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Old 05-17-2011, 01:40 AM   #1
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New circuit panel


I'm swapping out the main panel in my house this morning. I think I'm all set, just a couple of questions. Should I clean (wipe down w/ or w/o solvent) the main terminals then reapply anti ox compound? I already bought some and a metal brush, just wanted to make sure it was recommended and if cleaning was necessary first.
Also do I need to our should I replace the grommets/stress relief points or just swap them to the new box?
Last question what can I do about this wire where the insulation cracked? cut it shorter and move that circuit up? Cover it with heat shrink tubing? Leave it as it is? I'm a little worried about the other old cloth covered wires too but not as much. I plan on rewiring most of the home, but need to get this panel swapped by end of month for ins co. a permit had been pulled too so it will have to pass. I appreciate any help I can get!

Bill
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Old 05-17-2011, 01:52 AM   #2
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When you say "main terminals", are you talking about the main breaker terminals or the wires that attach to them? I can't tell if the wires going to the main are aluminum. If they are, then yes, you should use the antiox compound on the wires.

As far as applying to the terminals, you should have a new main breaker with the new panel, or do you plan on using the old main in the new?

As for the old wires, they do need to be cleaned up. I'd simply use several wraps of electrical tape on any broken insulation as a last resort. First being to splice new Romex with the old wires, where possible.

That panel is a mess. Try to run the new panel as neatly as possible.

What type is your new panel?

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Old 05-17-2011, 02:14 AM   #3
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I mean the service wires coming in. I have a Square D QO140M200 that I will be putting in, it has it's own 200 amp main breaker. The wires coming in are aluminum, looks like there is some sort of paste/gel on them already, should I clean this off first, and if so how, or just use the metal brush and anti-ox like the directions say?
I have no problems with splicing Romex for the wires that have breaks in the insulation, I'm assuming this need s to be in the circuit panel right?
As for cleaning it up, can I mount the new panel 'upside down'? The breakers, including the main throw from left to right so I wouldn't be mounting any where down is on, this would allow me to cut the service cable shorter, not have to worry about cleaning it, and keep that out of the can. Also there is as doorbell transformer in there that will be removed and what appears to be the old service wires(I'll go into the crawl space to make sure). I've been researching this project for months now so hopefully I'm set with everything else.

Thanks for the quick response!
Bill
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Old 05-17-2011, 02:20 AM   #4
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Here's a pic of the main breaker and a two pole breaker so you can see the mounting orientation. They're from my cell so quality isn't top notch but hopefully passable.

Bill
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Old 05-17-2011, 02:31 AM   #5
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I don't know if it's a Code violation, but my OCD would never allow me to hang the panel upside down. That said, I wonder if you may have an issue with the service entrance wires to the main being too short for the new panel; you may want to determine if this is an issue!?

Cleaning the wires: Yes, use a wire brush, or some sandpaper (if you're unable to cut and re-splice) on the conductors to clean them, then reapply some antiox.

Splices: Yes, at least in my area, splices are allowed in the panel.

Now, after having said all that, please stand by for the Pros before you tackle anymore of this. Hopefully, frnchie can reply this morning
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Old 05-17-2011, 02:33 AM   #6
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Old Service wires? I didn't see them. Are they being used for anything or are they just cut off? Where are these in the panel?
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Old 05-17-2011, 02:41 AM   #7
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They look like they were just unscrewed and left where they were. Aluminum two aluminum wires are highlighted as is the doorbell transformer.
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Old 05-17-2011, 03:02 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sirsparksalot View Post
I don't know if it's a Code violation, but my OCD would never allow me to hang the panel upside down. That said, I wonder if you may have an issue with the service entrance wires to the main being too short for the new panel; you may want to determine if this is an issue!?

Cleaning the wires: Yes, use a wire brush, or some sandpaper (if you're unable to cut and re-splice) on the conductors to clean them, then reapply some antiox.

Splices: Yes, at least in my area, splices are allowed in the panel.

Now, after having said all that, please stand by for the Pros before you tackle anymore of this. Hopefully, frnchie can reply this morning
Sirsparksalot.,

Not really as long the main handle breaker move hortzonally it is not a issue to have it upside down or not it can work either way but if you have vertical breakers then the main breaker must have the handle in off postion at down ward angle and of course there are some load centre with vertical main that can be inverted or some model we can order with bottom main so it can be done either way.

