Anything I Need To Look Out For (Main Panel) - Electrical - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum


Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Electrical

CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY...IT'S FREE!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 06-14-2008, 05:54 PM   #1
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 41
Rewards Points: 25
Lightbulb

Anything i need to look out for (Main Panel)


I want to trash my federal Pacific Load center.
Somebody said if the poco Pulls the meter there is still a live wire>?

I want the wires 100% DEAD lol

I'm trying to save my house not kill it lol,,, I have no Main Disconnect other than the one main breaker is there any guides on swapping load centers?

Lets see. Main like has 2 hot and a neutral and at the main ground and neutral can be on the same... make sure wires will fit... all wires are loaded from the top so if i need to i can mount the box a bit higher?

I cannot afford 1500 to get it done i want to learn all i need to before i even think about this..



Thanks this is a Darn Good place to get info!!!!

Advertisement

Evnldr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-14-2008, 07:50 PM   #2
Electrician
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba
Posts: 1,159
Rewards Points: 534
Default

Anything i need to look out for (Main Panel)


If the poco pulls the meter nothing will be live in the panel.

You have to consider this job, if you know nothing about electricity 1500 is well worth the money to get it done.

I know here if the poco pulls the meter it will not go back on until it is inspected. If you have the inspector come in and he fails your job at 3pm, chances are you are going all night without power.

So look at everything before doing it yourself, i am usualy okay with homeowners doing minor electrical work(adding circuits, changeing plugs) but when you get into major items(panel changes, service changes) you are better off paying someone.

Advertisement

darren is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-15-2008, 07:30 AM   #3
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Hermitage Pa.
Posts: 586
Rewards Points: 500
Default

Anything i need to look out for (Main Panel)


I would have to agree with Darren.I replaced every bit of wiring in my home and all the outlets.I had a friend who is an electrican tell me what I needed to do so I could save money and his time so I pulled all the wire ,set the boxes ,and installed all the switches,lights,and outlets, but when it came to putting in the new main and sub panels I left that to him.I have done it before but it is not something I would want to do again.I do almost all my own projects with the exception of electrical in the main and sub panels and roofing but this is an area you must have experience at or you will lose your house and maybe your life
clasact is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-15-2008, 08:10 AM   #4
Electrical Contractor
 
wirenut1110's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Chester, VA.
Posts: 1,051
Rewards Points: 504
Send a message via AIM to wirenut1110
Default

Anything i need to look out for (Main Panel)


There's liabilty and insurance issues to consider also. If something happens the insurance companies usually say " sorry about your luck"
wirenut1110 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-15-2008, 12:02 PM   #5
Advice worth 2 cents!
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Quebec, Canada
Posts: 229
Rewards Points: 150
Default

Anything i need to look out for (Main Panel)


Sorry, your not getting my vote either.

I work with over 100 electricians and I'll bet only about 5 of them would change their service by themselves. As a master electrician, I've never done a residential service in 35 years and have no intention of doing so either!

There's a lot more to it than meets the eye.

- pete
__________________
---pete
HandyPete is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-15-2008, 12:59 PM   #6
Res Ipsa Loquitur
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Southeastern PA
Posts: 363
Rewards Points: 250
Default

Anything i need to look out for (Main Panel)


Quote:
Originally Posted by HandyPete View Post
Sorry, your not getting my vote either.

I work with over 100 electricians and I'll bet only about 5 of them would change their service by themselves. As a master electrician, I've never done a residential service in 35 years and have no intention of doing so either!

There's a lot more to it than meets the eye.

- pete
I'm a little more than surprised that no more than 5 would do their own work if they are electricians! It makes it sound like an electrician is not comfortable performing a new service entrance! I could understand that if they were all industrial sparkys but otherwise -- still surprised!

However- if the original poster does not know about there being or not being live power in a panel with the meter pulled- they should NOT be doing it themselves!
__________________
Did you ever stop to think, then forget to start again?
handyman78 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-15-2008, 05:05 PM   #7
Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: north east
Posts: 728
Rewards Points: 500
Default

Anything i need to look out for (Main Panel)


I like to do my own fixes, ask questions, learn what I can, but there is no way I'm touching changing out the panel. There is just too much risk there.
DUDE! is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-15-2008, 06:13 PM   #8
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 3,510
Rewards Points: 2,008
Default

Anything i need to look out for (Main Panel)


Quote:
Originally Posted by HandyPete View Post
Sorry, your not getting my vote either.

