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Wanting to upgrade service. Main question is about Grandfathing

Wanting to upgrade service. Main question is about Grandfathing

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Old 04-13-07, 10:43 AM
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Wanting to upgrade service. Main question is about Grandfathing

OK , so I am doing a nice renovation to my downstairs family room. The room is completly gutted. I currently have a 100 amp 32 circuit panel as my main panel located in the utility room in a closet. This closet is adjacent to the room I am renovationg. Now I know the code prohibits panels being located in a closet but the house was built in 1962 so according to the inspector at the time of CO inspection it has been grandfathered. The panel is located on an exterior wall with my back patio located on the other side. I would love to get rid of the meter(move meter and service entrance to another area of the house that is not used for entertaining) being it is a bit of an annoyance because of many reasons. 1. My meter has only been read 2 times in the three years I have owned my home. They may owe me money at this point (I know i can send the readings in myself) 2) The service is being fed with service entrance cable that comes from one side of the house and travels about 30 feet along the roofline and then down to the meter. Very unsightly. 3) Upgrading to a 200 amp service is a nice selling point to a home these days. So getting back to the original point I was thinking of installing a 200 amp service on the garage side of the house and then making the current panel a 100 amp sub. Now would be the time to do it being I could easilly run the counduit with all the sheetrock removed. My big question is being the panel is now currently located in a closet do you guys think that the inspector would make me relocate it. If so the whole project becomes a headache as far as refeeding existing circuits and is really alot more of a headache then its worth. The bottom line is the panel was just installed in a rediculous spot 45 years ago and i would like to make the exterior of the house nicer looking. I dont need the 200 amp panel its 2100 square feet with a 400 square foot garage only big draw right now is central air, rest of utilities are gas. Thanks in advance for any advice.
 
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  #2  
Old 04-13-07, 10:51 AM
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It is not illegal to have a circuit breaker panel inside a closet. It cannot be inside a clothes closet, but it can be inside a utility closet, as long as specific clearances are maintained.

Whether or not an inspector would allow you to change this to a sub panel is up to the inspector. You would have to discuss this with him or her.

Have you considered relocating the closet? Place the panel on a wall of the family room. You can cover it with a picture if you want. Or, place a dummy door in front of it. A 32 inch door flat against the wall and the panel is legal. When you open the door, you have the required panel clearances, and with the door closed you don;t see the panel.
 
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Old 04-13-07, 10:56 AM
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A panel can be in a closet so long as there are no flammables in the closet. You also need to maintain clearance in front of the panel. You must have 36" deep, 30" wide clearance in front of the panel; think of a refrigerator box that must be able to fit in front of the panel. Perhaps removing the closet and flush-finishing the panel in the wall is a good solution.

Adding a 200A service and changing your existing panel to a subpanel is a really big job.
 
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Old 04-13-07, 11:18 AM
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the closet is 32 inches wide and 60 inches deep so the size isnt an issue. Its used primarilly for brooms, mops, vaccums and such. One more question. The current panel has a main breaker. Would it be legal to feed this sub with a 100 amp 2 pole breaker off the new 200 amp mainpanel to the main breaker on the sub? Or can it only have one means of disconnect?
 
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Old 04-13-07, 11:26 AM
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This panel needs a main breaker whether you want to use it as a sub panel as you suggest or if it remains a main panel.
 
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Old 04-17-07, 12:58 AM
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A main breaker serves several different code requirements. These requirements include a service (or feeder) disconnecting means (section 230.70 or 225.31), load side overcurrent protection for ungrounded service conductors (section 230.90) and panelboard overcurrent protection (section 408.36).

All of these requirements must have been met before reaching a sub panel in the same structure as the main disconnect. Therefore, no main breaker is required in the sub panel.
 
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