Two-Family home into a one family.

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  #1  
Old 09-09-06, 06:35 PM
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Two-Family home into a one family.

Here is my question. I just bought a two family home which has two 100 amp panels. I am planning on removing one meter and making the upstairs panel the "subpanel." To do this I was going to install a 50 amp breaker use 6-3 wiring and then wire that into the entry feed of the other panel. Is this the correct way to do this? Thanks for the imput. I have read that this can be done and seems to be as simple as installing a new breaker. Eventually once I have more money I want to install a 200amp entry.
 
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  #2  
Old 09-09-06, 06:51 PM
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What is the service entrance and meter loction now?
Are the meters outside or inside?
You could make the meter location the "main" and treat the 2 panels as subs. this would require some modifications and expence.
Or you could just save up and arrange with the POCO for 1 bill now.

Others will be here shortly with more thoughts.
 
  #3  
Old 09-09-06, 07:05 PM
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Meters are outside and I just bought the house and am very short on money. To be able to do this myself would be great. 100 amps of power will be more than enough for what I am doing. I have a gas hotwater heater, and gas boiler system for heat.
 
  #4  
Old 09-09-06, 07:11 PM
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Work with the power co. They may install a new meter and a jumper so you have 1 bill. Start there.
 
  #5  
Old 09-10-06, 07:53 AM
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Originally Posted by tabarnes19
Here is my question. I just bought a two family home which has two 100 amp panels. I am planning on removing one meter and making the upstairs panel the "subpanel." To do this I was going to install a 50 amp breaker use 6-3 wiring and then wire that into the entry feed of the other panel. Is this the correct way to do this? Thanks for the imput. I have read that this can be done and seems to be as simple as installing a new breaker. Eventually once I have more money I want to install a 200amp entry.
Feeding a sub-panel with a 6/3 w/ground copper cable (4 wires) is perfectly OK.
The 6/3 feeder must be protected with a 50A (or smaller) breaker (or fuses) where it receives it's supply (main panel).
The not so simple part is that the sub-panel must have the neutrals and ground wires isolated from each other.
Since this is a existing 100A Main, I'll bet that it has a 3 conductor service cable feeding it and that all of the grounds and neutrals are bonded to each other and the enclosure.
If so, this will have to be changed, and unless your pretty handy, you may get in over your head.
steve
 
  #6  
Old 09-10-06, 08:04 AM
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I would like to see what some of the other experts who visit this site think of this idea. Again it is not really a DIY install, but I am not sure that the OP will find one.

If the panels are located side by side, Install a troff under the meters and split bolt the wires to the two panels. I have a couple questions on this myself even though it is my idea. First is if the two main breakers would meet the six handle rule, being in seperate load centers. Second is if the building would calculate out to only needing a 100 amp service.

Some of you may see other flaws with my plan, so blast away.
 
  #7  
Old 09-10-06, 08:58 AM
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As long as the disconnect switches are grouped together, and IMO they are if installed side by side, and do not require more than 6 movements of the hand (no more than 6 breaker handles) to disconnect the service conductors, the installation is OK.
As far as the 100A feed to (2) 100 A panels, IMO, the service conductors must be large enough to supply the total calculated load without being overloaded. If in the example the calculated load is 100A or less, feeding both 100A panels with (1) set of 100A service conductors would be allowed.
steve
Just re-read your post again and my answer is not revelant to the question that you asked.
If your talking about joining the (2) service entry cables outside in one meter enclosure and using this one meter to feed each panel with seperate service entry cables...NO...This is not allowed.
230.40 (2005 NEC): "Each service drop or lateral shall supply only one set of service-entrance conductors".
My first answer was about using only one set of 100 Amp service entry cables to feed (2) 100A panels. The other set of service entry cables would be disconnected and not used.
steve
 

Last edited by hillbilly ace; 09-10-06 at 09:09 AM.
  #8  
Old 09-10-06, 09:26 AM
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Can someone explain the easiest and cheapest way to achieve what I am looking for and the give me the steps needed to achieve this.

Again I am looking to save money on my utility bill so instead of having 2 service charges I would only have one. The two panels are both 100a and are right next to each other. How can I utilize them and use only one meter?
 
