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Thread: Wires too short to reach new load center.

  1. #16
    Electrical Contractor Bobelectric's Avatar
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    You got a real mess going on there. I can't see a ecg wire to a ground system, and the black and red conductors on a twin breaker,same leg spells trouble!

  2. #17
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    It is a Zinsco breaker, and the placement of the internal connector to the bus determines whether they are on the same or opposite legs. This one has the handles pegged together so they are for a 240 load, NOT tandem 120 volts.

  3. #18
    DIY Junior Member Mindz i's Avatar
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    There are four wires coming from the house (ground = black with green tape) and the shed (ground = green wire). Three from the A.C. I'm not sure what you mean by ecg?

    Are you talking about the ground to earth? As far as I can see, there is a ground wire going from the meter down the inside of the pole into the ground. Not sure how many grounding rods there are. I have to check with the POCO to see if they were the ones who installed it, since it does run from the meter.

    Three years ago, when I changed the breakers, the inspector only required that I lock down the main breaker to pass inspection. Everything else checked out ok. I had my dad machine a steel bracket to lock down the main and it passed. So, I'm guessing that the box is grounded to earth, or it wouldn't pass inspection.
    Last edited by Mindz i; 12-19-2010 at 10:06 PM.

  4. #19
    DIY Junior Member Mindz i's Avatar
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    Here's an example on the net I found, that shows what I had happen to my main breaker the last time.

  5. #20
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    That brand of breaker was NOT one of the premium ones. IF the "horseshoe" got heated, (and it was sort of a self fulfilling prophecy when it did, because the connection with the bus would get loose, causing it to heat, and then the heat would make the connection looser as the metal lost its temper), it lost contact with the bus and arced causing the damage you see there. But the modern panel will have the main breaker integral with the power bus, so the main wires connect to the panel lugs, NOT the main breaker connectors.

  6. #21
    DIY Junior Member Mindz i's Avatar
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    Alright, it's no go on the old box being used as a junction box. I decided to email the Chief Electrical Inspector one more time to make sure I properly explained what I was wanting to do. He said he wouldn't approve of a gutted load center as a junction box. But, he keeps stating that I need to upgrade to a 200 amp panel, when I've made it clear both times that I'm doing just that. This statement keeps me thinking he doesn't understand what I'm asking. But, I feel I'm chasing my tail. Our tax dollars at work, I suppose. So, now I got to figure out how to get the wires into the new panel...

    Here's what I sent him.

    Sorry, if I wasn't clear. I wasn't trying to take up your time trying to get advice on how to do it. Just wanted to make sure that it's ok with the code department if I gutted the old box to use as a junction box and if using butt splice kits are acceptable. I've read in forums where electricians have gutted old panels and used them as a junction boxes. But, because it would no longer be UL listed if modified like this, it might not pass inspection if the inspector didn't approve. The wire wouldn't reach the new box and would have to be replaced or extended using splices. The current box is 13"x8-1/2"x3-1/2". I figure that should be more than enough room for all the splices. Putting in all new wire would add around $400 dollars to the overall cost. I'm trying to avoid this. The current meter is rated for 200 amps and the load center I'm wanting to install, is rated for 200 amps as well.

    This is the current set up.
    (A picture was here for him to see our current box and meter.)

    This is kind of what I want to do, except using the old box as a junction box.
    (A picture showing the neighbors set up.)

    This was his response.

    I would not approve as a junction box. You need to replace the old panel with an updated one sized at 200 amps if that’s what size you need.

    It's almost as if he thinks I want to install the guts of a 200 amp panel in the old panel. But, I said I wanted to use the old panel as a junction box not to house the new 200 amp parts.
    Last edited by Mindz i; 12-20-2010 at 12:26 PM.

  7. #22
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    as far as being code compliant using the old panel would be fine. Ask him to show you why it wouldn't be.

  8. #23
    DIY Junior Member Mindz i's Avatar
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    I would, but he really doesn't seem like he's interested in answering questions. I think he's just skimming through the email, causing him to not comprehend what's being asked. Why else would he constantly say to upgrade the panel to a 200 amp service if I've repeatedly established that that's what I'm doing? Now I see why electricians charge so much. All of this bureaucratic nonsense you guys have to deal with.

  9. #24
    DIY Junior Member Mindz i's Avatar
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    Alright, I've gotten tired of this box... so, I lit it on fire. I feel better now. Smells a little funny though.


  10. #25
    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    Good, now a pro can bill your insurance Co. for the new panel.

    No joke, however, we had a wildfire and I lost 4 entire entrance panels and poles here. The Power company lost miles of main line.

    PVC loves to burn, and can continue underground for some long distances. The power co. was kind enough to give away some shortened main line poles to use as service drop poles to help in the catastrophe.

    I spent some time in the fire keeping it out of a canyon where the dead end PO CO high voltage wires are hanging from huge pine trees - I knew it would take them a year to replace my treees with poles.

    Yes, up until about 10 years ago, they hung crossbars on trees in certain places and used oak trees as tie backs!

    Of course THEN, they provided free service.

    Now, installing that line would mean clearing 500 trees and paying 80,000$ for the new "to code" service. Our government at work.
    Last edited by ballvalve; 12-21-2010 at 04:55 PM.

  11. #26
    Electrical Contractor Bobelectric's Avatar
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    In the Post #1, you have a twin breaker with 2 wires of a multi-wire circuit on the same leg,which will overload the neutral common return.

  12. #27
    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    Good point!
    Last edited by ballvalve; 01-02-2011 at 12:51 PM.

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