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Swapping out main breaker in 200A box for 60A main breaker

Swapping out main breaker in 200A box for 60A main breaker

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Old 03-05-09, 03:16 AM
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Swapping out main breaker in 200A box for 60A main breaker

I am still in the process of upgrading my electricity, waiting till it gets warmer out. Anyways, I have a brand new GE 200A panel with 200A main sitting in my basement. I want to do the panel upgrade (from fuse box) first before getting the service upgraded (currently 60A).

Can I swap out the 200A main for a 60A main so I can do this conversion, then when I am ready to upgrade my service, swap the 200A main back into the panel?

Thanks.
 
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Old 03-05-09, 07:36 AM
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Not that familiar with GE, but I doubt that the 60 will have the same shape or mounting as a standard main breaker.

You could probably mount a standard 2 pole 60 and attach the wires to it to backfeed the panel on a temporary basis. Backfed breakers should have a hold down bracket but again I doubt if it will be listed for use in that panel.
 
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Old 03-05-09, 08:22 AM
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Originally Posted by pcboss View Post
Not that familiar with GE, but I doubt that the 60 will have the same shape or mounting as a standard main breaker.

You could probably mount a standard 2 pole 60 and attach the wires to it to backfeed the panel on a temporary basis. Backfed breakers should have a hold down bracket but again I doubt if it will be listed for use in that panel.
Thanks for the reply. I wasnt sure if it would fit either, the 200amp main is huge. For backfed, you mean putting a 60amp into the panel in a regular breaker slot and running it throught that, then feeding it into the 200 main? will that pass inspection from the city? i suppose it would if they understood it was temporary...

the other thing i was thinking about is buying a temporary 60amp lug with a couple of spaces, not too expensive i think...

like this: Product Information Error Page
 
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Old 03-05-09, 08:31 AM
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A backfed breaker has the power coming in through the screw terminals instead of the buss conections. The power then goes into the buss. You would keep the main breaker off while backfeeding the panel.

You should call your inspection agency for their opinion.
 
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Old 03-05-09, 08:43 AM
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You could temporarily use the 200a panel as a sub panel assuming you can safely feed a 60a fuse protected circuit from your old fuse box. In that case you could go to the 200 amp breaker for your new box since it would act only as a a cut off. The gotcha may be no way to safely run a 60 amp circuit from the old fuse box. Plan "B" get a small 60 amp panel (not that expensive) and replace the fuse box with that and feed the 200a panel from there.
 
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Old 03-15-09, 06:32 AM
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Thanks for all the replies. I think what I may do is use what I have. I was going to keep the service going into the 60amp fuse box (pictured left) then feed a double pole fuse (60amp, if i can find it...) to the breaker box. The only problem is if I take down the sub-panel on the right, do you think putting the panel lower and closer to the sink (under the beam) would be a problem? The issue is that the main feed is coming into the house through the cinder blocks (right behind the fuse panel), so I cannot move it over or at least not too far. Ignore the free roaming romex, just a couple outlets I've already started running :-)

Comments/suggestions?

Thanks.

 
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Old 03-15-09, 06:56 AM
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You might run into a workspace violation depending on the headroom under the beam. You would also need to rerun at least part of the conduits over to the new panel.

If I were doing the job I would just replace everything at once and avoid duplicating efforts.
 
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Old 03-15-09, 08:06 AM
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Originally Posted by pcboss View Post
You might run into a workspace violation depending on the headroom under the beam. You would also need to rerun at least part of the conduits over to the new panel.

If I were doing the job I would just replace everything at once and avoid duplicating efforts.
That's the problem, I can't do everything at once and keep it at code for the inspector and keep power. My job depends on me having power. The electric company won't upgrade my line unless I replace the breaker box first. 60amp into 200amp breaker box isn't going to work. i called and they will not pass a backfed breaker. my plan was to temporarily mount my breaker panel, keep the 60amp going into it, run a feed from 60amp fuse into the breaker box, and finish the wiring.
 
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Old 03-16-09, 10:41 AM
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This looks like a very straightforward upgrade. I could do this cover to cover before lunch, so with adequate planning I bet you can get it done in a single work day. Definitely have a helper too.

1) Get up early and have all your old circuits pulled out by the time the power company starts service calls at 7 or 8.

2) Have an early appointment to get disconnected first thing in the A.M.

3) Once disconnected, tear out the old panel and meter can.

4) Mount new panel, conduit, meter can, service conductors, and electrodes -- shouldn't be any later than noon by now.

5) Call for inspection / reconnection or get mid-afternoon appointments ahead of time if at all possible.

6) Reinstall branch circuits while you wait for reconnection. Even if you don't get all the branch circuits installed, you should have enough done to get the main reconnected to get power on to critical circuits before the end of the day.

Some tips to save time -- you might be able to completely mount your new meter can and mast right beside the old one the day before. If not, you can have your conduit cut and fittings like the weather head already glued. You can drive your new ground rods and water main bond the day before so all that's left is to hook it up. Have a sheet of mounting plywood precut to fit the new panel. Have all your tools and parts ready and laid out if possible.
 
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