  #9  
Old 09-10-06, 09:44 AM
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Calculate the load on each panel, Take the lower of the 2- make this a sub panel from the other (providing the calcs for that 1- will meet the requirements) have the meter removed.
There realy is no cheap ,quick ,easy fix to this. It will take some work and knowledge.
Probably more than the avg. DIY may under take.
Talk to the local inspector and a local electrician. You need all the facts and it may not cost as much as you think.
 
  #10  
Old 09-10-06, 10:06 AM
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Originally Posted by tabarnes19
Can someone explain the easiest and cheapest way to achieve what I am looking for and the give me the steps needed to achieve this.

Again I am looking to save money on my utility bill so instead of having 2 service charges I would only have one. The two panels are both 100a and are right next to each other. How can I utilize them and use only one meter?
Safety should be your first concern when talking electrical...not easiest and cheapest.
Is there a easy and cheap way to do what you want...Yes, there always is.
Would it be safe...Maybe, probably not.
Would it be code compliant...No
Will I tell you how...No.
Not being a smart a**, but the change that you're talking about needs to be done RIGHT...and....at the lowest cost.
Right for you and your family's sake.
At Lowest cost for your budget's sake.
Which is more important?
 
  #11  
Old 09-10-06, 10:19 AM
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How many sq feet is the house? Give 1st floor and 2nd floor seperate.

Do you have electric ranges, and where?
Do you have electric dryers, and where?

What other large electrical appliances do you have and where?

If a 100 amp service can support the entire house, and 50 amps can support the other panel, then IMHO the most cost effective way to go is to turn one panel into a sub panel and remove the existing feeder from its meter.

As pointed out, the grounds and neutrals will need to be seperated in the sub panel.
 
  #12  
Old 09-10-06, 10:25 AM
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We will have one dryer which needs to be installed and that will go to the main panel. The one range is a gas range so no burden per se. The upstairs could easily support 50 amps, will be mostly lights and a computer. That is why I am thinking of making one a subpanel at 50a. How would I go about seperating the grounds and neutrals?
 
  #13  
Old 09-10-06, 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by tabarnes19
How would I go about seperating the grounds and neutrals?
The easiest way is probably to buy an extra ground bar for your panel install it and move all the bare ground wires to it.

Then remove the bond screw, or bond bar that is currently connecting the neutral bus to the panel enclosure.
 
  #14  
Old 09-10-06, 01:16 PM
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This presumes that there are 3 existing Service Conductors between the "load" teminals of an outdoor meter and the "line" terminals of a Service Panel equipped with a "Main" breaker.

The meter will be removed from service, and the Service Conductors will be removed.

Intall "Feeder" conductors which at one end terminate on the "Line" terminals of the "Former" Service panel, and at the other end terminate on a 2-pole C-B in the "Metered" panel , the 2-pole C-B having a rating equal to the ampacity of the "Feeder " Conductors.

An Equiptment Grounding Conductor(EGC) must be included in the Wiring Method used for routing the Feeder Conductors between the two panels.

"Bonded" together in the "Former" S-P are-- the Feeder EGC-- the EGC's of the circuits extending from the panel-- the metallic surface of the enclosure. All Neutral connections in the panel must isolated from any & all connections-to-Ground .

Good Luck, & Learn & Enjoy from the Experience!!!
 
  #15  
Old 09-14-06, 07:17 PM
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Originally Posted by lectriclee
What is the service entrance and meter loction now?
Are the meters outside or inside?
You could make the meter location the "main" and treat the 2 panels as subs. this would require some modifications and expence.
Or you could just save up and arrange with the POCO for 1 bill now.

Others will be here shortly with more thoughts.
My grand parents had a duplex home that they eventually combined the two halves and had two meters on it. Eventually they got the billing straightened out but for a while the PoCo charged them double charges on all the things they like to tag on on to the bill plus the poco had a minimum charge for electricity. For a while their bill was twice the minimum plus twice everything else but they did get it worked out.
 
  #16  
Old 09-16-06, 08:38 PM
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Ok folks I am about to close on this house and have decided to get an electrician for the work. Here is a question I have since I am a relative novice at 'Major" electrical things. In the outside Meter enclosure there is one line that enters and there is two meters in that box. From there 2 lines run into the two 100 amp panels. I am assuming that the main service entrance is of two hundred amps and is split.

Can the electrician at the meter tie into one meter and have me maintain two 100 amp services? In essence a 200 amp service? If so it seems relatively easy, for an expierenced person and how much would I look at for an average charge on that?
 
