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Old 02-04-2014, 09:45 AM   #1
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Service Panel Second In Line?


Hey electricians,

My mother is thinking about adding an addition on the side of her home where the service panel is. Can she simply replace it with a feed through breaker panel and move the service panel to the outside of the new construction? This would make it second in line.

OR - would she need to move the main lines?

Thanks!

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Old 02-04-2014, 10:47 AM   #2
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Service Panel Second In Line?


She could do that. Depending on the condition of the current panel it may not need to be replaced. She could just leave the panel and use it as a sub panel. The current panel would become a sub panel and need to be fed with a four wire feeder. The grounds and neutrals would need to be separated in the sub panel.
It also depends on what that portion of the new addition will becomes. The panel can't be in a bathroom or a closet.

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Old 02-04-2014, 10:58 AM   #3
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Service Panel Second In Line?


Great! Thats what I assumed - but I wasn't sure because the meter would be second in line. Thanks.
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Old 02-04-2014, 11:21 AM   #4
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Service Panel Second In Line?


The meter needs to be before the panel or disconnect.
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Old 02-04-2014, 11:33 AM   #5
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Service Panel Second In Line?


Seems to be some disagreement then. If, the meter needs to be first in the circuit, to avoid moving the main line in, could a non breaker-ed junction be installed - does such a thing exist?
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Old 02-04-2014, 12:43 PM   #6
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Service Panel Second In Line?


The issue with making an existing main panel a sub panel, is that any 3 wire dryer or range circuits have to be rewired as 4 wire circuits.
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Old 02-04-2014, 01:03 PM   #7
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Service Panel Second In Line?


Quote:
Originally Posted by jbrantiii View Post
Great! Thats what I assumed - but I wasn't sure because the meter would be second in line. Thanks.
That is not how understood the question.
Quote:
move the service panel to the outside of the new construction?
I thought a new main service panel would be installed and then the old one would be fed from the new panel.

The meter can not be second in the line. It has to be first.
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Last edited by joed; 02-04-2014 at 01:07 PM.
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Old 02-04-2014, 01:37 PM   #8
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Service Panel Second In Line?


Hmm, don't know how I could have been more clear - stating the meter would be second in line.

Anyhow, any NC electricians out there? Would the use of one of these:
http://www.grainger.com/product/COOP...al-Block-4XK16

be acceptable for use? The junction box would be inside a shop/garage.

Just to be clear:
- Power in from street to new junction box
- Wired from junction box to service panel (feed through) with meter on outside of new construction
- Wired to a breaker box (feed through) where existing wire ends terminated (that were wired into the previous service panel)
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Old 02-04-2014, 02:31 PM   #9
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Service Panel Second In Line?


Quote:
Originally Posted by jbrantiii View Post
Hmm, don't know how I could have been more clear - stating the meter would be second in line.

Anyhow, any NC electricians out there? Would the use of one of these:
http://www.grainger.com/product/COOP...al-Block-4XK16

be acceptable for use? The junction box would be inside a shop/garage.

Just to be clear:
- Power in from street to new junction box
- Wired from junction box to service panel (feed through) with meter on outside of new construction
- Wired to a breaker box (feed through) where existing wire ends terminated (that were wired into the previous service panel)

Just from listening to your suggestions tells me you probably should just let the building contractor bring in an electrical sub to install things correctly.
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Old 02-04-2014, 02:50 PM   #10
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Service Panel Second In Line?


Let me guess Stubbie - you are a contractor or electrician surfing DIY chat rooms and scaring folks off their projects. Your "advice" isn't helpful and bugs the out of me.

Look people, don't let posts like Stubbie's scare you away from working on your own projects. Even if you don't know all of the rules, you can do just fine (and yes, even safely - without burning down the house or killing yourself) with the right information from forums like this, and books. Electricity isn't magic and running wire isn't brain surgery.

My wife and I, non contractors, were able to build and wire an entire house on our own, pass code, and even get compliments from the 4 building inspectors who were assigned to the project. That was a raw project. We trenched, laid 250' of conduit supplied from the local power company (FPL) from pole to house, cast the ground into the foundation - out through a ground rod and on into the service panel, TUG went fine on the first try - even with a skeptical vendor, installed two boxes (service and secondary upstairs), installed all outlets, lights, electric stove, water heater, etc., and again, wired the whole house. We received our CO about 2 years ago now, and the house is still standing without so much as a tripped breaker.

