Go Back  DoItYourself.com Community Forums > Electrical, AC & DC. Electronic Equipment and Computers > Electrical - AC & DC
Reload this Page >

Panel Swap - Tips from the pros or those that have done it

Panel Swap - Tips from the pros or those that have done it


  #1  
Old 03-29-09, 12:07 PM
L
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 62
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Panel Swap - Tips from the pros or those that have done it

Right now I have a 100 amp fuse panel, and I am doing a direct swap for a 100 amp circuit setup.

I am going to get a permit and have the meter pulled. I am fairly comfortable working with electrical, but I am not always aware of the codes that can make or break an inspection.

I will have all parts nessessary in case the lines are too short (junction boxes, marettes, wire etc)

My main concern is things like

-What torque do the main feeds need to be screwed down to in the service panel
-What kinds of things do the inspectors usually look into detail about
-Any changes I have to do to the electrical system when going from a 30 year old fuse to circtuit setup?

I just don't want to be stuck and have my power off for longer than its required because I didn't pass inspection.
 
  #2  
Old 03-29-09, 01:36 PM
pcboss's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Maryland
Posts: 15,389
Received 148 Votes on 131 Posts
The proper torque will be included with the panel instructions either in a booklet or on the label inside the panel.

At least here in the Us you would need to bring the grounding and bonding up to todays standards. You could check with your building officials for guidance.

Pay attention to any 240 volt multi wire circuits so that the hots fall on oposite legs so you don't overload the neutral.
 
  #3  
Old 03-29-09, 03:21 PM
Tolyn Ironhand's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 14,960
Received 594 Votes on 510 Posts
Around here we preform a panel upgrade and energize the new panel when we are ready. We do not need to wait for the inspector. The inspector does not come until we call when we are done which can be days later. (Most cases we can get it done in a day not counting the below upgrades)

As pointed out you may be required to upgrade your home with receptacle placement, GFCI's outside, in kitchens and bathrooms, Grounding of lights above sinks, and/or smoke/CO detectors. These are not requirements of the Code but are requirements of the city.

Grounding the new service will be closely looked at. You will need to install a ground rod and bond the water service at the point of entry of the home on both sides of the water meter.

Also be sure you bond the panel to the neutral buss if this is your main disconnect.

It may be easier to just replace the main wires if they are too short.

Lastly some areas require to replace the meter box with one with a bypass handle. At least it is required by the POCO here.
 
  #4  
Old 03-29-09, 04:16 PM
B
Member
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 1,312
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I don't know how things work in Canada, but around here, the electric company has "Electric Service Requirements" which cover all sorts of stuff.

For example overhead lines can't be over a roof where someone could contact them (specific rules/exceptions), service within certain distances of other things like a gas meter, etc.

Best to contact your electric company and have someone come out and look at your electric service. Tell them what you plan to do and ask if you will need to change anything from the way it is now.

Then take pictures of everything and take it to your electrical inspector. Tell him what you plan to do, ask if this will be OK.

Basically run this by these folks BEFOREHAND and they can tell you if you will be required to change/update something which you were not expecting to change.

Then to be on the safe side, find out where you can rent a generator should you need one. Find out how late they are open. If these are usually available.

Perhaps starting this project on a Monday would be a good idea, then 4 business days following!

Better to not be in a rush, be able to run some stuff off a generator for awhile and take your time doing things right if something does not pass inspection.

An alternative is to install a whole new service next to an existing service, then get this inspected and passed, then the electric company energizes the new service, then you move your house wires over to the new service. With this it would be easier to upgrade to a larger service like 200 amp.

Take pictures of everything before going to the inspector's office, especially where you plan to install ground rods and existing grounds - nearby cold water pipes, etc.
 
  #5  
Old 03-29-09, 04:22 PM
B
Member
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 1,312
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
P.S. As to the torque, be sure to apply anti-oxidant goop to the main wires if they are aluminum. I use an old toothbrush.

Have a torque wrench and you can get hex sockets at many auto parts stores. Might want to remove a hex screw from the panel before buying the hex socket. Be sure the neutral takes the same size.
 
  #6  
Old 03-29-09, 07:01 PM
L
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 62
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Thanks for the help.

What about the lugs on the meter base? Are they a standard size? Im just curious in case I have to run a longer feed from the meter to the panel when I do the swap.
 
  #7  
Old 03-29-09, 07:39 PM
Tolyn Ironhand's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 14,960
Received 594 Votes on 510 Posts
They are a normal size. 9/16" or 5/8" socket.
 
  #8  
Old 03-29-09, 08:19 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,575
Received 15 Votes on 13 Posts
Originally Posted by loudsubz View Post
Thanks for the help.

What about the lugs on the meter base? Are they a standard size? Im just curious in case I have to run a longer feed from the meter to the panel when I do the swap.
Also if you must work in the meter base and they only pulled the meter be very careful. Only one side is dead. You might want to ask them to disconnect at the pole.
 
  #9  
Old 03-30-09, 04:28 AM
L
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 62
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by ray2047 View Post
Also if you must work in the meter base and they only pulled the meter be very careful. Only one side is dead. You might want to ask them to disconnect at the pole.
Good point, I would not feel comfortable working on it like that.

As for the meter base, is there a torque value for that as well?
 
  #10  
Old 03-30-09, 08:38 AM
I
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Near Lansing, Michigan
Posts: 10,941
Received 45 Votes on 43 Posts
Originally Posted by loudsubz View Post
As for the meter base, is there a torque value for that as well?
If it's not printed on a label inside the meter base, go with about the same as your panel recommends. Tight, but not crushing the wires. Note that torque values on electrical panels are usually given in inch-pounds whereas a mechanic's wrench might be calibrated in foot-pounds.
 
  #11  
Old 03-30-09, 07:16 PM
B
Member
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 1,312
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Good point (inch pounds)!

And you will never guess where you can convert inch pounds to foot pounds....

Google!

Search for...

12 inch pounds to foot pounds

or click here for same...
12 inch pounds to foot pounds - Google Search
 
  #12  
Old 05-03-09, 06:34 PM
L
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 62
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Tolyn Ironhand View Post
They are a normal size. 9/16" or 5/8" socket.
Do you know the torque specs on the meter base as well?
 
  #13  
Old 05-03-09, 06:48 PM
F
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: NE Wis / Paris France{ In France for now }
Posts: 4,807
Received 2 Votes on 2 Posts
Originally Posted by loudsubz View Post
Do you know the torque specs on the meter base as well?
It is pretty much the same as interal load center lugs IIRC i think about 110 inch pounds or more I don't have the chart with me.

But watch out some meter socket and some load center do required hex wrench as well so keep it in your mind with this most common hex size useally are 5/16, 11/32,3/8 then half inch IIRC there is one more size but not often used.

Merci,Marc
 
  #14  
Old 05-04-09, 05:54 AM
L
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 62
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by french277V View Post
It is pretty much the same as interal load center lugs IIRC i think about 110 inch pounds or more I don't have the chart with me.

But watch out some meter socket and some load center do required hex wrench as well so keep it in your mind with this most common hex size useally are 5/16, 11/32,3/8 then half inch IIRC there is one more size but not often used.

Merci,Marc
thank you. I am going to buy a set of sae hex bits today for use with my torque wrench.
 
  #15  
Old 05-09-09, 07:09 AM
L
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 62
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
thanks for all the help everyone.

Panel swap worked out great. Passed ESA inspection and the whole ordeal only took around 4hrs from start to finish. (had electricity back on around 1:30)

This was the before:



And after:

 
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: