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 Post subject: Arc flash- 120/240V Residential Meter Base
PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2019 7:36 am 
Sparks Level

Joined: Tue Jul 01, 2014 8:40 am
Posts: 89
Hi All

I recently conducted some Electrical Safety in the Workplace training for a Utility client up here in Southern Ontario.

Would anyone have a short video of a flash event on a 120/240V residential meter base?

Thank you

Best regards


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 Post subject: Re: Arc flash- 120/240V Residential Meter Base
PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2019 11:31 am 
Plasma Level
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Joined: Tue Oct 26, 2010 9:08 am
Posts: 2174
Location: North Carolina
The issue with meter bases is covered by EPRI due to some actual incidents reported to U.S. OSHA at 480 V:

http://distributionhandbook.com/papers/ ... t_2012.pdf

I doubt you will find much with 120/240 for a couple reasons. The incidents at 480 V are due to a horizontal bus configuration while residential sockets are more of the vertical bus variety. See the above paper. Also the highest reported incident energy in the EPRI testing was 3.2 cal/cm2 which is easily prevented with arc rated work uniforms. Second the IEEE/NFPA testing that I'm aware of didn't show much for typical "open air" or vertical open box type conditions...it's the barrier testing or the horizontal bus testing where things get above 1.2 cal/cm2.

Second I've only seen a couple OSHA reports of actual arc flash injuries at 120/240. A couple were incidents such as a defective power strip with a metal cover or a computer power supply where employees fingers were burned at close range...something the arc flash standards don't address in the first place. The final case was two non-utility electricians decided to disassemble a temporary construction panel before the lineman got there in 2009. Both were hospitalized and one died subsequently. There are also reports of burn injuries at 480 V with meter bases (the previously mentioned "horizontal bus" arrangements) which prompted the EPRI testing but I'm not aware of any documentation of such an injury at 240/120 involving meter sockets.

So the OSHA reported case in 2009 as well as the EPRI testing shows that the potential at least is there but I've not heard of a documented case nor testing to prove it.


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 Post subject: Re: Arc flash- 120/240V Residential Meter Base
PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2019 7:07 am 
Sparks Level

Joined: Tue Jul 01, 2014 8:40 am
Posts: 89
OK Paul thank you very much for the information. I figured that there may be limited information or resources on this. I will check out the links that you have provided. Thanks again. Best regards


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