Changing panel to one with more spaces, circuits


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Old 02-18-10, 07:49 AM
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Changing panel to one with more spaces, circuits

I have decided to change out my panel in order to increase the number of circuits and spaces. Currently I have a Siemens G2020MB1100 and would like to use as many of my current breakers as possible. The new panel I am considering is a Siemens G3040MB1200. Here are a few pictures of my current panel:


A close up of the feeder wires coming from the outside main panel:


Anything here suggests that my new panel selection would have issues? Thanks in advance for your help.
 
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Old 02-18-10, 08:17 AM
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There should be no problem with the replacement as long as the upstream breaker feeding this panel is a 100A.

The layout of the new panel is almost identical to the old panel with the notable exception that the main breaker lugs are located in the vertical position above the bus bars and the main breaker spans the top of both columns. However given the length of conductors you have available I don't think it will be problem reaching the lugs.

A couple hints that will make this job much smoother:

1) Label all the wires before you unhook them.
2) Remember to isolate the ground and neutral bars in the new panel by removing the bond.
3) Leave the clamps attached to the wires, and only remove the locknut from the inside. If you punch out the same KOs on the new box, the wires should line right up into the new box.

What do those red wires go to from the tandems on the lower right? I only ask because a red wire could be from a multiwire circuit, and multiwire circuits with tandem breakers can be an unsafe combination. Could you provide a zoomed in shot of that area?
 
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Old 02-18-10, 08:35 AM
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What do those red wires go to from the tandems on the lower right?
They appear to be the primary leads from the doorbell transformer. One goes to the circuit breaker and the other goes to the neutral bus.
 
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Old 02-18-10, 12:55 PM
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Again, If all you want is more spaces why not just another sub panel to the left of this one? All you would need is a 2" nipple between the two panels and a 100 amp breaker feeding the new panel. The 2" nipple will have plenty of space to relocate 7 existing circuits to the new panel.
 
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Old 02-18-10, 02:07 PM
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Originally Posted by ibpooks View Post
2) Remember to isolate the ground and neutral bars in the new panel by removing the bond.
What do those red wires go to from the tandems on the lower right?
I might not have the vocabulary correct, but does this picture of my panel show the ground and neutral bars connected? Or is this something else? The red wires are indeed for the doorbell transformer.
 
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Old 02-18-10, 02:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Tolyn Ironhand View Post
Again, If all you want is more spaces why not just another sub panel to the left of this one?
I've thought of that. My concern is that there isn't enough slack in the wires to move them to the left and into a new panel. I didn't see any type of service loop above this panel.

Much of the panel wiring was done after the condo was built. The previous owner had central air installed and finished the second floor. That is when all these split breakers were installed. The panel is pretty stuffed, and there isn't much in the way of extra wire length. I will give it another hard look though, thanks.
 
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Old 02-18-10, 02:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Rob in Maine View Post
I might not have the vocabulary correct, but does this picture of my panel show the ground and neutral bars connected?
No, this one connects the ground bar to the metal case, which is correct. The bar on the right of your original picture is the neutral bar. Most panels come with a jumper connecting the ground and neutral bars, which must be removed when the panel is used as a subpanel.

My concern is that there isn't enough slack in the wires to move them to the left and into a new panel.
You can use wirenuts to add extensions, or mount a junction box up in the ceiling and run longer pieces of wire from there.
 
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Old 02-18-10, 03:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Rob in Maine View Post
I've thought of that. My concern is that there isn't enough slack in the wires to move them to the left and into a new panel. I didn't see any type of service loop above this panel.
It is perfectly legal to splice inside a panel.
 
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Old 02-18-10, 04:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Tolyn Ironhand View Post
It is perfectly legal to splice inside a panel.
Thanks. What about when a cable is moved from the existing panel and brought to a subpanel, what should be done with the wires that are now exposed (no longer have a the sheath because it was removed)? Do you just wrap it with electrical tape?
 
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Old 02-18-10, 04:20 PM
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The sheath needs to remain intact until it is at least 1/4" into the box. You cannot wrap a missing sheath with tape.
 
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Old 02-18-10, 06:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Rob in Maine View Post
Thanks. What about when a cable is moved from the existing panel and brought to a subpanel, what should be done with the wires that are now exposed (no longer have a the sheath because it was removed)? Do you just wrap it with electrical tape?
There is no need to remove the cable from one panel to the other panel. Just remove the wire from the breaker in the old panel, splice on a wire of the same gauge, run it through the 2" nipple I mentioned above and connect it to the new breaker in the new sub panel.
 
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Old 02-18-10, 06:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Tolyn Ironhand View Post
There is no need to remove the cable from one panel to the other panel.
Thanks man! I feel like a dummy...didn't even think of running the circuit wires though the nipple, I thought that was just for the main feed to the subpanel and all the other wires had to enter the subpanel from the top, sides, whatever. Thanks!
 
 

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