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Questions about installing a new breaker panel and some outlets

Questions about installing a new breaker panel and some outlets


  #41  
Old 01-13-15, 06:35 PM
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If need be you would only need to overlap half the closet with the new panel or even less using conduit bodies from the side of the panel. I would open up the whole wall from the Zinsco panel to the corner of the closet to give working room and see what is at the corner stud wise.

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  #42  
Old 01-13-15, 07:11 PM
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The depth of the closet will be a problem if you want to put a panel in there, the shelf would have to go permanently too. Your best bet is to use the Zinsco panel as a junction box and install an outdoor NEMA 3R raintight panel outside to feed those existing circuits. I think Ray has the best plan for you.
 
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Old 01-13-15, 08:37 PM
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I think we're all talking about the same thing here? The plan is to put the new panel on the outside of the house pretty close to the Zinsco (as close as possible really). Then take out some of the drywall next to the Zinsco so that I can have some room to work with the new Romex, which will connect the new panel to the old circuits. Correct me if I am wrong.

There are a few things I am uncertain about here though. I assume I won't just be drilling a bunch of holes in the Zinsco box to make way for the new Romex? And I guess I will need to install some sort of junction box or access panel or something in the closet, where I take out the wall? And you mentioned conduit... will I need to install conduit between the old Zinsco box and the new panel?

I am also wondering about what sort of NEC code I need to be mindful of while planning and executing this project. Protips along the way will be very useful, and I have a copy of Wiring Simplified to reference. I can get an actual code book if necessary, I'm sure...

Thanks All!
 
  #44  
Old 01-13-15, 09:03 PM
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he plan is to put the new panel on the outside of the house pretty close to the Zinsco (as close as possible really). Then take out some of the drywall next to the Zinsco so that I can have some room to work with the new Romex, which will connect the new panel to the old circuits.
That is correct.
I assume I won't just be drilling a bunch of holes in the Zinsco box to make way for the new Romex?
The pros may have another idea but I would drill a hole for a two inch conduit nipple through the 2x4 next to the Zinsco box and the side of the Zinsco box. The new panel would be a bit trickier. Make a hole through the brick and sheathing to line up with a hole in the back of the new box near the bottom of that box. Again the nipple would be inserted. No conduit between the nipples. The cables would run in the open wall space. More details but that is the basics.
I guess I will need to install some sort of junction box or access panel or something in the closet, where I take out the wall?
Access panel. " plywood held with screws so it can be opened for running more cables if you need to add circuits. Re-support the shelf on brackets so it can easily be removed or use free standing shelving.
And you mentioned conduit
That is for the mast that comes out of the top of the meter socket and runs up to the weather head.

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There are lots more details to be covered. Just giving the basics for now.
 

Last edited by ray2047; 01-13-15 at 09:39 PM.
  #45  
Old 01-14-15, 06:10 AM
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You'll also need to get the residential service design standard from your local power company to see what type(s) of meter pans are allowed and the relevant placement rules. See if any meter/main panels are allowed as that would simplify your job quite a bit, for example: Eaton EUSERC 200 Amp 20-Space 40-Circuit Surface BR Type Main Meter Breaker-MBE2040B200BTS - The Home Depot
 
  #46  
Old 01-14-15, 06:49 AM
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Typically the power company will have a maximum and minimum height for the meter. You'll need that information and will have to keep that in mind as you locate and mount the meter socket. Also, check to see if there is a minimum distance the meter must be from the window.
 
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Old 01-14-15, 07:19 AM
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Sounds good so far guys, thanks All. Looks like I need to do some code research?

* Max/min height for new meter
* Proximity to window(s)
* Any other placement rules
* Type(s) of meter pans allowed (residential service design standard - obtain from local power company?)

Any other bullet points to look into re: Code that you all can think of for me during this early planning phase? What's the best way to gather this information, get a copy of the NEC 2014 book or...?

ibpooks, I was thinking along the lines of quality and affordability for the panel & breakers selection, but you're absolutely right that I should also consider the difficulty of installing the damn thing given that I am a noob. I will keep that in mind when I am looking into purchasing, and I will no doubt have some things to bounce off of you gents.

