Sanity check on the rewiring I did


Old 12-07-14, 02:02 PM
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Sanity check on the rewiring I did

Hi folks, long time lurker - first post. I don't have any problems just wanted a sanity check on what I've done so far with the electric in our "new to us" house and I'll try and keep it as brief as possible.

The previous owner put in a 10kW Generac generator with an EZ Swicth 12 breaker automatic transfer switch. He took whole home backup to a new level lol. Everything from the main panel was either moved to the TS or turned off except for the breaker for the basement outlets. Here's a rundown of what I've done so far:

The receptacle below the main panel was disconnected from it so I ran a new 12-2 from the main panel to the outlet - it was originally on a 20a breaker and I connected it to the breaker it was originally on. There is no light above the panel and running an extension cord for lighting was getting annoying ie stepping on it, etc.

Some circuits were not being used but still wired up to the panel. A 240v/15a breaker was wired with the breaker turned off and labeled leave off. The other end of the 10-3 wire was cut and hanging out of the wall by the entrance to the basement. I disconnected it and ripped out all the wiring. Did the same thing for the old 240/50a electric range wiring (have a propane range so electric wasn't needed).

The main reason for getting into all of this was I noticed the kitchen receptacles were connected to a 15a breaker in the TS panel and the old labels on the main panel said the receps were on 2 - 20a breakers. I traced the wiring back and sure enough that MWBC was wired with 12-3 to 2 - 20a breakers originally. I decided that should get fixed. In order to do that I had to free up space in the TS panel so I moved the clothes dryer (yes he wired the dryer to the generator side) back to the main panel. That freed up the breaker slots I needed the TS panel. The neutral for the dryer was not wired back to the TS panel like the other circuits were. Not sure if that was a problem? I then removed the double pole 30a breaker the dryer was on and put in two 20a breakers for the kitchen receps. Back in the main panel I notice the black wire of the MWBC was cut about an inch away from where the 12-3 entered it. Off to the local hardware store and got some 12-3. Slapped a junction box beside the main panel and ran the new 12-3 from the panel to the box and ran the original 12-3 wire to it and spliced them. I don't think this is a problem since the box is right next to the main panel and accessable? I then go to connect the 12-3 in the main panel to the wires from the whip in the TS panel. No more #12 for a common (the 3 #12's that come with the Generac whip were in use). I had some #12 EMT sitting around so I used a white THHN from that and fished it through the conduit between the panels. I don't think that would be an issue? After ripping out all of the kitchen receps and finding where all the blacks and reds we either nutted together or backfed through the GFCIs on the countertop I got it all working. Originally I believe all of the receps were split. Top half on one circuit, bottom on the other. Since I couldn't do that with GFCI I have the 4 countertop receps GFCI but they alternate circuits - ie GFCI 1 on cicuit 1, GFCI 2 on 2, GFCI 3 on 1, etc. The other receps are circuit 1 on top, 2 on bottom. Any issue with that?

While I was at it and inside both boxes I moved another MWBC off of the TS panel. The dishwasher and a feed for a single recep in the kitchen (wall mounted to a plate hiding a box that had the kitchen recep wires nutted together) were run directly to the it. Both 20a. I did the same as the kitchen receps and ran 12-3 from 2 20a breakers in the main to a junction box and connected them there. I saw no reason for the DW and other outlet (now to the washing machine in the basement) to be on generator power.

Any issues with what I did?
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Old 12-07-14, 03:15 PM
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All the conductors of the circuit should be in the same cable or raceway. It sounds like some of your are not.

Splices would have been OK in the panel. No additional boxes were needed.

Does the 20 amp breaker for the kitchen receptacles turn off both hot legs at the same time?
Old 12-08-14, 01:39 PM
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Thanks pcboss. All of the conductors are in the same raceway unless I'm not understanding something. All of the circuits that I moved off of generator (except for the diswasher) were spliced in the main panel. I simply un-spliced them and reconnected them back to their original breaker in the main and common/ground bar in the main.

It could be because I didn't explain everything correctly. Let me see if I can post a pic and see if it helps.
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The pic is blurry but I think you'll see what I did. To the top right of the main panel is the j-box I added. I had to do this because when the 2 kitchen circuits were combined, the black conductor in that 12-3 was cut less than an inch where it entered the main panel. There would have been no way to splice it there. Its hard to tell from the pic but in the j-box the reds, whites, blacks and grounds are nutted together with their counter parts. The original wiring is out of the top of that box and runs straight to the kitchen. The red and black hots are spliced in the main back to the EZ Switch and the only thing I added was a single white #12 THHN in the conduit going from the EZ Switch to the main panel (enters the main in the lower right of it). There were only #14 commons from the EZ Switch available.

The other 12-3 yellow that runs down the right side and into the bottom of the main panel is for the dishwasher and washer. Previously they were run directly to the EZ Switch and don't need generator power so now the are on breakers in the main. There is a j-box above the EZ Switch that just splices the wires the same way.

On the bottom of the panel is just a 12-2 to get that outlet working again.

Right now there is not a handle tie on the 2 breakers for the kitchen outlets or the DW and washer in the main. I know I should put them in but none of the local places had them. It's on my list of to get items when I go by one of the bigger stores. Like to buy local when I can.
Old 12-08-14, 01:52 PM
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Re your picture: NM-b can not be run unprotected. It can not simply be stapled to the wall.
Old 12-08-14, 02:10 PM
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Thanks Ray. It's hard to tell from the pic because the wall was previously painted but the main panel is secured to a 4'x4' sheet of 3/4" ply. The NM-B's are then stapled to it and run up to a "raceway" of 3/4" ply that is about 6" wide and secured to the floor joists. They then branch out to their locations under the joists from there. This is a problem?
Old 12-08-14, 02:50 PM
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Protection of NM right around the panel really varies a lot by local enforcement. By the letter of the code you probably ought to have some physical protection over the cables on the wall; however adjacent to the panel that isn't always practical, especially in remodel work. I like that your work looks neat and orderly -- inspectors appreciate that. I'd say your cables are reasonably protected by virtue of it all being located in an "electrical equipment corner". Of course the inspector will have the final say.

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