when upgrading to a 200 amp service panel with service drop coming from bottom underground do I need southern California Edison to come disconnect and then reconnect or can I just do it on my own. I do have a permit.

  • Is your configuration a meter main with a separate panel, or a meter-base/loadcenter combination? – ThreePhaseEel May 11 '18 at 11:41
  • If your first disconnect past the meter is in fact your current panel’s main breaker, then yes your power utility must disconnect power. If there is a service disconnect at the meter you may not need this step. Be aware that in many parts of the US, reconnection may not occur until your work passes the inspection associated with your permit. In my area, permitted work by a homeowner requires inspection before power is restored, work by licensed contractors can get power back on before inspection. – Tyson May 11 '18 at 12:23
  • @Tyson,@ThreePhaseEel – cdguitarok May 12 '18 at 6:23
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    @Tyson,@ThreePhaseEel configuration= meter-base/loadcenter combination. The 3 service lines come up from the bottom left compartment and attach by respective lug which connect via meter which is top left compartment and feed over to main breaker and 16 single or 12 single 4 tandem breakers. last project I was on was an all new construction with service drop being relocated and Edison came out saw my work and said if I felt comfortable disconnecting from old panel and reconnecting at new panel they were ok with that. what could Repercussion be to just switch out before rough inspection? – cdguitarok May 12 '18 at 6:39

You'll need utility help for this one

Since you're dealing with an "all in one" device that combines a meter base, service disconnect, and loadcenter, you'll need to have the utility cut power for you to be able to safely replace it. Fortunately, this shouldn't be an issue for them provided you have them do it during normal business hours.

Recommendation: don't go with another all-in-one

While all-in-one/combination service entrance devices are inexpensive and labor-saving for production builders, they have the great problem that you see here: you need to have the utility cut power just so you can expand this. A separate meter-main and panel gives you more flexibility in this regard, and also expands your ability to pick panels (I haven't yet seen a CSED upwards of 42 spaces, whereas many loadcenter lines go up to 54 or 60 spaces these days).

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If there is a main switch or fuse right under your meter you can operate those, if your connection lacks that features or those are 'locked' so only the utility can operate on them, you'll have to call SCE and ask them.

Edit: also check if your contract can hold 200A on 'meter side' if it doesn't and you load your panel for 200A SCE fuses will blow and you'll have to call for service restore, so ask SCE to check if your service is capable for 200A

EDIT2: I post my meter and panel as example: You can see on my meter the bundled main disconnect, see if there is one on your too. On my panel you can see the main GFCI breaker (right) and the circuits' breakers, so I can remove power both from my main switch and from the meter itself. Here on older installations, now replaced, where main disconnect were fuses.

meter main panel

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  • Ive installed a good amount of service panels with service drops but this is the first underground for me. can you elaborate on main switch under meter please. – cdguitarok May 11 '18 at 10:35
  • This looks very, very, very European, like a DIN rail. I don't see 2 poles either. Four breakers is far too few to comply with US codes, as you need 3 just for kitchen and bathroom receptacles. – Harper - Reinstate Monica May 11 '18 at 19:42
  • How could you tell this? Due to CE, 50Hz 230V or IMQ Mark? Anyway yes, this is my Italian panel. But I have to say that those are all 2 interrupted poles (switched live and neutral, sensitive elements only on hot) -> we have 'real' single phase service. But I have to admit this panel is little outdated (first built in early 80's with single GFCI and 2 breakers and rebuilt in 2001 to current configuration) and won't be acceptable for a new-built house. – DDS May 11 '18 at 22:45
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    Nor is it even close to a 200 amp panel of any age in California USA.... – Tyson May 12 '18 at 0:03
  • Not close to any panel used in the U.S. + . the clue to the location Southern California Edison. @DDS I have been railed on for an accurate description even accepted answer because I used the term listed (common here in the U.S.) where on your side of the pond approved I think was the normal term that's why so many first comments at where are you located so the answer provides useful information. As it is your meter and breaker type info is useless on this side of the pond. – Ed Beal May 15 '18 at 19:45

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