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Old 04-10-2008, 11:14 PM   #1
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How involved is it to replace the electrical panel?


I've basically gutted an old attached storage room, replaced a lot of rotten lumber, and am going to turn it into a master bed/bath. Nowhere near electrical yet, but I notice that my electrical panel has room for only two more breakers. I'm not sure that this is enough to do what I need to do, and if it is, i'd hate to have the entire panel completely full....

What kind of headache am I looking at to be able to have some extra breakers for future.... ?

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Old 04-11-2008, 06:06 AM   #2
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How involved is it to replace the electrical panel?


Alan, it depends on a few things. How many breakers will your panel allow? There is a max of 42 by the NEC, and your panel could hold that many, or not if it is a smaller panel.

Start by doing this: tell us waht the brand and model # of your panel is, and how many breakers there are currently being used.

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Old 04-11-2008, 10:25 AM   #3
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How involved is it to replace the electrical panel?


If your panel has two slots empty you can install a two pole breaker to feed a sub panel, or two branch circuits if that is all you need.
Check the panel breakers and see if there are any "piggy back" breakers, these doubled up breakers would count for two breakers even if it only occupies one slot. The panel will tell you on the nameplate how many breakers are allowed.

Last edited by J. V.; 04-11-2008 at 10:27 AM.
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Old 04-11-2008, 12:59 PM   #4
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How involved is it to replace the electrical panel?


This project could be over your head.
There are many codes to follow with grounding and bonding.
You have to find out if the power co. shuts off the power for you. If they do then the new service has to be inspected before they will turn it back on. If it's an above ground service and they don't turn it off for you then you have to cut and tie in "hot". Which I don't recomend for any diy'er.
If its underground, the power co. needs to check if it can be upgraded, and they will have to shut the power off before you do any work. And again it needs to be inspected before they will turn power back on.
I would recomend getting a electrical contractor. He should get the job done in one day.
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Old 04-11-2008, 01:28 PM   #5
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How involved is it to replace the electrical panel?


2 slots should be enough for your new bath and bedroom. There is nothing at all wrong with having the panel full. IF, in the future, you do more work which requires more circuits, then put in a new panel, tandem breakers, or a sub panel. In the mean time, just use the 2 spaces. That is why they are there.

Panel swaps and installs should be done by a pro.
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Old 04-11-2008, 08:33 PM   #6
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How involved is it to replace the electrical panel?


well,this is a good thread to ask this,so here goes:
I want to upgrade my service from 100A to 150A (the panel's full and I need a 50A circuit for a range)
my local contractor wants a thou. for the upgrade...outrageous?

tnx,
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Old 04-11-2008, 08:37 PM   #7
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How involved is it to replace the electrical panel?


Quote:
Originally Posted by analogmusicman View Post
well,this is a good thread to ask this,so here goes:
I want to upgrade my service from 100A to 150A (the panel's full and I need a 50A circuit for a range)
my local contractor wants a thou. for the upgrade...outrageous?

tnx,
Do a load calculation and see if you even need to upgrade your service... You might be fine with just a sub-panel.
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Old 04-11-2008, 08:44 PM   #8
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How involved is it to replace the electrical panel?


Quote:
What kind of headache am I looking at to be able to have some extra breakers for future.... ?
A simple panel change CAN be relatively simple. Remove the old panel and hook the wiring back to the new one. bada bing, bada boom. It is usually not that easy though. Pics would help.




Quote:
my local contractor wants a thou. for the upgrade...outrageous?

Outrageously low.

200 amp upgrade in AZ is $2K minimum.
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Old 04-12-2008, 01:27 AM   #9
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How involved is it to replace the electrical panel?


hmmm Chris75, so tell me more about a "subpanel". first of all,how does one do a load calculation? maybe turn on everything and stick a clamp-on ammeter somewhere? perhaps on one of those big wires coming into the panel?

tnx,
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Old 04-12-2008, 10:09 AM   #10
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How involved is it to replace the electrical panel?


Quote:
Originally Posted by analogmusicman View Post
well,this is a good thread to ask this,so here goes:
I want to upgrade my service from 100A to 150A (the panel's full and I need a 50A circuit for a range)
my local contractor wants a thou. for the upgrade...outrageous?

tnx,
Not at all outrageous. Ask how much for 200 amp. Should be just a few bucks more. The electrician can do a load calc for you concerning the sub panel Chris mentioned. In my house, I'd want a new 40 space 200 amp panel. But then, my labor would be zip.

And to tell the truth, I have a 100 amp with a sub panel.
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Old 04-12-2008, 10:50 AM   #11
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How involved is it to replace the electrical panel?


Quote:
Originally Posted by CowboyAndy View Post
Alan, it depends on a few things. How many breakers will your panel allow? There is a max of 42 by the NEC, and your panel could hold that many, or not if it is a smaller panel.

Start by doing this: tell us waht the brand and model # of your panel is, and how many breakers there are currently being used.
The panel looks pretty old, the numbers are a little faded.....

From what I could make out, I think this is the info you asked for :

General Electric

Load Center

Cat. No. TM1220C

Mod. 1

24 poles max

I went ahead and marked out what I already have in the panel.

I've got :
40A dryer breaker that takes up 4 spaces
30A WH breaker that takes up 4 spaces
50A range breaker that takes up 4 spaces
15A breaker(not marked for what they go to)
20A breaker x 8 (also not marked)

So by my math, I should actually have three breakers left in the panel.

The rooms i'm adding are pretty small, the bath is going to be about 6x7 and the bedroom is going to be about 11x13. Not really a ton of electrical is needed in there, so I should be OK with one breaker to each room?

Also, for future reference, i'd still like to know what kind of cost/project i'm looking at to get a larger panel. Thanks

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