Thanks again!
 
  #48  
Old 01-14-15, 07:35 AM
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Most everything with regard to the service entrance needs to follow power company's rules first, then your local electrical code, which will be based on a version of the NEC with some additions and subtractions. The code book probably won't be all that helpful beyond what is in the quick reference manuals like wiring simplified.

The power company might have their residential service design standards on the website, otherwise you can probably get a copy by calling and ask to speak to someone in residential distribution. The relevant local code you can find out from your local government's building inspector.
 
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Old 01-14-15, 09:56 PM
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Thanks ibpooks. My power company is Oncor... is this what you are referring to? I think it is, but I am honestly too exhausted from work today to check it out thoroughly. Tomorrow is going to suck too, but I will get back to this over the weekend or early next week.

As always, thanks for the help everyone.
 
  #50  
Old 01-15-15, 03:23 AM
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No problem, we will be here. A lot to understand and plan so take your time.
 
  #51  
Old 01-15-15, 08:46 AM
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My power company is Oncor... is this what you are referring to?
Yes, those are the service rules. I took a quick look and see minimum and maximum meter heights on page 12.
 
  #52  
Old 01-15-15, 09:30 AM
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When I originally posted I was a bit worried about window distance as someone else posted that needs to be checked to see if it is mentioned. They may require a certain minimum distance from the window. Not a deal breaker but might require a slight change in how you feed power to the old circuits. Also minimum mast height.
 
  #53  
Old 01-18-15, 04:54 PM
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Do I understand pgs. 12 & 19 correct, in that the center of the meter (socket) must be between 4-6' high? That would be perfect because that's right where the Charter box & coax cabling I am removing is at (see attached). So putting a meter / panel combo at that height should be just fine, right?

As for the mast placement, or how high it needs to go, that part I am confused on. If you see my image below, the roof sticks out about 1' or so from the house, so I am wondering if I can just extend the mast straight up to around 10' high and connect there -- or do I need some sort of rafter attachment that will extend the mast out from the house? (e.g. page 20)

Gonna be traveling some for work over the next couple of weeks, but I'll be checking here when I can. Thanks as always, guys!

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  #54  
Old 01-18-15, 05:29 PM
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If you can meet the required minimum height to the drip loop without going through the roof the weather head can be under the eave. If not the mast will extend through the eave and project above the roof. If SE cable is used you can offset it the the left to gain the height needed.
 

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  #55  
Old 01-18-15, 07:27 PM
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the center of the meter (socket) must be between 4-6' high?
No, the center of the meter must be between 4 ft and 6 feet above finished grade.

Typically, you need 10 feet to the drip loops at the servicehead. If you don't have 10 ft, use heavywall conduit through the roof for a mast to get more clearance.
 
  #56  
Old 01-18-15, 09:35 PM
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Well ****, so it is looking like I will need to go through the eave. I really do not want to do this, as I don't trust myself to do it lol. But, referencing page 12 on the guidelines document (link here) it looks like my weatherhead must be high enough to keep my drip loops at a minimum of 10'. Since my rooftop is only 11' where I am hoping to put my mast, I don't think that is possible.

Do I have any alternatives to penetrating the eave? Can I wrap the mast around the eave or up the roof at an angle somehow? I do not have much (any) leeway horizontally to move the meter from its desired location, as doing that would require putting a hole inside somewhere that I do not want to put a hole.
 
  #57  
Old 01-19-15, 03:55 AM
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If you use SE cable you can move the weatherhead to the left up higher and bend the cable..
 
  #58  
Old 01-19-15, 06:02 AM
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Wow, trying to research this but just confusing myself lol. There are so many links in the chain that have clearance requirements! Gotta make sure I don't miss something and botch my install, because that would suck...

