Electrical Service is the connection between your home or business and the electric utility system. It usually consists of two 120-volt service wires that offer a combined 240 volts of electricity (voltage is a measurement of electricity’s pressure or rate of flow). The main electrical service to your home or business reaches it either through overhead wires that enter a service mast and then pass through an electric meter into your house, or underground wires that go directly to your home or building. The first stop for the main electrical service is your electrical breaker panel.
The breaker panel is typically located in the basement or a garage, but can also be found in a closet, utility room, laundry area or in an exterior wall, depending on the design of your home. It is a large metal box with a metal door and contains several rows of individual circuit breakers, each with small toggle levers, arranged in two columns. The breaker breakers are numbered and control different branches of your house’s electrical service. Each breaker has a label showing the total amperage of your service, and each is rated to handle a certain amount of current.
It is a good idea to add up all the electrical equipment and machinery in your home or building and compare that total to the maximum amperage of your service to see if you are oversizing your service. Oversizing can cause the breaker to trip or, in severe cases, the wires in your home to become overheated and create a fire risk. Oversizing can also lead to problems such as flickering lights, hot wires and/or an acrid smell coming from outlets.
For homes or businesses without a basement, the electric meter base is located in front of the meter. The meter base is the responsibility of the customer and must be placed on a concrete pad that has been poured and cured. In addition, the meter base must be a minimum of four feet above ground and three feet from any fences or obstructions.
Generally, the Department will not connect to any premises until such time as all wiring on the customer’s installation has been completed in accordance with National Electrical Code articles, State and Local codes, and inspection authorities have approved the work.
Customers wishing to increase the size of their electrical service must apply for a new electric service, pay applicable fees and security deposits, and submit a service load calculation, both of which are available from the Department. The application form must be signed by a person authorized to represent the Customer.
If the application for service is not completed and approved by the Department, or if the Customer fails to supply the Department with information necessary to determine the availability of services, the Department may refuse or suspend such service upon giving notice to such Customer. Such suspension or interruption shall be in accordance with the provisions of Section 13-308.