Running existing breaker box from new breaker box

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Old 07-17-18, 04:40 PM
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Running existing breaker box from new breaker box

I've got my own house and need to work on the electrical from the ground up. Literally, I haven't found the ground stick yet, the weatherhead needs to be raised, and about everything in between needs to be rewired. I knew there were problems before buying it, but wow yeah the wires need work.

I'd like to do as much as I can on my own, perhaps without breaking lots of rules. I know I'd have to do a lot of reading to be up to code, inspect and/or permit, and would still have to hire out big things. I do have an electronics degree, my job is basically wiring things up, mostly three phase, so if I can read the right stuff I think I'm capable of figuring it out.

Finally to the topic, I think the best way to start this place with a new breaker and not shutting the whole house down is to have professionals fix the weather head and run the feeder to a new breaker. The trick would then be run the old breaker box, ie the entire house, as if it's a circuit(s) on the new breaker. So as I replace circuits, there will be less and less on the old breaker, and eventually phase it out.

I know this will be a ton of work/$$$ but I hate the wiring as is. How it passed county inspection is beyond me. It's single story on a slab with a decent attic. I'll be doing plenty of digging around in the walls anyway for other projects.
 
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Old 07-17-18, 05:20 PM
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Hi, itís a bit hard to figure out what you are trying to do, new feeder to breaker, it should be may be repair weather head, run new feed to meter socket then to circuit breaker panel with main breaker, post some pics of what you have to help explain your situation.
Geo
 
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Old 07-17-18, 06:05 PM
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Here's a quick drawing that may clarify. I don't really have an engineered solution for this, that's what I would hire the electricians for. But what would be ideal is basically this:



Edit: image not loading, please click this:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/z6syt90oan....30-1.jpg?dl=0
 
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Old 07-17-18, 06:29 PM
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I would get 3 different electrical contractors to come and have a look, get 3 quotes, and go from there, can the new panel be mounted next to the old? I might consider that and backfeed the old panel temporarily until you can move the existing circuits around.
Geo
 
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Old 07-17-18, 07:14 PM
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It is less work to just install the new box where the old one was. It can be a one day job if planned properly.
 
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Old 07-17-18, 07:15 PM
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Right now the breaker is in a bedroom, probably because the meter is on the opposite wall outside. I don't think a breaker in the bedroom is against code, although some might find it odd.

I'd prefer it my utility room, which is right in the middle of the house. It'd be a longer feeder. But most other runs would be shorter, notably the stove, HVAC, dryer, water heater (I don't have gas service).
 
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Old 07-17-18, 08:05 PM
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The unfused cable must be as short as practical inside the house.

Any cables too short would need to be spliced in an accessible junction box.
 
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Old 07-18-18, 05:24 AM
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If you want it in the utility room you will need a meter/disconnect installed at the current service entrance location then feed the new panel from there.
Geo
 
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Old 07-18-18, 06:14 AM
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It is not a bad idea to install the new larger box for service upgrade in a different location, although the closer to the old box the better. The new box may or may not have a new weatherhead, meter box, and/or service drop. This can all be bid out and contracted as a single project.

In order for the new, larger, box to be the first whole house disconnect (be the main panel) it must be close to, usually within five feet of, where the conduit with the service conductors enters the house which means on or almost against that exterior wall.

After the new box is installed and the utility power feed switched over, a single cable (hot, hot, neutral, ground) is run over to the old box as a new top feed (main feed). The breaker set in the new box for this feed is rated for either the cable or the old box whichever is less.

Now you can move branch circuits to the new box at your leisure.
 
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Old 07-19-18, 05:01 PM
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Thanks for all the replies. This is why I ask the big questions.
A friend in electrical confirmed the service to breaker proximity issue. He always puts them on the opposite side of the wall. I was spoiled by working in big place and putting breakers anywhere I wanted. But those breakers always fed from an MSB upstream to keep things safe.

I'm considering asking the utility if I can put the weatherhead on the garage, which is next to the pole. That's an undertaking for certain, some big pieces will have to be redone. But it solves about a dozen problems at once. The garage then would have a big new breaker. Which it needs anyway: One twenty amp circuit for a huge garage, are you kidding me? In theory I can then run the house and shed from the garage, after redoing the underground wiring, how hard can that be.

Lots of questions for the utility, contractors and AHJ.
 
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