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Centex2011 09-06-2012 04:29 PM

New panel old wires, etc.
 
I hope someone can help me out. I am looking to replace an old federal pacific panel. It was the original panel to the house. At some point before we bought the house last year, they had the house partially rewired. They converted the garage into living space (laundry, extra room/ bedroom). They installed a Square D QO panel and used a 50 amp breaker to feed the federal as, I'm assuming, a sub panel. There are 3 wires feeding the federal Pac. box. Some wires in the house are romex and some are cloth covered. First question is, would it be alright to install a new box in place of the federal box and reinstall the old wire? I do plan to rewire the house but do not have the time nor the money to do it all at once, so will be doing it one circuit at a time

Centex2011 09-06-2012 04:37 PM

2 Attachment(s)
Hit the wrong button. Second question is, as the wiring in this house is in need of serious upgrading and updating, I need to know which bar is for grounds and which is for neutrals. Pics attached. It seems neutrals and what few grounds are connected to same bars. Thanks for all the help in advance

Attachment 56951



Attachment 56952

parman 09-06-2012 07:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Centex2011 (Post 1004535)
Hit the wrong button. Second question is, as the wiring in this house is in need of serious upgrading and updating, I need to know which bar is for grounds and which is for neutrals. Pics attached. It seems neutrals and what few grounds are connected to same bars. Thanks for all the help in advance

Attachment 56951



Attachment 56952

What panel picture is this? Is this the one that was added?

Where do your service wires (the ones from your meter) go to?

IF this is the new panel and the service wires go here, then your neutrals and grounds share the same buss bar.

IF this is the new panel, and your service wires go here is the neutral/grounds buss bar electrically attached to the metal enclosure box? I can't tell from your pics. If yes, good...If no, bad.

IF this is the new panel, and your service wires go here, is the neutral buss bar electrically attached to the metal enclosure box that it's in? If yes, bad... If no, good.

To answer your basic question, I don't believe there is a problem changing your old Federal Pacific panel out to a newer one. If it is indeed now a sub-panel, make sure the neutral and grounds are electrically separated.

Notice there are a lot of "if's" in my answer. Answers depend on many factors.

Centex2011 09-06-2012 09:08 PM

Sorry for the missing info. Yes, this is the newer panel. It is a Square D QO30M200 load center. The service wires are the three heavy gauge wires at the top of the photo. As for the other questions I will have to open the panel up again tomorrow and let you know.

SpragueElectric 09-06-2012 09:18 PM

putting in a new panel, and installing the original wires is totally acceptable, as long as there condition is still in good shape and not falling apart exposing copper

Jim Port 09-07-2012 08:46 AM

The feeder to the FPE panel should have been 4 wires. The neutrals would also need to be separated in the FPE panel from the grounds.

Centex2011 09-10-2012 03:49 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Well, I'm back with answers and more questions. I have been sick for the past few days and did not feel like doing much of anything. That is why I haven't responded in a few days.

Quote:

Originally Posted by parman


IF this is the new panel and the service wires go here, then your neutrals and grounds share the same buss bar.

IF this is the new panel, and your service wires go here is the neutral/grounds buss bar electrically attached to the metal enclosure box? I can't tell from your pics. If yes, good...If no, bad.

IF this is the new panel, and your service wires go here, is the neutral buss bar electrically attached to the metal enclosure box that it's in? If yes, bad... If no, good.

The three buss bars are connected to the metal strip going across the top. The metal strip seems to be attached to the metal enclosure box by the screw in the picture. It is hard to tell but it looks like it goes through to the metal. If they are all attached, does it matter where the neutrals and grounds are attached? Do I need to isolate one or more of the bars? You said that the neutrals and grounds share the same bar. Is that good or bad? I would think you would NOT want those sharing the same bar.



Attachment 57177

Jim, unfortunately the feeder to the fpe panel needing to be 4 wires is just one thing out of a lot of things that should have been but isn't. And one of many things that I am trying to fix. Thanks for all of the help so far and I am certain I'll have more questions.


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