  #17  
Old 09-16-06, 10:38 PM
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NO, And it's not "relatively" easy. 1 feeder and 1-sub panel is what you will probably have. In the end you made a great choice.
Let the pro do it.In the long run what you saved in time asking,trying messing up and doing more than twice,will most assuredly pay for itself. Plus you won't get hurt and you will enjoy your new home.

You made the right decision.
 
  #18  
Old 09-17-06, 03:31 AM
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Originally Posted by tabarnes19
Can the electrician at the meter tie into one meter and have me maintain two 100 amp services? In essence a 200 amp service? If so it seems relatively easy, for an expierenced person and how much would I look at for an average charge on that?
Your existing meters are probably not rated for 200 amps. They are probably 100 amps each. Of coarse I cannot be sure having never seen the equipment in person. I it best to let your electrician discuss the optioins available to you, in person.

Cost for work is very reigonal. Every time this comes up, even on the professioinal forums, the topic starts a hot debate. The cost of doing business is different in different markets, so it is not fair to you for us to guess what we might charge in other places. The fact that none of us has see the work site etc, makes it that much harder to give a relyable answer.
 
  #19  
Old 09-17-06, 04:31 AM
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[QUOTE=hillbilly ace]
If your talking about joining the (2) service entry cables outside in one meter enclosure and using this one meter to feed each panel with seperate service entry cables...NO...This is not allowed.
230.40 (2005 NEC): "Each service drop or lateral shall supply only one set of service-entrance conductors".

I posted this last week, you must have missed it.
steve
 
  #20  
Old 09-17-06, 04:49 AM
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You are correct steve, but the OP said that there is one drop to a double meter can. Then from the load side of the meters to each main panel. The question was if the two loads in the meter can could be bugged together.

I see no problem with this if the meter can is rated for 200 amps on each meter socket, and the equipment is still in good condition. The problem is if the meter is rated for a 200 amp feed, and only 100 amps on each meter socket. Since the OP wants to eliminate the second meter.

230.40 exception 2 (commonly called the six handle rule in electric speak)
 
  #21  
Old 09-17-06, 05:33 AM
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You're right, somehow I mixed up the original post (panels in seperate locations) with the later question about panels located side by side.
If the panels are located side by side and each individual set of service entry conductors has ampacity (230.42) equal to the non-continuous loads plus 125% of the continuous loads connected to it, it would be OK as allowed by 230.40 Exception 2.
steve
 
  #22  
Old 09-17-06, 01:14 PM
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"2 loads spliced together in the meter-can."

If this results in two sets of Service Conductors suppying a single-occupancy dwelling, I percieve two Code violations.

The first is utilizing the meter-socket as an enclosure for splices.

Art 300.15 , Boxes, where Required, reads----- "Where the Wiring Method is----- ( cables)---- a box shall be installed at each conductor splice-point"

Because a meter-socket is designed for meter-connections only, it does not qualify as a " (splice) box "

Art 314.16, Number of Conductors, could be used to cite a violation----- "Boxes shall be of sufficient size to provide free space for all conductors--"

The other violation is two sets of Service Conductors to a single family dwelling.

Art 230.40. Number of (Sets) of Service Entrance Conductors,

Exception #3 reads----"A single-family dwelling , AND A SEPERATE STRUCTURE, shall be permitted to to have one set of Service Entrance Conductors run EACH from a single Service-drop."
 
  #23  
Old 09-18-06, 07:35 AM
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PATTBA....Good call on the splices in the meter box. The OP would have to set a JB beside the meter box and splice the wires there. From there he would have to run (1) set of conductors to the meter.
I still believe (now) that running two sets of service entry conductors is allowed by 230.40 Exception 2, unless the panels share any loads. Since the service originally supplied two seperate residences, I can't imagine this being the case. If the two panels do share any loads (such as suppling a 240V load with one single pole breaker in each panel or supplying a 120V load with the hot wire from one panel and the neutral from the other), then using two sets of entrance conductors is not a good idea and is not allowed.. The individual loads have to be supplied (hot and neutral) from the same panel, no exceptions.
steve
 
  #24  
Old 09-18-06, 09:30 AM
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My thought was a meter socket with double lugs on the load side. But i did some research and i can only find them in the 400 amp model. I did not get to looking at the actual lug size, since the meter size will be different.
 
