Federal Pacific panel replace tips

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December 30, 2011, Friday I'm going to be assistant, replacing a FPE panel, tomorrow. From what I can figure, it means to switch off the power. Big breaker outdoors. Cut some drywall (flush mount) and then start taking wires off breakers, and off the neutrals and grounds.
Loosen the big feed wire, and move that to the new panel. Knock out enough punch outs, so as to feed the smaller wires. Start to put on the Romex connectors, feed the wires in. Put the grounds and neutrals on. Put breakers on, and connect the black wires.
Will need light and heat, as we'll be working indoors in the winter.
What else?
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
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On 12/30/2011 11:41 AM, Stormin Mormon wrote:

busses, and DON'T install the bonding jumper
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RBM wrote:

That, with the caveat that is it's a 12ga wire coming off a 15A breaker, don't assume you can safely replace it with a 20A breaker, there could be 14ga wiring downstream.
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On 12/30/2011 8:29 PM, Pete C. wrote:

There shouldn't be. Unless you're prepared to uncover the entire wiring system, there could always be a chance that a smaller conductor was spliced to a larger one. If, when disconnecting the wires from the breakers, you find conductors mismatched to the breaker size, it would make sense to investigate the circuit
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I"m not sure, but we'll find out tomorrow. That did occur to me, that the power feed might be too short. We'll see.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
hows the main power line? it may not be the proper length to reach the main breaker in the new box...
might need to replace this line.......
do upgrade to current grounding code, strap out water meter, 2 8 foot bonded ground rods etc
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Probably good idea to use 15s, unless proven otherwise?
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
That, with the caveat that is it's a 12ga wire coming off a 15A breaker, don't assume you can safely replace it with a 20A breaker, there could be 14ga wiring downstream.
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Only takes a minute to label them right the first time. Maybe I should say label the way they were to start with.
Jimmie
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The 240 volt circuits turned out to be either larger gage wire, or were colored (red and black) or both. Turned out to be a non issue. The H.O. decided not to try and trace where each breaker went. Too much bother, too little benefit.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .

Only takes a minute to label them right the first time. Maybe I should say label the way they were to start with.
Jimmie
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Stormin Mormon wrote:

1. Take two or three pictures before you begin. 2. Label each wire, 1,2,3... And make a list, by number, of the size breaker to which it is attached. 3. Extra care on 220v black pairs to get them together. 4. You'll possibly need: a. A long extension to a neighbor or a fully charged drill or two b. Metal-cutting hole saw c. A nearby box store for misc connectors, buss extensions, and funny-looking things that live only in circuit-breaker boxes. d. A can of Great Stuff to smooth out any mistakes. 5. After everything is in place, go back and re-tighten all the screws.
My son and I replaced a 200-Amp box on my house. The project was time consuming - about five hours since we'd never done this before - but very strightforward. A couple of weeks later we repeated the project on my son's house. This time it only took three hours since we (mostly) knew what we were doing.
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On Fri, 30 Dec 2011 18:03:36 -0500, "Stormin Mormon"

You should be able to run your furnace off that generator if it's got enough amperage. Take the cable that feeds the furnace out of the breaker box, wirenut a #14 cord on to it, and plug it in.
I see a lot of temporary romex made cords used at summer festivals and fairs. Since it's plugged in and temporary I dont think it violates any codes. Most of these cords at these events are made by licensed electricians anyhow.
Last summer our county fair was during a severe heat spell, and the farmers who had cattle were running around 120 fans in the barns. Mostly those big fans with half-horse or larger motors. The electrician was struggling to make all kinds of temporary cords, and he was not pleased. In fact he plans to install more permanent outlets in those barns before the next fair. I guess those 5 days of the fair, where he was on call 24/7 must have wore him out.
Those Mr. Heater infared heaters work well. I use one on my toolshed in winter. But they do need ventilation to be safe. My toolshed is 12X16, so it's not real big, but it's not insulated. But it stays pretty warm with that heater. I just start the heater an hour befoere I go in there to work.
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On Fri, 30 Dec 2011 18:21:53 -0600, snipped-for-privacy@myplace.com wrote:

where you are working and the furnace. Then do the disconnect and pull the panel. Get the panel in and the power back on. Hook up the work light, then the furnace, then the rest of the circuits. You only need to be out of power, and cold, for half an hour AT MOST.
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On 12/30/2011 10:00 PM, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

It would be unnecessarily dangerous, and time consuming to pull all the cables, especially NM cables with bare ground wires, from a live panel.
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You know, I'd probably have thought of that tomorrow. I'd rather use a propane heater and a strap on head lamp, and work on a "cold" panel. Rather than risk frying myself.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .

It would be unnecessarily dangerous, and time consuming to pull all the cables, especially NM cables with bare ground wires, from a live panel.
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On Fri, 30 Dec 2011 23:27:45 -0500, "Stormin Mormon"

Only you know your capability and level of comfort. Go with your gut. I'm relatively comfortable working on a live panel, but I've done it often enough before.

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It's a good idea to run the neutrals and grounds first. The black wires to the breakers are the next "layer" of wires. I worked ont he panel while it was cold, only. The propane lantern (two mantles) was great for light, and heat.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
You know, I'd probably have thought of that tomorrow. I'd rather use a propane heater and a strap on head lamp, and work on a "cold" panel. Rather than risk frying myself.
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I'd rather use a

accidentally got away from you and hit the live buss, you'd get a pile of molten metal in your face.

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Or, the outdoor 100 amp breaker would have tripped. I do regret neglecting to padlock shut the outdoor box with the shut off breaker. ah, well. I can't say as I've heard of anyone turn one of those on or off, except doing work inside. And it wasn't an issue this time. I lucked out. Also got to work with a good man who had common sense and manners.
We got to one point, and he asked if it was ready turn the power back on. Get some heat restarted. Yes. I looked, and figured I could do the last two circuits on a live panel, but he preferred to turn it back off.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
I'd rather use a

accidentally got away from you and hit the live buss, you'd get a pile of molten metal in your face.
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On 1/1/2012 4:38 PM, Stormin Mormon wrote:

need to pull the meter, or disconnect the drop to kill it. You have much more control installing cables into live panels, than you do removing them.
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I'm going to get flamed for writing this. But, text to the right of indent (>) is old text from the reply. As I look at this, there is NO new text, as it's all indented.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
On 1/1/2012 4:38 PM, Stormin Mormon wrote:

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I'll get flamed some more. I'll correct your indent failure, below, so I can see your new text.
Yes, it's often necessary to call the power co, to shut off the power to the building. I'm sure we could have done that, if we'd been changing out the breaker on the pole.
I never considered there may be more control installing cables. I'll have to think on that for a while.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
On 1/1/2012 4:38 PM, Stormin Mormon wrote:

In many cases your main disconnect is in the panel you're working on, so you need to pull the meter, or disconnect the drop to kill it. You have much more control installing cables into live panels, than you do removing them.
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