Advice on potential panel replacement

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Old 09-30-18, 07:48 AM
RK2
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Advice on potential panel replacement

Hi all -

Need some advice on a possible panel replacement. Attaching photos of the equipment - 400 amp main breaker, 200 amp breaker than protects a subpanel elsewhere in the house, and 200 amp panel. I'm a bit nervous about the longevity of both 200 amp breakers, and the current panel is messy and hard to find good breakers for. So I was thinking of replacing both the panel and the 200 amp breaker box.

I can board up the window in order to allow the subpanel feed to exit at the top, instead of going through the other panel. But the cable is probably too short to do that as is. I'm also having trouble finding what would be a replacement for the 200 amp breaker box (preferably QO, which is what I'd change the panel to). So I'm looking for some tips on how to deal with this, or other thoughts on what I should do.

 
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Old 09-30-18, 04:10 PM
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I would probably just exit the disconnect at the top and go straight up with the cable. Clamp it to the disconnect like usual with an NM clamp, and sleeve it in PVC or EMT. Affix the top of the conduit at the top where it exits into the joist area.

No need to seal up the window, you'll just have a conduit running past it - which in the basement, I doubt is a big deal.

Of course you could move the 200A breaker over to the right/left, even on a different wall.
 
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Old 10-01-18, 02:54 PM
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Any reason you can't take conduit down and around the 200A panel? There's no minimum height requirement for a disconnect switch. Or move that gutter up to the top edge of the 400A panel, mount the 200A panel in roughly the same spot and the 200A disco below the gutter?
 
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Old 10-05-18, 06:04 AM
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Thanks for the advice. I think I can picture how to move things around a bit. I found a QO panel that seems to be about the same size as the current one, so other than the rats nest wiring inside, that upgrade should be straightforward.

But what could I use as a replacement for the 200 amp breaker on the "red line" in the diagram? it's not just a disconnect switch (it's a Crouse Hinds, which I've been told on this forum isn't too durable).
 

Last edited by RK2; 10-05-18 at 08:56 AM.
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Old 10-05-18, 08:49 AM
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Any 2 or 4 space 200A panel will suffice. There are also 200A disconnect switches but they're usually much more expensive.

Something like this is OK because you can use the feed-through lugs to go on to your upstairs panel: https://www.homedepot.com/p/Siemens-...FcHFwAodZRUGnw
 
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Old 10-05-18, 08:56 AM
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Thanks! Exactly what I was looking for.

EDITED: Additional question. The subpanel feed uses 4/0-4/0-4/0-2/0 AL SER. Is that allowable under the current NEC? If not, would I likely need to upgrade that if I make changes? (this would be a huge undertaking)
 
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Old 10-05-18, 09:17 AM
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My interpretation is yes as the ampacity of #4/0 aluminum is 180A which can be rounded up to the next standard breaker size 200A. If the panel serves a separate "dwelling unit" (e.g. apartment/duplex) the answer is conclusively yes as #4/0 AL is specifically listed at 200A for that purpose.
 
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Old 10-05-18, 09:23 AM
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It's a single dwelling unit with a front/back split (single floor). I'll check with the AHJ before I even start, just to make sure it won't be a problem.
 
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