Adding extra ground/neutral buss bar in electrical panel or add sub-panel?

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I am re-wiring a friends basement and he has a Westinghouse 150A panel with 30 breakers. I ran out of terminals on the ground/neutral bars, even after doubling up on some ground wires of new circuits I ran. So I purchased a grounding buss bar from Home Depot. My question is that the existing mounting holes on this buss bar do not line up with the pre-drilled holes in the panel, so I need to make at least one new one. Since the panel is directly behind plywood, is it possible to just use a large self-tapping screw and screw through the bussbar, through the panel, and through the pywood? The other mounting hole I would use the threaded screw. Also I assume I need to use at least a #6 wire to link the new buss bar with the existing buss bar.
That would take car of the basement for now, but looking down the road if other circuits needed to be added for another reno, is it possible to add a sub-panel to the main panel? I thought about changing out the panel to a 200 amp, but I don't think it is necessary, this is a house that uses and gas stove/dryer/water heater. Plus the fact the outside meter pan would need to be changed. The existing panel is maybe 20-25 years old, I don't know why they put in 150A instead of 200A.
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On 3/25/2013 6:37 AM, Mikepier wrote:

The proper way to do it is to use a ground bar that was tested for use in the panel and will fit the hole pattern. That ground bar is identified on the label for the panel.
(Only ground wires can be attached to the new ground bar.)

Sure.

Maybe because there is a gas stove/dryer/water heater.
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Why can only gnd wires be put on the new buss bar and not the neutrals?
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I added a bar and put both grounds and neutrals, it passed middle group inspection and I too used a screw on one end into the plywood...
on the panel itself when home resale time comes you will regret having a sub panel and pieced together main service.
the 150 amp panel may be connected to a 200 amp meter can and service drop.......
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Why would that be? As long as it's done to code, nothing I know of that's wrong with a subpanel. And the house has gas for dryer, stove, HW, so 150 amps doesn't seem low. However, if the current panel requires adding bus bars, maybe it's time to just add the new subpanel now.

Could be and worth checking. But unless the house really needs 200, it still seems easier adding a subpanel instead of ripping out the whole existing one.
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home buyers look at sub panels as a quick patch fix, and may try to demand the cost of a upgrade off the sales price.
in any case it just adds more hassle at sale time:( you will regret it......
Like replacng just some shingles, buyer will demand a new roof....
The cost difference between a sub panel and a main panel isnt a lot, and the main is already 25 years old, thats what the OP said
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wrote:

Tell them "NO". I've never had a buyer care about a sub panel, though. If their inspection report didn't make it an issue, they didn't either.

If you're a wus, perhaps.

It's grief that isn't needed.
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On Mar 25, 7:25 pm, snipped-for-privacy@attt.bizz wrote:

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In the typical contract, it would have to be an inspection report issue. If the inspector doesn't raise an issue with it, the buyer can't just say I want a new panel instead of the sub-panel that is there. The contract says they've agreed to buy the house, subject to any items that are identified by the home inspector.

But the other problem is if they bring anything up like that, just telling them no, doesn't necessarily work either. If you need to sell the house, and you have a reasonable offer, you don't want to lose the sale in this market over $1000. Which is why some buyers can try to use anything to bitch for a price reduction. So Bob has a point, but I agree most buyers won't even know what a sub-panel is.
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wrote:

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Most people are getting home inspectors, and with a 25 year old panel with a sub panel the inspector could ask lots of nosey questions. The entire service is old and obsolete, the panel maker is no longer in the panel business, 150 amp main with all these extra breakers is bad idea, etc etc etc,
all the things you dont want when selling a home
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On 3/25/2013 8:39 PM, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Not really true. When selling my house, they signed the contract, pending inspection and later the buyers demanded everything. I questioned what the contract is for ... I have to abide by it, why not the buyers? Yes, I did fix the stuff in the inspection. And, actually, some stuff I didn't fix just explaining that it wasn't a problem and they accepted it. But the buyers wanted a new house, i.e. everything new. They "demanded" a new furnace. The existing one was still partly under original warranty. I gave a little by buying them an extra year of home buyer's insurance. Then they demanded that all the brand new carpeting be clean. I just said NO! Ultimately, the carpeting was actually cleaned and payed for by my real estate agent and (believe it or not) my attorney ... just to get these "buyers from hell" off our backs.

