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Ouch That Hurt 05-02-2009 12:09 AM

Federal Pacific Breaker
 
We have a FP breaker box and it is becoming more and more of a pain to deal with. The breakers don't break, but appliances don't work. For example, the AC. None on the off position but the unit won't run. Switch off then on, maybe it works. Repeat until working.

But that's not the worst. The dryer switch! It takes multiple times turning off and on to get it to work and more and more it is becoming an issue of finding the right spot in "on" mode. Probably not the safest thing!

I want to upgrade to a 200A Square D. Is this something I can do or should we have an electrician come out? Also, when upgrading to the Sq D, will I need to buy switches too or is it an all inclusive unit?

Thanks.

Gigs 05-02-2009 01:35 AM

You need to buy breakers also. And if you call them switches then you probably should hire someone. :P

It's possible to do most of the work yourself, but it would be a steep learning curve.

BTW- Get the QO series instead of the Homeline... QO is a little nicer.

frenchelectrican 05-02-2009 03:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ouch That Hurt (Post 268217)
We have a FP breaker box and it is becoming more and more of a pain to deal with. The breakers don't break, but appliances don't work. For example, the AC. None on the off position but the unit won't run. Switch off then on, maybe it works. Repeat until working.

But that's not the worst. The dryer switch! It takes multiple times turning off and on to get it to work and more and more it is becoming an issue of finding the right spot in "on" mode. Probably not the safest thing!

Now that is the time to get new load centre the old breakers is pretty much done with it and for safety sake if you try to reset to get to the " on " postion something inside the breakers can really get ugly and do more damaged instead of replace the breaker box.
[quote[
I want to upgrade to a 200A Square D. Is this something I can do or should we have an electrician come out? Also, when upgrading to the Sq D, will I need to buy switches too or is it an all inclusive unit?

Thanks.[/quote]

It depending on your local area some will allowed homeowner to do their own work and some are will NOT allow homeowner to do it.

Is this main load centre is loacted indoor or outdoor ?

And you will replace the conductors from the meter to the breaker box and possiblty the meter as well if going from 100 amp to 200 amp size and you will have to call the POCO to cut the power off when you change the load centre.

How long to do this ? it will varies a bit with electrician do this they will take anywhere from half day to full day some case two days depending on what it going on.

So if you will be planning to have power off more than 4 hours or longer you will may end up renting or ask your freinds to use the generator or run one or two extendsion cord over to nextdoor house power source for that one or two cords one for fridge / frezzer to keep inside cool second one for lights if need to be used.

And the last thing before you start anything check with local office for latest info with changing service.

Merci,Marc

Aggie67 05-02-2009 07:12 AM

I have an existing FedPac 200 amp job that I got a quote for $1300 to replace. I though that was quite reasonable for NJ.

Bigplanz 05-02-2009 09:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Aggie67 (Post 268269)
I have an existing FedPac 200 amp job that I got a quote for $1300 to replace. I though that was quite reasonable for NJ.

Replacing a panel is a task best left to an electrician, IMO. The multiple skill sets required for the job, the risk of fire if there is a mistake, plus the implications in regard to home owner's insurance coverage make this a job for a licensed electrician. If you want to do it yourself, check with your insurance company first to make sure your coverage is unaffected. They may want an independent inspection if you do it yourself.

Aggie67 05-02-2009 09:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bigplanz (Post 268302)
Replacing a panel is a task best left to an electrician, IMO. The multiple skill sets required for the job, the risk of fire if there is a mistake, plus the implications in regard to home owner's insurance coverage make this a job for a licensed electrician. If you want to do it yourself, check with your insurance company first to make sure your coverage is unaffected. They may want an independent inspection if you do it yourself.

This is great advice. Plus when you go for an upgrade to 200 amps, you may have to redo the service to the house, install an additional ground rod, etc.

Magnettica 05-03-2009 03:05 AM

I would strongly encourage you to hire a licensed electrician for this job. Doing a 200 amp upgrade is anything but a DIY project. There's too much of a possibility of something going wrong or something not working correctly later.


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