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Old 05-04-2008, 03:46 PM   #1
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Adding a second Electric sub panel


The main panel is Siemens 150amp. It has a Seimens sub panel with its own meter; it feeds 2 sheds on my neighbors property. I would consider shutting the power off, if I must. He lives a few miles away, and will have no way to get lights for his sheds.

This sub panel, and my main panel sit side by side in my basement. The sub has a 50 amp breaker feeding his sheds; a 30amp to my AC unit (?). It appears odd to me; there is no breaker in the main panel to shut off the sub panel.

After discovering 6 hidden junction boxes in the attic, and 2 others along with one large 10"X10"X4" junction box with 16 #12 wires. I Followed that to a 4"x4"x2" junction box with 9 wires; then to another jb, and another. I've decided to upgrade some of the wiring; and my own sub panel as a means of eliminating those jbs.

I'd like to find out how the first sub panel affects the over all load on my main panel; and any restrictions it places on my proposed sub panel. My neighbor tells me, he only uses the power for lighting, and such.

My house is 1810 square feet altogether. The main panel is full with two 30 amp breakers, one 50 amp, ten dual 15 amp, and two dual 20 amp breakers. Does the combined load of the existing load of both the sub and main panel exceed the rating of the main Seimens 150amp panel. Thanks in advance for any help and suggestions. T.


Last edited by TW Lucas; 05-10-2008 at 02:59 AM.
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Old 05-04-2008, 05:38 PM   #2
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Adding a second Electric sub panel


I suggest you get your neighbor off your meter. You cannot legally "feed" sheds that are not your property. If 1/2 your driveway is his, then 1/2 of it is yours, too. That's not justification for your supporting someone else's electricity needs. Also, I would get someone out to assess your situation completely and accurately. Multiple junction boxes filled with # 10's is quite odd indeed. Especially in such a small house. If this was once a common property which was subsequently subdivided, then it was up to the seller to sever all common utilities. The fact that he did not, and if he did not fully disclose this anomoly, make give you cause for legal action.

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Old 05-04-2008, 07:41 PM   #3
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Adding a second Electric sub panel


I've had two electricians look over the meters, and all but two of the six junction boxes which had been buried beneath the floor; they seemed to make little of it.

They quoted me a price of a few hundred dollars to move 4 of the hidden boxes onto a near by wall. The Case handyman quoted me a price of $105 dollars an hour plus $35 traveling fee; to install a sub panel. I'd have to run the wires myself, as I'm not independently rich.

Sorry about the lack of clarity; but the cables I referred to in the 10x10x4 box are #12 cables in and out.

The seller signed a disclaimer, stating they had no knowledge of the condition of the property, and sold it "as is".
I did explain my situation to a real estate law firm on line. They responded by saying; they don't have associates who handle such cases.

These are among the very least of my problems, with "such a small house".

I take it there is no good answers to some of my questions. I'm going in tomorrow to have my 7mm kidney stone zapped. Que sera sera.

Thanks just the same for the input. T
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Old 05-04-2008, 08:12 PM   #4
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Adding a second Electric sub panel


Those are not bad prices at all.
You don't have to be "rich" to pay such fees.
Better safe than sorry.
Never make excuses for time, money, or ability. It's very baby-like.
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Old 05-04-2008, 08:30 PM   #5
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Adding a second Electric sub panel


Thanks for the input.
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Old 05-04-2008, 10:11 PM   #6
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Adding a second Electric sub panel


Good luck with the stones!
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Old 05-05-2008, 07:13 AM   #7
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Adding a second Electric sub panel


Quote:
Originally Posted by TW Lucas View Post
I've had two electricians look over the meters, and all but two of the six junction boxes which had been buried beneath the floor; they seemed to make little of it.
Perhaps there's nothing wrong with them? If they're accessable, they're usually OK.

Quote:
They quoted me a price of a few hundred dollars to move 4 of the hidden boxes onto a near by wall. The Case handyman quoted me a price of $105 dollars an hour plus $35 traveling fee; to install a sub panel. I'd have to run the wires myself, as I'm not independently rich.

Sorry about the lack of clarity; but the cables I referred to in the 10x10x4 box are #12 cables in and out.
No problemo. I'm still confounded by your willingness to power your neighbor's sheds.

Quote:
The seller signed a disclaimer, stating they had no knowledge of the condition of the property, and sold it "as is".
I did explain my situation to a real estate law firm on line. They responded by saying; they don't have associates who handle such cases.
It doesn't have to become a legal matter. You simply have the RIGHT to not allow a neighbor to use your power that YOU pay for! First thing I'd do is disconnet them. What would they do in retaliation? Sue you for not allowing them to steal your electricity? Then, remove the breakers they're occupying and you wont NEED another subpanel!

Quote:

These are among the very least of my problems, with "such a small house".

I take it there is no good answers to some of my questions. I'm going in tomorrow to have my 7mm kidney stone zapped. Que sera sera.
7mm? Is that big?