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Well, you're right. The buyer can "try" to demand anything at anytime, for any reason. What I meant was with the typical real estate contract, unless their demand is for something that is flagged in the inspection report, or something else that is very unique and just discovere, they are not legally in the right and would almost certainly lose if the case went to court. Let's say for example, that inspection report says nothing about the carpet or interior paint being deficient. With the typical contract, a buyer that now demands new carpet and a paint job doesn't have a leg to stand on. Sure, as I said, it may not be worth it to lose the sale over $1000. But on the other hand, the seller has to decide when they've had enough and for your lawyer to tell them if they don't perform to the contract, you're going to sue them and keep their deposit tied up in escrow.
I was selling a condo once. I had a buyer sign a contract and apply for a 5% down mortgage. I asked them several times if they were sure they could get a mortgage and they said sure, no problem. After about a month, the buyer called and told me they were approved. They sent a letter indicating that to my attorney. Just before the closing, the buyer calls me up and says there is a problem, the bank withdrew the mortgage committment. After some pertinent questioning, he fesses up that it was because he has $50K in outstanding child support. I asked, "Didn't they know that upfront? He says yes, they did." He wants his deposit back. I said, fine, just send my attorney a copy of the mortgage application that shows you listed the child support on it and I'll return the deposit.
Needless to say, no such letter was forthcoming. His lawyer did send me a letter saying that if we didn't give the deposit back in a week, they were going to sue me. I called up my attorney and told him to right the following letter:
Dear Mr XYZX attorney:
I am in receipt of your letter indicating that you want to sue us. I usually advise my clients to avoid litigation, but in some circumstances it's the only way to find out fully what went on here.
Sincerely,
ddfdfd
In other words, go ahead, make my day. Let's go to court so your client can tell the judge how he tried to commit mortgage fraud. We never heard from them again.....
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wrote:

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The ULTIMATE PURPOSE of a home sale is selling the HOME, not getting endlessely tied up in litigation.
Both attorneys make money and likely prevent the sale till the litigation is settled
For ME, its far easier to maintain a home in ready to sale condition than patch fix to save a buck and have it come back to bite me at sale time.....
home inspectors will flag a sub panel, hey the main is outdated, its 25 plus years old and someone added a sub panel as a patch
Are Parts for Westinghouse main panels still available? If not that could be a deal breaker..
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I think this thread strayed off course for a bit, but:
It appears Lowes and HD sell type "BR" breakers which are for Westinghouse panels which do fit. The busbar I purchased is Eaton, which states it is for type "BR" panels. And the mounting holes do line up, and the screws thread into the panel. I also bonded it to the existing bussbar with a #4 solid copper. I was able to swing over a couple of grounds to the new bussbar, which now opened up a few terminals for the neutrals on the existing bussbar. In any event, the next reno that takes place might be converting the garage to living space. If that occurs, I might run a sub-panel into the area to make thing easier.
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On 3/26/2013 10:27 AM, bob haller wrote:

What a bunch of nonsense. I just installed a sub panel in a house so I could add a few circuits to the basement for the purpose of getting a C/O for the basement, for the purpose of selling the house. On what grounds do you think a home inspector would contest the certification from a certified electrical inspector???
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good luck on your sale, let us know if the sub panel causes issues.......
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On 3/27/2013 11:07 PM, bob haller wrote:

It was already in contract when the work was done and closed two weeks later. You are just delusional
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On 3/28/2013 6:42 AM, RBM wrote:

Here is a picture of it, so you can tell me what the violation is that your house inspector would find:
https://picasaweb.google.com/109118990707724158516/SubPanel?authuser=0&authkey=Gv1sRgCLCbj5Cw-ZGZew&feat=directlink
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https://picasaweb.google.com/109118990707724158516/SubPanel?authuser=0&authkey=Gv1sRgCLCbj5Cw-ZGZew&feat=directlink
It looks like one of the drywall screws is too close to the main panel cover. I've already reported it so be prepared for some serious trouble.
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wrote:

None at all, in any of the three houses I've sold. I suppose you think I couldn't get insurance, either. <nutball>
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On 3/31/2013 11:32 AM, snipped-for-privacy@attt.bizz wrote:

That only applies to "all houses" with wiring over 50 years old, knob & tube, or FPE panels. (Don't wind him up)
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