Join PhillyQueso101 on an electrical service change! See how he does everything from locating the source of water damage to bending PVC conduit. Watch the videos below or read the step-by-step breakdown of how he restores power to this home.
Emergency Electrical Service Repair – Step by Step
What’s up I’m doing a service change and I’m gonna go over why we’re changing it. The other night a customer called me and said, “I lost power to a quarter of my house and the other half has flashing lights. Can you come take a look?” and I said can I ever.
Electrical Service Change: Finding the Problem
So, when I got there, I started pulling breakers and checking voltage and look at all the corrosion in this panel. He lost a phase so I started digging into why he lost a phase and I noticed corrosion where it’s coming down water was pooling up in the panel and I’m like well how’s it getting in here?
Only this one spot down the middle of the meter socket looked bad which tells me the problem’s up top and it’s following the wire down going inside the wire down into the panel dripping right in here and pooling up on the top of the breakers and you can see the corrosion and the rust on the breakers.
All the bus bars were rusted you know causing a space in between the breaker and the bus bar which causes heat from the resistance, right? So you got two legs here right one leg feeds this bus which is every other breaker and the other leg feeds this bus which is the other breakers.
Instead of leaving them without power to half his house I took a 16 amp and jumped it out right and kind of backfed the other bus. Then I took the leg off that breaker if that makes sense.
Inspecting Electrical Meter Box Damage
Let’s set up these Little Giants and figure out where and why the water is coming in.
What do you know, what’d a carpenter put this in? They got square head screws in here come on.
Now I know the water’s starting from up here because I see it going through the meter it’s traveling and that’s it. All the insulation on this wire is so brittle and cracking right. So there’s a crack in the wire.
Oh what do you know now we’re back to Phillips and then back to square tip. (Dealing with Different ScrewHeads? Try Our Double-Ended Driver Bits!)
So you got a crack in the insulation the water is finding its way in and traveling down the inside of the wire through the meter socket inside the SER again into the panel pooling up in the panel and corroding the s*** out of it and that’s because they didn’t use PVC but bet your bottom dollar we are kid.
PVC Electrical Conduit vs Rigid Conduit
So, we’re gonna go ahead and put big dog Ken dog on the inside of this for the panel.
Time to get to work kid while I pull these uh little giants off the truck here, we got the um sumo stance 28-foot extension ladder with the adjustable legs baby so pull it down and spread them #TeamGreen.
But listen, while I set these ladders up there’s a couple things I want to address. First is: does anyone know if kangaroos have flat teeth or sharp teeth because they kind of look like dogs and secondly, (“secondly” is that even a word, kid?) undo all the clips and give it a yank that service will pull right off the house see a lot of look at them spread legs kid huh love that.
So secondly, we’re gonna use PVC so this s*** doesn’t happen – yes, it’s legal, yes, it’s a quality job. Listen for all you rigid fans out there. If I threw a PVC pipe in the ocean and a piece of rigid in the ocean what do you think’s gonna last longer. That PVC is much stronger kid.
Now that that point’s proven let’s watch Kenny rip down this panel. What is this homeowner special, we’ll get that on the panel and feed it the right way and cut the cord cap off it.
I’ll give him a hand but I gotta go outside and punch in the SEU for all you SEU police. Listen if I’m not ordering stock from a supply house, I don’t give a s*** if I mix up my words between SEU and SER who cares.
Listen we’re not replacing this sub panel but we gotta pull it off the wall to mount the new piece of plywood behind it and that’s a husky pouch for everyone that’s gonna be asking.
How to Bend PVC
We only need to use rigid if we surpass a roof line or go through a soffit. Talking about soffits, look I gotta bend around this one it’s gonna be a nightmare.
I got a two-inch PVC offset I’m hoping that’s gonna be enough. Let’s dry fit it to see if we’re looking good.
Of course not, why would it go smooth? (Want to learn how to bend PVC conduit? Click here to read our blog!)
But it’s all right we always uh use them on the bottom of the panel for LB’s anyways. Keep that LB up against the house nice and tight.
Since it won’t work up top, we’re gonna have to crawl in the truck and pull out the homemade heat box. I literally just took a toolbox drilled three holes in it: one on each side and one on the top for the heat gun to sit in. Let’s start warming this thing up.
The only con with this box is I wish it was a little longer and I gotta file down the ends or put bushings in the holes on the sides I drilled so it doesn’t scratch up the pipe. But other than that, it saved me a thousand bucks dude. Full send just leave it on the pavement so the grass don’t burn. (Try the Rack-A-Tiers Heat Tank to make this even easier!)
Now let’s work on this LB down to get it into the house so I can show you how good it fits with that offset. Then I used a grenade style phone bond there so it fits nicely next to my pipe going down. Look at that I brought it back to the house no angles nothing – the thing’s beautiful. If you don’t use those dude just start using them for the extra three dollars the quality of your work’s gonna go way through the roof.
All right so now that my meter is mounted I came to check on Kenny and seen this hammer I’m like what is this dude? What is this? A little four-inch hammer dude.
Then I had to take him the subway and it’s always the short guys that’s got the 12 incher. I got the six incher. The big dog ken dog who got the foot long.
Alright pg-13 from here on out because uh my buddy’s daughter is in school vocational school for electrical. He called me he said can you apprentice my daughter? I said can I ever kid – send her over. So we’re teaching her how to bend pipe.
Electrical Panel PVC Expansion Coupling
Look at that bend kid I bet rigid can’t do that, got him. I’ll pick a man-made manual bend over a pre-bend pre-made up bend any day of the week all day. I make them here good-looking electric with that red box kid.
Now I gotta put an expansion coupling in between my meter socket and my bend but I like to keep it right on top of the meter, so it looks good – I take pride in looking good. Well… my work looking good.
So, if I cut a three-inch piece of PVC it will slide in the coupling part of the hub or the connector. (well first of all look at this view two o’clock sun’s already setting, beautiful).
Look at that fit huh? So now I’ll expand my expansion coupling. The reason I gotta put this in is because that meter sure as hell ain’t gonna move and neither is that bend, but this pipe expands and shrinks with the heat and cool. We need a little playroom so that’s that.
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My service is up. Kenny how you making out? His panels are up and mounted too so he told me just get out there and push that f***ing wire up. I’m gonna say yes sir.
Phased it out and don’t forget: don’t be a douche, leave loops.
So, then I went to look at his work. You could do better Kenny come on kid ya rushed it. I’ve seen better but I’ll let it slide because the outside looks mint.
This looks all right with the panel cover on too, so I’ll slap and bang it for the boys.
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