frequently asked questions 

Point of Attachment Questions

How much wire do I need extending out of the weatherhead of my new service?
In order for the CMP worker to correctly attach the cable from the pole to the customer's cable, at least 24" of cable should be extending out of the weatherhead.

Who is required to install the house hook on my building?
The customer is responsible for having the hook installed in a solid framing member in such a way as to provide the proper clearances for the CMP cable over roads, driveways, lawns, or other surfaces. The hook is used to attach CMP's cable from the pole to the building. The hook should be located below the service weatherhead not more than 24 inches away.

How high can the pipe for my mast be over the roof before I need to install a guy wire for it?
If the pipe of your mast is more than 30" above the roof, it must be supported with a guy wire. This wire is used to offset the pull from the weight of the CMP cable coming in from the pole. Often the weight of this cable gets very heavy when laden with ice and snow and could cause the mast to bend.

Riser Cable Questions

What is the minimum size conduit that is required for a mast kit?
The National Electric Code and CMP both require a mast kit to have conduit a minimum of 2" in diameter for services less than 100'. For service drops longer than 100' a 2-1/2" minimum conduit is required.

Is there a special type of ground clamp that needs to be attached to the ground rod?
A teardrop-shaped ground clamp is used. The two piece "water pipe" type clamp is not allowed because it will break too easily when exposed to damage and is not rated for direct burial in the ground.

Does the wire that runs from the meter enclosure to the ground rod need to be secured?
Yes, this wire needs to be placed inside a piece of conduit or attached to the building. This will prevent the wire from being caught up on something passing by and being torn out of the meter enclosure or off the ground rod.

Meter Enclosure Questions

Are there any particular screws that should be used to attach the meter enclosure to the backboard?
Stainless steel or galvanized screws should be used to ensure sturdy attachment of the meter enclosure to the backboard.

Which screw holes should be used to attach the meter enclosure to the backboard?
Only the screw holes at the corners of the meter enclosure should be used for attachment. If the holes in the center of the meter enclosure are used, they cannot easily be removed once the wires are run and energized. They may need to be removed in the future to float the meter enclosure for a siding job.

Can I put more than one wire under each individual lug?
The National Electric Code and CMP both do not allow more than one wire under each lug. This often results in an unsecured connection that could cause a fire. We often find old meter enclosures with the ground and neutral wires under the same lug since these older enclosures do not have a separate lug for each wire. Newer enclosures are equipped with separate lugs for the ground and neutral wires.

When a meter enclosure is connected directly to an outside panel by a short, threaded piece of conduit, is there anything specific that needs to be done to continue the ground connection?
It is required that both ends of the threaded piece of conduit be bonded with a bonding bushing.

If I change my main panel box, do I need to change the meter enclosure and outside wire too?
Often a total change will be necessary to comply with the National Electric Code. The smallest size service allowed for a residence is 100 amps. Many homes with older services will only handle 60 amps or less. The entrance wires to these services are not able to handle the increased amperage of the new service. This will require the entire service to be changed.

What do I fasten my meter enclosure to on my trailer pole?
The meter enclosure is mounted on a backboard that is fastened to the pole. The backboard must be stained, painted, or pressure-treated to preserve the wood.

What type of screws do I use to fasten my meter enclosure to the building?
Galvanized or stainless steel screws with adequate head size are required. Black sheet rock screws with washers are not acceptable.

Paperwork Questions

How important is it that I return all the forms back to CMP before they will energize my service?
This is very important! These forms must be returned to CMP prior to your service being energized. Failure to return all forms may cause delays in getting your service energized.

Panel Box Questions

How far can I run the wire from my meter enclosure inside the building before going into my panel box?
The National Electric Code and CMP require that the wire from the meter enclosure be put into the panel box as soon as possible once the wire enters the house. This wire is not protected by a breaker or fuse and could possibly get very hot in the event of a problem with the inside wiring. This could possibly cause a fire. In order to have the panel box located further inside the home, a disconnect can be mounted on the outside of the home by the meter enclosure.

