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Old 05-26-2009, 12:33 PM   #1
zpm
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Converting to Main Breaker Only


My main panel is a surface mount 200A Challenger 20/40 meter/main combo. Its mounted on the exterior of the garage. The panel has never had any electrical related problems. But its almost full (mostly tandems) and the gutter is narrow and so stuffed with wires you can't even see the neutral bar.

The main breaker has lugs that state CU-AL, and the label says "1-4/0 CU, 2/0- 300M(cm) AL". The bus bars are connected to those lugs.

Since the main breaker lugs appear to be rated for wire, I was thinking about removing the bus bars, feeding a new loadcenter subpanel mounted back to back on the inside wall of the garage, and moving the circuits. Is this a reasonable plan?
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Old 05-26-2009, 01:20 PM   #2
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Converting to Main Breaker Only


It looks like it was designed with that option in mind, however, are you sure the breaker is still good? I'd at least give it a flip before including it in your upgrade plans to make sure it resets and doesn't feel funny (nice solid snap to it).

But a word of caution... a main that hasn't been flipped in years may well not come back on, so prepare for that possibility.

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Old 05-26-2009, 07:33 PM   #3
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Converting to Main Breaker Only


Quote:
Is this a reasonable plan?
It makes sense in a couple of ways but.........

You can get a brand new 40 space servive for under $150. I'd replace the whole thing. If it's fed underground it will actually be easier to replace it than to "fix" it.

If it's overhead there will be some more work involved but I'd still just yank it and replace it with a nice new Siemans 40 space copper bus service.



Keep in mind that the equipment is, what....20/30 years old and Challenger has been out of business for decades.

Meter sockets get old and main breakers get old. It would be a shame to get everything pulled into the new panel and have issues with the meter socket or main breaker.

Also, if inspected, some people may have issues with the remanufacture thing.
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Old 05-29-2009, 05:46 PM   #4
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Converting to Main Breaker Only


Quote:
Originally Posted by 220/221 View Post

Keep in mind that the equipment is, what....20/30 years old and Challenger has been out of business for decades.

Meter sockets get old and main breakers get old. It would be a shame to get everything pulled into the new panel and have issues with the meter socket or main breaker.

Also, if inspected, some people may have issues with the remanufacture thing.
All good points, but humor me.

Between the panels, I would use hot and neutral wire size 2/0 copper based on Table 310.15(B)(6). EGC wire size minimum 6 (would use 4) based on table 250.122.

In the Challeger, a bus bar runs from the meter section to the neutral/ground bar. I think I'm having trouble locating a neutral lug for 200A. I've got a SqD LK100AN neutral lug kit in front of me and it says "#6-2/0 CU/AL". Looking at the product number, common sense says that's a 100A lug, but nowhere does it say or can I find in actual documentation that its limited to 100A. Seimens makes an ECLK2 that's an equivalent physical size, and there's a ECLK3 that takes bigger cables but doesn't have any more contact than the others. Neither of these have amp ratings on the package. Do lugs have an amp rating, or is their use strictly based on wire size?
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Old 05-29-2009, 05:53 PM   #5
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Converting to Main Breaker Only


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#6-2/0 CU/AL". Looking at the product number, common sense says that's a 100A lug,
Looking at the wire size range, my common sense say's it's a 200 A lug.
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Old 05-29-2009, 08:56 PM   #6
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Converting to Main Breaker Only


Quote:
Originally Posted by 220/221 View Post
Looking at the wire size range, my common sense say's it's a 200 A lug.
Great.
I had read a thread on the MH forum about the LK70AN and LK100AN. Nobody directly corrected the OP there on the amp ratings, so I took it to mean that the part number indicated the amps.

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