So I think it would be easiest for me to avoid penetrating the eave. I am not exactly sure what SE cable is... but I think I can do something like the examples below right? I guess my best course of action is to come up with a planned placement / orientation for my mast and weatherhead, then check this plan against the Guidelines and the Code regarding clearances, etc.

I believe my Point of Attachment for the mast to house must be at least 10' high, so there there's a good starting point. However, I believe my drip loops also have a height requirement of 10', so doesn't that mean my weatherhead (and thus mast attachment) must be a little bit higher than 10' ? If that is the case I am cutting it pretty close, as the rooftop is around 11' high at the desired location for my mast. I will need to either: a) penetrate the eave; b) jut out from the house with the mast and go around the eave; c) angle or turn the mast after the Point of Attachment, so that it gains more height by angling up the side of the house; or d) figure out how to meet clearance requirements using SE cable (not sure what exactly this entails).

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  #59  
Old 01-19-15, 07:17 AM
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I am not exactly sure what SE cable is... but I think I can do something like the examples below right
No. Those are masts made with conduit. This is SE:

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  #60  
Old 01-19-15, 07:53 AM
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Right, I get that, I think my phrasing was off sorry. I am starting to understand this mast and weatherhead setup, and my Electrical Service Guidelines doc seems to be catered to that type of install... so I do not know what the implications would be if I used an SE setup. Is it one or the other? Or can mast + weatherhead + SE be used to perhaps make my job easier here?

Regarding placement of everything, I guess I just need to draw something up and then check it for violations.
 

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  #61  
Old 01-19-15, 08:54 AM
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it is looking like I will need to go through the eave. I really do not want to do this, as I don't trust myself to do it
It's really not a big deal to go through the roof and it will assure you have the required height and make a cleaner installation. All you need to do is mount the new meter socket with a 2" hub and layout a plumb line from the hub to the underside of the roof deck. Layout the center of a 2 1/2" hole on the underneath side of the deck keeping the hole away from the wall the same distance as the hub is away from the wall. I like drilling a center hole (about 3/8") for the mast from the bottom side of the deck so I can use that hole as a guide to then use a 2 1/2" hole saw from on top of the roof deck cutting the 2 1/2" hole through the shingles and wood deck. I haven't done this in well over 30 years, but it was a snap back then. Then measure for the appropriate length of 2 " rigid heavywall conduit and cut it to length on the ground. Take the conduit to the roof and drop it through the hole and thread it into the 2" hub on the socket. Install a RF-2 roof flashing and boot over the conduit.

Peco RF2 Roof Flashing With TPE Seal; 2 Inch, 22 Gauge Galvanized Steel - Crescent Electric Supply Company

Once the flashing is installed, you are ready to install wire down to the socket. Use THHN/THWN copper conductors or XHHW aluminum conductors, 3 of either type. Then install your 2" weatherhead.

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Halex-2-i...z115oiZ1z10wv0

And a mast wireholder.

http://www.gordonelectricsupply.com/...FQotaQodg6gARg
 
  #62  
Old 01-19-15, 09:06 AM
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Yea, screw it, I guess I will have to just go through the damn roof. Convoluting things just to avoid doing so is confusing me more than just figuring out the hole situation, lol. The good news is once I figure out the hole in the eave, I think I will have a much easier time planning this since my install will be 'by the book' (i.e. the Electrical Service Guidelines examples).

Thanks Guys!
 
  #63  
Old 01-19-15, 09:16 AM
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I guess I will have to just go through the damn roof.
In my opinion that is definitely the best way to do it. You could have run SE cable or conduit under the overhang to get the proper height, but then the service drop would be too short and you could get charged for changing it. This way, the service drop can be moved right to the mast by the power company. Around here, we used to do that ourselves many years ago, but for at least the last 10 years electricians are strictly forbidden to move the power companies drop. To do so will get you a $500 fine from the county and put your license at risk.
 
  #64  
Old 01-19-15, 09:20 AM
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You may be able to find an independent roofer who will install the flashing once you locate where you need it.
 
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Old 01-19-15, 09:39 AM
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Might as well do that part my-[***]-self too, Ray. I should be able to handle it without bringing the place down!

