I am upgrading the electrical panel in my house, it is an outdoor panel,
it is an old and small panel.
I was wondering if anyone that has done this kind of work could give
me any tips or share their experience.
Thank you in advance,
First, you should share your experience doing electrical work with us, then
we can better help you. If you have limited or no experience, your
electrical service is probably about the most dangerous place to get any
I seldom say "best left to a pro" but this is one case where I'll make
The power from the grid not only should be off for this operation,
I'll upgrade that to MUST.
I have no qualms with handling live 12 ga wires to patch something in,
but at least I have the option of turning off the power, and I get
I do all my own wiring including, sub panels, but for a main panel
upgrade I call a pro.
I will add; when upgrading, the parts to upgrade to 200amps aren't
compared to 100 or 150amp.
I did this about a year ago. Here's my detailed report.
The replacement panel hasn't smoked hardly at all.
Be sure to read the whole thread as various experts posted some suggestions
and comments. Take those that say: "YOU'RE GONNA DIE!" with a grain of salt;
obviously I didn't.
A couple (i.e., "connect the grounds before the neutrals") were well
For service panel get a contractor because you will have to at this
time upgrade the service amperage, meter, and any changes in code
since the home was built. Particularly where the neutral to ground
bonding occurs in your area and how it is grounded, may need a copper
rod at the house, etc. If a local code inspector comes around you
will have to do it over anyway, and you'll need a service shut off as
others mentioned. Asking for a service shutoff usually triggers the
permit process in municipalities.
Certainly you need a permit virtually anywhere but a lot of places
will let you do this "owner/builder". The Power Company will pull the
meter or tell you it is OK for you to do it, then you upgrade your
side of the meter. The PoCo determines if their drop and your service
entrance is OK (you will need to provide them the wire to upgrade from
the meter to the service point where the drop connects to the SE)
because you own that but they need to do it. They are the ones with
the tool to crimp the drop to the SE and they are the only ones
qualified to work hot service drops.
A call to the PoCo will straighten all that out and get the real
answer based on what they want you to do.
They will not reconnect until you are inspected and approved by the
local building dept.
Some may say you can do this "hot" but they are idiots. Remember
service conductors have NO overcurrent protection. You will not blow
the primary fuse on the transformer if you short the secondary. At
least not in any meaningful length of time.
Friday, August 10, 2007
I'm sorry it took me a while to show a photo, I couldn't get
it to load.
This is the existing panel that is going to be replaced, as you
can see, it is an old 120 Amp panel, the box doesn't close all
the way so it is not rain tight, in other words, it is a hazard.
I will replace it with possibly a GE outside box, 120 amp and same
number of breakers. I am just going to replace a 15 amp GFI breaker
for the bathrooms instead of the one that is now, which is not GFI.
Thank you for your help.
You *still* haven't gotten it to load, and you're not going to, either. This
is a text-only newsgroup, and even in the very unlikely event that you succeed
in attaching a photo to a post here, the vast majority of news servers will
strip the attachment before propagating the post.
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
Thank you Doug for your info, I was wondering why I couldn't load
the photo. If anyone would like to see the photo of the old panel,
I can e-mail it.
please remove nospam.
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