Access to breaker panel

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Old 04-15-17, 09:32 AM
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Access to breaker panel

I'm adding new circuits to a 1920s-era house with knob and tube wiring. I'll probably have four new circuits before I'm done. My issue is getting the new cables into the breaker box. It is flush-mounted on an exterior wall. The interior of that section of the wall is inside a closet.

If I use the existing knockouts on the bottom of the panel, I'll have to run conduit back into the wall. To avoid that, I would like to drill some openings in the back of the panel and run the cable through those openings back into the closet wall. Can I do that?

A previous owner replaced the original fuse box with the breaker panel, using the fuse box (which was recessed) as a junction box to connect the breakers to the old circuits. He cut a corner out of the fuse box in order to accommodate the breaker panel. Here is what it looks like:
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This is what is inside what used to be the fuse box:

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And here is the inside of the breaker box:

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Old 04-15-17, 09:44 AM
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Welcome to the forums.

I'm a little speechless. I'm wondering why the meter pan wasn't mounted down a few inches to miss the old panel. Hmmmm..... I'm guessing that is the A/C condensor on the left and the meter is as low as it can go.

That piece of metal clad cable (BX) out of the bottom of the panel is interesting.
Hopefully that is a ground as that is not waterproof cable and is not used outside.

It would be extremely hard to drill thru the wall to the panel as you are dealing with metal, cement and wood.

I would go thru the right side of the panel..... thru a pull ell and then thru the wall with short piece of conduit to a junction box.

3/4" pull ell.

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Old 04-15-17, 10:16 AM
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Thank you for such a prompt reply. Since I posted, I've discovered that I can't do what I was considering doing. So yeah, conduit it'll be. However, there are no knockouts on the side of that box. So I still have the question: Is it OK to drill the holes for the conduit connectors?

What you see on the left is a window-mounted evaporative cooler. There is nothing between that panel and the ground. I have no guesses as to why the previous owner couldn't have placed it a few inches lower.

And yes, that BX has the grounding cable inside it. The other end is attached to a water pipe.
 

Last edited by Doug Shaver; 04-15-17 at 10:34 AM.
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Old 04-15-17, 10:35 AM
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There are usually no knockouts in an outdoor panel.

You would need to drill your own hole with a hole saw.
It would be a 1-1/8" hole saw for a 3/4" fitting.

Would be a good idea to shut the main off (under the meter) while working in the panel.
 
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Old 04-15-17, 10:45 AM
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On second thought, I guess there's no reason not to use the existing knockouts in the bottom of the panel, eh?
 
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Old 04-15-17, 10:50 AM
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This panel does have knockouts in the top and bottom. If the previous owner didn't care whether it was appropriate for outdoor use, I'm not a bit surprised. Or, maybe the code was different when he put it in.
 
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Old 04-15-17, 01:05 PM
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The cable should not be grounded to the water line.
 
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Old 04-15-17, 07:03 PM
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I intend to pull a permit for this job. Is that something I'll need to correct in order to pass inspection?
 
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Old 04-16-17, 08:27 AM
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I would try and use a couple of 3/4" PVC LB's ,come out of the bottom of that breaker panel,as for th e it could be #6 bare copper sleeved in 1/2" PVC and connected to the main water services of the house if you are on city water with copper piping,I am sure the AHJ will have some comments about that install,keep us posted.
Geo
 
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Old 04-16-17, 09:28 PM
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The pipes aren't copper, they're galvanized iron, and they're really old. I've already had to replace the main supply from the meter to the house, and I plan to eventually replace all the plumbing. It'll be mostly pex when I'm done with that. For now I'm trying to focus on the wiring. I guess I'm going to have to drive a ground rod sooner or later.
 
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