Thanks, Evan -
That is EXACTLY what I was thinking. I recently did some wiring in my
kitchen ceiling, and the condition of the old wire was a little scary.
You can move it a bit without cracking the insulation, but it would be
better to leave it where it is. I replaced the stuff in that ceiling,
as I was redoing all the plumbing above it anyway, but I really don't
want to do the whole house,
On May 31, 11:28 pm, " email@example.com"
Agreed, it takes time when you have the electrician MOVE the
actual wire for each circuit from the old panel enclosure to
the new one IF IT WILL REACH...
Popping wire nuts on each conductor and extending a circuit
to the new panel in a large diameter segment of conduit that
runs from the old panel to the new panel won't take as long
as you think...
The wiring runs in the old installation to the old panel are
fine if you don't start messing with them, you have no idea
what will happen to older wiring when you start bending it
in a new way to route it to the new panel...
As long as you have the required conductor length inside
the old panel (you will find you have more than plenty as
minimum) you can use it as a junction box after you gut
the panel and remove all the old fuses/circuit breakers
and all the busbars...
In most places the "sub" has to separate neutral from ground.
When all is done and said, it may be more trouble than it's worth.
The best solution is to entirely remove the old panel and plop the new panel
in the same place. You might want to look at several panels to find one
that best approximates the location of the feed wires and the loads used in
the existing box.
The odds are that the electrician will not have to use any "wire stretching"
That is exactly what previous owner did in this place. The addition
required moving service and a service upgrade, so rather than re-pull
all the old circuits, they gutted the panel and used it as a giant
J-box. Didn't do a real clean job, and it is on my list to open it up
and check it out one of these days. New panel has an 'installed by, and
in case of problems call' sticker from a local 'real' electrician
company, so presumably it is kosher. But they just taped over the old
breaker holes inside the door, and didn't put in blank covers or screw
it shut or anything, so I at least want to take care of that before I
put the house up for sale in 2-3 years. No idea if the removed the old
buss bars, but the new connections are floating in space so presumably
they aren't connected to anything. (I peeled tape loose on one corner,
and peeked in with a flashlight. I shuddered, and closed it back up.)
Old and new panels are about 8 feet apart.
If you go this way, recommend dressing the old panel real well so it
doesn't look like a rat's nest like mine does. Label the runs with
breaker number for new panel, and maybe leave a typed printout inside
the door for the poor SOB 20 years from now trying to figure it out. And
find plugs for the old breaker holes, or screw the door shut.
Or you could buy a piece of sheet metal of the correct thickness
and cut it to the correct dimensions and shape to properly seal
the front of the old panel, drill cover plate screw holes in the right
places, paint it a color which won't be out of place and install...
How nicely do you want it dressed ? It is a junction box, not
a service panel... Unless something serious happens no one
should ever have to open it again...
*It's been done, however that old panel is not an approved junction box.
You would need to remove the guts and plug any holes and the cover would
have to be screwed shut. I would talk to the electrical inspector to see if
he would allow that. I think it would be much neater looking to just swing
all of the old wires into the new panel.
One more vote for doing it your way. That is what the electricians
did when I upgraded. They stripped all the old stuff out, then
ran new cables to the new box and wire nutted them together. After
that they screwed the old box shut and marked the door that there
were no user serviceable parts inside. The inspector here was
happy with the job.
OK. I spoke with the local electrical inspector and he said that even
though it's not his favorite way to do this, when he was a contractor
he did it all the time. Just make sure you screw the door closed. The
fact is that if I don't use the big box as a junction box, I'd have to
mount a bunch of other boxes anyway since most of the wires are way
too short to make it to the new panel.
The bottom line is, it's OK with him, and it will save a bunch of time
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