replace federal pacific 100 amp panel?

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Old 03-28-15, 12:10 PM
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replace federal pacific 100 amp panel?

Has not been recalled. My service is only 60 amps and that serves my needs.
I was thinking of getting 200 amp panel for social status and mire room
For wires inside panel. My current 100 amp panel though is smaller in size than the newer panels so wall would need demolishing. All the breakers are old enough ti need replacing.
 
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Old 03-28-15, 02:31 PM
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so wall would need demolishing
I always cringe when I see some idiot TV show when they start demolishing things with a sledge hammer. That is just making the job harder. You need to neatly cut the existing opening to to fit the new panel.

You would need to replace the wires from your service head and probably your meter socket also in addition to the panel.
All the breakers are old enough ti need replacing.
They couldn't be reused anyway. Breakers are specific to the panel. They could not be used in your new panel.

Here is a thread that you might want to read: http://www.doityourself.com/forum/el...e-outlets.html It's long but lots of good information and ideas.
 
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Old 03-28-15, 03:46 PM
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federal pacific panel 019_zps2fcpet48.jpg Photo by mcdmenu | Photobucket

federal pacific panel 004_zpsynpx6yfm.jpg Photo by mcdmenu | Photobucket

I did not realize that main breaker (60 amps) was integral part of my 100 amp service panel. I want to keep my 60 amp service but change to 200 amp panel for more room for wires.

The wires etc coming to the 60 amp breaker from meter may have to change to fit the 200 amp panel properly? Would a 60 amp breaker even fit in the newer service panels?

Also, is it necessary for utility to shut off power to house to facilitate changing the panel? I dont want them to know Im updating anything as i would have to bring all the wiring up to code. Thanks for the help.
 

Last edited by speakout; 03-28-15 at 04:01 PM.
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Old 03-28-15, 04:10 PM
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The minimum service size is now 100 amps so I think this project is going to be a little larger than you planned. It sounds like you have a meter main panel which complicates things even more. This is going to require power company involvement and permits and inspections.
 
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Old 03-28-15, 07:16 PM
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You would need to replace the wires from your service head and probably your meter socket also in addition to the panel.
This project will definitely need a 200 amp socket, all new service entrance wiring and upgraded grounding. Most likely you will need a licensed contractor to do the work. If it weren't for social status, you could just put in a 100 amp 30 circuit main breaker panel.
 
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Old 03-28-15, 09:42 PM
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Ok i will just put in another 100 amp panel that allows 60 amp breaker and tell utility to shut power for few days.
 
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Old 03-29-15, 07:50 AM
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The old FPE panel is rated at 100 amps, but if it was installed with a 60 amp main there is a very real possibility that the service entrance wiring was just rated at 60 amps. In that case, you cannot just install a 100 amp main breaker panel without replacing the service entrance wiring as well. The NEC allows either #4 copper or #2 aluminum on a residential 100 amp service. What size is the existing wiring?
 
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Old 03-30-15, 07:20 AM
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There is also a decent chance that the power company will not reconnect your service if you have an obviously new panel with no inspection sticker. You can do repairs like swapping out a bad breaker without a permit, but a whole new panel is an obvious red flag that the lineman will notice. This will also require a minimum 100A service, new meter socket and an upgraded grounding system.
 
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Old 03-30-15, 02:28 PM
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http://i1068.photobucket.com/albums/...&1427746950700


I know that utility requires that inside breaker is off before they shut off power. I assume they come inside house to check that.

I dont see any fitment issues other than fitting 60 amp breaker in the new 100 amp box.

My ground is about .25 inches and the aluminum wire is about .25 inches goiing from main 60 amp breaker to the smaller breakers. The grommet in panel box for incoming power is 1 inch. The service wires(l1, l2 and neutral are smaller than .25 inch).
 
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Old 03-30-15, 04:32 PM
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I know that utility requires that inside breaker is off before they shut off power. I assume they come inside house to check that.
Never read that and can't think of a reason why they would.
 
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Old 03-30-15, 05:34 PM
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The utility will want to ensure the power is off before pulling the meter.
 
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Old 03-30-15, 05:55 PM
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They never notified me when they changed out to a smart meter. Just went out one day and there it was. I doubt people who get their meter "red tagged" would open the door nor would the Poco technician want to risk geting in a fight.
 
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Old 03-30-15, 06:04 PM
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Some sockets have a bypass lever.
 
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Old 03-31-15, 08:55 AM
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Most utilities will at least ask to throw the main breaker before pulling the meter to decrease the risk of a flash event when the meter comes out. They will still pull it live if they have to, but throwing the main is a simple precaution to significantly improve the safety of the job.
 
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Old 03-31-15, 09:53 AM
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They never notified me when they changed out to a smart meter. Just went out one day and there it was.
They use jumpers around the meter before pulling the meter. They can change the meter without you even losing power.

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Some sockets have a bypass lever.
In my area a lever bypass is required for 200 amp commercial meter sockets, but not allowed on a residential service. On a residential service a horn bypass is now a requirement. A horn bypass is just a modification of the socket that provides a heavy metal tabs to connect a jumper around the meter.
 
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Old 03-31-15, 10:09 AM
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They use jumpers around the meter before pulling the meter
Interesting but I'm not sure how. The meter socket is a round socket the same diameter as the meter so no access to the inside of the meter without pulling it. Do they partially pull to connect the jumpers. (Panel is inside. Wires come from back of socket.)
 
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Old 03-31-15, 02:55 PM
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You can access the bypass terminals by removing the meter socket dead front plate after the seal is broken.
 
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Old 03-31-15, 05:38 PM
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Thanks. That explains it.
 
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