Upgrade electrical panel?


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Old 03-05-17, 11:42 AM
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Upgrade electrical panel?

Hi everyone! I had an electrician at my house a few days ago b/c I'm putting in a bathroom in my basement. He said he could wire in the new lights and outlets in my current panel, but b/c it's full, it would require use of adding tandem circuits. He mentioned I could also upgrade the panel, but it would be about $1000 to do this. He didn't seem to have a strong opinion on whether I should or not.

So...should I upgrade it? Obviously i don' love the idea of spending an extra $1000, but it's do-able. Part of me thinks I should just bite the bullet and do it now, then I don't have to worry about it later on. But I don't plan to add any more rooms/electrical work/etc. after the bathroom. Per the electrician, I have plenty of power, so it's not upgrading the amps, it's just changing the panel. Are there downsides to the tandem circuits? Other considerations? Thanks!
 
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Old 03-05-17, 11:47 AM
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There are too many electrical panels in service for us to make a snap decision.

A picture of what you have would be helpful. http://www.doityourself.com/forum/el...-pictures.html
Make, model and age..... also helpful.

Many older panels are perfectly fine and tandems are ok. Some panels were borderline or not as rugged and could use a replacement.

Some panels only allowed for the use of several tandem style breakers.
 
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Old 03-05-17, 12:29 PM
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If your electrician says adding tandems is an option then do that if it gets you what you need. There is no real downside to tandems as far as I know.
 
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Old 03-05-17, 03:49 PM
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Thanks! Here are a couple of pictures - unfortunately I have no idea how old the panel is. Is there a way to tell?

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Old 03-05-17, 05:07 PM
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Unless I am very much mistaken, a distinct possibility I confess, that panel is NOT "listed" for use with tandem circuit breakers and the tandem currently installed violates the panel listing.
 
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Old 03-05-17, 05:21 PM
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As usual you are correct Furd..... that panel is not rated for any tandem breakers to be used in it.

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Old 03-05-17, 05:34 PM
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You could add a subpanel off of the current panel for way less than $1000 unless you are adding large loads.
 
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Old 03-05-17, 07:04 PM
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Yikes, ok, sounds like I can't just add tandems and probably should get rid of the one that's in there already.

I know nothing about sub-panels...what would the cost of one of these be? And how many more circuits should I have? I don't have plans to add anything big and it's a single family home, 3 bed/2 bath.
 
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Old 03-05-17, 07:19 PM
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I'd question the electrician why he suggested tandems.
 
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Old 03-05-17, 07:20 PM
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Subpanel is just what you call a breaker panel that is not the main panel. The same panels used for main panels are used for subpanels. The only difference is you add a ground bat and isolate the neutral bar. You could buy a 12 or 20 space main lug panel for less than $100. You might look for a Cutler-Hammer panel since Cutler-Hammer BR breakers can be used in Challenger. Here is an example of a panel you could use and the breakers would be interchangeable between the panels. http://www.homedepot.com/p/Eaton-125...L125/100124999

You could easily install yourself. We can guide you.
 
 

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