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Old 01-06-2009, 08:23 AM   #1
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conductors in panel


Could anyone tell me if there is a guideline as to how long to leave the individual conductors in the service panel? I've been told to leave a lot of extra length, but the outer perimeter of the box is looking mighty jumbled with wires. Thanks

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Old 01-06-2009, 08:33 AM   #2
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I just re-wired my main GE panel to fix a bunch of MWBC wiring issues and to add a few circuits, and a ground bar. I left the existing wires in the panel as long as feasibly possible to help facilitate changing the panel out in the future. I made sure all the wires were routed neatly around the outside perimeter as this panel is very small. I plan on this panel eventually being swapped out for a bigger, 200amp panel at some point, but not nearly soon enough. The only time we've tripped the mains breaker was 2 years ago we had 37,000 lights on the house pulling over 100 amps just in lights (main service is only rated for 100amps (200)).

Personally id say if you know you will eventually want to change the panel out later, leave the wires a little long to help make that process a little easier. Do what you can to route wires neatly around the outer edge of the panel; for me this required shutting down most of the circuits in the panel and removing a lot of breakers to add the ground bar and route all the wires properly.

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Old 01-06-2009, 09:09 AM   #3
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If the cable is left a little past the bottom of the panel, if will be able to be routed neatly anywhere in the panel.
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Old 01-06-2009, 11:36 AM   #4
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Usually you pull the wire a little past the bottom of the panel. Then route the wires neatly. I would not leave alot slack on the individual conductors after installation.
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Old 01-06-2009, 02:03 PM   #5
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conductors in panel


I'm not sure I know what you mean by pulling the wire past the bottom. I have romex entering the box on three sides.
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Old 01-06-2009, 03:39 PM   #6
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The point is that there is no (good) reason to have that extra wire in the panel; it just gets in the way of actually wiring it today and using it now. By the time that panel needs to be re-done will be another 30 years and your grandson can deal with it if one or two wires are a bit short.
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Old 01-06-2009, 03:57 PM   #7
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You should leave enough, but not too much.


I hope that helps
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Old 01-06-2009, 05:15 PM   #8
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A good example....
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Old 01-06-2009, 06:58 PM   #9
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Thanks Stubbie, that picture is worth at least a thousand words. You would'nt want to see the inside of mine. Big loops of excess conductors all around the outside perimeter wich make it a very tiedous task tracing one from the clamp to the breaker. Think I'll take an afternoon to get things shortened and better orginized.
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Old 01-07-2009, 09:36 PM   #10
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I would leave enough wire to go half way around the perimeter of the panel, it will leave plenty for you.

Here's a couple of cell phone pics of a panel I wired. It doesn't take long to do it right and will prevent headaches in the long run. I absolutely hate service calls where you can't even get the cover back on the panel, let alone trace anything out.
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Old 01-07-2009, 10:12 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazandy View Post
I would leave enough wire to go half way around the perimeter of the panel, it will leave plenty for you.

Here's a couple of cell phone pics of a panel I wired. It doesn't take long to do it right and will prevent headaches in the long run. I absolutely hate service calls where you can't even get the cover back on the panel, let alone trace anything out.

Thats some nice work right there.
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Old 01-07-2009, 11:50 PM   #12
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A good example....
What the heck is that?
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Old 01-08-2009, 12:11 AM   #13
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conductors in panel


That....is a Murray "rocksolid load center" my friends with a swiss cheese neutral bar.... the big holes will take a 1/0. Only neutral bar I know like this is in murray panels. Also the neutral bar is on insulators (hard to see) but notice the other is not... so it is not a split neutral. Grounds on one side neutrals on the other even though they are bonded by the strap per code compliance for service equipment configuration. The top right breaker is surge protection.
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Old 01-08-2009, 12:22 AM   #14
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Looks like the thieves got to your job there, Stubbie ...

There ain't any sheath on the main cable, and all the cables are lopped off as soon as they exit the enclosure....
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Old 01-08-2009, 12:40 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazandy View Post
I would leave enough wire to go half way around the perimeter of the panel, it will leave plenty for you.

Here's a couple of cell phone pics of a panel I wired. It doesn't take long to do it right and will prevent headaches in the long run. I absolutely hate service calls where you can't even get the cover back on the panel, let alone trace anything out.
That's how I like my panels. Very nice. But only if it doesn't take 3 days to do! I haven't used orange for B phase in my 480/277 panels in 4 years. Brown, purple, yellow... it's the wave of the future...

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