Terminate hot wire in main breaker box

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  #1  
Old 06-08-12, 08:57 AM
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Terminate hot wire in main breaker box

I recently remodeled my basement. I added a subpanel in my basement but left one circuit connected to my main breaker to power lights during construction. That circuit does not have an AFCI breaker, and the inspector is telling me it now must have one. Unfortunately that breaker is thin, the breaker box is full, and they don't make thin AFCI breakers (please tell me if you know of one).

My sump pump in my mechanical room happens to be connected to the existing circuit and the electrical wiring to that is easily accessible. Further it's at the end of the line, so there is only one wire going into that outlet.

I am thinking about cutting the line running to the sump pump and running each end into my sub panel. There I'll be able to add two breakers. One AFCI for the lights and one regular for the sump pump. First of all, is there anything flawed with this logic?

Then at the old breaker box I would disconnect the breaker. Problem there is I'll then have a live wire that is powered by the sub panel sitting there in the main panel. Assuming I can't find a junction box to disconnect this wire from the powered sub panel circuit, what is the proper way to terminate the powered loose wire in the main panel?
 
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Old 06-08-12, 09:42 AM
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Why not just move that cable over to the subpanel?

There are no tandem or thin AFCIs.
 
  #3  
Old 06-08-12, 11:11 AM
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The main panel is outside in the back of the house. The sub panel is in the basement. There is about 60' of conduit where the power is run from the main panel to the sub, and there is at least 1 90 degree turn in that conduit, so I'm worried that fishing another line to extend the circuit from the main panel to the sub could be difficult. It seems like splicing into the circuit with the sump pump would be the easier option.
 
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Old 06-08-12, 11:19 AM
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Then just add a wire nut to both the hot and neutrals. You may want to leave a note telling what the wires were used for previously.
 
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Old 06-08-12, 11:39 AM
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Then at the old breaker box I would disconnect the breaker. Problem there is I'll then have a live wire that is powered by the sub panel sitting there in the main panel. Assuming I can't find a junction box to disconnect this wire from the powered sub panel circuit, what is the proper way to terminate the powered loose wire in the main panel?
I'm not seeing this. By "disconnect the breaker," do you mean disconnect the wire it's protecting? Then that wire would no longer be powered. And how do you wind up with a wire in the main panel that's loose and powered from the subpanel, that you can't de-energize by disconnecting it from its breaker in the subpanel?

I also don't understand what you mean when you say
I am thinking about cutting the line running to the sump pump and running each end into my sub panel.
I'm hoping you can explain this more clearly.
 
  #6  
Old 06-08-12, 11:53 AM
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I think the OP was going to feed a new HR into the sump pump end from the subpanel while disconnecting the circuit from the original panel effectively backfeeding the circuit.
 
  #7  
Old 06-08-12, 12:05 PM
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Currently there is a powered circuit from the main panel that is powering lights and the sump pump in the mechanical room. If I cut the line feeding the sump pump i would have 2 circuits. I would then extend each circuit to breakers in the sub panel. One breaker would only be for the sump pump. The other would power the lights, and this is the circuit where the other end would be in the main panel.

I think this answers my question:
Then just add a wire nut to both the hot and neutrals.


Just to confirm, does leaving a live wire with nuts on the hot and neutral in the main panel meet code? I'm in Denver, CO.

 
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Old 06-08-12, 12:18 PM
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I would then extend each circuit to breakers in the sub panel. One breaker would... power the lights, and this is the circuit where the other end would be in the main panel.
Got it, thanks.

does leaving a live wire with nuts on the hot and neutral in the main panel meet code? I'm in Denver, CO.
All codes is local. I would ask the inspector who is telling you that that circuit needs AFCI protection.
 
  #9  
Old 06-08-12, 01:13 PM
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Good to ask but I think the inspector could be justified. The circuit is being modified which would trigger the AFCI requirements.
 
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Old 06-08-12, 02:05 PM
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PC, I was advising asking the local inspector whether leaving a set of wires tagged and capped off in the main paned, with potential on the ungrounded conductor, would be acceptable.
 
  #11  
Old 06-08-12, 02:23 PM
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Sorry for the confusion......................................
 
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Old 06-08-12, 02:41 PM
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I regret the lack of clarity................
 
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