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Old 10-14-2012, 08:00 PM   #1
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New Panel: Extending Service


My main panel is currently on the exterior of my house, and I plan to move it inside (and do a complete rewire to get rid of the knob-and-tube which is in very poor condition). The panel has to move since the wall it's currently on will be a series of windows. I have an old chimney chase (kitchen chimney, now gone) right in the center of the house which will work great for my new runs.

My meter is on an outbuilding over 100 ft away from the house (with a 200A disconnect feeding the main panel via buried conduit), so I'm hoping to find a way to extend the service to the new location rather than replacing what's there. I believe my two options are:
  1. replace the existing panel with a smaller (phsyically) disconnect (which would be small enough to mount under one of the windows and be relatively discrete)
  2. install a handhole and splice the Cu 2/0 with a direct burial splice kit
Any advice on either option or one I haven't considered?

Also, I'd like to slowly rewire circuits as I have time (this is a nights-and-weekends project). Any suggestions on how to keep both panels active w/o spending a bunch of extra money on a 200A breaker?

Thanks!
Matt

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Old 02-07-2013, 09:22 PM   #2
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New Panel: Extending Service


Getting ready to start this project, and I'd still love to get some advice. I think my last post was a little confusing so let me try again. Short version: I need to extend my 2/0 feeders by about 20'.
  • Service laterals come in overhead from a pole at my property line to a mast on a nearby outbuilding.
  • Meter is at the bottom of the mast.
  • Meter box runs to a 200A OCPD right next to it.
  • From OCPD, conduit runs underground about 100' to my main panel on the outside of my house.
Existing panel has to go (blocking future windows) and the new panel is about 20' further away. I believe I can splice since there's an OCPD protecting the circuit at the meter. Questions:
  1. Can I use something like the NSi ESGS-4/0 (link page 9) in a junction box (mounted low on the wall)?
  2. Existing conduit is 1-1/2" which I believe is correct for the two hot legs and neutral, all 2/0. If I do the splice in a junction box, am I reading the code [314.28(A)(2)] correctly that for an angle pull the box length must be 6x the largest conduit + dia of all other conduit? If so, that's (6 + 1) x 1.5" = min 10.5" box.
  3. Is a handhole an option or should I stick with something above grade? Unless I'm looking at the wrong options/sites, handholes seem expensive anyway.
Thanks,
Matt

P.S. I will be wiring the new panel temporarily as a sub to the existing panel. I found a cheap 125A breaker on eBay which can easily carry the load of the house excl my garage sub, kitchen sub, and a/c. I'll move those circuits over at the same time I do the splice, so I didn't need anything bigger. Even eBay got pricey once you went anything more than 125A.

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Old 02-07-2013, 09:54 PM   #3
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New Panel: Extending Service


You should have a 4 wire feeder, not 3.
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Old 02-07-2013, 10:00 PM   #4
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You don't need an underground splice kit if you are using a junction box, 3r rated of course.
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Old 02-08-2013, 11:57 AM   #5
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Thanks, both.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
You should have a 4 wire feeder, not 3.
Sorry, I did omit mentioning the ground, but you're right that would need to go in the box too. Since it's only #4 and not (normally) current conducting I've been ignoring it so far.

But you raise an issue I hadn't thought about. I think I remember that code says the ground wire can't be spliced. For the house system, I was planning to find the rods and put on a new run from the first one. Can I splice the ground coming from the meter to get it long enough to reach the new panel?

Quote:
Originally Posted by brric
You don't need an underground splice kit if you are using a junction box, 3r rated of course.
Good point. Interesting that something like the Ilsco PBTS-2-3/0 isn't that much cheaper, online at least, but I guess there's no reason to encapsulate if I don't have to.

Any input on box size? I might swing by the supply house to see if they have any cheaper handholes than I've seen online, but looking like I'll prob go with a 3R box. The guys there have been very friendly (I was a little worried walking in there as a DIYer, but I guess business is business), so I'll see if they have any advice for me too.

Thanks again for the advice.

Matt
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Old 02-08-2013, 01:08 PM   #6
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New Panel: Extending Service


Buy a 3r trailer panel. They have some that is a main lug panel that has feed through lugs. No need for any splice kit. Just mount the panel and attache the wires to the lugs and you are done.

They are cheapest at home depot.

http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1...1#.URU_Q5HFq02

Here is one installed with a main breaker. But the one in the link just has lugs on the top and bottom with a ground and neutral bar all ready.

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Old 02-09-2013, 11:15 AM   #7
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The service can indeed be extended with three (3) wires. Four (4) wires are a requirement for a feeder from a load center (panel) with an OCPD. (breaker)
The service conductors at the outbuilding can be taped and brought to a another service panel with no OCPD required.
In fact a service extension can originate at the meter using lug adapters.

