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I'm planning to do my own electrical for a new house that will have pine chink siding. Should I:

A. Install the meter base on the OSB sheathing, and flash the Tyvek around it?

B. Install the meter base on the sheathing over the Tyvek?

C. Wait until the pine chink siding is fully installed and put the meter base over that? (there will be gaps behind the meter though, do to the elevation changes in chink siding).

D. Install some kind of board over the OSB, screwed through the sheathing to the studs and then attach the meter to that? If so, how should it be flashed?

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Should the meter base be installed before chink siding in new construction?

Yes.

B. Install the meter base on the sheathing over the Tyvek?

  • Why though? I've seen some done both ways, but not sure why one would choose one the other. It seems that if you install the electric panel to the Tyvek/sheathing and then side around it, that will invite water penetration behind the siding since you're not supposed to caulk around the meter. – Nick Oct 31 '17 at 19:06
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    Think of it like a single roof. The first siding below the meter could be caulked to the tyvek along it's upper edge. That would help keep water outside the siding. The tyvek is your primary bulk water barrier tough. The siding protects from physical damage and helps keep water away. Biggest disadvantage of putting the meter on the siding is it creates voids behind the meter that insects will exploit, invites moisture inbehind the meter and into the wall cavity the aesthetic, and that mechanically fastening the meter box can damage or distort the siding. – Billy C. Oct 31 '17 at 19:21
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    I agree 100% some inspectors require the box to be firmly mounted. On top of an uneven surface is not firmly mounted. I usually drill a 1/4" hole in the front bottom lip for drainage.+ – Ed Beal Oct 31 '17 at 20:35
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As other's commented, there are down sides to installing meter box on the siding. I had Hardie plank siding installed a few years ago, and if read all their fine print, they don't like extra penetrations that the attachment screws/nails would cause. tl:dr The installer put all external box and fixtures on cut PVC bases and flashed over the top to the tyvek. The siding butts to those.

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I disagree with Billy C. I would install the chink siding first, and then attach the electrical box to the wall through the siding.

If you install the meter box first, imagine what the water that runs down the siding above the meter will do once it reaches the meter. Half will run out and over the front of the meter, and the other half will run back and behind the meter and reach the house wrap. Now that water on the house wrap will either find it's way into the wall assembly at worst, or best make the back of the chink siding wet underneath the meter.

The reason all electricians will tell you to install the meter first is because it's not practical to temporarily install 200 amp service to a house and wait to install the meter once the siding is installed. It's dangerous to temp that in with stakes in the ground, it's another trip for the electrician, it's in the way for final grading and anyone working in that area. Siding is literally the second to last thing you do outside when building a house, with laying a driveway as the last thing. Interior electrical work is already started after the shingles are put on. It simply makes the most practical sense to install it on the sheathing after the house wrap like Billy C said, but it's not the best way to prevent water intrusion which is what I think you're asking.

Either way you choose to do it, you'll be fine. Millions of homes have it installed both ways and don't have problems with it.

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    I install them to the vapor barrier once the sideing is on seal the siding to box with silicone (just like a window or door). Outdoor boxes are sealed but they and the conduit can sweat causing water buildup in the bottom so I drill a 1/4" hole in the bottom front lip of the box all up to code and no call backs. Nothing to do with temp service I run a generator and or gas powered aircompressor. – Ed Beal Oct 31 '17 at 20:42

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