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Discussion Starter #1
If a main panel and service entrance is to be relocated as far as 40’ away, is there any way whatsoever that it can be done without using an exposed junction box or rewiring the entire house? For example, would just the first leg of each branch circuit have to be redone (new conductor from panel to first item in branch circuit), or would the entirety of each branch circuit have to be completely rewired? Or for splicing, I am aware of the $7 Tyco splice kit, which is supposed to be a compliant way to splice a two-conductor wire with ground behind drywall. But splicing most or all of my twelve 120V branch circuits is surely not an appropriate — or even legal — use case for this, is it?

Just want to make sure I’ve explored all options to remove an unsightly main panel in a finished living space...and determine to what extent I would have to remove and thus replace drywall. That’s all.
 

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there is no way.
stop calling a panel "unsightly" because without it, you have no living space.
No one is going to call your required power, "unsightly" anyhow.

I have seen people complain about the power or phone company placing the needed service box on the ground in front of their home, feeling like its "ugly"

Its not. Its how you are living in that area in the first place and not off the grid.


the answer is to not think as youre thinking.
This reminds me of a customer I had, who wanted all these new devices and outlets and yet felt no holes should be cut anywhere.


I have seen people request new services along a solid bric wall and expected nothing to be exposed or surface mounted, and nothing drilled into the brick from the outside either.


Apparently, she wanted me to buy some Magic-tape, and draw a picture of an outlet and stick in on the wall. and the power work.


So let me provide the physical answer. Splice the main, but only if your city allows for it.
then all those branch circuits? re run every one of them and cut open all the walls and such to get to the first location of every since circuit, then pay a drywaller to patch, then a painter to paint.

Done deal.
 

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You do not have rerun the entire circuit, unless your current circuit are so old that they do not have grounds. You only have to connect the existing circuits to the new main panel via whichever route is most convenient.
All junction boxes must be accessible.
 

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Check with your power company to see if relocation is even possible. They may not allow the move.
 

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You can refeed each circuit at any point, not necessarily at the original 1st device. Just be sure to disconnect the old wire from panel to 1st device.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
So let me provide the physical answer. Splice the main, but only if your city allows for it.
then all those branch circuits? re run every one of them and cut open all the walls and such to get to the first location of every since circuit, then pay a drywaller to patch, then a painter to paint.

Done deal.
Thanks! The power company will, oddly enough, allow it. The location would actually be in garage or, possibly, the utility room. I am almost definitely keeping it where it is, but I wanted to make sure I understood the alternative first.

I am not concerned about drywall removal, repair, or painting. I just wanted to make sure I understand correctly that I would only have to go to the beginning (or end?) of each circuit instead of redoing everything. Knowing this, I can continue my assessment, even though I am unlikely to proceed with a panel relocation.

You do not have rerun the entire circuit, unless your current circuit are so old that they do not have grounds. You only have to connect the existing circuits to the new main panel via whichever route is most convenient.
All junction boxes must be accessible.
The house was built in the mid 1980s, and all receptacles are grounded. It is highly likely the 'most convenient' route will require more drywall removal and subsequent repair that I care to even think about. But being that I already did circuit diagrams for the house when I replaced all the outlets (they were painted over and a few loose), I have an idea where many begin and/or end, so I may do some more homework just an an exercise.

Check with your power company to see if relocation is even possible. They may not allow the move.
Believe it or not, the power company suggested it as an option. But, as noted above, it is highly unlikely I will even go down this path. Just wanted to consider it.

You can refeed each circuit at any point, not necessarily at the original 1st device. Just be sure to disconnect the old wire from panel to 1st device.
The last device as an alternative to the first? Or can it literally be in the middle of a circuit? How would that work, then? How could a circuit be fed from somewhere between the first and last device without either splicing the conductors or 'double tapping' a device's terminals?
 

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Remodel and New Build GC
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Community....If i understand you have an interior panel aesthetically encumbering good living space...

Probably on an outside wall....Any chance of just flipping that panel (or a new all waether panel) to your exterior wall???????
 

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The last device as an alternative to the first? Or can it literally be in the middle of a circuit? How would that work, then? How could a circuit be fed from somewhere between the first and last device without either splicing the conductors or 'double tapping' a device's terminals?
You can refeed the circuit at any point that is convenient. You would need to disconnect the original feed in the original first box so that live wires are not left feeding back to the original panel. Once the old wires are disconnected they can be left in the walls.
The new connection would need to be in a junction box. Presumably you would pick an existing box and make the connection there provided there is enough room in the box for additional wires.
 

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"you dint need to rerun the entire circuit"
"check if your power company allows it"
Both were already stated.

"You can enter the circuit anywhere thats convenient, as long as you disconnect the run going the other direction"

If the person knew the various directions the circuit were running, and had such a skillset, they wouldnt be here asking this question.



