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  1. #1
    Nathan Lanni's Avatar
    Nathan Lanni Guest

    Default Electrical Panel Expansion

    I'd like to use my old existing 200 amp, 15 circuit main panel as a pass-thru to a new 30 or 40 circuit panel installed next to the old one. This includes moving (or replacing) the breakers into the new panel.

    Not sure of the procedure for extending the wires from the old panel to the new. I could be wrong but from what I've read using wirer nuts is not acceptable.

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Chicago IL
    Posts
    1,984

    Default Re: Electrical Panel Expansion

    Based on your question you clearly aren't an electrician. What you are proposing is possible but really not the best option.
    No one in their right mind is going to give you advice on how to do this since you could end up DEAD.
    Changing out a panel has inherent dangers just by the nature of the work. For an electrician who knows what he's doing it isn't that big a deal. For a DIY'er who doesn't know what he's doing it could go ok, be compliant or not or you wife might end up awful happy she took out that fat life insurance policy.
    Hire someone and stay healthy.

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    773/844-4AIC
    "The Code is not a ceiling to reach but a floor to work up from"

  3. #3

    Default Re: Electrical Panel Expansion

    There are times when doing something yourself to save costs is acceptable. This however is not one of those situations. Spend the money, hire a licensed electrician. While he is there, have him review your home for AFCI's and GFCI's.


  4. #4
    Daniel Mack's Avatar
    Daniel Mack Guest

    Default Re: Electrical Panel Expansion

    If you know how to get the utility to shut off the power, how to safely test, and how to ground out the system after power is shut off until the last step of all work and how to reverse this before re-energizing the system, if you know how to strip out the guts and seal all unused openings, if you know what a listed and approved connection is, if you know all issues and upgrades that will arise with this work as far as local and national building codes are concerned, if you understand fill, if you have a professional wireman go over and supervise your plan, and if the wire nuts are listed and approved, then yes, it is possible to use a wire nut sized correctly to make a connection. Please do not get in over your head. Electricity does not give you a second chance.


  5. #5
    Nathan Lanni's Avatar
    Nathan Lanni Guest

    Default Re: Electrical Panel Expansion

    Quote Originally Posted by Markus Keller View Post
    Based on your question you clearly aren't an electrician. What you are proposing is possible but really not the best option.
    No one in their right mind is going to give you advice on how to do this since you could end up DEAD.
    Changing out a panel has inherent dangers just by the nature of the work. For an electrician who knows what he's doing it isn't that big a deal. For a DIY'er who doesn't know what he's doing it could go ok, be compliant or not or you wife might end up awful happy she took out that fat life insurance policy.
    Hire someone and stay healthy.
    Quote Originally Posted by Charles Wilson View Post
    There are times when doing something yourself to save costs is acceptable. This however is not one of those situations. Spend the money, hire a licensed electrician. While he is there, have him review your home for AFCI's and GFCI's.
    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Mack View Post
    If you know how to get the utility to shut off the power, how to safely test, and how to ground out the system after power is shut off until the last step of all work and how to reverse this before re-energizing the system, if you know how to strip out the guts and seal all unused openings, if you know what a listed and approved connection is, if you know all issues and upgrades that will arise with this work as far as local and national building codes are concerned, if you understand fill, if you have a professional wireman go over and supervise your plan, and if the wire nuts are listed and approved, then yes, it is possible to use a wire nut sized correctly to make a connection. Please do not get in over your head. Electricity does not give you a second chance.
    LOL it's Ok, it's Ok . . . Sorry for rubbing your fur the wrong direction. The problems with forums is you have to be brief or nobody reads your post. Believe me messing with that 200 amp main is not something I will do.

    But yes, I know where you guys are coming from. Rest assured, I will hire an electrician to assist me. My dad was a general contractor years ago, and I ran his jobs, but that was all new construction. I ran my own foundation, framing, interior finish crews, but for electrical, plumbing, hvac, drywall, etc., I used sub's exclusively. I was also the facility manager for a state prison facility for 10 years, with 80 staff including stationary engineers, industrial electricians, plumbers, etc. So I have some knowledge but I also recognize my limitations.

