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Old 01-14-2010, 10:58 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by codeone View Post
Oops wrong section , was in a hurry and tired sorry.
Should have been=

VI. Service Equipment - Disconnecting Means
230.70 General. Means shall be provided to disconnect all
conductors in a building or other structure from the serviceentrance
conductors.
(A) Location. The· service disconnecting means shall be
installed in accordance with 230.70(A)(l), (A)(2), and
(A)(3).
(1) Readily Accessible Location. The service disconnecting
means shall be installed at a readily accessible location
either outside of a building or structure or inside nearest the

point of entrance of the service conductors.
(2) Bathrooms. Service disconnecting means shall not be
installed in bathrooms.
230.71 Maximum Number of Disconnects.
(A) General. The service disconnecting means for each
service permitted by 230.2, or for each set of serviceentrance
conductors permitted by 230.40, Exception No.1,
3,4, or 5, shall consist of not more than six switches or sets
of circuit breakers, or a combination of not more than six
switches and sets of circuit breakers, mounted in a single
enclosure, in a group of separate enclosures, or in or on a
switchboard. There shall be not more than six sets of disconnects

per service grouped in anyone location.
Codeone, I hope you know that not just I, but hundreds of us on this site appreciate the efforts you and the other pros put to give us useful, valid and safe information. You could be relaxing somewhere, having a cold one, doing something else. Instead, you're working on this site to share your knowledge, help all of us out and do a good thing. I'm sure I'm not the only one who appreciates your efforts greatly. To you and all the other expert contributors, thank you.
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Old 01-14-2010, 11:20 PM   #62
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Originally Posted by Stubbie View Post
Ok using the word "cheesy" for that conduit was not politically correct. Let me re-phrase ... the LB conduit body on the side of the meter can is "cheesy" and the conduit is peachy nice.... That conduit does have support brackets I hope....

Well ... you have more obstacles than I thought so I see your dilemma. I don't think you gain much moving that panel from where it is now. Above the dryer is not compliant either. You do not have the required "free" working space.

Let me run this by you. What about a meter main combo like this ....



This has 8 spaces with a 200 amp main breaker installed and feed thru lugs at the bottom of the buss rack. You would install a 100 amp breaker under the 200 amp main breaker in two of the spaces for the feeder to the shop. The other spaces could be for outdoor lighting or whatever you would like.

There may be some meter mains with less spaces you just have to go to an electrical supply and see what they have in their catalogs.

Use the feed thru lugs to feed a new 200 amp mlo panel (no main breaker in it just main lugs) installed where your existing fpe panel is now unless you can figure out a way to get to the garage.

This will get rid of those big split bolt splices you have now.

We are splitting hairs here as for code compliance for a service. Art. 230.70 (A)(2) says service disconnecting means are not to be installed in bathrooms. So in this case your service disconnecting means is not in the bathroom it is in the outside meter main. but then you have problems with panelboards in bathrooms but one out of two ain't all bad..... Also you do not have a shower or bath tub so the humidity issue is considerably less. Panels don't like humid environments....

Anyway though I don't in particular like this advice it is a viable option IMO under the circumstances. You need 4 wire feeders to both panels with neutral and ground separated in those panels which means your going to be throwing away that bonding screw you just bought and adding grounding bars to the square d panel. The ground and neutral are bonded at your meter main (service equipment). I'd opt for a square d 200 amp mlo panel in the bathroom also or whatever location you end up with just to keep uniformity of the panels.

EDIT: If I were you I'd have the power company come out and pull the meter and get power off the line side if you choose this option. You really are not to mess with the meter as a DIY project. You do not want to install a new meter can with hot line side service entrance conductors so cover that base and don't be foolish.
I was ROFLMAO when I saw the original "cheesy" comment! I couldn't resist plagiarizing it one (or twice).