This extended service cannot pass through or under any structure and the tap must occur before the neutral/ground connection point.

In most instances a breaker at the first service point could be used to feed the house. This would be a feeder and require four (4) wires.

The use of the "feed through" lug panel pictured above is a very easy way to accomplish this.
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Old 02-10-2013, 09:25 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rrolleston
Buy a 3r trailer panel. They have some that is a main lug panel that has feed through lugs. No need for any splice kit. Just mount the panel and attache the wires to the lugs and you are done.

They are cheapest at home depot.

Here is one installed with a main breaker. But the one in the link just has lugs on the top and bottom with a ground and neutral bar all ready.
That is a great idea, thanks! It's not carried at my local HD, but it's available for order. Are you sure the main lug comes with the feed through lugs? Every picture I could find of the bus (including the one on the HD site) didn't look like it had them. If not, it looks like this lug kit would do the trick. At $6 per lug, it pumps up the cost a bit, but still better than three splices and an enclosure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by J. V. View Post
The service can indeed be extended with three (3) wires. Four (4) wires are a requirement for a feeder from a load center (panel) with an OCPD. (breaker)
The service conductors at the outbuilding can be taped and brought to a another service panel with no OCPD required.
In fact a service extension can originate at the meter using lug adapters.

This extended service cannot pass through or under any structure and the tap must occur before the neutral/ground connection point.

In most instances a breaker at the first service point could be used to feed the house. This would be a feeder and require four (4) wires.

The use of the "feed through" lug panel pictured above is a very easy way to accomplish this.
I presume the requirement for the service extension not passing under a structure is because it's unfused, yes? In any case, there is already OCPD just after the meter which I believe means that everything after the OCPD is considered a feeder, not a service extension, and must therefore be four-wire (and can run under my structure in the crawlspace).
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Old 02-10-2013, 10:14 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gatorheel View Post
That is a great idea, thanks! It's not carried at my local HD, but it's available for order. Are you sure the main lug comes with the feed through lugs? Every picture I could find of the bus (including the one on the HD site) didn't look like it had them. If not, it looks like this lug kit would do the trick. At $6 per lug, it pumps up the cost a bit, but still better than three splices and an enclosure.



I presume the requirement for the service extension not passing under a structure is because it's unfused, yes? In any case, there is already OCPD just after the meter which I believe means that everything after the OCPD is considered a feeder, not a service extension, and must therefore be four-wire (and can run under my structure in the crawlspace).
That is correct, provided the condoctor ampacity is adequate for the OCPD.
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Old 11-07-2013, 08:24 PM   #10
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New Panel: Extending Service


Reviving this old thread with a few add-on questions. I'm about to finally start on this (tomorrow!). Three questions:
  1. Is it correct that I can use 2/0 SER as my temporary feeder from the old panel to the new? 200A service, although it will be on a 150A breaker as a feeder until the rewire is done. We're still on NEC 2008.
  2. If yes on #1, there's an 8-10 foot run that's outside and below ten feet (after that it's in the crawlspace for another 15-20). I believe SER has to be protected with conduit in this case. Any issue sleeving the SER in sch 80 PVC for this relatively short run?
  3. Any issue with SER once the old panel is gone as far as splicing the current service entry cables (2/0 XHHW-2) to it in the box as previously discussed? (I say "service entry" but I guess it's really a feeder since there's an OCPD at the meter.)
Thanks again!
Matt

Last edited by gatorheel; 11-07-2013 at 08:29 PM. Reason: clarification
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Old 11-07-2013, 08:41 PM   #11
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Will this new feeder be supplying 200 amps eventually? Is the SER copper or aluminum? PVC is fine although SER does not need to be sleeved unless subject to physical damage.
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Old 11-07-2013, 10:40 PM   #12
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Quote:
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Will this new feeder be supplying 200 amps eventually? Is the SER copper or aluminum? PVC is fine although SER does not need to be sleeved unless subject to physical damage.
Yes, after the old panel is removed the SER will be the extension of the current feeder directly to the new panel (using either splices or a trailer panel recommended in an earlier comment) supplying the full 200A. I read that under 2008 I have to derate it, but I was thinking I might be able to talk the planning official into accepting it un-derated since they changed that in 2011.

SER will likely be copper, planning to see what my options are at the supply house tomorrow. I'm only planning to sleeve the section outside the crawlspace where it will run horizontally at about 3 feet above ground level. I believe I read that anything below 10 feet is considered "subject to physical damage," no?

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