrocks
Posts: 89
(@stx_rocks)
Advanced Member
Joined: 8 years ago

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...

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DaChief
Posts: 129
(@DaChief)
Advanced Member
Joined: 7 years ago

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...

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vicanuck
Posts: 2371
(@vicanuck)
Trusted Member
Joined: 9 years ago

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.

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stxrocks
Posts: 89
(@stx_rocks)
Advanced Member
Joined: 8 years ago

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.

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DaChief
Posts: 129
(@DaChief)
Advanced Member
Joined: 7 years ago

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...

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