  #25  
Old 09-18-06, 12:10 PM
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230.40, Number of "Sets", Service Entrance Conductors (SEC's) --- Exception 2 reads---

"ONE SET of SEC's shall be permitted to supply several (???) ( enclosures with a Service Dis-connecting Means (SDM) )

An "Set" of SEC's with an ampacity of 800 amps suppling 4 SDM's , each SDM rated at 200 amps and in each seperate enclosures , would be two 500MCM's in parallel for each "leg",the ampacity of a 500MCM conductor = 400 amps.

Please note that the "Set", for a 240/120 Single-Phase Service, would consist of six 500MCM conductors.

Each "leg" of each of the four 200 amp SDM, #000 conductors = 200 amps, would connect to two 500 MCM SEC's.

Dividing the 500 MCM SEC's into two "Sets", each set supplying two 200 amp SDM's, appears to be a violation.
 
  #26  
Old 09-18-06, 01:37 PM
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Exception No. 2: Where two to six service disconnecting
means in separate enclosures are grouped at one location
and supply separate loads from one service drop or lateral,
one set of service-entrance conductors shall be permitted to
supply each or several such service equipment enclosures.

In the example I posted there would only be still one service to the building. But this exception says that that one service can supply up to six main switches.

If it were a 400 amp service using the sq d meter I found three 400 could come down from the drop. two hot one neutral.
from the load of the meter three 2/0 copper could run to each panel. all wires in example are copper. adjust for aluminum.
 
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Old 09-18-06, 06:46 PM
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So is this what I read, (I obviousley haven't studied yet)? One could have a 200A service drop,200A meter bucket, load side nippled to a junction,then sent to 2- 100A panels? all on 3-wire? Grounds of course sized appropriatley.
(big picture only, Minor details not withstanding)
And with this where does the upgrade, AFCIs' etc fall into play?
 
  #28  
Old 09-19-06, 04:48 AM
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Originally Posted by lectriclee
So is this what I read, (I obviousley haven't studied yet)? One could have a 200A service drop,200A meter bucket, load side nippled to a junction,then sent to 2- 100A panels? all on 3-wire? Grounds of course sized appropriatley.
(big picture only, Minor details not withstanding)
And with this where does the upgrade, AFCIs' etc fall into play?
If the (2) 100 amp panels were located side by side (grouped), In my opinion it would be a code compliant installation..
There wouldn't (that I see) be any problem with the AFCI or GFCI.
I used to see this a lot on older farm houses . They started out with a 60A Main fuse panel which filled up quickly, got a electric stove and added another 30 amp main beside the first, got a hot water heater and added another 30A main beside the second, ran out of 120V circuits and added another 60A main fuse panel, etc...up to 6 mains. All of these mains were usually individually fed by old (fabric covered) copper SE cable and most are (were) located on the back porch.
And yes, they were all spliced in the meter panel (bugged on), which is not (now) allowed.
There are still a lot of these installations around.
(IMO) The main point (requirement) of the exception (2) is that the seperate (main) panels power SEPERATE LOADS.
It's basically two seperate main panels sitting side by side, powered by two seperate service cables (that are fed from the same source) and supplying completely different loads.
I don't see a problem and in my opinion, it is allowed.
steve
 
  #29  
Old 09-19-06, 05:24 AM
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"And with this where does the upgrade, AFCIs' etc fall into play?"

I do not see how this has anything to do with other requirements of the code. All the wires of a branch circuit still must originate at one panel, etc.

"In my opinion it would be a code compliant installation.."

And it is the opinion of Mike Holts course writers. I have been trying to find an online link, but have not yet found one. In the training they show the proper way to run the grounding electrode conductor for this type of installation. Actually there are a couple ways.

Jeff
 
  #30  
Old 09-19-06, 06:30 PM
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Electrician called me tonight and said he would do the job for $100 with me suppling the 50 amp breaker. Just as I had originally thought he is going to make one a subpanel for the other. DO you think 100 is too much? It does not seem like such a large job.
 
  #31  
Old 09-20-06, 02:06 AM
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that price is dirt cheep.
 
  #32  
Old 09-20-06, 04:43 AM
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Red face

Originally Posted by tabarnes19
Electrician called me tonight and said he would do the job for $100 with me suppling the 50 amp breaker. Just as I had originally thought he is going to make one a subpanel for the other. DO you think 100 is too much? It does not seem like such a large job.
Does that $100 include a new 4 wire feeder to the sub-panel? (#6 cu.)
steve
 
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