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To change panel or not

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  • To change panel or not

    Hi guys, I have 2 side by side 100amp panels, Built my home 30 years ago. not sure why my electrician put in 2 100a panels, I used to have electric heat, but I have gas now. the Panel that had all the heat breakers in it has only 7 circuits in it now, so I have plenty of space for future circuits, so that's not a problem. I have 2 SEC cables feeding from the load side of the meter, 1 for each panel.
    Having said all that, is there any reason to replace those 2 panels with one 200a panel?
    Thanks for any help!
    Last edited by johnny2154; 03-03-2013, 08:39 AM.

  • #2
    Re: To change panel or not

    What's the Manuf. ? The NEC Has made a lot of code changes since the 80s Not a bad idea to upgrade. Brewster Mass.? I was building homes in N. falmouth in the 70s $30,000. Threw My long Johns off the Golden Gate Bridge 34 Years ago !
    I can build anything You want , if you draw a picture of it , on the back of a big enough check .

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: To change panel or not

      unless it is some Odd ball panel or a zinsco panel, Is My Electrical Panel Safe? - Important Information About Federal Pacific Electric, Zinsco and Outdated Electric Panel Boxes

      If it is not broke why fix it,
      Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
      attributed to Samuel Johnson
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil...plus the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.

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      • #4
        Re: To change panel or not

        square d

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: To change panel or not

          square D is a good brand,
          Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
          "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
          attributed to Samuel Johnson
          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
          PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil...plus the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: To change panel or not

            I agree with BHD, If it not broke don't fix it.

            IMHO, Square D is on the lower scale of quality

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: To change panel or not

              Isn't it amazing that over the years how things change. At one time Square D was the go-to company for top of the line products. Then, as lower quality companies came into the scene, all products became more and more cheaply built in order to compete. Now, a huge company cannot ramp back up to top-o-the-line status (for whatever reasons).
              ~~

              ... it was plumbed by Ray Charles and his helper Stevie Wonder

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: To change panel or not

                Originally posted by Plumber Punky View Post
                Isn't it amazing that over the years how things change. At one time Square D was the go-to company for top of the line products. Then, as lower quality companies came into the scene, all products became more and more cheaply built in order to compete. Now, a huge company cannot ramp back up to top-o-the-line status (for whatever reasons).
                Unfortunately, The bottom line is more important than people or products nowadays

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: To change panel or not

                  Last week I pulled out a 100 Amp. Zinsco and installed a 200 Amp Murray .
                  I can build anything You want , if you draw a picture of it , on the back of a big enough check .

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: To change panel or not

                    I actually have a Zinsco panel it's around 1966 vintage.
                    I have been trying to find an electrician to replace it for over a year
                    So far two licensed electricians will not take the task!

                    I am tempted to buy a Square -D 200 amp panel and wire it up myself up to where
                    the meter and feed lines are connected..get it inspected and then try to find
                    a licensed electrician to do the final connections and have the power company install
                    a new meter. Of course a building permit will be pulled!!!

                    Cactus Man

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: To change panel or not

                      Originally posted by cactusman View Post
                      I actually have a Zinsco panel it's around 1966 vintage.
                      I have been trying to find an electrician to replace it for over a year
                      So far two licensed electricians will not take the task!

                      I am tempted to buy a Square -D 200 amp panel and wire it up myself up to where
                      the meter and feed lines are connected..get it inspected and then try to find
                      a licensed electrician to do the final connections and have the power company install
                      a new meter. Of course a building permit will be pulled!!!

                      Cactus Man
                      What's the big deal with replacing with a surface mount panel ? That's $1800 to $2500 in My area.
                      New service up size separate $$ to the utility Co.
                      I can build anything You want , if you draw a picture of it , on the back of a big enough check .

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: To change panel or not

                        What reason did they give for not taking the job? Even if the cables would not reach the larger panel, they could be spliced. Maybe the service entrance conductors were embedded in cement?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: To change panel or not

                          Just to close the loop.

                          I received a quote today to replace my Zinsco panel a new 200amp service
                          The quote includes permits, panel, circuit breakers, installation, 5 foot trench to reroute
                          underground service feed, generator to support essential items like the freezer and of course TV etc.

                          They said it may take three days

                          I figure one day for digging and laying everything out.
                          wiring up the new panel ..they will use the old panel as a junction box
                          I'm not sure how long I'll be on generator
                          and the third day to clean up and have the inspection.

                          I figure around $2300.00 including any taxes too.
                          so toolaholic your estimate of $1800-$2500 is right on!


                          Cactus Man

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: To change panel or not

                            Originally posted by cactusman View Post
                            Just to close the loop.

                            I received a quote today to replace my Zinsco panel a new 200amp service
                            The quote includes permits, panel, circuit breakers, installation, 5 foot trench to reroute
                            underground service feed, generator to support essential items like the freezer and of course TV etc.

                            They said it may take three days

                            I figure one day for digging and laying everything out.
                            wiring up the new panel ..they will use the old panel as a junction box
                            I'm not sure how long I'll be on generator
                            and the third day to clean up and have the inspection.

                            I figure around $2300.00 including any taxes too.
                            so toolaholic your estimate of $1800-$2500 is right on!


                            Cactus Man
                            That's a very good price ! Our services are mostly overhead , And Gen. is XTRA
                            I can build anything You want , if you draw a picture of it , on the back of a big enough check .

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: To change panel or not

                              Zinsco panels are very common in CA. IMO they are terrible. I have personally had two instances where the breakers failed to trip, and wires burned in the walls. Fortunately, the wires burned back and the circuit opened itself before a fire started both times. The first time it happened, I changed breakers. New Zinsco breakers have been unavailable for a long time -- they are all either remanufactured or Chinese imports. The second time it happened, I changed the panel and uprated the service from 100A to 200A. In my area, the poco requires changing the underground service conduit to 3", so I ended up installing a surface mount panelboard. Had to extend the wires for the house circuits, it wasn't much of a problem. The old panel was a rusted out piece of crap, so I used a nice new NEMA 3R box as the junction box. The electrician quoted $2500 for all this, but that didn't include the trenching for the new conduit, and it didn't include the poco's $2000 rip off charge for them to come out and pull the new cable from their concrete box out at the sidewalk through the new conduit up to the new meter socket (took about an hour, and they were moving slow as molasses). I decided that I could do the job much cheaper than $2500 electrician, which proved to be the case. Digging the trench for the new service conduit was easy.... I paid a couple of neighborhood teenagers to dig it.

                              Three days sounds about right. I didn't use a generator. I temporarily brought power from the old panel over to the new panel until the poco came to pull the new 200A service conductors. I was without power for about an hour. I only had a couple of breakers in the panel for the fridge etc. My inspector had no problem with it. Once the new service was up, I tore out the Zinsco and repaired the wall.

                              I have such a poor opinon of Zinsco that I tore one out of a family member's home as well. I see those things as disasters waiting to happen.

                              I've had no problem with SqD, but I use the "QO" panels, not the "Homeline" stuff, which IMO is a lesser grade.
                              Last edited by Andy_M; 03-30-2013, 01:54 PM.

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