I'm surprised you're giving up on moving the panel out of the bathroom. In some twisted, masochistic way, I was almost looking forward to moving it out of there. However, doesn't make sense to move it if it will still be out of compliance or irregularly installed. It sounds like your latest recommendations make a lot of sense. My POCO inspector/engineer seems like a good guy, and I'll consult in detail with him to figure how this can work out with them. I'm willing for him to do as much as he's willing, including as much of the meter can install as he can.

Thanks for all the great advice and patience through my irregular situation.

Dan

Last edited by Itsdanf; 01-20-2010 at 03:20 PM. Reason: Correct misspelling
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Old 01-15-2010, 12:02 AM   #63
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Your welcome ... the more I look at your house the more I think some jokester turned it around backwards.....
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Old 03-12-2010, 04:19 PM   #64
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I REALLY hate bumping this thread up again, but I need input on my latest situation, and don't want to replicate a lot of historical info in a new post...

Here's the deal: I decided to simply replace my main load center, and properly wire the "sub" panel as a true sub. I'd planned everything out, and with the good weather recently, was ready to purchase a new panel and parts, and get started.

However, I took a closer look at the service feed from the meter socket box. The meter box is attached to the outside brick wall, and a nipple (2" metal tube with threads on each end) connects the back of the meter box, through the wall, to the back of the load center -- through which the service wires travel (see photo below; service wires enter in upper-left of back of panel). The old box is 24" tall. The new box will be 39" tall. There's NO WAY to connect the existing nipple to the new box through an available cutout in the new box without having a serious alignment problem -- either forcing me to install the box too high or too low. Because the load center mounts flush into the wall, there's no room behind it to route the service wires higher and keep the box flush with the wall.

The only way I can see to fix this: Use conduit within the wall cavity to move the service wires up to a higher level. Then fur out the studs a couple inches to frame a new opening for the load center to mount into. Then drywall around the opening to minimize the ugly mess! Not a lovely sight for a small, finished half-bath!

...but, I've come up with another idea. The current load center's in a bathroom wall. As discussed earlier in this thread, it's not a good location, but it's very difficult to relocate due to the upper floor and slab foundation. However, to the left of the bathroom is a stairwell, with a 4' x 4' landing (see photo below). If I can access the landing wall from the attic, I might be able to relocate the panel there (about where the picture is on the wall). It'd end up about 7' from the meter (about a 10' service wire run). I'd put a smaller junction box where the current load center is, to hold some required splicing.

So, if this is possible, are there any code problems or other issues with placing the service panel in the wall of a 4' x 4' stairwell landing??
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Old 03-13-2010, 08:18 PM   #65
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Ok reading this just made me alittle confused, so help me out if you wouldn't mind. My home on the the neutral and the ground are bonded, always has been. Passed home inspection that way, and has a sticker from the county electrican saying it was up to date on XXX date. I'm not an electrican so beg my ignorance. My understanding is that the only time the neutral and ground must be separate is with a subpanel being feed by a main panel, correct?
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Old 03-13-2010, 08:21 PM   #66
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tsdanf (Poster#64) I will not address myself to the Code compliance part of your planned installation. I'm just commenting on the urgent need to replace the loadcenter that is presently in use. It looks like it's made by Federal Pacific Electric. (FPE). A formerly great Company, that went down due to shortcuts in the manufacturing process and low quality materials. People don't realize how dangerous these products are. (Both, the breakers and the panel). Because they present a passive danger. Meaning. they are not an active fire hazard. But when called upon to cut the power when a short circuit or ground fault occurs, they don't perform. Another fact that lulls people into thinking the breakers are OK, is that they DO provide excellent overload protection (Even the bad ones.)!
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Old 03-13-2010, 08:23 PM   #67
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Originally Posted by kossuth View Post
Ok reading this just made me alittle confused, so help me out if you wouldn't mind. My home on the the neutral and the ground are bonded, always has been. Passed home inspection that way, and has a sticker from the county electrican saying it was up to date on XXX date. I'm not an electrican so beg my ignorance. My understanding is that the only time the neutral and ground must be separate is with a subpanel being feed by a main panel, correct?
Where are you located ?

