I Need Help With My Service Panel - Electrical - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

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Old 09-16-2007, 02:35 AM   #1
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I need help with my service panel

Hi Everyone,

This is my first post here.

I recently purchased a condo in Los Angeles that was built in the early 70’s. I have been really excited about starting to do some work on the place. My first project is to add recessed lighting for which I got approval from the home owners association. This weekend I opened up the service panel to see about adding a new circuit.

The Service Panel looks nothing like the pictures in the books and online articles that I have been reading and studying. I was expecting to only find a few different color wires inside but instead noticed Red, Black, Orange, White, Blue, Light Blue…wires.

Here is a link to photos of the panel:

My Questions:

First of all, does anyone spot anything that is not up to code?

Is there a way I can turn of the power to the panel?

Is it required to run armored cable wire in a condo?

The home owner association says that Romex cable is not allowed. Why would this be?

Are you allowed to have a splice in a Service Panel?

Are you allowed to have 2 hot wire connected to one circuit?

Could the light blue wire be the neutral from both the baseboard heater and air conditioner? My AC and Heater are controlled by one switch. Up runs the heater, down runs the AC, and in the middle is off.

Why does the Neutral bar have a wire running from it?

Finally, after looking at the pictures, should I have an electrician add a new circuit rather then doing it myself?

Misc. Info.
Below my unit is the parking garage and above me is another unit.


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Old 09-16-2007, 08:22 AM   #2
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Hire an electrician. You are not only jeopardizing your own life, but also those in the same building


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Old 09-16-2007, 08:54 AM   #3
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it looks as though the Armored cable is req'd.... thus no romex. it might be part of a "multi tenant" building code thing or just code in California / LA.

I'd hire an electricain to hook it up myself into that panel.....
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Old 09-16-2007, 10:44 PM   #4
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Since what you have is a "Riser Panel" it is advised that you call a qualified electrician, It prob. is not legal for a DIYer to do electrical in a multifamily dwelling.
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Old 09-16-2007, 10:49 PM   #5
" Euro " electrician
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I am not going to say too much in here but i will agree with other guys what they are talking about this

the riser panel is very tricky to deal with it and i will advise ya not to mess with it and let the electrician deal with this because the codes is diffrent than a single famly home regulations is dont ask me how this will slove your issue with this but you have to understand for other pepoles in that place you have to get a electrician in there and do it in proper way

Merci ,Marc
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Old 09-18-2007, 02:07 AM   #6
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Thanks for the feedback. I will definitely have an electrician work on this. Anyone know a reasonably priced electrician in the Santa Monica, CA area?


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