Installing second 100 amp breaker box, not a sub

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Old 06-06-13, 09:14 PM
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Installing second 100 amp breaker box, not a sub

I am just looking for info for installing a second 100 amp breaker box next to the existing 100 amp box. I have already had PPL verify that the line from the outside pole to meter and meter itself is capable of handling 200 amp service. My questions are regarding what is required for positioning of the new box. This is in the basement and there are water & gas lines directly nearby, do they matter? What about how close to the other box can this one be located, and does the box need to be separately grounded, mounted directly to block wall or plywood required? I do know I have to run a new service entry cable from the meter into the new box, but a electrician will obviously have to do the connection to the meter once PPL has disconnected. And is a permit required for something so simple? Any info would be great, even suggestions for electricians that don't charge a arm and a leg for a quick inspection of the new box and connection to the existing meter.. Thanks in advance for any help!!
 
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Old 06-06-13, 09:38 PM
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Why not install a new 200A panel? Having 2 100A panels side-by-side is very uncommon, as well as impractical.
 
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Old 06-06-13, 10:30 PM
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You can't have two 100 amp main panels which would mean that your existing panel would have to be 200 amps in order to connect a 100 amp to it.

Actually, I think you could have two main panels but you would have to set a trough or splice box which would take up too much valuable space.

That brings us back to Justin's idea of changing the existing 100 amp to a 200 amp panel which is a pretty good one.
 
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Old 06-07-13, 03:22 AM
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This kind of setup is common and practical for mcmansions. For example, two 200A main breaker panels side by side. In a new home, a meter can is installed that has three, double lugs. A seperate 200A feed is run from the meter to each panel.

Both your panels would have to be main breaker panels. If your old panel is main lug only, it could only be fed from a breaker or fuse (probably).

This is not a DIY project, and no matter who does it, it needs to be permitted. This involves many aspects of the code, including the rules for: taps, fill, clearances, wire amperage, grounding electrode conductors and bonding, torque, physical damage and penetrations.

Let me give you an overview and a couple of scenarios of just the feeds. Each one involves a version of changing one lug into two.

Splices, referenced below, can be made with: split bolts, Polaris connectors or power distribution blocks.

1. Let's say the manufacturer of your meter can has a listed retrofit kit to convert to double lugs. (not likely) Then a new 100A feed to the new main breaker panel should do the trick.

2. Change the meter can to a double lug can.

3. Come off the meter lugs with 200A wire. If you can stay within the fill rules, splice the two 100A feeds inside the meter can. If not, splice inside a junction box or trough. The J-box or trough could be near the meter. Or the 200A wire could be run to the panels and the J-box or trough could be near them.

4. If the 200A wire is getting near the new panel, you might as well bring the run right in. The new panel could have a double lug main breaker. (not likely) Then the old panel would tap 100A right off the top. Or the new panel could have a 200A main breaker and feed through lugs. (pretty common and least expensive) The old panel would tap off the feed through lugs. Or, if fill permits, you could splice right inside the new panel. Or, if the new panel has a sufficient stab rating, use a 100A breaker.

I see the appeal of not disturbing the old 100A box. Everything is grandfathered in, so none of the old work has to be brought up to current code. However, the 2014 code will require AFCI breakers any time a circuit is touched. (like, change a receptacle) Can the old box handle that?
 

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Old 06-07-13, 12:15 PM
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A pretty picture for clearances. http://www.ashireporter.org/photos/t...-clearance.jpg

Since you indicate that you are in PA - each is governed by the locality. Talk with your city/township/borough building inspector about what permits are required and if you are even allowed to pull one yourself.

Word of mouth is best for finding someone. If you are in western PA then go to the corner bar and see who the bartender knows.
 
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Old 06-07-13, 06:34 PM
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Word of mouth is best for finding someone. If you are in western PA then go to the corner bar and see who the bartender knows.
Have you seen the wiring in bars? I need to take pictures next time I work in one.
 
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Old 06-07-13, 08:10 PM
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Word of mouth is best for finding someone. If you are in western PA then go to the corner bar and see who the bartender knows.
Bars are great, but not usually a good place to look for a skilled tradesman of any trade.
 
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Old 06-07-13, 09:56 PM
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If you are in western PA then go to the corner bar and see who the bartender knows.
Ask your neighbors .
 
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Old 06-10-13, 10:09 AM
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I see the appeal of not disturbing the old 100A box. Everything is grandfathered in, so none of the old work has to be brought up to current code. However, the 2014 code will require AFCI breakers any time a circuit is touched. (like, change a receptacle) Can the old box handle that?
Really? In changing a receptacle you would have to update the breaker??? That just seems absurd, and doubt anyone would follow through with such idiocy. There is that appeal of not having to touch the 'grandfathered' in box, but may end up doing so.. I understand the whole aspect of county requiring a permit, but the meter was already verified to handle the 200 amp service, I know a guy who was a master electrician for years and may have him come inspect everything to make sure its all good. As long as everything looks good, I'll have him disconnect the service entry at the meter and I will change the 100 amp box to a 200 myself then have him inspect and reconnect. Simple enough, screw having to have a permit, they're just for more money into townships that waste it anyways, and yes I know, to be sure things are done correctly. But I think the guy I know knows his ****, wish I had thought of him before posting.. haha Oh well, but thanks everyone for the advice!
 
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Old 06-10-13, 10:50 AM
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As long as everything looks good, I'll have him disconnect the service entry at the meter and I will change the 100 amp box to a 200 myself then have him inspect and reconnect. Simple enough, screw having to have a permit, they're just for more money into townships that waste it anyways,...
My work here is done .
 
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Old 06-10-13, 12:25 PM
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