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Old 03-13-2011, 01:11 PM   #1
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Update: Adding #4AWG to Panel for Subpanel


Some of you gave me advice on adding the #4 AWG to my old Bulldog Pushmatic panel so I could run a subpanel to the garage in an old house we bought. Another major problem in the box was there were not enough slots for all of the grounds and neutrals and whoever wired the box just joined them together under the same screw. That of course is a big no no.

After a lot of thinking about it I decided to remove the two buss bars in the box and replace them with new current buss bars that would accept a #4 THHN cable and give me enough slots to separate the neutrals and grounds properly. I initially was going to split bolt the new #4 to the neutral service entrance cable until I did an upgrade this summer to a new panel.

To add the new buss bars I had to drill the screws out of the old buss bars because they are screwed on from the back of the box. I learned a valuable lesson here: The insulator blocks are very fragile and will break easily. I broke two small pieces off of two of them and was lucky enough to be able to epoxy them back on.

After the old bars were removed I roughed up the back of the new bars with a file and then epoxied them back to the insulators and simply screwed them back into the terminal flange that was used by the old bars. This will keep them secure since I was not able to rescrew them in from the back of the box like the originals. I took about 5 hours to remove all of the wires and the buss bars and add the new ones and rewire.

I have added pictures of the before and after. You can tell the new picture because of the white #4 wrapped with green tape. I had a bunch of #4 THHN 90C that was green and white so I used that and taped them the appropriate color.

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Update: Adding #4AWG to Panel for Subpanel-old_buss_bar.jpg   Update: Adding #4AWG to Panel for Subpanel-new_buss_bar.jpg  

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Old 03-13-2011, 10:47 PM   #2
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Update: Adding #4AWG to Panel for Subpanel


And your question is?

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Old 03-14-2011, 10:44 AM   #3
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Update: Adding #4AWG to Panel for Subpanel


there is no question... Hence the word "update" in the title.
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Old 03-14-2011, 10:51 AM   #4
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Update: Adding #4AWG to Panel for Subpanel


I would not touch that panel unless I was ripping it out. JMHO.
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Old 03-14-2011, 12:50 PM   #5
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Update: Adding #4AWG to Panel for Subpanel


Why not J.V.?

The panel will be replaced this summer or spring when the temp goes up. I live in central Indiana and having the heat off for a full day is not going to work with two small children.

If I would have had the opportunity to replace the panel then that is what I would have done. However, the panel as is was unsafe and had numerous neutrals and grounds tied together. So I should have ignored it until I could replace it instead of fix it???

That is ridiculous...
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Old 03-14-2011, 04:09 PM   #6
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Update: Adding #4AWG to Panel for Subpanel


What is reaally scary is that a DIY is working with electricity and you do not care for the safety of your family. And what makes you such an expert about neutrals and grounds?
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Old 03-14-2011, 04:57 PM   #7
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Update: Adding #4AWG to Panel for Subpanel


Quote:
Originally Posted by Sierevello View Post
So I should have ignored it until I could replace it instead of fix it???
Yup.
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Old 03-14-2011, 05:26 PM   #8
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Update: Adding #4AWG to Panel for Subpanel


The reason everyone is busting your balls is the fact that it really is no better now that it was before. The pics even look the same. In my area it was common to double neutrals with grounds into the 2000s. I wouldn't do the practice now but I'm not gonna go back and change something that was OK years ago.

The thing that scares me is that it is only held in there with epoxy? What happens when you tighten a terminal and that whole cluster rips loose? That has happened to me in old panels where the phenolic standoffs broke and that was from the manufacturer. You don't want failure especially when it is close proximity to live parts.

A professional can have a panel changed out in a few hours. Money well spent IMO.

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