Underground conversion is the process of taking the overhead service drop and installing it in the ground, which makes for a safer connection. If you don’t know what a service drop is, it is the connection between your home with the power companies power pole.
Newer homes already have underground service but of yours doesn’t, you still have the option to converting your overhead service into an underground service.
There are a few reasons why an underground conversion might be a service you would like installed to your home,
Well the very first step is calling your residential electrician to stop by your home to survey your property and provide you with a free estimate of what the process will be and what the cost will be. There are a few factors that will determine the cost of this service, some of these factors are:
The distance between your meter can and the power company transformer power pole, Since installing the conduit underground your residential electrician will need to trench from the meter can location to the power pole at a depth of 24 inches to the top of the conduit making more like 26 to 28 inches deep. Depending on the route taken it can up the cost if there is many obstacles in the way of this trench, like water pipes, gas lines, roots, sprinkler lines, phone line, coral rock and the list goes on. Some times there is no choice but to trench by hand, with pick axes and shovels of course, this can drive up the cost due to the amount of labor hours involved, when you can use a trenching machine it makes the process alot easier and less expensive.
Some other items that can affect your cost is what condition is your electrical system in, when you get into a project like this you will need to pull a permit, like we mentioned before in previous post, when you pull a permit not only the original job will be inspected but your system will need to brought up to code even if it was not part of the job. For instance, if you have an inspection for the underground conversion, and the inspector notices that you currently do not have smoke detectors installed he will require you to get them installed before he will approve the final inspection, that’s why having an experienced residential electrician is a big plus.
Knowing exactly what to expect is very important as it will save you lots of time, money and stress in the future, as you will need drawing for permitting, if you include everything that needs to be done in order to pass the inspection it will save you money from paying the architect for the revisions and the revisions fee from the city which can add up quickly.
As we mentioned earlier, smoke detectors are the most common item that inspectors require in order to get an approved final inspection, another item is a proper grounding system. A few years back you were allowed to only use the cold water pipe as a grounding means, but currently the code requires a new system that consist of 2 ground rods, water pipe bonding, gas pipe bonding, slab steel bonding and an inter systems bonding terminal all bonded together by a grounding conductor sized according to the size of your electrical service. Also, inspector like to see t your electrical panel to assure that it is in good condition, sometime the breaker panel has too many breakers, or breakers sized incorrectly, double tapped breakers are a system that is not grounded properly, this issues will need to be corrected even if they were not part of the original job, that’s why it helps to have an honest residential electrician to inform you of this process hence saving you time, money and stress.
Once in a while the inspectors will ask to see the GFCIs in the required locations like kitchens, bathrooms, outdoors, garages. Also, if you have an electrical service smaller than the smallest allowed by code which is 125 amps, you will be required to have a service load calculation and upgrade your service. This may seem unfair but in reality it is for your benefit, your electrical system is a very important part of your home but if left in bad conditions it can hurt or kill someone, so they need to be corrected before an inspector will sign off on it.
Whether you are ready to get this done at your home or are just in the beginning stages you can give us a call and we can help you through this process, give you all the info you may need and give you a free estimate. Also, if you would like to move forward we can handle all the process for you form the permitting to the t=drawings doing the job and performing the required inspections. We make it easy for you by handling all the headaches so you don’t have to,
If you have any questions comments or concerns please comment below and we will do our best to answer your comments in a timely fashion. Thank you for visiting our site and we are here to help, if you need us comment below or call us at 786-617-7436.