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Old 02-23-2012, 01:56 PM   #1
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New Load Center - Your thoughts


Hey folks,

I recently ripped out an old Federal Pacific fire hazard and replaced it with a 200 amp Cutler Hammer load center. Though I am not a licensed electrician, I was trained in the field while in the Navy. Also, my real electrician nephew provided answers as needed (ok - I only asked him two minor questions.

The project from power down to power up took me 7 hrs. The only thing I have to add is a surge protector.

My nephew says it looks great but I would like some unbiased comments on my work. Take a look and tell me what you think.

Regards,
PB
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Old 02-23-2012, 02:18 PM   #2
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New Load Center - Your thoughts


Looks good from what I can see. Nice and neat.

That white wire on the left hand second from the bottom double pole breaker should be marked as a hot.

I don't see your connection to the ground rods in the picture.

Is this a house? Where? I don't see any AFCI breakers. Most AHJ's would likely have you install them if you replace a panel even in an older home.

Hope it helps.

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Old 02-23-2012, 02:37 PM   #3
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New Load Center - Your thoughts


The ground rod wire is connected to the left bus bar, you can see the ground wire leaving the box at the bottom left.

This is in my house in Norman, OK. I didn't install and AFCI's but I did replace all the bathroom, kitchen and outdoor outlets with GFCI breakers. The original wiring (circa 1970) was a mess - Some of the load distribution still way uneven but I can't rip open the walls just yet to even them out (future project).

What loads would typically require an AFCI breaker?
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Old 02-23-2012, 02:48 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pbsterling View Post
What loads would typically require an AFCI breaker?
Basically, everything but the "wet" areas (kitchen, bath, unfinished basement) gets an AFCI now.

2008 NEC:
All 120-volt, single-phase, 15- and 20-ampere branch circuits supplying outlets installed in
dwelling unit family rooms, dining rooms, living rooms, parlors, libraries, dens, bedrooms, sun rooms, recreation rooms, closets, hallways , or similar rooms or areas shall be protected by a listed arc-fault circuit interrupter, combination-type installed to provide protection of the branch circuit.

NOTE: an outlet includes receptacles, smoke detectors, lighting fixtures. It's a "point of utilization."

According to the Norman, OK website you're on the 2008 NEC.

Check with your AHJ.

It's under NEC 210.12(B)

Last edited by AandPDan; 02-23-2012 at 02:52 PM. Reason: add code reference
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Old 02-23-2012, 03:00 PM   #5
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New Load Center - Your thoughts


AFCI's are pricey, I guess I will be doing a bid of upgrading - buy a couple here and there and install.

So here's a good question - If AFCI's are req'd by code, why are so many plain old $5 dollar breakers available at the hardware store? Replace old faulty breakers? You got me real curious about this.

Also, you wouldn't mind posting a link to that Norman, OK info would you?

Thanks,
PB

Quote:
Originally Posted by AandPDan View Post
Basically, everything but the "wet" areas (kitchen, bath, unfinished basement) gets an AFCI now.

2008 NEC:
All 120-volt, single-phase, 15- and 20-ampere branch circuits supplying outlets installed in
dwelling unit family rooms, dining rooms, living rooms, parlors, libraries, dens, bedrooms, sun rooms, recreation rooms, closets, hallways , or similar rooms or areas shall be protected by a listed arc-fault circuit interrupter, combination-type installed to provide protection of the branch circuit.

NOTE: an outlet includes receptacles, smoke detectors, lighting fixtures. It's a "point of utilization."

According to the Norman, OK website you're on the 2008 NEC.

Check with your AHJ.

It's under NEC 210.12(B)
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Old 02-23-2012, 03:18 PM   #6
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New Load Center - Your thoughts


I agree with you about circuit breakers. The thing is, most people at hardware stores and home centers don't know the Code and neither do the clerks. Since most people aren't pulling permits, dumb, they don't know they need them.

It's like the new "tamper-resistant" outlets. All you see is the old ones. My state (MA) is under 2011 NEC though and replacing an outlet, with few exceptions, require the replacement to be "tamper proof.

Yes, AFCI's are pricey.

Here's a link to the Norman website:http://www.ci.norman.ok.us/planning/building-codes

Again, check with your AHJ. You may not have to update them.
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Old 02-23-2012, 03:41 PM   #7
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AFCI breakers are not required for a panel or service upgrade unless there is a specific local amendment that requires it.
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Old 02-23-2012, 03:52 PM   #8
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Quote:
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AFCI breakers are not required for a panel or service upgrade unless there is a specific local amendment that requires it.
And the only way to know is to check with your AHJ.
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Old 02-23-2012, 03:59 PM   #9
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New Load Center - Your thoughts


Quote:
Originally Posted by pbsterling View Post
My nephew says it looks great but I would like some unbiased comments on my work. Take a look and tell me what you think.
Regards,
PB
What are those connectors that hold the wire in the panel? I have never seen those before. Looks like a bunch of threaded conduit adapters with lock nuts and bushings. How do they hold the wire in the panel?
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Old 02-24-2012, 06:55 AM   #10
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New Load Center - Your thoughts


I can't remember if I found those at Lowe's or HD. All they are are anti chaff bushings that screw on to the cable clamps. I though that they would add a finishing touch - cheap too.

Quote:
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What are those connectors that hold the wire in the panel? I have never seen those before. Looks like a bunch of threaded conduit adapters with lock nuts and bushings. How do they hold the wire in the panel?
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Old 02-24-2012, 07:30 AM   #11
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Where is the conduit for the individual conductors entering the bottom of the panel?
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Old 02-24-2012, 08:15 AM   #12
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If you are referring to the wires entering the bottom of the panel, there wasn't any conduit in the original panel so I didn't add any. As for the main power conductors, the conduit is behind the panel and feeds into the the panel at the bottom right. It was the location of the main power feeds that dictated the placement of the new panel.

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Where is the conduit for the individual conductors entering the bottom of the panel?
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Old 02-24-2012, 08:18 AM   #13
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The conductors into the bottom of the panel are required to be in a conduit. They cannot be run in free air.
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Old 02-24-2012, 10:32 AM   #14
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This panel will not pass inspection with those loose wires that Jim pointed out. I did not see them. Those wires must be in conduit for the complete run. Also, some have mentioned that no AFCI breakers are required on a panel change out (upgrade). I am in total agreement as long as local code or ordinances require it.
Other than the exposed wires, it looks great.
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Old 02-24-2012, 10:48 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
The conductors into the bottom of the panel are required to be in a conduit. They cannot be run in free air.
^^^(for reference)
Are they black sheathed romex cables? Hard to tell.

PB...can we get another picture? Straight on from the front.

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