FPE Panel Change Out. Main Breaber To Lug - Electrical - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

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Old 01-22-2013, 06:37 PM   #1
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FPE Panel change out. Main Breaker to Lug question


I'm just about ready to change out my FPE Panel to a Square D QO 40/40.
The new panel is a Convertible panel From Main Breaker to Main Lug.
The panel is a 200amp service panel.
My existing panel would be a sub panel downstream.. inside my garage.. "No Main Breaker"
My Main breaker panel is located outside. 150amp panel..
My question is The Square D 200amp has the Breaker already installed....
I want to use this as a MAIN LUG..... Can I use the Panel as is with the 200amp Main factory installed.. and just not bond the Netural?
or do I need to get a conversion kit...
The Main FPE Panel outside has a 150 amp Main in the panel.
The Main breaker is attached to the garage on the outside..
I'm just not sure If I can use the new panel with the 200amp breaker in it.. I would think that it would benefit me to have another disconnect on the sub panel.. again the Main outside is a 150amp and the new panel has a 200amp bolt in main..


Last edited by TJ14u; 01-22-2013 at 06:46 PM. Reason: Misspelled title
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Old 01-22-2013, 07:23 PM   #2
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Leave the 200 amp in the new panel. The OCP will be the breaker in the main and the 200 amp is a disconnect.


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Old 01-22-2013, 08:24 PM   #3
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Just you will want to feed the new panel with a four wire feed and make sure you update your grounding and water main bonding and grounding if metal pipes exist.
With Electricity there is the right way to do it and the dead way. Just because it works does not make it safe.
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Old 01-22-2013, 09:01 PM   #4
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Thank you,

Upon pulling the FPE panel cover I think that I'm going to be forced to switch it to a main LUG..

Reason being: Height issues and keeping within the 6'7" code requirement.

I don't want to lower the panel, Cause then I'd have to splice in several breakers, and I don't want it to look like crap inside the panel with a bunch of wirenuts.
Cant even invert the panel either..

But, It appears that If I use the panel as a LUG I would gain about 1' of extra room to my top most breaker.

and still be within code I believe since my upper most breaker will be at around 6'6".

what a PIA these Conversions can be at times huh.
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Old 01-22-2013, 10:54 PM   #5
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I'm not sure the breaker height rule would apply in this circumstance. The main breaker is not functioning as an overcurrent protection device (it should never be capable of tripping). It is a disconnect - and an optional one, at that. I would argue that the height rule is inapplicable since the purpose is to ensure that the OCPDs can be reached.
I am a lawyer, but not your lawyer. And who cares anyways? We're here to talk construction. This is DIY advice, not legal advice.
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