Replacing main breaker panel


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Old 06-19-16, 08:12 PM
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Replacing main breaker panel

I have a 200 amp Federal Pacific main breaker box I am going to replace with a 200 amp homeline.

I have filed for a permit and have done this 3 times over the years so am comfortable doing it but have a question. All the house wires come into the box through 2 openings, see pic. Will I be able to do that with the new box or will I have to use NM cable clamps for each wire?

[ATTACH=CONFIG]67530[/ATTACH]
 
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Old 06-19-16, 10:39 PM
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Pretty much depends upon what is under that drywall above the panel. It appears that you may have conduit and that may go to a large junction and pull box where the type NM cables are properly clamped. Remove that drywall and post a picture.
 
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Old 06-19-16, 10:46 PM
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There may not be the proper sized knockouts where you need them. You may have to punch new holes where those conduits connect.

http://www.doityourself.com/forum/el...-pictures.html
 
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Old 06-20-16, 05:45 AM
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Thanks for the responses. The wall the panel is mounted on is concrete block with stucco. What looks like a drywall box above it is actually sheet metal that is fastened to the wall and then stuccoed in place.

Looking from the attic There is no conduit involved.

And of course you are right the knockouts on top of the new panel do not correspond with the old panel. The one on the left side would work, can I drill a new appropriate size hole on the right hand top side of the new panel?

Removing the sheet metal will be a bit of a mess and I suspect it will be destroyed in the process. Will it still have to come off? If I do pull it can I replace it with a wood frame and drywall or is their a better option for replacing? Would that be called a wire chase?[ATTACH=CONFIG]67538[/ATTACH] [ATTACH=CONFIG]67539[/ATTACH] [ATTACH=CONFIG]67540[/ATTACH] Name:  IMG_0802.jpg
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Last edited by PJmax; 06-20-16 at 10:38 AM. Reason: added fourth picture
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Old 06-20-16, 06:32 AM
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What I see in the first picture is stripped NM with the individual wires extending from the attic space to the panel, whether through conduit or not. You say not. The only real solution is to remove all the wires without sheathing in the attic and place them in a junction box (large or multiple) to allow you to extend NM down into the new panel where they would need to be securely fastened using clamps.
 
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Old 06-20-16, 10:19 AM
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I'd probably remove that sheet metal cover just because it will be a huge pain in the butt to get the old panel out and the new one in if you leave it in place. You'll save yourself a ton of hassle to pull that down and remake it out of painted plywood or drywall. Once the cover's down you can back those cables out and hang them to the side while you get the new panel situated.
 
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Old 06-20-16, 11:16 AM
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That method of cable entering the panel is only for surface panels. I don't know if the inspector would allow the cover over the conduit.

I would just bring the cable into the panel using the proper connectors.
 
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Old 06-20-16, 11:17 AM
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Many thanks for the responses, always greatly appreciated.

Color me wrong again, I had envisioned angle grinder, chisel, sledge hammer, dust masks and such but 4 little tiny concrete nails and the cover just about fell off.

So off to the big box store for supplies and then called the electric company, spent 10 min navigating a menu that should say don't call here you are not going to talk to a person! Only to be informed that the first available meter pull is Tue July 5th at 8:30 AM! That is better than 2 weeks. I should call back and check that it is July 5th of this year. Jim double[ATTACH=CONFIG]67556[/ATTACH]
 
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Old 06-20-16, 11:23 AM
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Looks as if I stand corrected, as the sheathing appears to be intact on the cables. Looks pretty straight forward at this point.
 
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Old 06-20-16, 11:24 AM
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Now that you have removed the cover, I will say that that does not meet the code. The cables were not secured nor was there a conduit sleeve of the appropriate length. I will be easy to use the existing KO's and new clamps. You will also need to secure the cables within 12" of the box.
 
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Old 06-20-16, 01:45 PM
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And the typical way of doing that is to fasten a piece of plywood above the panel which you can staple the romex to. You can build a cover similar to the existing one (or maybe just use the existing one) to hide and protect the cables.
 
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Old 06-24-16, 05:22 AM
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I do not want to sound argumentative but am curious. You are saying NEC requires the wires be fastened withing 12" of the box.

My neighbors house recently had a new service installed. The insurance co made them replace the same 200 amp Pacific Electric panel that I have. They replaced it with the same 200 amp Homeline box I bought.

Looking at where the new box is and where the old box was, taking into consideration the size and location of panels, with the new box being at least 12" higher if not more than the older box. My box is mounted on concrete block so the wires are exposed, their panel is mounted in a stud wall finished with drywall. There is no way no how that the wires are fastened 12" or less above that box! Unless someone can drive staples in a 3 1/2" space. The drywall above the box is undisturbed and was not removed to fasten wires.
So is it necessary in all situations to fasten within 12" of the box?

Expiring minds need to know. Jim

EDIT This job was done by an electrical company with a permit.
 
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Old 06-24-16, 09:38 AM
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What the code says and what the local inspector red flags aren't always the same thing. By the code, yes those cables should be fastened. The contractor might know that the local inspector doesn't check for that. Other inspectors might fail it.
 
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Old 06-24-16, 04:47 PM
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I have a 200 amp Federal Pacific main breaker box I am going to replace with a 200 amp homeline.
While it is a good thing to replace the old Federal Pacific panel, here is something to think about. You are removing a copper bus panel and replacing it with a panel that has aluminum bus.
 
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Old 06-24-16, 06:31 PM
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If I am reading post #12 correctly, your neighbor's wiring was run down a wall that was in place before the panel was wired. If that is the case, no fastening would have been possible. Using conduit as a chase or stapling the wires to a board fastened to your wall would be best. You are remodeling, so the inspector will have to see all your work before you can close it up. If using conduit to an open space above, the conduit must be sealed with fireproof foam or caulk to prevent the chimney effect in the event of a fire.
 
 

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