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Thread: New Breaker Box

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member msehler's Avatar
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    Default New Breaker Box

    I am planning on upgrading my current breaker box (100 amp, push-matic style) to a new 200 amp Square D or Siemans box. (The house has a 200A feed). Are there any codes, etc I need to make sure to follow when replacing this box? Can I just call the utility and have them shut it off and back on? Will they need it inspected? I'm an electrical engineer in the substation field so I have a very good working knowledge of AC, just not as much on the code part (my breakers trip at 3000 Amp).

    Any tips, pointers, etc would be greatly appreciated.
    And my house was built in 1975 in the Kansas City area (on the Kansas side).

    Any suggestions on brand? I know a lot of people prefer Square D. I just threw out Siemans because they make a lot of the breakers I use in the field.

    -Matt

  2. #2
    Electrician Chris75's Avatar
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    I would just hire someone... I'm an electrician and I would probably still hire someone...

  3. #3
    Electrician Chris75's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by msehler View Post
    Are there any codes, etc I need to make sure to follow when replacing this box?
    yes, you can find them in the NEC.
    Quote Originally Posted by msehler View Post
    Can I just call the utility and have them shut it off and back on?
    Probably...
    Quote Originally Posted by msehler View Post
    Will they need it inspected?
    Yes
    Quote Originally Posted by msehler View Post
    I'm an electrical engineer in the substation field so I have a very good working knowledge of AC, just not as much on the code part (my breakers trip at 3000 Amp).
    Not even close to being the same deal... Electrical Engineer = Electrician

    Quote Originally Posted by msehler View Post
    Any tips, pointers, etc would be greatly appreciated.
    And my house was built in 1975 in the Kansas City area (on the Kansas side).

    Any suggestions on brand? I know a lot of people prefer Square D. I just threw out Siemans because they make a lot of the breakers I use in the field.

    -Matt
    Good Luck...

  4. #4
    Computer Programmer Bill Arden's Avatar
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    I'm an electrical engineer in the substation field so I have a very good working knowledge of AC, just not as much on the code part (my breakers trip at 3000 Amp).
    As I recall a 4 year degree in Electrical Engineering qualifies you to be able to take the master electrician test.

    So Broaden your resume and study the online NEC code book.
    They also have the code book at most public library's.

    --
    My 2 year degree only qualified me for the "power limited technician license"
    I had a opportunity a long time ago when a master electrician offered to help me get documented experience. I have a lot of hands on experience, but it's not documented.
    Important note Ė I donít know man made laws, just laws of physics
    Disclaimer: I'm a big fan of Darwin awards.

  5. #5
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default box

    Usually they will disconnect the power very quickly. But they will not restore it until an inspector has approved it and given a clearance to turn the power back on. Not normally a one or two day job.

  6. #6
    DIY Junior Member msehler's Avatar
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    I can check the NEC...I have a copy, I just am not a fan of digging through it for hours...I've only looked through it a couple times, and it was a pain...I thought maybe someone knew page numbers, etc from extensive work with it (ie a master electrician).

    To Bill: Thanks, but between work and the new house (just closed on it a month ago), that definitely won't be even close to on my mind. I'm fresh out of school (8 months) so the PE will be on my mind far before that...as well as a master's degree.

    To hj: The inspector takes that long? It can't possibly take that long to pull all the circuits, intall new box, and reinstall existing circuits to the new breakers.

    And I know this might linger on the wrong side of the line and most if not all would not recommend it, but could I just pull the meter, do the work, and pop the meter back in? Has this been done before? Is this illegal?

    EDIT: I don't think the meter thing is possible, anyway. My utility is utilizing a "smart grid" technology, so as soon as the meter went offline, I would probably get a call.

  7. #7
    Licensed Electrical Contractor Speedy Petey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Arden View Post
    As I recall a 4 year degree in Electrical Engineering qualifies you to be able to take the master electrician test.
    This is actually kind of scary.
    I agree totally with Chris on this.

    EE is to electrician - like - Electrician is to automotive electrical tech.

    An EE at a sub-station may as well be a plumber as much as it relates to the construction electrical trade.

  8. #8

    Default

    The house has a 200A feed
    They ran a 200 amp feed into a 100 amp panel ?

    How did they terminate the feeders in those small lugs?


    Do you mean 200 amps to the meter and 100 amps to the panel?

    It's not rocket science but there are too many questions to be answered.

  9. #9
    Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek Mikey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Arden View Post
    As I recall a 4 year degree in Electrical Engineering qualifies you to be able to take the master electrician test.
    Can you (or anyone else) confirm this? I was looking for a way to use up all the spare time I've got in retirement .

    So Broaden your resume and study the online NEC code book.
    OTOH, maybe I'll study something a little easier, say, Mandarin.

  10. #10
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default meter

    Here, as soon as YOU pulled the meter you could be eligible for a $10,000.00 fine. And you are not allowed to put it back, and as soon as the meter reader saw the broken seal, you can refer back to the above sentence. First you have to rewire the new panel, then call the inspector who will show up the next day if you called early enough and he is not overbooked for the day. Then he notifies his office that the job is approved. His office notifies the utility, when the secretary gets around to it. Then the utility schedules a meter reset. Again, usually not a one or two day process.

  11. #11
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris75 View Post
    I would just hire someone...
    Good Advice

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