Thinking of getting rid of my FPE stab lock panel.
the original 60 amp fuse panel was really small, the 100 amp FPE larger
the 200 amp huge.
the old original circuits wires in the breaker box are short. to avoid
more work boxes is it OK to join wires in the panel so they are long
enough to reach the breakers?
some sort of splixces or wire nuts?
Yes you can make connections in a panel; think of it as a huge junction
box. You don't want a lot of splices in the panel for new work because
it implies that you didn't know what you were doing. But for retrofit
work, you gotta do what ya gotta do.
The FPE panels were kind of small for the number of breakers they held,
so you could get in trouble with too many condutors for the cubic inches
if you weren't careful. But it sounds like you are going to gut the FPE
box and put a new modern panel next to it and splice into the wires
inside the old FPE panel? I did something like that with my old fusebox
when I upgraded to a 150A service.
my current main is mounted directly on the block wall. i plan on
trashing it completely and mouting it to plywood, all new panel, all
but those old lines are too short to begin with plus tthe panel will
need moved some to clear the garage door tracks. its a tight fit the
home is 50 years old.
anytime i added a circuit i left the romex a little long for the day
the main gets replaced.
Depending on how short and how many, my initial reaction is to use the
existing panel (remounted if need be) as a junction box to make the
extension connections and then run from there to the new panel rather
than make the junctions in the new box.
But, if there weren't very original circuits, I might change my mind.
Seems like in our previous discussion you said the existing box might
not be in great physical shape too, however, so I might even opt for a
new empty box simply to use as the splicing box.
I'm not absolutely sure on what the Code says about it, but somehow it
just seems better to me have the junctions elsewhere although there
really is no fundamental difference that I can see.
the box is rusty, and if i remount to plywood the box will not clear
the garage door tracks, as it is the cover barely slides on the box.
I REALLY want everything new and spiffy, the area this will go in is
kinda small bordered by the front of the house, a sump pump drain line
and other obstructions. the only good thing is that every time i added
a circuit i left some extra romex.
the current panel is way overfull, packed with all half breakers,
unused 240 volt lines for electric stove and dryer neither of which we
i have a single empty half breaker slot and havent installed it cause
theres just no room.
When I replaced my service I had a bunch of old circuits that were
short. I didn't want to clutter up my new box so I bought a big grey
PVC Carlon J box and some terminal strips with set screw barrel lugs
in them for my splices. I then nippled into the new panel with clean
runs of THHN.
If you keep the nipple short (<24") you don't have to derate. You can
drill those Carlon boxes with a holesaw for the connectors.
Sounds like from last string in the thread that to get a "really clean
and spiffy" final installation you may need to make some other
modifications to get necessary clearance(s). I had assumed one would
run conduit from a junction box to the panel. I'm having difficulty
imagining an area w/ a garage door track so close to the side wall
there's insufficient room for a panel box, but then again, there are a
lot of unusual situations out there... :)
Is there a code limit on minimum height above floor for the panel?
Other than convenience and some access control for kiddies, seems like
putting the junction box roughly where the existing box is so old
circuits reach and the new panel either above or below would be the
alternative (obviously w/o seeing the actual location this is all
I suppose in the worst possible scenario one could even have multiple
smaller junction boxes to allow for a rearrangement depending on the
direction from which the original circuits were fed.
Alternatively, if one were really into doing it up "right", one could
conceivably pull a new cable from the first junction point in each old
circuit that was too short to reach the new panel. After all, it's
_only_ tearing up and repairing... :)
Actually, re-reading the above, it seems to me if the existing circuits
now reach the panel (and they must) then the terminal block
terminations would, in fact, have the effect of lengthening them
slightly as there would a more direct route inside the box to the
terminal block in general than to the existing breakers. So, I'm left
w/ the thought that the only real issue is to rearrange whatever else
or inset the panel or find one shallow enough to fit the area.
(Sounds like just the spot for a retrofit kit...<VVBG>)
That throws a monkey in the wrench.
Splice in the panel and get on with your life. The only thing close to
being a prohibition against it is 312.8 and that says it is OK where
space is provided. Since a splice does not add to wire count there
must be space.
Yes, you can splice inside a panel, but it's generally poor form.
I just replaced the crappy old Stab-Loc incendiary device in my current
house with a shiny new QO panel as seen here:
This particular job was not inspected since I'm outside city limits. The
folks in the city building dept. confirmed this and basically said "have
fun, be careful".
I've worked on about eight other service upgrades done similarly
elsewhere that were inspected however and all passed inspection with
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