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Old 05-25-2013, 08:07 PM   #1
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New home used to be two units, need help.


The house I'm buying used to be broken up into two separate apartments, and as a result has two meters and two breaker boxes. Both of the breaker boxes are 100amp. What's the best way to combine these two services into one?

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Old 05-25-2013, 08:28 PM   #2
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New home used to be two units, need help.


Why do you see the need to?

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Old 05-25-2013, 08:32 PM   #3
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New home used to be two units, need help.


Because the house is never going to be broken into two units again. I don't want to have two meters outside, I just want to have one, and if I disconnect one of the meters then the breaker box it feeds will be dead. I need to end up with just one meter and the breaker boxes combined, connected, or replaced in such a way that the whole dwelling gets power.
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Old 05-25-2013, 09:52 PM   #4
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New home used to be two units, need help.


A two unit property is usually more valuable than a single unit property of equivalent cumulative square footage.

If you keep the separate meters and services, you will be able to sell the property later as a two unit property. If you combine the services and later change your mind and want to sell it as a 2-family, it will take an act of God (subdivision petition) to get it split again.

Meanwhile it is possible to convert one of the panels to a subpanel (notably separating neutrals and ground wires within) and feed it with a new top cable connected to a breaker pair in the other panel.
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Old 05-25-2013, 09:53 PM   #5
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New home used to be two units, need help.


How would I do that?
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Old 05-25-2013, 09:56 PM   #6
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New home used to be two units, need help.


You could make one of the panels a sub. It would take a few changes, like seperating the neutral and ground, but it would probably be the cheapest/easiest way to do what you want to do and also the easiest way to re-split the service if you ever wanted to.

EDIT: Ooops, too slow .
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Old 05-25-2013, 10:02 PM   #7
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New home used to be two units, need help.


The key issue is your property is zoned as single family home or multi family home ?

If that is zoned for single family it easy to do is converted one panel to subpanel unless you have a very old oddball panel.

But you will have to call the POCO to disconnect the second meter and remove that service entrance cable and they can put in a blank glass cover on it.

How big this house on sizewise due some case 100 amp service may be too small all it depending on the load demand caluation and the layout what you have in the house.

Merci,
Marc
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Old 05-25-2013, 11:08 PM   #8
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New home used to be two units, need help.


I'm going to give you advice that my wife usually gives me when I'm working on something...

"Isn't there something better you could be doing around here?"

The only reasons you gave is because the house won't be split up again and because you don't want two meters. Just because you don't plan on splitting the house up doesn't mean a future owner wouldn't want to. As far as not wanting to have two meters...meh. If it was a quick simple thing I'd say go for it but odds are it won't be.
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Old 05-26-2013, 09:53 AM   #9
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How would I do that?
You will not do that. A licensed and insured electrician should do this job for you.
No question about that.
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Old 05-26-2013, 11:26 AM   #10
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Well, I'm sure that's the correct procedure. It isn't the one that will happen though. I guess I'll have to Google it, since this hasn't been as helpful as I'd hoped it be.

Last edited by alexkharden; 05-26-2013 at 11:27 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 05-26-2013, 11:31 AM   #11
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New home used to be two units, need help.


Quote:
Originally Posted by alexkharden View Post
Well, I'm sure that's the correct procedure. It isn't the one that will happen though. I guess I'll have to Google it, since this hasn't been as helpful as I'd hoped it be.
Glad we could help.

Just one little piece of advice....if you attempt to do anything without permits...the moment the power company sees that you have removed one of your meters (and they will see it), they will disconnect your service until the proper inspections and approvals have been made.

In other words....there is no cut.....
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Old 05-26-2013, 11:39 AM   #12
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Appreciate the sarcasm. I'm confused though. This is called the DIY chatroom, and DIY stands for "do it yourself". So why all the lack of help? I guess it is assumed that I have zero experience or knowledge with electrical, but that's an incorrect assumption. I just have no experience with this particular task, hence the question. In this case I guess diy chatroom means "place where licensed electricians come and tell non-licensed electricians not to do it themselves".
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Old 05-26-2013, 11:43 AM   #13
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New home used to be two units, need help.


Quote:
Originally Posted by alexkharden View Post
Appreciate the sarcasm. I'm confused though. This is called the DIY chatroom, and DIY stands for "do it yourself". So why all the lack of help? I guess it is assumed that I have zero experience or knowledge with electrical, but that's an incorrect assumption. I just have no experience with this particular task, hence the question. In this case I guess diy chatroom means "place where licensed electricians come and tell non-licensed electricians not to do it themselves".
Well said!
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Old 05-26-2013, 01:01 PM   #14
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New home used to be two units, need help.


I can understand the confusion.....

Yes.....this is DIY....within reason and limits.

Here in lies the problem.....

After you have been on this site for awhile....you start to pick up real quick who understands this stuff and who does not. It was very obvious from your first post that you basically have no clue what your doing. It is really beyond the scope of this forum to try to explain to you what has to be done. We would have to start at ground 0 and explain every little step. Additionally, you will never get any advice here that would be contrary to code or local building codes.

Now...take me....I am NOT an electrician. I'm an engineer...but I lack the experience and knowledge that goes along with doing residential systems. But I do know the basic stuff....(along with a lot of stuff that would just fly over the heads of electricians)....but that knowledge of Microwave, UHF, etc is worthless in the residential field....so I ask questions here...very specific questions....the end result is that I have done the load centers at my house twice...by myself. 1st time was to upgrade from 60a to 200a....second time, to move the panel due to a 2-story addition to my house (you can read all about by clicking on the link in my signature).

This is not the stuff I do for a living....but I have the basics skills to ask the right questions and get it done....with a mistake to two (or three) along the way.

Now....in your case, if you had 'any' electrical knowledge at all, your 1st post would have looked something like this....

"Hey guys. I just bought a 2 unit condo that I'm converting to a single residence. It has 2 separate 100a services that I want to combine into one meter. There are no plans to ever go back to a 2 unit layout.

So, what would you do? Pull both meters and just put in a 200A load center or convert one of the meters to 200A and use the other box as a sub-panel?"

The resulting responses would have then been a lot more informative along with the usual discussion about maintaining the ability to go back to 2 meters. In fact, it would have made for a very interesting thread.

Sorry....but this really does sound like something that is NOT a DIY task for you.
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Old 05-26-2013, 01:14 PM   #15
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New home used to be two units, need help.


Quote:
Originally Posted by alexkharden View Post
Appreciate the sarcasm. I'm confused though. This is called the DIY chatroom, and DIY stands for "do it yourself". So why all the lack of help? I guess it is assumed that I have zero experience or knowledge with electrical, but that's an incorrect assumption. I just have no experience with this particular task, hence the question. In this case I guess diy chatroom means "place where licensed electricians come and tell non-licensed electricians not to do it themselves".
the problem is , that some areas of the country do not allow for a homeowner to do electrical work. It has to e done by a properly certified professional. In my area we can do the work if we get a permit and get a proper inspection. Our electrical inspectors are licensed thru the fire underwriters board and do not work for the municipality. If you are capable of doing this work as you say you are then it should be fairly straight forward. You can either pull all of the circuits into one box and abandon the other one (have the meter pulled) or you can run a proper sub-panel circuit from one box into the other box (with meter pulled) and just abandon the meter socket for that box. You need to check with your local authority to see if you are allowed to do this type of work.

Please keep in mind that the guys that hang out on this forum are not about keeping you from doing this work. They just want to make sure that the work is done properly and safely.

Something else to keep in mind is, your insurance company may have a vested interest in what is done to the house with or without permits. They get real testy when something happens due to something done without a permit

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