DIY Home Improvement Forum banner

1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hey all,

Recently had an engineer do an inspection on our house, as we are looking at selling. There were two items regarding electrical:

#1) Separate the ground and neutral wires to different buses on house and garage sub-panels, and make sure appropriately grounded. I think I can handle this one.

#2) Change breaker on main service panel from 200amp to 100amp because of undersized main wires coming in? (see pic and writeup). I called an electrician about this one and sent him the pictures...he said it's not a simple job, and wasn't sure if there's anything he could do. Anybody have any knowledge of this? I thought I'd just be able to replace the breaker...

It's never as simple as it seems!

Thanks for any help on this,
Mike.
 

Attachments

·
Naildriver
Joined
·
11,429 Posts
The neutrals and grounds will fall on the same buss bar in the home panel, but must be separated in the sub panel with the neutrals isolated. Two ground rods will be installed with a single run of #6 bare copper from the sub panel through to each rod.

As far as the main breaker, if it needs to be changed, you will need to permit the work and have the POCO remove the meter or disconnect it so the breaker can be replaced. Unsure how the 200 amp breaker was allowed in the first place. It is in most cases not a DIY project.
 

·
Member
Joined
·
1,181 Posts
I can't expand the picture large enough to tell, but is it a 200 amp breaker or a double 100 amp?

If it is a 200 that needs to be down-sized then discuss with an electrician weather changing the feeder wires to a larger gauge is a more feasible option.

Changing the breaker or feeder wires is NOT typically a diy project.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,356 Posts
What is the size of the breaker in the main panel feeding these sub panels?

If breaker in main is 100 amps or less the breaker in sub panel serve as disconnects only.
 

·
Very Stable Genius
Joined
·
4,309 Posts
There's other questionable stuff going on there. Polaris taps aren't part of
a clean professional installation IMO.

And what's with ?plastic? head? Is that hanging on an unterminated wire?
Or maybe that's a new type of wire nut for the millennials -)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the replies, everyone....I'll doublecheck on the breaker to make sure it's not actually a double 100, but I believe it is a single 200 amp.

hkstroud, I believe this is the main panel that's located on the outside of my garage, where the outside lines come in. There is the meter that is housed in separate compartment of the same panel, located just above what this picture shows, but I didn't open that part up.

I guess I'll start getting quotes from electricians. Darn, I was hoping there wasn't anything too major here!

CodeMatters, the little plastic lizard (snake?) made a sneak appearance...he's been hanging off our service panel for at least a couple years now. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,468 Posts
QUOTE - [ I was hoping there wasn't anything too major here! ]

What do you expect if you ask an electrician whats wrong with my panel !

:vs_laugh:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,356 Posts
What is shown will not be main panel. Open main and look for breaker feeding this disconnect.

Maybe just open all panels and show pictures.

What do you expect if you ask an electrician whats wrong with my panel !
That would be especially true sight unseen.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
14,025 Posts
An electrician said changing out the two pole breaker was not simple. Really??
 
  • Like
Reactions: mpoulton

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Well, I had two electrical contractors come up and look at the job. The breaker is an old Sqaure-D (type Q2MB) bolt on. The power company would have to come out to do a disconnect to be able to replace it, as it is connected directly up into the meter portion of the box (which is mounted on our detached garage). The harder part is the breaker is so old that it will be hard to find, and super expensive ($350) if I could find it (I've been searching on Ebay to no avail). Therefore we are probably going to have to replace the entire service entrance. Quote is right around $1000. Just to go from a 200 amp to 100 amp breaker! The other option would be to upgrade the wiring that goes from the panel down underground into the house, though that would probably be a bigger job than replacing the panel. Anybody know where I could find a type Q2MB 100 amp 2 pole breaker at a reasonable price?

Thanks!,
Mike.
 

Attachments

·
Remodel and New Build GC
Joined
·
9,812 Posts
If I understand correctly, it is the feeder from the meter-can disconnect to your "main distribution" panel that is undersized.

And, is that not feeder in conduit, or is it very far away.

Can you not replace that feeder.

Would not that be easier, and probably less expensive than antiquated breakers you can't find, or a new meter-can.

Furthermore, is not 200A a preferable service to have in your home for sale.... maybe not if the place does not need it.... but you never know who might want to add/on.

(And to our pro's, I've never run into a meter-can disconnect that was not a distribution panel also. Would you consider the meter-can disconnect as your main.... would neutral and ground isolate untll the meter-can disconnect..... or would you consider your first distribution panel with a main breaker as your main..... just confused.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
You are correct, we could replace the feeder with 200 amp rated wire, though not sure if that would be easier. The wire goes from the meter can into a conduit, down 4-6? feet or so, and crosses underground 12 feet or so to the house where it enters the basement wall to the house sub-panel. To do it without major digging, I guess I'd have see if I could pull the existing lines through to the basement, with a string attached to pull the new wires though. If something went wrong, though, it would really suck to not be able to pull the new set of wires through.
 

·
Remodel and New Build GC
Joined
·
9,812 Posts
You are correct, we could replace the feeder with 200 amp rated wire, though not sure if that would be easier. The wire goes from the meter can into a conduit, down 4-6? feet or so, and crosses underground 12 feet or so to the house where it enters the basement wall to the house sub-panel. To do it without major digging, I guess I'd have see if I could pull the existing lines through to the basement, with a string attached to pull the new wires though. If something went wrong, though, it would really suck to not be able to pull the new set of wires through.
That is the beauty and one of the advantages of conduit.....assuming it is big enough for your feed.......:smile:

That does not sound like a difficult pull..... have you asked one of the local electricians for a price to do it.
 

·
Remodel and New Build GC
Joined
·
9,812 Posts
You are correct, we could replace the feeder with 200 amp rated wire, though not sure if that would be easier. The wire goes from the meter can into a conduit, down 4-6? feet or so, and crosses underground 12 feet or so to the house where it enters the basement wall to the house sub-panel. To do it without major digging, I guess I'd have see if I could pull the existing lines through to the basement, with a string attached to pull the new wires though. If something went wrong, though, it would really suck to not be able to pull the new set of wires through.
That is the beauty and one of the advantages of conduit.....assuming it is big enough for your feed.......:smile:

That does not sound like a difficult pull..... have you asked one of the local electricians for a price to do it.


(I suggest you use pulling "rope".... not string...:wink2:

Someone did it before...No?
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top