Extending wire to new panel

Old 12-20-06, 12:21 AM
csharp's Avatar
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Lightbulb Extending wire to new panel

I'm extending and replacing some inside runs into a new panel (replacing with longer wire where convenient). The new panel is intentionally a couple feet away from the old location. I spoke with my electrician, and he mentioned that he would just put some junction boxes in, and drop ~4 runs into each, and wirenut them onto the extensions. While I know this is the proper way to do it, it seems like perhaps there is a more elegant solution.

I'm wondering if anyone is familiar with a terminal box that basically has several 1-to-1 type of connections for this type of application. It seems like it'd be much cleaner and easier to troubleshoot down the road.

Admittedly I spend most of my time in the data world, where we have 110 and 66 punchdown blocks for this type of thing. Pity you can't punch down 120vac into a block.

Old 12-20-06, 01:33 AM
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Hi csharp,

I completely identify with your view. There are many elegant and attractive connection solutions for low-voltage type conductors that you don't find with standard electrical wiring.

Any similar type of equipment for higher voltages would require code compliance - which may be one of the reasons it's uncommon. I can't say it doesn't exist, I just know that I've never found anything like it. Maybe some of the long time DIYers and/or Pro's know more.

I do know that you can use a plain panel box (no guts) with a screw-down cover and punch outs as a big j-box - rather than all those smaller ones. Might look nicer.

Best wishes!
Old 12-20-06, 01:50 AM
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There are such things, perhaps residential guys don't come across them too often , a piece of trough and put terminal strips in them and then number each wire with the cir # - keep in mind this trough will have live bus in it and need 3 ft of clearance in front of it for working purposes - but heck you could put a whole lot of wires in this and make it look really smart
Old 12-20-06, 03:00 AM
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There are numerous ways to accomplish what needs to be done. Connecting the extensions with a J-box and wire nuts is a practical and reasonably priced solution. Properly done it won't be a concern down the road for troubleshooting because it shouldn't be disturbed.

110 and 66 blocks were designed for telephone use and have managed to stay around for other uses. They were intended to be installed and left alone unless a line was moved or added, something that wasn't real common years ago. Their transition into data wiring causes issues once in a while as they seem to get disturbed frequently and the gas tight quality of the connection isn't preserved in some cases - making them a place to look for problems where they originally were probably the last place you might look.

At any rate, it would be hard to imagine a similar connection for heavy wire that would maintain a good contact with the movement that would come with any added work.

On the other hand the spring in a wire nut is shaped so that when it bites the wire the connection at that point is gas tight, something not necessarily true with a screw type connection. Screw connections can loosen over time even when done correctly.

Using bus bars in a residential setting for the aesthetics would be a complete waste of money and material. Keep in mind that what your electrician proposes, even though not an "elegant" solution, will likely work for the next 100 years with no attention. A quality job done with the normal everyday materials used in residential wiring results in an installation you seldom if ever need to get back into - until the next renovation or upgrade.

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