Alright, so I think putting a hole in the roof and using the straight mast is my plan here. That really simplifies things regarding placement, and I actually think it wraps up this part of my initial planning:

* Remove drywall in closet area behind intended panel installation (assuming I will need a hole all the way through at some point...?)
* Install socket+panel combo such that mid-socket is 4'-6' from grade (my grade is where the house meets the ground, right?)
* Install mast, etc., per clearance specifications outlined in the ESG for Oncor
* Prep/install everything for transfer of power to new equipment (I think this is where I am at regarding initial planning...)

Should I start looking into purchasing everything here, e.g. my panel and parts? I would think I at least should go ahead and acquire my panel+socket piece, since that is the heart of all this / main expense (and it also would not hurt to know its dimensions). Any recommendations and/or sources for me? I am thinking 150-200A...

Thanks!
 

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  #66  
Old 01-19-15, 11:11 AM
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If you are all gas 100 might be enough but since this is a redo 200 won't cost much more. When looking at the mater/mains panels be sure there is enough room in the bottom for two 1" conduit nipples are better two 2". One will be used for extension of old cable and the second for new cables. I doubt one conduit nipple would be enough.

Pros please weigh in on my statement above. I'm getting outside my knowledge level.
 

Last edited by ray2047; 01-19-15 at 07:13 PM. Reason: Clarity
  #67  
Old 01-19-15, 06:17 PM
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I like Ray's plan of two 2" nipples through the wall into the old Zinsco box which is becoming a junction box.

You may be able to find an independent roofer who will install the flashing once you locate where you need it.
I would also do this myself, it's really no big deal. Just don't let anyone at a box store talk you into using a plumbing flashing instead of an electrical conduit flashing (the RF-2), plumbing flashings have a very thin neoprene seal and will leak within 5 years or so.
 
  #68  
Old 01-19-15, 06:30 PM
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Be sure to follow the anchoring requirements for the mast. It will carry the weight of the triplex cable and needs to hold up under wind, snow and ice loads.
 
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Old 01-19-15, 07:32 PM
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Thanks for all the info and advice guys. I think you all have provided me enough to actually start doing some things here...

As for first steps, I am thinking I should first acquire the 200A breaker panel + socket unit so that I can figure out its exact placement/orientation and know exactly where my mast hole needs to be. I can then find a roofer and have him install the mast hole, then install my mast and go from there. Seems like so long as my meter socket is installed between 4-6' high (per guidelines) and my mast is properly installed & supported, I do not have any code issues to worry about so far. I did not see anything about window clearances, only frontal obstruction clearances. And I know my mast will need to be a certain height to meet clearances, but I think I can figure that out from the guide when the time comes.

Any recommendations on a brand and/or source for a 200A panel that meets my needs? There will be about 13 circuits in this house when I am finished with this job, which includes the 2-4 new ones that I will be installing, and I would like some open breaker slots for future addons. Obviously this needs to be an outdoor panel/meter combo unit, and it needs to be suited to my needs (splicing over old connections from the current main panel, which will become a junction box next to the new outdoor panel)..... but other than the above I guess the options are open. If nothing else I will probably be scouring the web and eventually buying something online from Home Depot or Lowe's. (I see that Square D and Cutler Hammer are mentioned often on here...)

As always, thanks all!
 
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Old 01-19-15, 07:43 PM
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Any metering equipment will need to be on the approved equipment list from the power company.
 
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Old 01-19-15, 08:18 PM
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Ah, I see the list in the doc now. Ok, I understand all of the columns on the Meter Socket and Application Guide (pg. 44) except one or two:

This will be single phase at 200A, three-wire right?

What is the last column referring to? --- MAX # CONDUCTORS MIN/MAX CONDUCTORS SIZES, TYPICAL DIMENSIONS: source, load, size.

And my hub size needs to be at least ~2.5" or so I think someone said...
 