    Sorry I used the term wire nuts, but I think in this case the proper term would have been "kerney" which is a secured metal connector that is fully insulated. I just don't pretend to know what I talking about when I'm not in my field which is architecture and engineering. That's why I came here asking for advise and help.

    The problem is that a lot of people claim to know what they are talking about but are bull shitters trying to get their foot in the door. I don't want just any Joe coming out, so to deal with this problem, I do research as much as possible (and apparently ask dumb, very obvious questions) which enables me to make sure when I talk with tradesmen I can sort 'em out. Then based on that conversation we can change the plan, etc.

    Trust me I will find the information I need, and if doing what I suggested is not the best idea I'll go in a different direction. Just thought your collective knowledge might be helpful. Worst case all I've wasted is the time and energy to join yet another forum and write my long winded response to your posts.

    Thanks and Cheers.

    Last edited by Nathan Lanni; 03-25-2013 at 10:48 AM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    274

    Default Re: Electrical Panel Expansion

    Yes, you can do what you propose and there are different ways to do it. Not sure where the idea of not being able to use wire nuts came from, used all the time in panels, I gutted my old fuse box and used it as a junction box, it's filled with wire nuts.

    You could gut your old panel and make it a big junction box, you could make it a sub-panel, or put the new panel in the same place as the old one. Each way has certain procedures, and not knowing all the details, I'm not sure which option would be the best or easiest, nor would I recommend any one way over the other. Also, you just can't randomly extend the circuits to the new box, you have to be careful.

    The other issue you might have is depending on AHJ, if you upgrade the service you might have to go through the whole house and bring it up to a current standard of some type. So, you might want to check into that as well.

    Last edited by Mike Kleisch; 03-26-2013 at 07:35 AM.

  7. #7
    Daniel Mack's Avatar
    Daniel Mack Guest

    Default Re: Electrical Panel Expansion

    Quote Originally Posted by Nathan Lanni View Post
    LOL it's Ok, it's Ok . . . Sorry for rubbing your fur the wrong direction. The problems with forums is you have to be brief or nobody reads your post. Believe me messing with that 200 amp main is not something I will do.

    But yes, I know where you guys are coming from. Rest assured, I will hire an electrician to assist me. My dad was a general contractor years ago, and I ran his jobs, but that was all new construction. I ran my own foundation, framing, interior finish crews, but for electrical, plumbing, hvac, drywall, etc., I used sub's exclusively. I was also the facility manager for a state prison facility for 10 years, with 80 staff including stationary engineers, industrial electricians, plumbers, etc. So I have some knowledge but I also recognize my limitations.

    Sorry I used the term wire nuts, but I think in this case the proper term would have been "kerney" which is a secured metal connector that is fully insulated. I just don't pretend to know what I talking about when I'm not in my field which is architecture and engineering. That's why I came here asking for advise and help.

    The problem is that a lot of people claim to know what they are talking about but are bull shitters trying to get their foot in the door. I don't want just any Joe coming out, so to deal with this problem, I do research as much as possible (and apparently ask dumb, very obvious questions) which enables me to make sure when I talk with tradesmen I can sort 'em out. Then based on that conversation we can change the plan, etc.

    Trust me I will find the information I need, and if doing what I suggested is not the best idea I'll go in a different direction. Just thought your collective knowledge might be helpful. Worst case all I've wasted is the time and energy to join yet another forum and write my long winded response to your posts.

    Thanks and Cheers.
    The BS'ers better hope I do not read their post when it comes to NEC code. Best of luck to you Sir!


  8. #8
    Nathan Lanni's Avatar
    Nathan Lanni Guest

    Default Re: Electrical Panel Expansion

    Thanks everyone for your advice.


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