DIY Home Improvement, Remodeling & Repair Forum > DIY Home Improvement > Electrical and Wiring > Is this a 'proper' way to install a new electrical panel?




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Old 04-07-2009, 09:55 AM  
viki412ag
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Default Is this a 'proper' way to install a new electrical panel?

So I hired an electrician to upgrade an old 60AMP panel to 200AMP. The old panel was a federal pacific panel, very small in size and rusty...
Once he opened things up, we found out that the the builder of the house (43yrs ago) actually cut into the brick/blocks of the wall of the house to be able to recess the old panel into the wall, there is drywall directly over the blocks.
So we don't really want him to cut more of the blocks out of the wall to fit the larger panel in, so we said it would be fine to just mount it on the wall.
What we didn't realize is that he would mount a large piece of board on the wall, onto which he would mount the new panel. Although this room isn't at it's best right now, we plan on repainting it and putting down carpet and making it a nice livable area in the near future, so I was shocked first for the fact that he mounted this giant ugly board on the wall and second how much drywall he cut out to do his work. Take a look at the picture attached and tell me if this is really the best way install a box like this w/out cutting into the cement block behind the drywall? Is it appropriate for me to ask him how he plans on finishing this properly? I don't want to step on his toes, but I'm seriously upset about the appearance so far. If anyone has any advice... or suggestions... please reply... Or if anyone has seen a panel mounted like this before?



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Old 04-07-2009, 11:43 AM  
speedy petey
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I'll make the same reply here as on the other board:

That is a COMPLETELY standard way of installing a panel. In fact it is a VERY neat job.
That is a NOT a "giant" ugly board. It is actually on the smaller side of what would typically be used.
Typically what you see is standard. There is no "finishing" involved.
I myself paint my boards grey.

I am of the firm opinion that if you were going to be this picky about the installation I would think you would have been MUCH more thorough with him BEFORE hand instead of ripping this clean installation afterward.



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Old 04-07-2009, 12:45 PM  
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Default Yup

That is a very nice job.Seriously.
Sometimes you may not understand work involved in installing something such as this and may not be happy with the results.This is why you need better communication in the beginning.
You may not like the appearance, but sometimes folks will build an accessible cabinet over the box to make it look like a piece of furniture.The panel will need total access (doors)and nothing can be stored inside the area the panel is in.
Ask your electrician about this idea and they will help with the clearances you need for accessibility for future work in the panel.
Hope this helps you to understand just how things work sometimes.

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Old 04-07-2009, 12:53 PM  
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Looks good to me. So, you're saying he's not yet done finishing it? What's your worry, then? How much did you pay for the service?

I'd just be happy with 200 amp service...

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Old 04-13-2009, 07:46 PM  
triple D
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Default hey petey....

Do you really think that is nice and clean? There is something wrong with this that caught my eye. In the nec it states that when ser cable is used between meter and panel, it shall be protected from physical damage, like in conduit the entire length of service entrance. And if used as a feeder with a main breaker at meater, than it should be carrying a neutral. Just something that caught my eye, whats your thoughts?

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Old 04-14-2009, 05:02 AM  
speedy petey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by triple D View Post
There is something wrong with this that caught my eye. In the nec it states that when ser cable is used between meter and panel, it shall be protected from physical damage, like in conduit the entire length of service entrance. And if used as a feeder with a main breaker at meater, than it should be carrying a neutral. Just something that caught my eye, whats your thoughts?
Well, it is a clean installation. About the only thing I can see is a strap on the SE cable missing.

Yes, it says SE cable shall free from physical damage, it is doe NOT say anything about "conduit the entire length of service entrance", although this is one method. Heck, even just "conduit is" not a code answer. See NEC 230.50(B)
Sch40 PVC does not give any more protection than SE cable or NM in the eyes of the code. It would have to be steel or PVC Sch80.
I don't see how that cable is subject to physical damage, not any more than the branch circuit cables are.

I don't see any where that it states this is a sub-feed or after a main breaker. Looks like a typical main breaker panel to me.
Yes, if there were a main disconnect outside or ahead of this panel then SER would have to be run which carries a dedicated ground (equipment ground).
That SEU cable shown DOES have a neutral (grounded conductor). The bare braided conductor around the outside IS the neutral, not the ground. In the case of a service such as this it serves both purposes though.
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Old 04-14-2009, 04:44 PM  
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Default heres my experience....

On a recent job I did, I had two 200a panels side by side that were in a wall. They had two inch pipe leaving top of panels. The pipe ended with a bell end in the wall, and in it was ser cable. This ser went from panel to meter. The inspector called me on it, and said the entire lenght of ser must be in conduit, if no means of disconnect are ahead of it. I had to change out my whole set up and core hole a ten inch wall and come down from meter into the ground and turn 90 into back of panel through foundation. This created issues with moisture sealer on foundation and he didnt care. I am not sure if viki has a disconnect before this ser cable, but if there is a brkr in meter, he needs 4 conductors, and floated neutrals. And if not, it should be in conduit. I believe now that you pionted out that bare neutral, it brings another code to mind, I think a neutral must be an insulated conductor from meter to panel. This has been my experience on a couple of jobs. I wonder if it has been inspected yet.....? I would wager it would fail. Have a good one fellas, more pics coming to my gallery soon! Good luck...

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Old 04-15-2009, 05:10 AM  
speedy petey
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Let me preface all this by saying there might be local amendments that require some of this. Knowing your codes before you do the job helps save added and redundant work. It also gives you ammunition for dealing with an overzealous inspetor.


Quote:
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On a recent job I did, I had two 200a panels side by side that were in a wall. They had two inch pipe leaving top of panels. The pipe ended with a bell end in the wall, and in it was ser cable. This ser went from panel to meter. The inspector called me on it, and said the entire lenght of ser must be in conduit, if no means of disconnect are ahead of it.
Well I would have asked him for a code quote before going through all that unnecessary work and just taking his word on it. He was absolutely wrong.



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I am not sure if viki has a disconnect before this ser cable, but if there is a brkr in meter, he needs 4 conductors, and floated neutrals. And if not, it should be in conduit.
I see no reason to think there is a breaker. Like I said, this looks like a typical residential 200A service. In areas where outside disconnects are the norm it may seem odd to see this type of setup.
Again, NO, there is NO requirement that this SEU cable be in conduit.



Quote:
Originally Posted by triple D View Post
I believe now that you pionted out that bare neutral, it brings another code to mind, I think a neutral must be an insulated conductor from meter to panel. This has been my experience on a couple of jobs.
No, like I said, this is SEU cable. SEU cable has a bare neutral when used as service entrance cable. This is normal and code compliant and has been for probably 100 years.

See 338.10(B)(2)Exc.
Exception: Uninsulated conductors shall be permitted as a grounded conductor in accordance with 250.32 and 250.140 where the uninsulated grounded conductor of the cable originates in service equipment, and 225.30 through 225.40.
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Old 04-15-2009, 06:38 AM  
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Heck, I always thought code was determined by which side of the bed the inspector got out of that morning.

Actually, the last piece of SE cable I had; had two insulated hots, one insulated neutral and one bare ground (all aluminum).

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Old 04-15-2009, 07:51 AM  
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Thanks Speedy
I had that pic blown up & was trying to find the white neutral



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