That said, if you aren't confident in yourself, can't read, or don't understand "turn everything off before working on something electric and still check with a meter first before touching or cutting", then you probably want to follow Stubbies advice.

Now, anyone have some real advice that addresses the question? Know if using the junction block I supplied a link to is allowed in NC? If not, we will find out when we submit the plans and I'll post the results then.
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Old 02-04-2014, 03:00 PM   #11
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Service Panel Second In Line?


You have been told by 2 different electricians that the service feed must go first to the meter than to the panel. The POCO will not let you install a junction box between the weather head and the meter socket as that is an invitation for theft of service.

And you are so wrong about Stubbie's motives.
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Old 02-04-2014, 04:04 PM   #12
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Service Panel Second In Line?


Stubbie, if I misread your motives I apologize. It just gets to me that in a DIY forum, not a "Hire a Guy" forum, that there are so many out there trying to scare people away from DIY!

rjniles, "You have been told by 2 different electricians that the service feed must go first to the meter than to the panel." No, not quite. I was told it could not go to a panel first and then second in line. I then brought up the idea of a junction box - not considering it first inline. It makes sense though, now that you bring up theft - and seems that would be the ONLY reason this wouldn't be allowed. I hadn't thought of theft. So, thanks for that.
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Old 02-04-2014, 07:43 PM   #13
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Service Panel Second In Line?


Quote:
Just to be clear:
- Power in from street to new junction box
- Wired from junction box to service panel (feed through) with meter on outside of new construction
Not sure what you mean by this. Why a junction box?
It should be power from street to meter first thing. Then from the meter to the first panel or disconnect which must be within 5 feet of entering the house.
Quote:
- Wired to a breaker box (feed through) where existing wire ends terminated (that were wired into the previous service panel)
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Old 02-04-2014, 10:16 PM   #14
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Service Panel Second In Line?


It is when the professionals on the forum get a feeling from the way the question is phrased that the person will be told to hire someone or that they are over their head. It is not done in an attempt to steer work in the directions of contractors. Not everyone has the same skill set or the ability or interest in a major project but are just fine changing a receptacle.
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Old 02-05-2014, 12:33 AM   #15
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Service Panel Second In Line?


Quote:
Hmm, don't know how I could have been more clear - stating the meter would be second in line.
You didn't state that until after Joe made his reply .. anyway I've followed your other projects and was a little taken by surprise at your planning for your moms home addition.

First unless a NC electrician replies all we can do is tell you what is the norm. What will pass code in NC I have no idea.

Your moms power company will have to tell her if she can do what your suggesting. The meter location is the most important to them and it will vary depending on where she lives. ..ie... city sub-division, rural etc...

Probably the most common configuration in your moms situation is a meter relocation, then a new service equipment panel somewhere close to the meter either outside or inside the home. Then if the original service equipment is 200 amp you would install new 200 amp service equipment with feed thru lugs and run a 4 wire feeder to the old service equipment from the new. The branch circuits to the new addition would be likely served out of the new service panel. Nothing will change at the old panel. So you would pick a new service panel that provides for your needs in branch circuits. You would also relocate earth grounding to the new service panel. I don't recall if you said whether the service was a lateral underground or overhead. So this could also effect your final decisions.

I don't quite understand why your wanting to splice the service lines ...if that is what your suggesting. They may allow a splice if what your wanting to do is try to use the existing service wiring and extend it to the new panel.. That will be up to the power company and they will dictate how that splice is to be made. I can tell you this .. it will not be with a distribution block as you were showing in a previous post and it won't be allowed inside the home or garage. The lines are un-fused until they reach the SE panel. The only way service lines can be de-energized is by pulling the drop out fuse at the transformer with a hot stick.

Now as for your moms project it is totally doable of course. Whether it is DIY makes no difference to me, quite the contrary. As for living in shipping containers I hope she isn't planning that for her addition ... but each to their own. There are many totally acceptable alternatives to conventional building. I admire resourcefulness if it makes sense.

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