Any Main shut-off located before the panel ?



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Old 03-13-2010, 08:31 PM   #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kossuth View Post
Ok reading this just made me alittle confused, so help me out if you wouldn't mind. My home on the the neutral and the ground are bonded, always has been. Passed home inspection that way, and has a sticker from the county electrican saying it was up to date on XXX date. I'm not an electrican so beg my ignorance. My understanding is that the only time the neutral and ground must be separate is with a subpanel being feed by a main panel, correct?
No. It's slightly different. The rule is that at the Service entrance the Neutral MUST be Grounded. Meaning. They must be together. But on any connection further downstream they MUST be Separate. Also, any connection past the first Switch, is no longer considered Service Equipment. The conclusion is, that any Sub panel or even the main panel that is past a Service Disconnect Switch must have the GROUND and NEUTRAL connections separate.!
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Old 03-14-2010, 12:45 AM   #69
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tsdanf (Poster#64) I will not address myself to the Code compliance part of your planned installation. I'm just commenting on the urgent need to replace the loadcenter that is presently in use. It looks like it's made by Federal Pacific Electric. (FPE). A formerly great Company, that went down due to shortcuts in the manufacturing process and low quality materials. People don't realize how dangerous these products are. (Both, the breakers and the panel). Because they present a passive danger. Meaning. they are not an active fire hazard. But when called upon to cut the power when a short circuit or ground fault occurs, they don't perform. Another fact that lulls people into thinking the breakers are OK, is that they DO provide excellent overload protection (Even the bad ones.)!
Spark Plug,

Thanks for the reply. Yes, it's definitely an FPE, and I'm aware of the dangers associated with them. It's my primary motivation for tackling this effort -- not the irregular "sub" (that was a side issue for me). I'm preparing for a kitchen remodel, and need to add circuits for the project. I refuse to expand the current unsafe FPE box; I want it gone, and replaced with a decent box with breakers I can trust, and which can handle the upcoming expansion.

I want to be fully up to code if possible, even though my area requires no inspections. Fixing the sub is the easy issue. However, I'm challenged with the key problem of the primary load center's location (the background on that was the only reason I kept the original thread, instead of starting a new one -- a mistake, I now realize; too much information on old and confusing issues).

Since the original thread discussions in January, I've been considering the options, and the only thing that makes sense to me is to either relocate the load center to the stairwell landing, or keep it in the 1/2 bath.

I know that my current FPE load center with the disconnecting means violates NEC 230.70(A)(2). If I simply replace it, the new box will still be in violation -- but it won't be a FPE anymore! The thread in January discussed putting a separate disconnecting means outside, with the new load center remaining in the 1/2 bath -- still be a code violation. Since then, I've lost my belief that an outside disconnecting means is significantly better than simply replacing the box -- both scenarios are code violations, and the complexities of adding the outside disconnecting means makes that scenario less attractive.

I was back in the attic today, and it looks like it will be more difficult to route to the stairway landing location than I thought. If that location would avoid code violations, I might attempt it anyway. However, if it's still a bad location, I'm inclined to stick with the bathroom -- lesser of all other evils.

Any expert feedback on this mess would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 03-14-2010, 11:58 AM   #70
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No. It's slightly different. The rule is that at the Service entrance the Neutral MUST be Grounded. Meaning. They must be together. But on any connection further downstream they MUST be Separate. Also, any connection past the first Switch, is no longer considered Service Equipment. The conclusion is, that any Sub panel or even the main panel that is past a Service Disconnect Switch must have the GROUND and NEUTRAL connections separate.!
Thanks a bunch that is perfectly clear. In my case the power comes off the pole, hits the meter and goes straight to the main panel. So there's no disconnect prior to the main panel in my case (but I imagine places like apartments and such may/will require one). Thanks again.
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