PG&E Panel Change Procedures|Williams Electric| 510 339-5601 upgrade, change, removal, repair, replace, replacement.

Williams-Electric-TeamWhat should our clients expect?

Power Cut Off

Power will be cut off soon after work begins, the morning of the scheduled start day. The existing panel will be removed, and power will be available to all other trades on the job who request it. Some noise and dirt will be created during the change over. Freezer and refrigerators will not be affected. No food will be spoiled or lost. A GFI breaker will be temporarily installed on the hot PG&E line.


 Old System Removed

Electrical Fuse Panel

Electrical Fuse Panel

The old system, its metal riser, the metal panel, the fuses or old breakers will be removed and recycled with the city. Nothing will be left for the client to worry about removing, or paying for a dump run. Williams Electric will remove all debris at the end of the inspection, so the inspector may see the old system if requested. Patching may be required.


New System Will Be Installed

The new panel will be placed on the surface of the building, and the new metal riser will be surface mounted as well. Any eave penetration will be roof jacked and rain proofed. We will use copper wire, and not the fire prone aluminum wire. Many electricians use aluminum to raise profits. The new grounding system will consist of an 8’ ground rod, a main water bond, and a hot-cold-gas bond at the water heater. Upon inspection, the water heater and main water bond will need to be seen by inspector, so access must be granted to us ahead of time.


pg&e meter changedThe Size of The New System

The size of the new system will be most likely, 125 amps, 240 volts, with 12/24 distribution. Some may ask for 200 amps, 20/40 distribution, for more ampacity and more circuit breaker expansion. We never install 100 amps, as that is only the minimum size allowable by the NEC. The grounding wire will be either a #6 or a #4 size and will be exposed to the ground rod. The advantage given by 200 amp systems is mainly the future expansion, with more breakers available.
Most will not need more than 125 amps, even if all load were on at the same time. Larger homes may justify the addition of 200 amp mains with more distribution.


Inspections by the City and PG&E

Before any work is started, we will obtain a permit with the city and fill out an application with PG&E re: the main panel change. If a remodel is being done, or load is being added to the line, or a larger panel is being installed, or the drop is being moved, PG&E may ask the owner to pay for a larger drop. After the city permit is obtained, the work will be done. Several days after the job is done, Ronda will call for inspection with the city. The city will give us a two hour window, during which time she will wait for the city inspector to show. Some do not show up on time. Access will be required to the building and the crawl space during that 2 hour window. Ronda will open the panels for the inspector and show the grounding as well. After the job passes with the city, the city inspector will fax a clearance sheet to PG&E. PG&E will then send out their own inspector, who will only need to look at the exterior work. PG&E will then send out a T-man crew (Termination man crew). The crew will permanently crimp our temporary connection at the weather head with a hydraulic crimp tool. The power will at this time be cut by PG&E for 20 minutes. They do not notify us or you during the crimp. Any branches resting on the PG&E drop will need to be trimmed by the property owner before the crimp can be done. If PG&E does not send the T-man crew, we will need to remind them, and the owner will need to notice if the weather head connection has not been crimped by PG&E (Our connection is only intended to be temporary).


What is the owner responsible for?

PG&E owns the meter, and the drop. The owner is responsible for the panel, the riser, the tree branches, the weather head, the wire in the conduit and the panel wiring and any patching. If the drop connection crimp goes bad, this is PG&E’s responsibility. If the drop or the panel is injured by a tree, it is the owner’s responsibility to fix it.


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