  #72  
Old 01-20-15, 08:00 AM
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And my hub size needs to be at least ~2.5" or so I think someone said...
That would be unusual. The hub size should be the same size as the mast conduit which should be 2". 2" Rigid Heavywall conduit has an OD of approximately 2 3/8" so you'll want a 2 1/2" hole through the roof deck.

I can then find a roofer and have him install the mast hole,
Why? I wouldn't call a roofer to make a 2 1/2" hole through the roof deck any more than I'd call a plumber or carpenter. In fact, a plumber would probably better understand the process of laying out the hole plumb above the hub than a roofer would. If a roofer was a good mechanic he probably could buy a hole saw and do it, but why not just do this yourself?
 
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Old 01-20-15, 10:45 AM
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I am going back and forth on the hole in the roof, so I will just have to take a look at it when I get to that point. Some questions:

* Any recommendations on a 200A panel+socket unit? (Best brands for an inexperienced installer? Best places to purchase?)
* I need a 3-wire, single phase compatible panel right? (or do I need 2-wire, single phase...?)
* Can someone explain the last column on the table in the image below? (from my provider's ESG)

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  #74  
Old 01-20-15, 11:56 AM
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No matter which brand, the equipment will pretty much be the same. There are minor differences between makers, but nothing all that remarkable. I recommend buying from an electrical supply house if you have one nearby that will do sales to the public (no electrical licence number needed). The employees there are MUCH more knowledgeable about the product lines than at big box stores, they are more likely to have all of the parts you need in stock and they know the local codes and traditions and can probably steer you right if you try to buy something wacky.

You need a single phase meter and panel which is a three-wire configuration.

The numbers in the rightmost column tell you the smallest and largest wire sizes the lugs can accommodate on the power company side and on the customer side; and the approximate overall size of the box.
 
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Old 01-20-15, 12:08 PM
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Alright, thanks ibpooks!

One more question guys. I am starting to realize that I will need one or two 30A circuits, as I have a 240V clothes dryer and 240V window AC unit that are currently sharing a circuit (no bueno). I plan to put these appliances each on their own circuit by running new wire from the panel to one of them... but I want to make sure I know what I am doing and that my new equipment will be capable of handling this?
 
  #76  
Old 01-20-15, 12:25 PM
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You're on the right track with separating the window AC and cloths dryer. Before pulling wire, check the nameplate on the AC as 30A might actually be too large for that unit. If you install a new dryer circuit it needs to be 4 wire, whereas your existing one is probably 3 wire.
 
  #77  
Old 01-21-15, 06:58 AM
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If you install a new dryer circuit it needs to be 4 wire, whereas your existing one is probably 3 wire.
Good answer.....because....your dryer isn't a 240 volt appliance like the window A-C, it's a 120/240 volt appliance and needs an insulated neutral in addition to the two insulated hot conductors.
 
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Old 01-21-15, 07:56 AM
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Just a suggestion before you buy anything you need to open the wall in the closet to the right of the Zinsco panel to be sure there aren't any surprises. Be careful when cutting. Start with a small hole to peek through. You don't want your jab saw to hit any electrifying surprises.

When opening the wall if you don't want to make an access panel (though it is fairly easy) here are some typical sizes: Access Panel | Rough-In Products | Oatey
 
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Old 01-21-15, 08:25 AM
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Sounds like a plan. However, the placement of the current meter does not meet the guidelines, as it is around 7-8' high off the ground (should be 4-6' according to the ESG). Thus, it looks like I will be going underneath the current meter for my access hole, instead of to the side. I believe this will work fine for my desired placement of the outside unit...

I will be getting started on what initial steps I can when time permits... thanks all!
 
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Old 01-21-15, 11:39 AM
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The location of the current meter doesn't determine where the opening of where the opening in the wall is placed. The Zinxco panel does. Also I'd want it wide enough to get a hole saw and drill in to drill into the side of the Zinsco panel unless you have a right angle adapter or drill.
Because you are cutting clost to a panel and meter be very careful.
 

Last edited by ray2047; 01-21-15 at 01:25 PM.
 

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