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Temporary Power for Light Displays


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I was exploring Lowes last weekend and saw that they now carry fully-assembled temporary power poles ($245 in my town). You get a pole, the meter box (where the power company puts the meter) and the breaker/plug box. The box is pre-wired for 2 circuits with GFI plugs. My understanding is that the power company will connect power service for free when you establish an account and I am capable of planting the pole a couple of feet in a hole.

Am I wrong or can I get 2 circuits of temporary service without getting an electrician involved?

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Sounds like it to me. That is, if 30 or 40 amps is enough power for your project. I'm assuming the two pre-wired circuits are 15 A each, but they might be 20A, as that is a temporary service pole - for construction purposes.
Might check your power company's temporary service policy first.

-Jon

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You may not need the services of an electrician, but your electric utility would have to feed it, meter it, and bill for it.

Would your electric utility charge any fees or deposits to run a drop wire to feed the pole and place a meter on your box or set up a new account?

Randy

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I would check you local code and requirements, As for the power co.will have a hook up for free, I would also check this out to, as most usually will have a hook up fee and a disconnect fee. before you can have it hooked up by your power co. you will probably have to have it inspected, by your local electrical inspector. Doing your home work you will find it not as good as it sounds. You as a home owner can probably do all the work.



Daniel

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In addition to checking local codes, you must discuss it with the power company. There are some guidlines they go by on temps. According to my company you cannot set up a temporary pole at an existing residence unless you are modifying the home and electrical service for that home, and have the proper building permits. The point is that a temp is intended to be used for construction, not a seasonal lighting display. I'm only basing what I've stated here on a phone call I made to customer service (even though I told them I was an employee they still wouldn't do it) I'm only suggesting you make sure they will connect it, before you shell out the $$$$

jeff

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Another concern for setup at an existing house is that the temp pole would be pulling power off the main line from the closest transformer. Often the transformers are sized for the load they are going to service (ex: a 1000 A transformer services 5 houses with 200A panels). Temp poles are really for construction/remodel situations where amperage is available because a home/lot is not pulling the power allocated to it in the design. Depending on the situation (only power company can respond) there may be power available for you to use. If not, it gets very expensive. A friend of mine was able to get a second panel installed (200A I think) and when he wanted a third panel, it was going to be $2500 to upgrade the transformer.

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