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Thread: Coupling electic

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    Moderator Goldenboy's Avatar
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    Default Coupling electic

    Do you couple electric? Whenever possible I will couple electric services. Alot of times on freestanding meters or bigger meter banks they have the secondary coming out the side of the meter base and I always couple it. Alot of other locators I've talked to say they would never couple an electric service. I don't see why others don't like to do this.

    Alot of the freestanding meters for signs,pump houses, and cell towers are non-grounded services so it seems like coupling is the only way I can get a real good signal on them.

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    Moderator Goldenboy's Avatar
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    A picture is worth a thousand words. I found one.

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    Senior Member RoadMap's Avatar
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    In that situation I would direct connect. Since the conduit does not come straight out the bottom. You can not see exactly what is happening behind the meter panel.
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    It would all depend on what frequency locator(s) were available and how productive I chose to be to get the same results...

    The plastic stem flags would create the greatest time constraint of the entire locate...


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    Senior Member underground quester's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RoadMap View Post
    In that situation I would direct connect. Since the conduit does not come straight out the bottom. You can not see exactly what is happening behind the meter panel.
    Okay, at the risk of having someone say "What? did you just get on to this locating truck, or what?" Gotta ask a question that popped into mind.

    Typically, if the meter is grounded, we would clip our aligator clips onto the box and conduct the signal along the ground.

    But, if as Goldenboy states there was not ground, then how would a direct connect conduct a signal?

    Okay, if i am wrong treat me gently, I am a sensitive guy!! yuk, yuk, yuk

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    Moderator Goldenboy's Avatar
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    This picture is a grounded secondary. I wish I had a picture looking down the building the other way. There are 5 more sets of meters on this bldg. When direct connecting to the meter base you are actually direct connecting to all the meters because it is a steel bldg. That is why I choose to couple at these bldgs.

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    Senior Member yahoo's Avatar
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    this is my opinion....................coupling or direct connect could poss give the same results b. c all is on a common ground ..........with that said only a good locater that knows the sound of his machine would not make a simple mistake like leaving the area thinking he has power done but actually located a private , tv svc , or phone svc....... who has the time to unbond every single ground to prevent a bleed off damage..................?????????????????????????? ????????????? my choice is coupling b.c it is faster and easier

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    Tomorrow, I and several others are going to be in an all day session on learning how to open up meter bases and transformers and connecting to the cables coming out of them. We will be issued keys to open the padlocks on transformers as well as gloves and fire retardant clothing to perform such tasks. Ought to be interesting.

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    Ungrounded meter bases? I have never heard of those.

    NEC requires a ground, plain and simple...now, when the service wire comes from the transformer, it comes in (for typical residential services) as two hot wires (120VAC each) and a neutral (which NEC calls the "grounded conductor").

    The feed coming from the meter box to the breaker panel inside is the only place where your neutral and ground wires are connected to the same place.

    In that situation like your goldenboy, I would isolate any nearby tv or shielded phone drops and direct connect to each meter. I will try to find a picture of the back of a building at a shopping center in my area that is set-up the same way as you are describing....
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    I always Direct connect if possible. removing the cable and telephone grounds does not take up a lot of time. using a ring clamp or induction has and will always be a last option for me.

    Also on the guy who is learning how to open transformers, it helps sometimes on very troubled areas but opening them and hooking to ground inside does not always work. The only time I find it works the best is if only the primary is running. If you are try to get a secondary I have always found it best to hook to a service that is feeding out of the secondary ped and traceing the sec cable to the trans. Depemding on the age of the area and how long you have been in the area you can also use this method to either find the primary (If not double trenched) or at least give you and idea where it may run. You can hook to the transformer to make sure. Good luck with the new method of opening transformers, it is always best to be able to use every option poss.

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    Member Metroman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yahoo View Post
    this is my opinion....................coupling or direct connect could poss give the same results b. c all is on a common ground ..........with that said only a good locater that knows the sound of his machine would not make a simple mistake like leaving the area thinking he has power done but actually located a private , tv svc , or phone svc....... who has the time to unbond every single ground to prevent a bleed off damage..................?????????????????????????? ????????????? my choice is coupling b.c it is faster and easier
    I am one of those locator's who takes the time to unbond properly.I find it dis hearting when i get compared to a locator who takes alot of shortcuts and has a high production because of it.Ironically im still here without damages.Others ,not so much.

    P.S not directed at you,im sure your a good locator..I just get frustrated sometimes and im venting........PEACE

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    I gotta agree Metro

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    Senior Member RoadMap's Avatar
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    Hell if I open a transformer to hook directly on a neutral and get caught, I will be looking for a job within 5 minutes of getting caught. Unless you are a lineman you have no business opening a transformer or secondary ped.
    If you are not a Liberal by age 20, then you do not have a heart! If you are not a Conservative by age 40, then you do not have a brain!!!

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    Member Metroman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RoadMap View Post
    Hell if I open a transformer to hook directly on a neutral and get caught, I will be looking for a job within 5 minutes of getting caught. Unless you are a lineman you have no business opening a transformer or secondary ped.
    Boy your not kidding.....I did have one power company trust me enough to open vaults for visual verification of how the lines went in and out(for isolated induction in my nasty areas,damn concentric neutral)but never transformers.Now secondary flush mounts we could open for clamping those darn future use stubouts.

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    Senior Member Wingfoot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goldenboy View Post
    Do you couple electric? Whenever possible I will couple electric services. I don't see why others don't like to do this.
    Coupling electric works better than direct connect for me. Direct connection will pick up many signals on the drops. Coupling isolates the electric service and seems to carry my crisp signal past the transformer/secondary pedestal. I use RD f33 with my coupler.
    Last edited by Wingfoot; June 3rd, 2008 at 10:03 AM.

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