Pulling heavy wire around a corner

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  #1  
Old 09-19-12, 02:29 PM
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Pulling heavy wire around a corner

Hi Guys,
Iím installing a subpanel 100amp and want to connect it to the main panel with 2-2-2-4 wire. The subpanel will be on an adjacent wall, around a corner. Iím having a hard time figuring out how to pull this heavy wire, through the studs, around the corner! Iíve included a drawing to show you the scenario. The studs are in yellow and the arrows show where the wire will go. On the other side of the subpanel is a kitchen counter (shown in red) that has some space behind it. It occurred to me that I could avoid the corner if I go through the drywall ( following the red arrow to the X) and back in again. What do you think? Am I violating any codes? Any Advice? Thanks in advance!
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  #2  
Old 09-19-12, 02:40 PM
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Iím installing a subpanel 100amp and want to connect it to the main panel with 2-2-2-4 wire. The subpanel will be on an adjacent wall, around a corner. Iím having a hard time figuring out how to pull this heavy wire, through the studs, around the corner! On the other side of the subpanel is a kitchen counter (shown in red) that has some space behind it. It occurred to me that I could avoid the corner if I go through the drywall (following the red arrow to the X) and back in again. What do you think? Am I violating any codes?
Yes, running the feeder outside the wall would not be in compliance with National Electrical Code.

Any Advice?
Drill at an angle through the face of one of the nailer studs to come out of the face of the other. You can also drill up or down, as you drill diagonally, to add more sweep to the bend.
 
  #3  
Old 09-19-12, 02:53 PM
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Thanks, I think this is what you mean (new red arrow):
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How would I drill at such an angle? I've seen these long bits with flexible shafts... is there another way? P.S.-- I had a feeling my idea wasn't code, but one can always hope...
 
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Old 09-19-12, 03:29 PM
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That is 2-2-2-4 NMb-b cable or SE not really wires or URD isn't it?
 
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Old 09-19-12, 06:01 PM
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I don't think you will be able to get a cable that size around that corner. Can you go down, around the corner and come back up?
 
  #6  
Old 09-19-12, 06:26 PM
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My supplier didn't have the copper wire I wanted, so I just picked up 1/0 aluminum SE cable. It's even bigger than what I wanted, so now I'm really not too confident about making this corner. One of those right angle drills would come in handy right now!

This snafu is making me question my plan. Let me put this out there and get your view... Electricity was not supposed be the biggest part of my kitchen remodel, but it's turning out to be. I have a counter arriving in 5 days, and I need to get a number of things in place, this being one of them.

My main panel is a 125 amp split bus with 100 amp service. Not only are it's few slots full, it's sitting on a load bearing wall with only 11 inches between studs. To it's left is a king stud that part of a french door and to it's right are the series of studs that I showed in my illustrations. Not a lot of room! All the panels I can find for sale around here are at least 14+ inches wide.

With time being a factor, I thought that I'd just add a 100 amp sub panel, attached to a 100 amp breaker in the main, move a couple easier to reach circuits out of the main and to the sub and add all my kitchen circuits to the sub, except the heavy appliances--stove and oven. The sub will have 7 20 amp circuits. I thought that eventually it could carry most of the main panels circuits.

I did a load calculation and came up with 94 amps demand load for our whole home, after the additional circuits. I'm not really increasing our use, just adding a bunch of dedicated circuits!

I'm sure the best thing to do would be to replace the main, but it's not feeling like a option. The demand on the sub is not going to be anywhere near 100A, maybe I should work with a smaller cable and breaker so that this project becomes feasible? That 1/0 quad cable is daunting to say the least...
 
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Old 09-19-12, 06:29 PM
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Thanks. We're in New Mexico. Slab foundation, no attic, either. I just paid good money for the cable, wish I hadn't.
 
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Old 09-19-12, 07:13 PM
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I hope you can return the cable. That size is going to be almost imposable to install in the wall. You could notch the studs and use nail plates to protect the cable. You will need to make a sweeping curve in the corner.

I would suspect you do not really need 100 amps to the subpanel. Even if the subpanel has a 100 amp main, you could feed it with a 60 amp breaker in the main panel and use some 6/3 Romex which might be easier to use.
 
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Old 09-19-12, 07:36 PM
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Well, I'll be surprised if they take back a $40 piece of cut wire. But then again, if the biggest mistakes I make are only $40 worth, I'm in pretty good shape...

And yes, 60 amp would probably cover those circuits. And you think pulling 6/3 would be a tad bit easier? Yes, I'd agree...

One more question: Does my idea sound crazy?-- adding a subpanel to avoid replacing the main panel? Thank you.
 
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Old 09-19-12, 07:54 PM
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$40 is not too bad for a mistake. 6/3 will be smaller but it will also be stiffer because it is copper. You will still need to angle the holes like in your 2nd picture, or notch them.

No, your not crazy at all for not replacing the main panel, as long as it can handle the load of the house (and most houses are fine with 100 amps), and is not a questionable brand (FPE, Zinsco) Doing a service change would likely cost $1200 or more.
 
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Old 09-19-12, 08:03 PM
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One more question: Does my idea sound crazy?-- adding a subpanel to avoid replacing the main panel? Thank you.
Not crazy, but not the best choice either. I would have had the whole service upgraded maybe as high as 200 amps, but 100 or 125 amps would be adequate. With a 30 or 40 circuit main panel you wouldn't need the subpanel at all. Considering that your main panel is now a split bus, the entire service must be at least 30 years old and could be 40 or more years old, it's time to replace everything including the outside wiring and meter socket.

it's sitting on a load bearing wall with only 11 inches between studs.
Those really small and narrow split bus panels were not manufactured since the early 60s as I recall, that would make your service over 40 years old. What brand is it?
 
  #12  
Old 09-19-12, 09:13 PM
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It's a QO from '67

There's so much to do around here, I just can't picture upgrading the service panel at this point. But when I pulled out the kitchen counter, I decided to update every wire in that wall + add all the dedicated circuits a modern kitchen would have.

It seems like there are many opinions about how long electric equipment lasts-- wire, panels, breakers, receptacles... What's your view? Some people take the, ‚Äčif it ain't broke, don't fix it‚Äč tact... I think I'm somewhere in the middle.

Thanks by the way for all the help. You guys helped me think so much clearer about this thing.
 
  #13  
Old 09-20-12, 05:42 PM
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Square D QO's are good breakers and panels. I would not change it. Electrical panels do not wear out. Only if they get damaged.
 
  #14  
Old 09-20-12, 07:59 PM
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Square D QO's are good breakers and panels. I would not change it.
I would maybe agree if this wasn't a 45 year old split bus panel. The 45 year old service entrance should be replaced and the panel should be replaced with a main breaker panel, in my opinion.
 
  #15  
Old 09-21-12, 06:35 AM
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Even with a split bus panel the power can be shut off with turning off the 6 or less breakers normally in the top of the panel. Might even take less time than flipping off one 200 amp breaker considering the effort needed.
 
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