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Question DetailsAsked on 8/21/2016

How much can I expect to pay a PA electrician to replace the service entrance wire from the weatherhead in.

Late 50's house with aerial drop. Drop insulation is cracking away exposing metallic support members and insulated conductors on both sides of the meter box (between the weatherhead and the box and the box to the 100 amp breaker box in the basement(about 3' of drop from box to breaker box and two stories to weatherhead).

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First check with your utility - some have their service demarcation point at the weatherhead, some at the meter - so they might replace the portion to the meter for free, or their regulations may require that they replace it (not an electrician) but they might charge $200-400 to do it. For an electrician to do this - commonly about $300-500 if allowed to do it. In many areas, the utility has to come (and may charge $100-200 in trip charges) to disconnect the power at the transformer, then electrician does the rewire to the meter (if that is in your responsibility area), then utility comes to inspect the connection and reconnect and verify the meter connections and operation are correct. In other areas they allow "hot wire" changeout of the wiring by an electrician - usually if allowed has to be a lineman-rated or Journeyman electrician. All depends on the utility rules and state law regarding responsibility for connections at the demarcation point.

Portion from meter to breaker panel is certainly your responsibility - should be in conduit, not bare - probably about $200-250 range unless some unusual access issue, possibly as little as half that much if done by electrician along with the service entrance wiring replacement, if he does that work too.

I would have the electrician look at your breaker panel wiring too, for safety, while there - could be your internal wiring is looking pretty sorry too, plus your panel may be far from code with respect to grounding, GFCI breakers on kitchen and bathroom and exterior circuits, etc. Potential safety issue not, plus likely a contingency issue when you go to sell. At a minimum you should have him check for loose connections, and cinch down any aluminum wire connectors because they tend to get loose with age as the aluminum creeps and compresses over time under the connectors.

For info on meter base or breaker panel replacement, if those are in bad shape, there are quite a few prior questions with answers on that in the Home > Electrical category in Browse Projects, at lower left.

Answered 4 years ago by LCD

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