If you actually are considering all these comments, then you most certainly will require that you buy a tone generator and a tone wand. With the power totally disconnected, and disconnected from the panel, you can place the tone generator on the end of the hot wire, and find all the locations it emerges (even inside a wall, you can hear the tone) and trace where it goes.


Once youve gotten into all this hairiness, please take the test for the union, because its clear that you are being asked to do things that a DIY person couldnt do.

Its best that you not move the panel and change your thinking on the whole thing. Its not broke. dont fix it.

Its cheap at harbor freight.
 

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Remodel and New Build GC
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My opinion only:

I think COMMUNITY has legitimate DIY questions and is exploring all possible solutions/options.
 

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"you dint need to rerun the entire circuit"
"check if your power company allows it"
Both were already stated.

"You can enter the circuit anywhere thats convenient, as long as you disconnect the run going the other direction"

If the person knew the various directions the circuit were running, and had such a skillset, they wouldnt be here asking this question.



If you actually are considering all these comments, then you most certainly will require that you buy a tone generator and a tone wand. With the power totally disconnected, and disconnected from the panel, you can place the tone generator on the end of the hot wire, and find all the locations it emerges (even inside a wall, you can hear the tone) and trace where it goes.


Once youve gotten into all this hairiness, please take the test for the union, because its clear that you are being asked to do things that a DIY person couldnt do.

Its best that you not move the panel and change your thinking on the whole thing. Its not broke. dont fix it.

Its cheap at harbor freight.
It's pretty sad that a retired licensed electrician trained by Tradesmen International didn't get this one right. And the GC did! Simple voltage tester and the circuit breakers the OP already owns will find every circuit in the house. That junk toner will put a tone on all of the neutrals and grounds unless he shreds the whole panel.

Community....If i understand you have an interior panel aesthetically encumbering good living space...

Probably on an outside wall....Any chance of just flipping that panel (or a new all waether panel) to your exterior wall???????
THIS! Bravo:notworthy::clap:
 

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Red Seal Electrician
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The easiest is to install a new service and panel in a new location - then connect to old panel to it. The old panel stays where it is and becomes a subpanel.
 

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If a main panel and service entrance is to be relocated as far as 40’ away, is there any way whatsoever that it can be done without using an exposed junction box or rewiring the entire house?
Sure, as u2slow discusses, make the old panel a subpanel.


For example, would just the first leg of each branch circuit have to be redone (new conductor from panel to first item in branch circuit), or would the entirety of each branch circuit have to be completely rewired?
Sure that’s fine, I do that a lot. Have a legal splice point (that remains accessible), and in that box tie from the original wires to new extension wires.

You have to be careful about numbers of circuits that you are clumping together; my rule is ‘No More Than four” which is an extreme but accurate simplification of how 310.15(B)(3)(A) and 310.15(B)(16) interact with 240.4(D).


Or for splicing, I am aware of the $7 Tyco splice kit, which is supposed to be a compliant way to splice a two-conductor wire with ground behind drywall.
*errrrmmm* Nope, I don’t think you can use that one to conceal your kind of splice. Read the UL-approved instructions closely as well as your state’s latest edition of Code; I believe Code tightened down on the usage of those to *only* certain specific repair situations.


But splicing most or all of my twelve 120V branch circuits is surely not an appropriate — or even legal — use case for this, is it?
With appropriate wiring methods, yes; with the Tyco splice, no.

Just want to make sure I’ve explored all options to remove an unsightly main panel in a finished living space...and determine to what extent I would have to remove and thus replace drywall. That’s all.
Why do you need to remove the panel to render it sightly? The Victorians had a very simple idea, (by which I mean people practicing Victorian architecture on into the electrical age): if you don’t want to look at utilities, put a tasteful cabinet door in front of it that matches the decor.

In fact, a Victorian mainstay is such a cabinet door on the wall behind the tub faucet: you can change the entire faucet without having to do any drywall or paint.

Or hell, a flatscreen TV on a hinge. As long as you can get to the panel cover without using tools, and don’t foul the required working space.

Oh, I’m liking that... find an old Pushmatic panel because you can mount ‘em in the horizontal orientation, cabinet door, affix a sufficiently large flatscreen TV to the cabinet door. Later, you let the repairman in and watch TV, he comes back after 10 minutes “Where the hell is your service panel?”
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks for the replies, everyone! I’m going to call this one case closed and proceed with my original intention of feeder from main to garage for a subpanel, which has already been discussed elsewhere. I had just wanted to look into possibility of killing a few birds with one stone, but, as has been pointed out here, this is impractical if not impossible, especially over a merely cosmetic issue.

Main panel upgrade in existing location from 100A to 200A forthcoming, though not urgent or anything. I may or may not pursue doing that one myself. I don’t know yet.

Thank you again!
 
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