Outdoor main panel/ meter combo?

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  #1  
Old 06-15-11, 07:26 PM
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Outdoor main panel/ meter combo?

I posted many questions here, about a large electrical project that I'm undertaking at my mothers house. I am doing a majority of the work myself, but decided it would be best to have a licensed electrician upgrade the main 200 amp 30 space panel, to a 200 amp 40 space panel. The house was built in 1987, and the panel was installed in a bedroom closet. We looked around, to find a decent place to install the new panel, and the electrician mentioned that we could mount a panel meter combo on the outside of the house. Is this a good idea? I'm sure the electrician knows what he is talking about, but outside!? I guess if the panel is NEMA 3R or 4R, it would be ok, but what do you guys think? John.
 
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Old 06-15-11, 07:40 PM
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This is done all the time in the southern climates and there seams to be no issues. I would think it would be fine.
 
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Old 06-15-11, 07:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Tolyn Ironhand View Post
This is done all the time in the southern climates and there seams to be no issues. I would think it would be fine.
Thank you for the quick reply Tolyn. I'm guessing this is legal in New Jersey?
 
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Old 06-15-11, 07:55 PM
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You'll have to check with the AHJ whether they will approve it in NJ, but I see no reason it shouldn't be approved. That being said, I don't like outside panels (personal opinion). Regardless of approvals, I have never found the outdoor panels to last as long as one installed indoors. They can be a NEMA 3R or 4R, moisture, insects and dirt still gets inside and degrades all connections and generally makes a real mess.
 
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Old 06-15-11, 09:36 PM
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Here in Pennsylvania, winter is the killer for these panels as bugs get in and stuff to overwinter. The GE 3R panels at the fairgrounds installed in '86 or later are so corroded around the buss, which is copper, that you cannot even use them because the corrosion keeps the breakers from making contact with the buss.

Why don't you install the panel in the basement?
 
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Old 06-16-11, 06:27 PM
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Its only a crawlspace.................................
 
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Old 06-16-11, 06:42 PM
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I wouldn't install an outdoor panel in the northeast because I wouldn't want to have to trudge outside in a foot or two of snow to reset a breaker. That said, if you need to install a main disconnect (one or two breakers) at the meter so you can put the panel where it's needed, that's different, since you should never really need to reset that main breaker.
 
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Old 06-16-11, 07:36 PM
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We find placing a panel behind an open door is a good place to "hide" it. You will only see it when the door is shut and that space will never get filled stuff due to the door swing.
 
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Old 06-16-11, 10:01 PM
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We find placing a panel behind an open door is a good place to "hide" it. You will only see it when the door is shut and that space will never get filled stuff due to the door swing.
My mom always puts boxes behind doors. You just cant open the door all of the way, which is really annoying.
 
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Old 06-17-11, 03:39 PM
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The Panel she has now, is located in the closet, on the inside on an exterior wall. The electrician proposed mounting the outdoor panel in the same location, but on the exterior. If I move the panel to a interior location other than the closet, wont we need to rerun circuits that will now not reach the new location? Also, I will have to extend the SER cable that runs between the meter and panel. Which I thought was illegal to have indoors.
 
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Old 06-17-11, 05:17 PM
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Why can you not simply remove the old panel and install the new one there? Is there not enough room? An electrician should easily be able to remove the old box and install the new in a day. Even if Mom has to go visit someone or go shopping all day to stay out of the heat.
Would it be possible to add a sub panel to avoid doing anything to the old panel other than removing a few circuits to make room for the breaker to feed the sub? You did say it was just to have 40 circuits instead of 30.
Or possibly if you do any work on the electrical the panel has to be moved out of the closet. I don't know just seems like a lot of work and expense for 10 more circuits!
 
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Old 06-17-11, 05:41 PM
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The current panel location is probably grandfathered. Replacing it would probably have to be code. Storage and clothes closets are a code violation.
 
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Old 06-17-11, 07:24 PM
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You could also demote it from a closet to a nook that houses the panel. That may not keep people form putting stuff in front of it, however.
 
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