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Old 07-09-2009, 06:52 PM   #16
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Advice on installing a subpanel...


Yeah, I just got off the phone with my county's electrical inspector. They don't have a code requirement for an outside main breaker (with the Building and Safety Department) but the utility company (Southern California Edison) and the Fire Department do. They want an easy access ability to shut off power to the entire building as well as an external overload protection device just past the meter on the load side. I guess I'm going to have to keep something here in this bay. Still I'd like to eventually replace the entire guts of this box with more modern components. Am I insane for wanting this?

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Old 07-09-2009, 07:52 PM   #17
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Advice on installing a subpanel...


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Am I insane for wanting this?
Unrealistic perhaps.

I am out of town till Monday. Good luck

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but look left of the 100 amp in the middle and the third breaker left of it looks like 12# on a sp 30
The green handles usually mean 30A. That's why I thought it was feeding the other half of the bus. I can't read the numbers on the breakers.

Green used to indicate 30, red= 20 and blue = 15.

If that is indeed a 100 amp main that feeds the whole bus, I would be surprised. If it is, he'd have to place a 100/125 next to it and have two "mains"

Last edited by 220/221; 07-09-2009 at 07:58 PM.
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Old 07-09-2009, 08:50 PM   #18
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Advice on installing a subpanel...


It seems to me, that a better long term solution is to drop in a new meter socket and panel inside the house.

Then from the new panel inside the house, temporarily feed this panel with say, a 60 amp feed.

Ideally, you'd move the A/C and heavy loads over to the new panel so that the temporary feed to this panel can be as small as possible.

Then as you remodel the house and rewire each room, they will be on the new panel.

When you are done, this old panel can be completely removed and you wont have any old components in the middle of your electrical system.

A 200 amp meter socket costs around $40-50. So really, the cost difference isnt going to be that much for DIY.
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Old 07-10-2009, 12:14 AM   #19
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Advice on installing a subpanel...


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Originally Posted by AndrewF View Post
It seems to me, that a better long term solution is to drop in a new meter socket and panel inside the house.

Then from the new panel inside the house, temporarily feed this panel with say, a 60 amp feed.

Ideally, you'd move the A/C and heavy loads over to the new panel so that the temporary feed to this panel can be as small as possible.

Then as you remodel the house and rewire each room, they will be on the new panel.

When you are done, this old panel can be completely removed and you wont have any old components in the middle of your electrical system.

A 200 amp meter socket costs around $40-50. So really, the cost difference isnt going to be that much for DIY.
Fantastic idea! I think this is exactly what I'm going to do. Thanks everyone for all your help!!
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Old 07-13-2009, 01:46 AM   #20
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Advice on installing a subpanel...


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A 200 amp meter socket costs around $40-50. So really, the cost difference isnt going to be that much for DIY.
You are forgetting that he needs a meter/main/riser/3/0 service conductors outside and 3/0 service cable inside.

More than $50
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Old 07-13-2009, 02:30 AM   #21
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Advice on installing a subpanel...


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You are forgetting that he needs a meter/main/riser/3/0 service conductors outside and 3/0 service cable inside.

More than $50
Yeah, but still not a budget killer. I know it's going to be a rather elaborate and multi-step process but it still won't be running me thousands of dollars if I'm going the work myself with the careful supervision of some electrician friends I have around town...
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Old 07-13-2009, 08:47 AM   #22
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Advice on installing a subpanel...


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You are forgetting that he needs a meter/main/riser/3/0 service conductors outside and 3/0 service cable inside.
3/0 copper for a 200A main feeder? Wouldn't he be able to use 2/0 per table 310.15(B)(6) since this supplies the entire dwelling?
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Old 07-14-2009, 03:35 PM   #23
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Advice on installing a subpanel...


Ok, now here's my next dilemma,


I'm planning on running my new water and gas feed into the house at this same corner where my original breaker box is located. As you can see, the breaker/meter is right at the corner. I was planning on running a water line into the house at the very next stud bay and then run the gas feed just on the other side of that stud (as shown above). I'll be removing the conduit that runs both up to the air conditioner as well as the room addition but if I'm going to drop in a new meter and main breaker panel at this location, where do you think it should be placed? Maybe it would just be better to swap out the entire box right now and deal with the wiring problems afterwords. The problems I see here are this: 1) I'd want the meter and main breaker to be right at the corner of the house still -better access and visibility for the fire department and utility company, 2) I'm worried about having the breaker panel too close to the water and gas lines...

I guess I haven't mentioned yet that I'm still living in the house and plan on doing that through all my remodeling projects. I don't want the power down any longer than it possibly has to be but maybe the most elegant solution is to simply pull this breaker box out and start clean right now. I mean, I can probably still make use of the existing wiring in the house while it gets replaced room-by-room over the next couple of years but I just don't see an easy way around pulling the box first...

So what do you guys think?
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Old 07-16-2009, 01:00 PM   #24
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Advice on installing a subpanel...


Ok, so how about I just pull out the old box right now? I can replace the meter/breaker assembly with one that has half-decent, modern breakers --and a good master breaker (that will eventually be the only breaker facing the outside of the house). I'll tie into the old wiring for the time being and run a sub-panel to the inside of the house like I had always planned. Then, it's just a matter of slowly removing circuits from the new breaker panel until all that's left is the master breaker... Much less work --and I can still occupy the same space as the old box (where it should be according to the fire department). So, can any of you suggest a good box I can put in this place that will have the flexibility I want?
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Old 07-16-2009, 03:11 PM   #25
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Advice on installing a subpanel...


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Wouldn't he be able to use 2/0 per table 310.15(B)(6) since this supplies the entire dwelling?
Yeah..my bad

2/0 3/0......whatever it takes


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So what do you guys think?
I think you have a mess on your hands. When you see plumbing fittings on the garage and addition "conduits", you know you are in for a treat.

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Old 07-16-2009, 04:47 PM   #26
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Advice on installing a subpanel...


I agree with 220, you have a mess on your hands. I would do "whatever it takes" to get rid of the zinsco meter combo unit. You could:

Install the new indoor subpanel where you want it

Run a temporary feeder from your old zinsco meter / main (from a convientent double pole breaker in the zinsco for now to power up your new sub

Slowly move all of your old circuits to your subpanel, until you have no circuits old but the temp feeder to your subpanel. (and maybe the lines running though the plumbing pipe.)

Have the POCO cut off that meter panel and put in a new one. I recommend a 200 A meter main with feed through lugs, with a few spaces for outdoor circuits such as those that are running though the plumbing pipe or outdoor receptacle. Or, install a new meter socket and seperate disconnect, or just a meter / main. (and have the outdoor circuits tie into the indoor panel)

There is multiple ways to tackle this.

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