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Old 10-29-2009, 11:09 PM   #1
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100 -> 200 amp panel upgrade questions

I'm going to upgrade my 100 amp panel to a 200 amp panel. All of the circuits (except one basement light circuit) run overhead, directly toward the center of the window, then make two 90 degree turns, one left, and then the other down in to the panel.

I plan on moving all the circuits to a new panel located just about the same distance from the window, but to the right of the window not to the left. About 5 inches from the right of the new panel is my water supply line. I've briefly looked at the NEC but don't know exactly what to look for to know if the water supply line location is a problem or not... Will it be a problem to have my new panel 5-6 inches from my water supply line? (see attached 0244 picture)

To feed this new panel, I'm going put a new meter box outside, and run new line from the power company disconnect (after it is disconnected) to the meter box, then from the meter box to my new panel. I would like to do all of this inside conduit.

My next question is this. I picked up about 30' of 4/0 aluminum wire on craigslist for 50 cents a foot. As you can see in the picture, the wire is URD, with two of the conductors being larger than the 3rd.

None of my planned conduit is actually underground, I get power from overhead lines. Question number 2, can I use this 4/0 URD AL inside the PVC conduit to make a connection to the power company, then into my meter box, and from there to my 200 amp panel. (I do know that I need to install some grounding rods)

Also, my plan is to pull the main (fuses) from my existing panel, move the circuits over to the new panel, then treat the new panel as a sub panel until I can complete the outdoor work. Which will involve the power company coming to disconnect, get it inspected, and have it reconnected.

My plan is to run something over to the new panel (not sure of the minimum gauge I need). Two hot (one for each leg), one neutral, and I was going to bond/connect the ground screw in the new panel to the water pipe just to the right. (existing box is bonded to the water pipe as well).

The city I live in is on 2008 NEC code.

Any advice/criticism would be welcome.
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Old 10-30-2009, 03:35 AM   #2
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Relocating your service panel to the new location should not be a problem. Any circuit that is not long enough to reach the new panel can easily be spliced in a suitable junction box, and extended accordingly.

Using a temporary feeder from the old panel to the new one should also not be a problem. This type of procedure is used often by contractors when doing similar work.

Grounding your new service to the adjacent water pipe is fine. You will have to use a minimum #4 bare copper for this. Many areas also will require a supplement grounding electrode (ground rod or plate) in addition to the water pipe ground. You do not need to install 2 ground rods in this type of installation.

Type URD cable (Underground Residential Distribution) cable is not recognized in the Code, and is usually installed and maintained by power companies for secondary power feeders.

That being said, there are instances where URD actually consists of several type USE or USE-2 conductors. USE (Underground Service Entrance) cable is recognized by the Code for underground use only, and is not intended for interior premises wiring. If the cable is not marked, inspectors would not be required to accept its use in any case.

HOWEVER, there are exceptions where it is utilized for terminations at service or metering equipment.

Depending on the mindset of your inspector-critter, you may or may not be allowed to use it in your installation. That stuff is a bear to bend and install in conduit, and we would not use it, even if it was free.

We have several scrap pieces of that lying around (free if you will), and won't use it as described here.

Instead, we would use type XHHW (aluminum) or THHN/THWN (copper) conductors in such a scenario. Much easier to install, bend, and terminate, and compliant with the Code.

Life is uncertain -- eat dessert first!!
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