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Old 11-17-2010, 12:24 AM   #1
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Moving Subpanel


I am planning to move a wall that contains an old subpanel. I will be moving the wall closer to the main panel panel but that means that I will be moving it away from the junction boxes. This means that I will have to run new, longer wires to the first junction box downstream of the subpanel (are they called homerun wires?). My question is: should I upgrade the subpanel or just move it? It works fine now and I've found that sometimes newer doesn't necessarily mean better.

Thanks for the advice!


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Old 11-17-2010, 02:46 AM   #2
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Moving Subpanel


Upgrade that box!! If you want to keep a sub-panel, check to ensure that your feeder cable is a 4-wire, with a separate ground! Many of those old-type fuse boxes had their neutral and grounds connected, with only a 3-wire feeder cable.

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Old 11-17-2010, 06:11 AM   #3
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Moving Subpanel


If your main panel looks like that one, replace it and get rid of the sub panel.
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Old 11-17-2010, 09:15 AM   #4
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Moving Subpanel


I agree with both.
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Old 11-17-2010, 09:23 AM   #5
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Moving Subpanel


Ok, it sounds like I should replace the panel. Any recommendations? If it matters, I'm in California. My main panel looks much newer with normal breakers and it has both a nuetral and ground bus.

It also seems that I should upgrade the main feed to the subpanel. I have left over 10-3 wire - will that work?

Last edited by loftezy; 11-17-2010 at 09:26 AM.
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Old 11-17-2010, 09:31 AM   #6
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Moving Subpanel


What amperage is your main panel?
How much room is left for circuits?
How far is the subpanel from the main?
What is currently connectted to it?
What amperage rating is that sub panel?(look at breaker size on main panel)

These things will help us guide you
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Old 11-17-2010, 10:55 AM   #7
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Moving Subpanel


Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelcherr View Post
What amperage is your main panel? 100
How much room is left for circuits? 1 Slot
How far is the subpanel from the main? 5'
What is currently connectted to it? Subpanel has six slots: 1) is kitchen outlets and lights but no appliances except refrigerator. 2)Living/dining/office lights and 5 outlets. 3) washroom lights and outlets (not the dryer). 4) Lights for bedrooms 1 and 2, hallway lights, and bath #1 lights. 5) unknown. 6) Basement
What amperage rating is that sub panel?(look at breaker size on main panel) 30 Amp

These things will help us guide you
I added the answers in the quote above. I also added a picture of my main panel, it is a Sears brand. It is also a mess in there but not too bad


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Old 11-17-2010, 11:23 AM   #8
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Moving Subpanel


Three options I'd consider:
(Was hoping there was room to just eliminated the sub)

Upgrade to150 or 200 amp service(costly- will need new service entrance cable, meter, etc)
Uprade to a 24 slot 100 amp service and eliminate the sub- panel.
Wire in a 60 am sub panel (possible farther from the main so you don't have to re- chase wires)

While your at it you could also update some things to current codes: afci's gfci's, etc.
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Old 11-17-2010, 11:39 AM   #9
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Moving Subpanel


Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelcherr View Post
Three options I'd consider:
(Was hoping there was room to just eliminated the sub)

Upgrade to150 or 200 amp service(costly- will need new service entrance cable, meter, etc)
Uprade to a 24 slot 100 amp service and eliminate the sub- panel.
Wire in a 60 am sub panel (possible farther from the main so you don't have to re- chase wires)

While your at it you could also update some things to current codes: afci's gfci's, etc.
Thanks for the advice. The 200 Amp service may be an overkill for my house (small 1,400 sq ft) and I don't see myself staying here for more than five more years. I may just upgrade to a 24 slot 100 amp service but that will probably be outside of my comfort zone. I'll have to look into getting quotes from an electrician. Here's the dreaded question in DIY forums: any idea what I should expect in cost?

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