I work with over 100 electricians and I'll bet only about 5 of them would change their service by themselves. As a master electrician, I've never done a residential service in 35 years and have no intention of doing so either!

There's a lot more to it than meets the eye.

- pete
While I don't agree, my wife always tells me that I will do everything except the electrical stuff around the house. I guess I should fix the lamp cord now.
Services and subs I have no problem with, it is the small stuff I slack up on.
J. V. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2008, 03:54 PM   #9
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 5
Rewards Points: 10
Default

Anything i need to look out for (Main Panel)


Quote:
Originally Posted by darren View Post
If the poco pulls the meter nothing will be live in the panel.

This statement is misleading. The POCO could pull your meter and you may still have energized conductors in you main panel.

If you have a seperate meter socket and panel the above statement is correct at the panel there will be no energized conductors.

If you have combo meter/main the line side of the meter socket is energized.

Changing a main service panel is no rookie job. Experience makes it look easy and most can be comleted in less than half a day by a qaulified and experienced electrician. Depending on where you live the City/County inspectors can be very demanding with service changeouts.

Asking if there are energized conductors after the meter is pulled leads me to believe you should contact a profesional.

*Tip*: If you do attempt this changeout be sure to do thourough research on grounding and bonding requirements. This is a surefire way to get red tagged and be sitting without power.
davis081404 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2008, 04:35 PM   #10
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 41
Rewards Points: 25
Default

Anything i need to look out for (Main Panel)


It was just something i read.(the poco can leave live lines in main after meter remove) . I'm or looking in to a direct swap 200A to 200A ok so it's not as simple as remove old and put all back the same way? ok i guess it will have to wait.
Evnldr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2008, 05:09 PM   #11
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 412
Rewards Points: 254
Default

Anything i need to look out for (Main Panel)


I am under the impression here that when they do a new panel, they work with dead wires. I have no clue how they do it. They need to organize it with the PoCo some how. They quoted me $2500 for a new box and upgrade to 200 amps plus new feeders. I assume that means FROM the poll to the house but maybe it is just from the meter?

WHY is a whole house shut off before the main service panel not a standard thing???
<hijack>
I'll tell you what my panel scares me and I want a new one but not ready to plop down $2500 for 200 amps that I don't need. There is maybe 1/4" of exposed hot wire BEFORE the main breaker at the screw down terminal. I was pulling out an old unused wire, and the bare ground of this wire I was pulling out, touched the bare ground of a wire that is clamped into the neutral bus bar, and simultaneously touched that little bit of exposed wire.

What can I do about this? I would really like a new modern panel but
don't want upgrade to 200amp or to pay $2500. They say the feeders are not acceptable (without looking at them).

Last edited by pcampbell; 06-16-2008 at 05:12 PM.
pcampbell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2008, 06:27 PM   #12
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 5
Rewards Points: 10
Default

Anything i need to look out for (Main Panel)


[quote=pcampbell;130901]I am under the impression here that when they do a new panel, they work with dead wires. I have no clue how they do it. They need to organize it with the PoCo some how. They quoted me $2500 for a new box and upgrade to 200 amps plus new feeders. I assume that means FROM the poll to the house but maybe it is just from the meter?

WHY is a whole house shut off before the main service panel not a standard thing???


You are under the right impression. Service panels are changed out with the whole house de-energized 99.9% of the time (I didnt say 100% becasue It probally happens energized for some strange situations). However simply pulling the meter is not alway going to de-energize the whole panel. In the event you have a seperate meter pedistal and meter main distribution panel, simply removing the meter will de-energize the panel. When we change out panels our proceedure involves a permit and co-ordination witht he POCO. The POCO will de-energize the service at the Point Of Connection (POC = Where you and the utility meet). This de-energizes anything you should be touching.

