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Old 02-20-2009, 06:46 AM   #1
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Connecting Romex at Panel


Hello,
What would be the best plan to connecting romex at this panel. I am looking for ideas on the best possible ways to connect multiple circuits in a very organized manner.

Panel #2 on the left will need 26 - 28 new 12/2 Romex connections
Panel #1 on the right will need 12 -14 new 12/2 Romex connections
Panel #2 will eventually have 12 - 14 circuits moved to the "Public" panel on the far right. How do I leave the 12/2 Romex long enough to eventually make this change?
I know I can just run the Romex straight into the panel but with so many runs I am trying to avoid if I can the "spaghetti" of wires that I will have. Can I use some sort of Junction Box close to the ceiling, have the wires come into this JB and then run each run in flexible conduit?
How many 12/2 cables can I put in each knockout?
I am looking for ideas here, any would be appreciated. Thanks for your time and input.
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Old 02-20-2009, 10:36 AM   #2
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Connecting Romex at Panel


Using a junction box prior to the panel does not gain you anything because you are supposed to take the jacket off the Romex with just a quarter inch or so of jacket protruding past the panel clamp leaving just the long conductor ends entering the panel.

One small (1/2 inch) clamp and knockout should hold two 12/2 or 14/2 Romex cables entering the panel. 14-3 and 12-3 cables usually need their own clamps because they are round rather than flat in shape and might not otherwise fit.

It is best if you plan things so the hot, neutral, and ground loose ends will reach the respective bus or breaker without the need to splice which incidentally is allowed. Including going through one panel and down and around the breakers and up again out a conduit to get to another panel if you must string it that way.

Each neutral must have its own screw or setscrew in the bus bar. Breaker screws may hold only one wire each unless the breaker terminal is specifically meant to hold two wires. Two branch circuit hot conductors may be wire nutted to a pigtail (short length of wire) to be served by the same breaker.

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Last edited by AllanJ; 02-20-2009 at 10:46 AM.
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Old 02-20-2009, 10:43 AM   #3
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Connecting Romex at Panel


I would question whether anyone besides a licensed electrician should even be doing this work. This is not a single family dwelling anymore and as such the rules that some areas have that allows homeowners to do work in their own house probably would not apply.

I would check with your building officials.

Why can't the cables go into the correct panel now instead of being moved later?
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Old 02-20-2009, 10:56 AM   #4
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Connecting Romex at Panel


Years ago when I was a kid my family took over the top two floors and only my family lived here. There was 10 of us. The house is listed as a three family home and since I am now alone in the house I want to make it back into a three family home. I would like to rewire the whole house first and then work on the construction one section of the house at a time. Why? Because while inspectioning the wires with a master electrician it was recommended that the whole house was rewired and I agree. We did those three new panels in January and upgraded the service to 200 amps. I am working with an electrician on this project but I have a really nasty habit of asking the same question to more than one person. I know what his answer is (connect the romex directly to the panel), I was just wondering what other's opinions were. Thanks for your time and input it is appreciated.
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Old 02-20-2009, 04:41 PM   #5
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Connecting Romex at Panel


One question for you, what is the height from the floor to the center of top breaker?
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Old 02-20-2009, 05:24 PM   #6
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Connecting Romex at Panel


Crap, that's a lot of circuits.

The connectors will say how many cables can go in them.

Route the cables to be relocated, from right to left, so the pass by their future home.
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Old 02-20-2009, 05:46 PM   #7
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Connecting Romex at Panel


Good idea 220 did not think about that one.
Chris, I don't know the exact height. I will measure it tonight and let you know. If I had to guess it is about 6 feet. I will measure though.
Thank you all for your time and advise. And PLEASE let me know if you spot anything wrong or that it may look wrong. I payed a lot of money for this. Thanks again.
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Old 02-20-2009, 06:16 PM   #8
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Connecting Romex at Panel


I buy the metal clamps that allow (2) 12-2 thru a knockout
I also kept the box by the panel in case the Inspector wanted to see it

I don't use the plastic clamps to secure the wire
PIA to remove the wire if you need to move stuff around
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Old 02-20-2009, 06:57 PM   #9
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Connecting Romex at Panel


Quote:
Originally Posted by chris75 View Post
One question for you, what is the height from the floor to the center of top breaker?
Chris,
From floor to the center of the top breaker the measurement is 5' 10", to the center of the main breaker is 6' 1". Why? If I may ask.

Scuba,
Good idea. Will keep it in mind.

Thank you all for your time.
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Old 02-20-2009, 07:05 PM   #10
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Connecting Romex at Panel


I think code states 6' Max to center of top breaker
I could be wrong
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Old 02-20-2009, 07:09 PM   #11
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Connecting Romex at Panel


Quote:
Originally Posted by AllanJ View Post
Using a junction box prior to the panel does not gain you anything because you are supposed to take the jacket off the Romex with just a quarter inch or so of jacket protruding past the panel clamp leaving just the long conductor ends entering the panel.

One small (1/2 inch) clamp and knockout should hold two 12/2 or 14/2 Romex cables entering the panel. 14-3 and 12-3 cables usually need their own clamps because they are round rather than flat in shape and might not otherwise fit.

It is best if you plan things so the hot, neutral, and ground loose ends will reach the respective bus or breaker without the need to splice which incidentally is allowed. Including going through one panel and down and around the breakers and up again out a conduit to get to another panel if you must string it that way.

Each neutral must have its own screw or setscrew in the bus bar. Breaker screws may hold only one wire each unless the breaker terminal is specifically meant to hold two wires. Two branch circuit hot conductors may be wire nutted to a pigtail (short length of wire) to be served by the same breaker.

Allan,
Thanks for the info. I probably used the wrong terminology when I used "junction box" I was thinking more along the lines of a metal box where I can pass cables through and then across a "nipple" and make the regular connection inside the panel. My concern (not really a concern, kind of being picky) is all the visible romex there will be on the outside of the panel. Thanks again for your time and input. It is very informative.
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Old 02-20-2009, 11:10 PM   #12
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Connecting Romex at Panel


Quote:
Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
I think code states 6' Max to center of top breaker
I could be wrong
The correct dimension is 6'7" or 2 meters.
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Old 02-20-2009, 11:48 PM   #13
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Connecting Romex at Panel


Ok, Thanks 240.24
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Old 02-21-2009, 01:28 AM   #14
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Connecting Romex at Panel


I just like to add that this projet is huge. It must be apartment complex.
Usually, I work on small residential houses. I do not like to jump from one Panel to the next via a bushing or other ways. I think it is dangerous.I would not put the junction box. Also, when you put two romex together to enter the Panel through the knock-out, they may get hot and ruin the
insulation.This is not the code, that is only my opinion.
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Old 02-21-2009, 06:55 AM   #15
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Connecting Romex at Panel


Thanks for all your time and input. I am not planning on "jumping" from one panel to the next. I think that was just thrown in as something that can be done. Here in Boston a 3 family home is not considered an apartment complex and it is considered residential. Most houses are 2 or 3 family except for the new constructions that are one family and even those are two floors. 4 family homes and higher are considered commercial. I think the biggest part of this project has been completed which was installing and upgrading the panels. The "junction box" I mentioned it is more to satisfy my "perfectionism" (if that's even a word) I just don't want to see 60 Romex cables coming into three panels but I know I may have no choice. My question is basically is there any way to hide the Romex outside the panel. Again, thank you all for your time and suggestions.

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