When the utility has a loose connection on the “neutral” conductor, its unbalanced current can flow on other conductors, like you or the one going to the cable box!!! This cable box burned up from a high current flow on the grounding conductor termination, inside the cable box. A fire resulted from overloading the grounding conductor at the cable utility box. It is a requirement for it to be bonded to the neutral at the service equipment. The bonding screw between the neutral bar in the electrical panel and the panels metal can was also burned off.

Lots of repairs were required when this property was reconnected to power. The quote was “Furnish all labor and material to complete the following: Permit and repair. Remove the existing service equipment, install a new service entrance cable, meter-base, the main breaker-panel outside and main lug-panel inside (remove the fuse panel and install a breaker panel). Remove the improper wiring, reconnect the original circuits and label them. Install receptacle outlets as required for the minimums of an existing dwelling (1-120 Volt smoke detector outlet, new receptacle outlets (each room must have at least 2- receptacles), AFCI /GFCI protection on circuits as required and replace the damaged or improper receptacles”. As a little extra for the customer I installed LED lamps on the outside lights!! Call me for a quote!


WWC (work with contractor) release from the City of Montgomery to utility provider was required, to have the power restored, after this permitted meter base/panel replacement. The large junction box was needed to splice the service entrance conductors because the existing meter base did not meet the minimum working height of 24”. The conduit did go all the way to the transformer. We removed a tree and vines. Tree roots are in front of this underground service entrance. Most of the time the utility will splice their conductors underground, but there was not much room to dig because of finishes. Look for a finished picture of this service in a future post.

Good looking work!

Too bad it has serious issues. This 320 AMP residential service was done in Montgomery County where there is no requirement for an inspection. The service entrance conductors and load side conductors feeding the residence are in this through together. There were many other issues with the work on this property that needed attention. The utility provider was the authority having jurisdiction over this installation. The underground lineman (especially when he did the job himself) is no replacement for an electrical contractor and inspector. We Installed a new meter base, 2-200 AMP main breaker panels and reconnect the existing feeders to the sub-panels.