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Old 06-28-2018, 10:28 AM   #1
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Upgrade fuse panel to breaker panel myself? Apartment complex


Hey all,

So, I just purchased a small, low income, apartment complex in my town. More humble than it sounds. That said, a few units still have small fuse panels. 300sqft units. There are sub meters in an electrical room where I can shut off the power to the unit. I'm not really afraid of the process of swapping it out, moreso the red tape. Just checking that I could legally do this. I live in Washington state. Do I just need to apply for a permit, so the works then get it inspected?

Perhaps you guys could point me in the right direction. I can also post pictures or more info if you guys foresee an issue that I haven't.

Joe
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Old 06-28-2018, 10:37 AM   #2
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Re: Upgrade fuse panel to breaker panel myself? Apartment complex


Many cities require that electrical work in multifamily and non-owner-occupied and commercial properties be done by a licensed electrician.

Aside from that, it is easier to do since the apartment unit has a master disconnect switch upstream, at the meter box. You don't have to coordinate with the power company.

Be prepared to need to install heavier wiring from the meter box to the unit in case today's code requires more amperes than the apartment now has. In turn a larger service (more amperes) to the whole building might be needed.
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Last edited by AllanJ; 06-28-2018 at 10:46 AM.
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Old 06-28-2018, 10:38 AM   #3
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Re: Upgrade fuse panel to breaker panel myself? Apartment complex


Call the building dept/code enforcement office and see if its allowed.

I highly doubt they give you a permit for a multi family complex of any sort.
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Old 06-28-2018, 03:35 PM   #4
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Re: Upgrade fuse panel to breaker panel myself? Apartment complex


Quote:
Originally Posted by gijoe985 View Post
Upgrade fuse panel to breaker panel myself?




What about the meter bank and main cabinet?
Odds are it's a cobbled together mess just begging for improvement.
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Old 06-28-2018, 03:57 PM   #5
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That stuff is new.
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Old 06-28-2018, 04:13 PM   #6
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Re: Upgrade fuse panel to breaker panel myself? Apartment complex


Quote:
Originally Posted by gijoe985 View Post
That stuff is new.
Find out who did that work and ask them to bid your panels.
They'll already know the job.

(Verify the licensed EC required question with the County if you think you need to but also check what the insurance company requires)
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