Quote:
Thanks just the same for the input. T
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Old 05-06-2008, 12:25 AM   #8
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Adding a second Electric sub panel


Apparently a 7mm stone is about the size of a pea. I’m told one can’t pass such a stone. This is the second time I’ve had them. This time the pain was just very uncomfortable compared to the first time. The first time was five years ago.

The stabbing pain from Kidney stones is similar to receiving a brief electric shock at intervals repeatedly over a six to twelve hour period. Just as you begin to recover from one shock you receive another. My Doctor tried to pulverize the stone into smaller pieces today, using a machine that emits sound waves; I think. I’ll know if this worked in the next several days.

I worked as an electrician’s helper in 93 and 94. I also worked part time in the evenings on a crew which retrofitted live light fixtures in office buildings, apartment buildings and car dealerships. I was shocked a dozen times or more while doing those jobs. I was shocked by 177 volts a couple of times.

Quote:
Perhaps there's nothing wrong with them? If they're accessable, they're usually OK.
I agree with everything you've said thus far. I'm going to see if I can get another electrician to look the whole situation over once more.

The electricians saw 4 of the junction boxes. I found two more hidden boxes since they were here. One is the 4"x4" box with nine wires in it. Doing away with the first sub panel won't help me with the wiring in this house. I don't want to burden you with all the details concerning my neighbor his sheds, or why I've let it go on this long.

My basic plan was to put a sub panel on the first floor and route all of the lights and convenience receptacles on the first floor, and attic to it.
I've traced out most of the lines; here is an example of how crazy it gets. The kitchen light, dinning room light, and the only receptacle in the kitchen were on the same 15 amp breaker as the oil furnace; the junction for these are all in that 4"x4" box with 9 wires in it buried in the attic. The washing machine, a couple of lights, a couple receptacles in the basement, and one dinning room receptacle are on one 15 amp breaker. The bathroom light and receptacle are on one 15 amp breaker. I still have several lines to trace.

I ran a #12 wire from the fridge receptacle I installed to the main panel. I ran another #12 wire from two GFI receptacle I installed in the kitchen also to the main panel. They have yet to be connected to the panel. In the attic I'm routing the kitchen light and switch to the dinning room light, and I plan to route that light to the living room light. the total distance between all three is about twenty feet. My goal is to eventually have everything conform to code.

It looks as though my best option is going to be to hire the case handyman; apply for the electric permit, shut the first sub panel down, and let the county inspector sort out any violations. And get a lawyer to sort out who half my driveway belongs to.

Aside from dealing with the electric. In the three years I've been here; I've replaced the roof, and gutters; the water heater, the dinning room and kitchen floor, and sub floor; dealt with water getting into the basement, and the oil furnace has been down since February. I imagine the AC will break down next.

I do appreciate the time and attention you given to this never ending saga of mine.
T.

Last edited by TW Lucas; 05-06-2008 at 09:43 AM.
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Old 09-18-2008, 07:20 PM   #9
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Adding a second Electric sub panel


With all respect and not trying to sound mean, may I suggest that after picking the brains of 6 electricians you have your answer? Is it really fair to take up a man's time when you probably are not going to use him? Sorry, but I make a living by working, not by giving endless answers. Normally, three bids are more than enough to find out what you need to know. Any more than four is wasting both your time and that of the men you call out. In point of fact, you got some very good advice in the previous posts. Just make a decision and get it done.
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Old 10-05-2008, 02:37 AM   #10
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Adding a second Electric sub panel


You read between the lines; then somehow concluded, that I am responsible for your assumptions.

In point of fact I received only two on site bids from contractors. Both of those bids were to rewire 4 sub surface none accessible junction boxes hidden beneath the floor in the attic. The first contractor apparently thought the middle of the first floor living room wall was the very best place for an exposed junction box. I just couldn’t get my mind around that idea. Case handyman’s phone operator simply quoted me their fees and hourly rates point blank over the phone.

I was not fully aware of the houses wiring issues until after I’d spent $4000 dollars upfront to replace a leaking roof and gutters; $3000 upfront on the kitchen and dining room floors. Not to mention the untold dollars I spent upfront, to replace subflooring, plumbing, painting, carpet, and structural repairs; in an attempt to bring this money pit’s real value up to the real price I paid for it. I forget when it was; last year I think when the two contractors looked at the 4 junction boxes which I have since eliminated on my own. I did not want to turn those contractors away. At the time I had $5000 available on one of my credit cards; which I was reluctant to use short of finding a contractor with whom I could see eye to eye. Somehow I failed to get it across to these two gentleman that I wanted to eliminate the junction boxes not just move them. I regret that I could not hire those men. I regret that I never returned the call of one contractor who left a positive uplifting message on my phone.

You don’t have to tell me about free job appraisals. My Father was a first rate painting contractor for more than 40 years. I started working with him before I was tall enough to sand a wall; on weekends, and in the summer; until I joined the service at 17 then later for a few years after the service. I was with him in person many times when he gave free job appraisals; on more than a few occasions; I saw the worry in his face over whether he would get the job.

I do what I can do,end of story.



Thanks for the advise.


Last edited by TW Lucas; 10-05-2008 at 08:28 AM.
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