Merci,
Marc

Now let me address to banjo.,

For the older NM cable you have to be extra carefull with old insluating materals some can actually break easy and I have see you have couple MWBC { Multiwire Branch circuit } some case some 240 volts circuit as well before you remove any conductors { wires } from the breaker if you have actually MWBC or two pole breakers make a note and use colour tape to give you a head up due some case the colour will fade out over the years.

Check the exsting grounding conductor { typically either bare or oddball size AC cable with soild wire inside of it } and verify the size it should be #6 or larger for bonding due you have 200 amp service you will need #4 bare or green conductor.

And you will need sink two new ground rods I will genrally not bother use the exsting ground rod outside.

For service entrance conductors you will need to get a hold of POCO to temporty disconnect the drop { of course you will need permit } and expect some suprise along the way so just be aware in case you have to change the plan real quick { it do happend to me from time to time }

For the load centre changeover typically power outage will take anywhere from 4 to 6 hours depending on how much it have to be done.

If you are going to do this yourself I will advise you it will be longer than expected so it very important to have a alternative power source like generator or use the next door house power if you miss the inspection time window so just be aware with it.

I have see and done myself when the power outage go longer than that if that the case I always bring in generator or other power source to keep your fridge cold and freezer cold and furnace if in cold weather.

Before you do anything else can you please take a photo of meter socket as well because the reason why we ask you that due I do not know how well the exsting socket condtion is and more than 80% of my time have end up put in new socket in.

Once you post the photo of meter socket we may give you few more tips along the way.

Merci,
Marc

P.S. get rid of the doorbell transfomer inside the load centre that is illgeal if you have plain jane doorbell wire most doorbell transfomer I useally mount outside the load centre or find a nearest luminaire where the doorbell wire go and use that to hook up.
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Last edited by frenchelectrican; 05-17-2011 at 03:05 AM. Reason: add le doorbell comment.
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Old 05-17-2011, 03:16 AM   #9
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I know there is a solid copper ground in there but I'm not sure the gauge, I'll check once the power is off as it is buried in the other wires. As for MWBC I guess I'll have to check. I know that I have at least two double taps, three counting the doorbell transformer so I will need to add two extra breakers, again I'm waiting until the power is off to pull them out and measure, I'll just leave two empty spaces and get two extra breakers once the rest is done. I have pulled a permit and will be doing it myself. I was advised by the guy at the permit office that by pulling the permit I was able to cut the seal and pull the meter, then call the poco once I'm done to reseal it. It probably wouldn't hurt to call the poco to make sure they are okay with this as well. I'm in Jacksonville, FL.

Here's the only thing I see as far as turning power on from coj.net:
Sec. 325.102. - Supplying electricity.
It shall be unlawful to use or permit the use of, or to supply electricity for, electric wiring for light, heat or power in a building or structure until the inspections required by The Florida Building Code have been made and approval has been granted by the Building Official. The Building Official may give temporary permission for a reasonable time to supply and use electricity for testing and construction purposes in part of an electrical installation before the installation has been fully completed and a certificate of inspection issued.
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Old 05-17-2011, 03:29 AM   #10
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looks like the grounding conductor is that white (AL) stranded piece on the left side of panel. What would one use to actually determine the AWG of that?
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Old 05-17-2011, 03:32 AM   #11
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I think that stranded piece is the neutral, there's one like that as part of what I think is the old service line still attached to the neutral bar and another coming in from the current service line (significantly more wires than the 'old' line had).
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Old 05-17-2011, 03:33 AM   #12
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I think the ground is the solid copper to the left of the stranded AL.
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Old 05-18-2011, 01:42 AM   #13
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Just wanted to say thanks for all the help! Took 2-3x longer than a pro would have but I'm happy with the results. Two circuits were definitely not connected to anything so I wire nutted any wound them up in the upper left corner. There is one or two more that I can't tell what they do so will investigate more tomorrow.
Just wanted to say thanks and show the finished product.

Bill
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Old 05-18-2011, 08:01 AM   #14
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Given what you had to work with it doesn't look too bad at all.

If those are white conductors used as a hot connected to the breakers you should add some black or red tape or magic marker to identiy them as hots.
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Old 05-18-2011, 09:15 AM   #15
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Nice work.

Did you torque everything to spec?

Cut off the excess wire on the surge suppressor breaker.
You want the least amount of wire possible connected to the neutral bus.

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