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Old 09-17-2008, 10:14 PM   #1
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Installing breaker panel...need info


My house is a small two bedroom one bath. The wiring is old spool and knob. I would like to have a new breaker box installed in the laundry room and all the wiring replaced. The main panel is only 100 Amp and it's on the other end of the house about 45 feet from where the new panel will be. If I get the old panel upgraded can I just have three heavy cables run from there to the new panel in the luandry room? If so what size cable do I need? #2 maybe? I'm thinking about using heater/air conditioners, which are 220, in the living room and both bedrooms. I will also have a clothes dryer, range, electric water heater, fridge, garbage disposal, dish washer, and all the standard lights and outlets. Would this even work and if so how much more amperage do I need to upgrade to. Would a 200 amp panel work or do I need to go bigger? Just trying to get an idea of what I need to do before I call an electrician. Thanks.


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Old 09-17-2008, 10:49 PM   #2
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Installing breaker panel...need info


First of all, you can not run the un-fused service entrance cable more than 5 feet into a structure with out a disconnect. Have you done a load calculation to determine if its actually necessary? Ive seen "all electric" houses before with 100 amp service and have never had any issues with throwing the main breaker. This includes all electric baseboard heat, electric range, dryer, hot water heater, etc.

If you do a load calculation and it really shows that you need the 200 amp service, I'd contact your poco and discuss with them what it is you want to do. They would likely move the meter and service entrance to the new location rather than run it 45 feet through your house.

Btw, its not "spool and knob" its "knob and tube". Ive disconnected plenty of knob and tube wiring that was still active and in-service.

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Old 09-18-2008, 08:06 AM   #3
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Installing breaker panel...need info


Yep..do a load calculation. You may find that 150A is adequate, maybe you do need a 200.

Your main disconnect has to be nearest point of entry, in other words, as soon as possible. And no, you can run out of the meter, then 40 feet down the outside of the house then enter, and call that the nearest point of entry. Your AHJ will tell you an acceptable distance for your situation. You might consider having the main discon outside next to the meter if you can't get a new drop and meter spot....then you can enter where you'd like and hook in the panel there.
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Old 09-18-2008, 05:44 PM   #4
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Installing breaker panel...need info


There is a panel with a 100 Amp main breaker next to the meter. I'm just wondering if I can come out of the main panel and go into the house 40 feet to a new panel where everything will be connected.
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Old 09-18-2008, 07:43 PM   #5
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Installing breaker panel...need info


Yes. Once it goes through a main disconnect.

The main discon has to be at the nearest point of entry into the building. If there isn't an adequate space inside the building for that, then an approved outdoor main disconnect enclosure is mounted outside, usually right next to the meter. The purpose is to keep the service entrance conductors as short as possible, as they do not have overcurrent protection. The wiring from the service point (the point where your house's wire connects to the utility's wire) to the meter, from the meter to the main disconnect is called the service entrance wiring, and has it's own rules. After the main discon, you run a feeder to the branch circuit/lighting panelboard. Feeders have different rules than serv entrnc's.

A friendly reminder, a service change is NOT for a beginner. It is very involved and requires a lot of knowledge to do one safely and correctly.
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Old 09-18-2008, 09:34 PM   #6
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Installing breaker panel...need info


Thank you soooo much. Yea, I'm not going to mess with the service change. I'm just going to buy a new main breaker box that will be mounted next to the meter at the service entrance and let a qualified electrician do all that. Thanks again.
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Old 09-18-2008, 09:54 PM   #7
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Installing breaker panel...need info


You're welcome.

If you're interested in buying the parts before hand, contact and work with the electrician you are going to have do the change before you buy the parts. He/she will let you know what you need to get and what they'll supply, who needs to get the permit, etc. As an installer, it's always nice to know before hand what to expect when they get there.

P.S. When I said main disconnect before, I should have said main overcurrent disconnecting means. Maybe that would make more sense.

Good luck !!

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