What type of wire should be run from the outside disconnect to the panel box inside the building?
In services where the main disconnect is located outside by the meter, it is required that a wire of the proper size with 4 conductors be run to the panel box instead of a wire with only three wires as in the case when running directly from the meter enclosure to the main breaker inside the panel box. This additional wire is used to continue the ground connection from the outside disconnect into the panel box.

Poles and Anchors Questions

If I install my own pole for my meter enclosure and disconnect, what else is needed?
The customer-owned service pole must be properly anchored and a guy wire installed to hold the pole in place when CMP connects a service cable to it. The anchor must be 10 feet minimum or 1/3 the height of the pole away from the pole and in line with CMP's pole and service cable. CMP can install the customer provided guy wire.

How do I know where to put the anchor on my service pole?
The anchor needs to be directly behind the customer-owned service pole in line with the pole that CMP will run a service cable from.

Can I use an old tree for a trailer pole?
NO, the trailer pole must be fully pressure-treated, or an untreated cedar pole stripped of all bark. It must have a minimum diameter of 8" at the base and 6" at the top. A 6" x 6" pressure-treated timber is also acceptable.

Underground Questions

What do I use for an underground service meter pedestal for my mobile home?
A 4" x 6" (minimum) pressure-treated timber, usually 10 feet in length, is installed 4 feet minimum into the ground leaving 5 feet out of the ground to mount the meter enclosure and disconnect on.

Does the steel conduit that goes up the pole for my underground need to be grounded?
Yes, a grounding clamp, commonly known as a gedney clamp, is attached to the conduit to bond the conduit to the ground rod.

What materials do I need to provide for my underground service that goes on the pole?
The materials supplied by the customer for the pole end of the service are:

1 10' section of rigid steel, steel IMC or (schedule 80 PVC if conduit is 3" in diameter or less)
2 to 3 10' sections of schedule 40 rated for outdoor use PVC conduit  Size depends on size of service conductors
6 to 8 2-hole conduit straps (3 per conduit)
12 to 16 5/16" 1" x 3" lag bolts (2 per conduit strap)
PVC cement
1 can of expanding foam or weatherhead
1 steel to PVC conduit adapter
1 plastic bushing
1 threaded / non-threaded coupling or insultated bushing
1 Gedney clamp
1 conduit ground connector made of either copper alloy or galvanized steel. If running a continuous conduit a steel elbow is required instead of a bushing.

These materials must be on site at the time of the meter inspection.

Can I put my conduit on the pole if there is already another conduit on the pole?
Yes, CMP standards require stand-off brackets be used to attach the new conduit to the pole whenever there is an existing conduit on the pole. The stand-off brackets keep the conduit off the face of the pole. This is necessary for situations where our lineworkers would need to climb the pole. Too many conduits on the pole would leave no room for their feet to safely climb the pole.

Relocation of the service entrance Questions

What paperwork is needed?
A municipal electrical permit may be required if your town has its own electrical inspector. In all other towns, a state permit is required for relocation of the service at business establishments but not for residences. The state will only issue an electrical permit to a licensed electrician.

May I do the work on my electrical equipment myself?
Yes, you may legally work on your own residential service. If it is a business establishment, the work must be done by a licensed electrician and would require a permit from the authority having jurisdiction (the state or local inspector). The state will only issue an electrical permit to a licensed electrician.

If I have any questions regarding the relocation of my service entrance, is there anyone at CMP I can speak with for assistance?
Yes, call CMP at 1-800-750-4000 (for residential) or 1-800-565-3181 (for commercial/industrial) 7:30 am to 4:00 pm Monday through Friday, and ask that a CMP representative meet you on site to discuss your relocation.