$2500 for a 200amp panel is not uncommon in Ca (not sure of your area). Reputable Contractors are going to be in the same range of pricing and you should choose one that gives you that warm and fuzzy fealing. If someone wants to do it really cheap on the side slam your door...... Check for insurance and verfify there license on your states website (in cali it is http://www2.cslb.ca.gov/General-Info...se+Request.asp )
davis081404 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2008, 06:42 PM   #13
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 5
Rewards Points: 10
Default

Anything i need to look out for (Main Panel)


Quote:
Originally Posted by pcampbell View Post
I
<hijack>
I'll tell you what my panel scares me and I want a new one but not ready to plop down $2500 for 200 amps that I don't need. There is maybe 1/4" of exposed hot wire BEFORE the main breaker at the screw down terminal. I was pulling out an old unused wire, and the bare ground of this wire I was pulling out, touched the bare ground of a wire that is clamped into the neutral bus bar, and simultaneously touched that little bit of exposed wire.

What can I do about this? I would really like a new modern panel but
don't want upgrade to 200amp or to pay $2500. They say the feeders are not acceptable (without looking at them).
Even new and modern panels have exposed bus sections and terminals. This is why working in the panel can be so very dangerous. The risk of doing electrical work is extremely high even if you are being cautios. You can not afford to be carless when pulling wire in an energized panel ( not intended to be insulting). Every action must be planned and carried out carefully. The action of direclty shorting the energized service conductor with grounded conductor could have casued damage to the panel or could of simply left a war mark. Have your electrician check it out, it maybe fine just a little black.


We do not require people upgrade to 200amp services. If you have 100amp service you can simply change the service out. With that said you will not save much money going with a 100amp service, the labor is pretty much the same. You will see some small savings on the materials.

Service Entrance Conductors are part of the price of our install. We remove everything from the meter panel to the weather head and replace it.
davis081404 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2008, 06:42 PM   #14
Advice worth 2 cents!
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Quebec, Canada
Posts: 229
Rewards Points: 150
Default

Anything i need to look out for (Main Panel)


Quote:
Originally Posted by handyman78 View Post
I'm a little more than surprised that no more than 5 would do their own work if they are electricians! It makes it sound like an electrician is not comfortable performing a new service entrance! I could understand that if they were all industrial sparkys but otherwise...
yep, industrial. Drives, PLC's, X-formers, High voltage to 345kV, generators, power rectifiers...you name it! (oh..and a lot of mechanical, cranes,pumps,elevators)

The guys I work with can do anything but, that's not being professional.

Let's say your a DIY and POCO just popped the meter..easy?

- proper height and position of the entrance?
- Hole saw for the mast
- cutting 2" pipe with a hacksaw? and reaming 2"??? with what at the house?
- properly securing the mast (hammer drill? good anchors like Hilti?)
- properly installing the flashing
- manhandling 3/0 copper with your lawyer buddy
- Getting the wires in without damaging them
- All the locknuts and bushings ok? are they the right kind?
- is there enough conductor outside the F condulet?
- stripping the wires...pencil stripping or lots of nicks?
- proper hex wrench?....torque? yep, kinda important when it's behind a meter!
- proper loop in panel
oh...the threads are stripped...have a tap that size?
- how does the ground leave the box? where does it go? can it have joints? where on the water pipe? what size? can it be hidden or in concrete?
- call the inspector and have confidence he's going to be very co-operative and understanding with a DIY like yourself
- One mistake and your not going to have a nice day..or two
- one mistake and you could end up calling a contractor and believe me...no discounts now!

yep....nice way to save $1200 bucks!

_ pete
__________________
---pete
HandyPete is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2008, 06:55 PM   #15
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 5
Rewards Points: 10
Default

Anything i need to look out for (Main Panel)


Pete ----You forgot removing the old panel without damaging the existing circuits. Very good points by the way

Advertisement

davis081404 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Adding a second Electric sub panel TW Lucas Electrical 9 10-05-2008 03:37 AM
Replacement Meter Panel leonard_voet Electrical 19 04-09-2008 11:27 AM
Installing new (service?) breaker panel and generator panel Nhrafan Electrical 6 04-01-2008 04:03 PM
turn main panel into a sub panel? tikicarver Electrical 2 01-24-2008 08:37 AM
Splice in Neutral to Panel - OK or Not? allpraisebob Electrical 4 08-12-2006 06:54 AM




Top of Page | View New Posts