Moving 2x4 studs to install wider panel?

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Old 11-14-17, 11:08 AM
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Moving 2x4 studs to install wider panel?

I currently have a 100 amp panel and want to upgrade to a 200 amp before I start remodeling. The current meter/combo panel is mounted between two 2x4 studs, 16" OC in my unfinished garage with the panel facing outside on a stucco wall with the service line coming from underground in the wall. I was wanting a 40 space panel but the only ones i can find with meter appear to be made for 24" OC. Can i move the studs over some on each side to accommodate the wider panel. Also is there a minimum spacing to the corner of the building because it is already close to the corner? If so how do i remove the old studs without damaging the stucco?

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Old 11-14-17, 12:54 PM
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Or surface mount the new box.
 
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Old 11-15-17, 11:50 AM
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If i surface mount the new box, how do i bring in the service line from below that is currently in the wall? And all of the romex go either out the top or bottom of the box? Currently the box is mounted in the wall on everything goes out the top or bottom. If going out the back of the new box how is that handled with conduit?

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Old 11-15-17, 01:10 PM
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Can i move the studs over some on each side to accommodate the wider panel. Also is there a minimum spacing to the corner of the building because it is already close to the corner?
That is a structural question and would depend on what is above the panel. Is it a load bearing wall? If so, you'll need to add a header . As far as distance to the corner, this also depends on the structure, whether that narrow section of wall needs to be braced, etc. I wouldn't go yanking out studs and modifying your structure without having your plan approved first.

Could you not add a second 100A panel next to the existing?
 
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Old 11-15-17, 02:22 PM
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Well, i am having my service line upgraded to handle a 200 amp panel. Was wanting everything all in one panel. I could go with a 30space/40circuit panel that fits the existing size but that panel would be totally full when all the electrical circuits i want are added. If it was not going to be to difficult to move the studs i would like that option better. Maybe i should stick with the 30space panel.

skeeter
 
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Old 11-15-17, 02:34 PM
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I don't see a problem with modifying the stud bay to hold a 24" panel. As you suspect, extracting that stud could be a little tricky and may require some exterior or interior finish repairs depending on how well it's nailed in.
 
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Old 11-15-17, 02:39 PM
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Just an idea for removing the studs. Take a circular saw and cut many slots in the stud from top to bottom. Set the saw depth to leave about 1/4" of stud from the exterior wall/tar paper. You can use a chisel to knock off the small pieces/rows.

That way you are only prying off a thin part of the stud. Also an oscillating tool with a metal blade is very good at cutting off nails.
 
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Old 11-15-17, 04:08 PM
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Could the inspector require an engineer's assessment done since it is an outside load bearing wall?

skeeter
 
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Old 11-16-17, 06:22 AM
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If it's a load bearing wall, I wouldn't suggest tearing out a stud without putting a header above, and you may need to reinforce that corner since you'll be weakening it. Weakened wall, electrical panel below, doesn't sound very wise without consulting with someone
 
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Old 11-16-17, 09:33 AM
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You could go to the city and ask an inspector prior to removing and replacing the studs. I really doubt if they will make you install a header for only 8" of additional span.
You might want to draw it up quick so you can show the inspector what you want to do rather than explaining it.
There is probably no room for a header, I'm guessing the cables run up. I'm also guessing that at the most they will ask you to nail structural I plywood (3/8") over the opening to make it similar to a shear panel.
 
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Old 11-17-17, 11:15 AM
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If i surface mount the new box, how do i bring in the service line from below that is currently in the wall?

This means that the unprotected service lateral is inside the wall. Many jurisdictions would not allow an installation like this. I would think it to be prudent to check with the AHJ to see if it is still allowed in your area before proceeding.
 
 

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