Standard Upgrade of Service Questions

What information should I have for CMP when I call about upgrading my service?
When customers or their electricians call CMP, they should have the customer's account number or the model of the meter and meter number. The meter number is an eight-digit number usually found on the face of the meter. This will help CMP to identify the customer's exact location.

Should I have someone check the location where I want to put my new meter enclosure?
Yes, a CMP representative should check the location prior to doing the actual work. This is true even if the service is going in the same place as the existing one. Often new regulations have been passed since the time the existing service was built. Once that existing service is altered, any new regulations apply to the new service.

If the existing meter enclosure is in the way, can it be moved if I want to put the new meter enclosure in the same location?
Yes, a CMP representative can float your meter enclosure upon request. Call 1-800-750-4000 (for residential) or 1-800-565-3181 (for commercial/industrial).

Is it okay to just change my fuse box to circuit breakers without changing the meter enclosure, service cable, and weatherhead?
No, NEC requires that the meter enclosure, service cable and weatherhead all be rated the same; both inside at the switch and outside at the metering equipment.

Is there anyone I need to contact besides CMP when I upgrade my service?
Yes, if your town has a municipal electrical inspector they will want to inspect the upgrade. Multiple meter situations and business upgrades will require a state permit for towns that do not have a municipal electrical inspector.

What is the best way to coordinate my upgrade so I won't be without power for too long?
You should first set up an appointment to schedule a CMP representative to disconnect the power to your service. Most upgrades should be done with CMP personnel and an electrical contractor at the site location as designated by appointment. CMP can provide a Handbook of Standard Requirements for Electrical Service and Meter Installations.

Is there someone at CMP that can help me with a service upgrade that will be greater than 400 amps?
Yes, Business upgrades of greater than 400 amps must involve a CMP Energy Services Advisor. Usually, load requirements need to be checked and matched up to ensure that CMP equipment can meet the service requirements. When you call CMP we will transfer you to the appropriate advisor for your area.

New Service Installation Questions

What will it cost to have power installed to my new building?
On your first electricity delivery service bill, you will be charged $12.00 for a standard wireless meter or $35.00 for a non-standard meter. 

A CMP representative will assess your situation to see if CMP needs to install a pole and will advise you of any associated costs. There may be other charges depending on the distance from the last CMP pole.

What will it cost for a temporary service while my building is under construction?
If CMP only has to install a service cable, the temporary service fee is $312.00. If a transformer that will not be used for the permanent service needs to be installed, the fee is $448.00. You will also be responsible for any fees that an electrician charges for the construction of the actual temporary service.

What will it cost if I need to have poles installed?
Before anything specific can be done on your project, you will need to call CMP at 1-800-750-4000 (for residential) or 1-800-565-3181 (for commercial/industrial) to set up a new account. For a more specific estimate, an appointment will be set up for you to meet with a CMP representative at the site.

Can I have underground service instead of overhead?
Yes, if you wish to install an underground service cable, you have two options. The first option is to have your contractor supply and install the cable. If you do this, you will be responsible for maintaining the underground cable. The second option is to have CMP provide and install the underground cable for a fee, which must be paid prior to installation. CMP will be responsible for maintaining the underground cable.

With either option, the customer is responsible for the excavating and back filling of the trench, and for providing the conduit and hardware for the riser pole. If that nearest pole is on the opposite side of the road from your new building, CMP may have to install a pole to cross the road overhead before you can go underground with your service cable. A road-crossing pole may involve additional charges to the customer.

How soon can a representative from CMP meet me on site to determine the location of the poles?
In order to determine pole locations, your driveway needs to be roughed in and the site of your building, septic and well staked out. You will also need to speak with a CMP Customer Relations Specialist to establish a new billing account and to schedule an appointment for you to meet on site with a CMP representative. Our field representatives are often scheduled weeks ahead of time so please keep this in mind and call ahead.

Who determines where the meter is placed on my building?
A CMP field representative needs to determine the location of the meter.