replacing breaker box


Old 05-31-07, 02:40 PM
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replacing breaker box

I am planning on replacing my old 200 amp Federal Pacific main breaker box a new Square D 200 amp box, so I am not upgrading my service, just replacing my box. I am going to do the work myself and need some advice. Is there a safe way to do this without disconnecting the main power? Power company said that if they tuned the it off that it would be a day to turn it back on. If they turned it off on a Wednesday then it would be Thursday before they could turn it back on. I only need it off for about 2 hours to replace the main wires coming into box. Are there any tricks or ways to do this without turning the power off. I am very handy with this kinda of stuff so I would not have any issues with the actual work involved. Just do not want the power off for so long. Also they said it couldn't be donw over the weekend and that is when I was planning on doing the work. Thanks, MRT19
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Old 05-31-07, 02:46 PM
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No, you need to have the power company disconnect the power. Having the main wires moved over doesn't buy you much by itself. Take the day. Send the family somewhere else to stay for the night.
Old 05-31-07, 02:49 PM
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> Is there a safe way to do this without disconnecting the main power?

No; the power must be disconnected to do this safely.
Old 05-31-07, 05:47 PM
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If my wife had a dime everytime I said a project would take ...2 hrs, she would be rich.
Old 06-01-07, 01:42 AM
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I'll echo the others that it cannot be done SAFELY.

Another reason to have the utility disconnect and pull the meter is that the conductors from the meter to your present main breaker may not be long enough to properly reach the new panel's main breaker. Even if they are long enough it gives both you (load side) and the utility (line side) the opportunity to inspect the connections in the meter socket.
Old 06-01-07, 06:46 AM
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Another idea would be to contact an electrician. Many may not want to help unless they are doing the whole job, but you may find someone who you can pay for an hour or two of work to disconnect the service or pull the meter and then reconnect it later in the day. In my area, electricians do this all the time (with the appropriate training and protection).

Agreed - this is not something you'd want to try on your own.

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