Federal Pacific panel replace tips

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HOW? You are doing it in the warm, with good light and you have at least half a brain.
Disconnecting and replacing the panel without the power disconnected (and locked out) might be dangerous -
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Started the job about 10 Am. Tim had pulled all the wires off the FPE breakers, and pulled the bus bars out. Wires pointing in every which what direction. I loosened a bunch of wires, and slipped them out. The new panel box, I had to knock a few of the knock outs. Tape the big power feed wires, they were pointing in different directions. The panel box new is smaller, so I've got room to work.
The wires are now into the box. Some are too short. Some breakers are wrong, need a double 30 for the HWH for example.
We broke for lunch, and parts list. wire nuts, wire, and so on. I'll be going back to work in a few minutes. Gather some parts, and go back down the road. The job is actually going rather well.
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Christopher A. Young
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Stormin Mormon wrote:

Ah, you hit my earlier suggestion #4c of things you will need:
"A nearby box store for misc connectors, buss extensions, and funny-looking things that live only in circuit-breaker boxes."
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I hear the voice of experience, O man of wisdom and nobility! Thou sayest.....
I wrote a list at lunch, and had most of what was needed, back home.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
Ah, you hit my earlier suggestion #4c of things you will need:
"A nearby box store for misc connectors, buss extensions, and funny-looking things that live only in circuit-breaker boxes."
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On 12/31/2011 1:11 PM, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

If you had half a brain, you'd do this more quickly and more safely, with the power to the panel disconnected. Google can give you information, but obviously, not experience
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No google involved - and LOTS of experience. Most of it good. I don 't like working in the dark (and or cold), so I do what I can with the power on, do as little as necessary with it off, and finish up with power on. Made it sixty years that way.
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I was fortunate today. Working during dayligh thours. It did get cloudy, and cold. So, I set up my propane lantern, which provided some light and heat.
The panel went in, reasonably well. Start at 10 AM, and break for lunch about12:30. Finished about 5:00. I had to go home for parts after lunch, needed some minor things. And then had to get some wire for making wires longer.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
wrote:

No google involved - and LOTS of experience. Most of it good. I don 't like working in the dark (and or cold), so I do what I can with the power on, do as little as necessary with it off, and finish up with power on. Made it sixty years that way.
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On 12/31/2011 3:58 PM, RBM wrote:

I treat everything like it's energized whether it's on or not because I've seen too many people get hurt. Years ago, I heard of a young electrician on an industrial job who was hooking up a transformer that used a 4,160 volt primary and when he leaned back to admire his work, his hair suddenly stood on end. He looked down to the floor below and some guy was going up and down a line of disconnects turning them on and off while looking around to see what came on. The young fellow who felt the tingle climbed down from where he was, walked up to switch flipper and without saying a word, proceeded to beat the crap out of him. It was like the scene in the bar of the Star Wars movie where everyone went back to their business after the antagonist was shot dead. The electrical incident occurred before OSHA came into existence but I think there were tags but no locks on the switches. I don't trust anyone around high voltage and I'm going to test things for myself before I touch it and I'm going to lock it out myself. A volt meter should be the first thing to touch an electrical circuit of any voltage before you do.
TDD
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I am embarassed to say. I did think to padlock shut the main breaker box outside, but I neglected to. I did check for power, before doing much. Yours is a very appropriate reminder.
Glad the eletrician you mention wasn't killed.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
I treat everything like it's energized whether it's on or not because I've seen too many people get hurt. Years ago, I heard of a young electrician on an industrial job who was hooking up a transformer that used a 4,160 volt primary and when he leaned back to admire his work, his hair suddenly stood on end. He looked down to the floor below and some guy was going up and down a line of disconnects turning them on and off while looking around to see what came on. The young fellow who felt the tingle climbed down from where he was, walked up to switch flipper and without saying a word, proceeded to beat the crap out of him. It was like the scene in the bar of the Star Wars movie where everyone went back to their business after the antagonist was shot dead. The electrical incident occurred before OSHA came into existence but I think there were tags but no locks on the switches. I don't trust anyone around high voltage and I'm going to test things for myself before I touch it and I'm going to lock it out myself. A volt meter should be the first thing to touch an electrical circuit of any voltage before you do.
TDD
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On 12/31/2011 9:28 PM, Stormin Mormon wrote:

I heard that the switch flipper was fired after he got out of the hospital and not one word was said to the electrician by his employer about the incident. Of course these days with Political Correctness and all that crap....... ^_^
TDD
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Now, they would have fired the electrician, and the flipper would have been in counselling so as not to injure his feelings also.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
I heard that the switch flipper was fired after he got out of the hospital and not one word was said to the electrician by his employer about the incident. Of course these days with Political Correctness and all that crap....... ^_^
TDD
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The Daring Dufas wrote:

Of course not. He was made temporarily insane from the intense electrical field to which he was subjected. Even today he's reluctant to father a child.
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Probably has to take his violence pill every morning, too? That's got to be frieky, to have such a high voltage device turned on, while you're right next to it.
As little as I like government regulation, once in a while they get something right. And padlocking the disconnect switch sounds right, to me.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .

Of course not. He was made temporarily insane from the intense electrical field to which he was subjected. Even today he's reluctant to father a child.
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You know, that might work. Thanks for a good idea.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
Get everything ready to pull first. Disconnect all but the light 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 Fri, 30 Dec 2011 23:26:37 -0500, "Stormin Mormon"

I've done it several times - including the main panel at the dealership a few decades ago. Got the panel out while there was still light coming in the window - got the new one in and power on to one circuit with headlights shining in the window, and finished the rest with power on.
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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.
CY: I save old line cords from appliances, for reasons such as this.
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.
CY: I'm sure they are just fine. Ideally, they should be UF, which is ultra violent light resistant. But, they must work OK.
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.
CY: Wow, that'd a good reason for more power sockets. I bet they (cattle and man alike) went through a lot of water, also.
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.
CY: Mine is even less safe than a Mr. Heater catalytic. But, I figure Tim and I are non smokers, and we'll be in and out a lot, so we won't really be too badly exposed to monoxide.
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On Fri, 30 Dec 2011 11:41:27 -0500, "Stormin Mormon"

Just curious, I know Federal Pacific panels have been known to be dangerous, but if I recall correctly, there is a replacement breaker that was made fro their boxes which are safe. Why didn't you just replace the breakers?
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We did consider that option, and it's an honest question. The replacement breakers cost about $35 each. For a single 15 breaker. He had maybe a dozen circuits, plus three doubles. Need 240 volt feed for a sub panel, electric dryer, and a water heater that needed double breakers. So, the cost of replacement breakers would have been $400 or more.
On hand, he had a bunch of new old stock breakers that he'd bought over years. The new panel box was $55, of course plus the labor of two men for a day to put it in. We weren't missing any money work that day, we were workign cheap.
So, the cost of FPE breakers would have been noticably more than the replacement.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
Just curious, I know Federal Pacific panels have been known to be dangerous, but if I recall correctly, there is a replacement breaker that was made fro their boxes which are safe. Why didn't you just replace the breakers?
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