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Old 04-28-2019, 12:13 PM   #41
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I love doing panel changes because they are good money and I generally don't have to crawl up into an attic or under a house to do them.

I hate doing panel changes because you are screwing with something that has 40 years of bad electrical work attached to it and anything you do to change it could cause you hours of unpaid troubleshooting to fix.

Therefore I am very careful to put everything back exactly the way I found it i.e. on the same phase, and without new AFCI or GFCI breakers if I can possibly avoid them. The only change I will make is to downgrade a breaker to match the wire size.

The inspectors here will fail an installation if there is a blank spot in the index or if each index entry is not unique. I have no problem "accepting the truth" of the existing index and will copy it onto the new index (except changing "Molly's room" to "bedroom two" and so on). If the index is blank I will do a very fast, very broad trace and label. I have not found a client yet who is willing to pay me extra just to get the index correct. I will do a high quality job on the panel change, but as far as the index is concerned, I do what I need to do to pass inspection and that's it.
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Last edited by Coppersmith; 04-28-2019 at 12:16 PM.
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Old 04-28-2019, 12:16 PM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coppersmith View Post
I hate doing panel changes because you are screwing with something that has 40 years of bad electrical work attached to it and anything you do to change it could cause you hours of unpaid troubleshooting to fix.
That is why you mark it well as you take it apart. There will never be an issue if you simply pay attention when taking the old panel apart. I tell my guys that, do not rush, just pay attention and use tape or number markers to label odd things.

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Therefore I am very careful to put everything back exactly the way I found it i.e. on the same phase, and without new AFCI or GFCI breakers if I can possibly avoid them. The only change I will make is to downgrade a breaker to match the wire size.
Exactly, I spoke too soon above lol.
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Old 04-28-2019, 12:20 PM   #43
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Story time. Every once in a while I will find that someone installed a 3-wire and put the red wire on the ground. I am not sure if they were using it as an EGC or just kept it as a spare and grounded it for safety.

Anyway, I saw this in a panel once but I did not tell my guy about it. When I came back after he finished I checked and saw that he landed both the black and red on a 2-pole breaker. If he energized that it could have electrified all the metal boxes on that circuit.

He clearly did not do what I told him about carefully checking the panel before taking it apart. Fired on the spot.
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Old 04-28-2019, 12:32 PM   #44
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I have found this red wire on ground situation also. I wasn't sure how to handle it so I wrapped the red wire with green tape and left it grounded. What do you suggest doing?
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Old 04-28-2019, 12:36 PM   #45
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I have found this red wire on ground situation also. I wasn't sure how to handle it so I wrapped the red wire with green tape and left it grounded. What do you suggest doing?
I do exactly the same thing. I don't want to just cap it off in case it is being used as the EGC.

Just like you said, the only thing I change is lowering the break size when necessary.
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Old 06-08-2019, 03:46 PM   #46
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Panel changeout includes marking of the panel. Had inspectors ask, are you going to mark the panel, and be specific about not wanting "general lighting". Last inspector was giving me a hard time about the panel being a 1/2" too high (older house had 3 panels, and 3 meters in same proximity). Had so much flex seal, I thought I was going to enter the Matrix...

Often mark everything I can with white tape flag loop, if the old panel is marked or they left the ole romex label on.

Mark anything unknown, even then sometimes you can't find a 15/20amp circuit. Do my best but not going to crawl up into attics looking into J-boxes / buried goodies. If it was on before, it stays on, if not cap it.
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Old 06-08-2019, 04:01 PM   #47
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Panel changeout includes marking of the panel. Had inspectors ask, are you going to mark the panel, and be specific about not wanting "general lighting". Last inspector was giving me a hard time about the panel being a 1/2" too high (older house had 3 panels, and 3 meters in same proximity). Had so much flex seal, I thought I was going to enter the Matrix...

Often mark everything I can with white tape flag loop, if the old panel is marked or they left the ole romex label on.

Mark anything unknown, even then sometimes you can't find a 15/20amp circuit. Do my best but not going to crawl up into attics looking into J-boxes / buried goodies. If it was on before, it stays on, if not cap it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coppersmith View Post
I love doing panel changes because they are good money and I generally don't have to crawl up into an attic or under a house to do them.

I hate doing panel changes because you are screwing with something that has 40 years of bad electrical work attached to it and anything you do to change it could cause you hours of unpaid troubleshooting to fix.

Therefore I am very careful to put everything back exactly the way I found it i.e. on the same phase, and without new AFCI or GFCI breakers if I can possibly avoid them. The only change I will make is to downgrade a breaker to match the wire size.

The inspectors here will fail an installation if there is a blank spot in the index or if each index entry is not unique. I have no problem "accepting the truth" of the existing index and will copy it onto the new index (except changing "Molly's room" to "bedroom two" and so on). If the index is blank I will do a very fast, very broad trace and label. I have not found a client yet who is willing to pay me extra just to get the index correct. I will do a high quality job on the panel change, but as far as the index is concerned, I do what I need to do to pass inspection and that's it.
I normally mark by cardinal direction. North bedroom, South Bedroom, West Sub Panel, etc

Until you're in that attic putting lags for bracing into the roof/trusses. That sucks, usually somebody on the outside beating a hammer to find location, a guy drilling through from the inside of the attic truss to the outside of the roof.

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The NEC also says that you can't do that. I have had customers tell me to use words like that, but that doesn't help when someone moves out.

From the code section I posted above: "No circuit shall be described in a manner that depends on transient conditions of occupancy.".

Agreed. I hate labelling panels. It's just a pain in the ass and it has to be done at the end when all the real work is done and you just want to go home. And I had to spend $800 on a circuit mapper to stop me from having to bring a second guy to label the panel.

If there is a good panel schedule on the old panel I will definitely use it to label the new one, I just put numbers on the wires before I take them off the old breakers. IMO, labelling the panel is worthless. When I need to shut off a circuit I never depend on the panel schedule because it is usually wrong.
Need that second guy you fired
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Old 07-05-2019, 09:52 AM   #48
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Quote:
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The dishwasher is often a cord running under the sink, I just put the receiver up to it to find the circuit.
The fridge I will reach behind if it is small enough to pull out a bit. But often the fridge is on a circuit with the rest of the kitchen, so no need to label it separately.
The furnace can be found by toughing the receiver to the romex feeding it or by opening the junction box on it.

I bought mine here for cheaper than the prices you mentioned: http://www.mitchellinstrument.com/ci...ng-system.html
So I just pulled the trigger on this new tool. I purchased the 42 CCT model based on @HackWork recommendation. I have a single home that is being converted to three apartments, I am hoping this will pay for itself very quickly on this job and a few others I have coming up.

When I get it I will provide a review and let you know.

I appreciate @HackWork recommendation.

Cheers
John
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Old 07-06-2019, 12:52 AM   #49
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I'm not even sure how I got here, old thread ans all, but, since I'm here. Back in my service day's, I had this obnoxiously loud 110v. metal can buzzer that I stuck a plug on. No matter where in a residence I plugged it in, I could hear it at the panel. Made life way easy.
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Old 07-06-2019, 05:27 AM   #50
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I'm not even sure how I got here, old thread ans all, but, since I'm here. Back in my service day's, I had this obnoxiously loud 110v. metal can buzzer that I stuck a plug on. No matter where in a residence I plugged it in, I could hear it at the panel. Made life way easy.
That's no different than a radio, or an extension cord with a drop light plugged into it. And it is far from easy. Maybe it's fine on a small single story house. But when the panel is in the basement and you have to identify 20 outlets and lights on the second floor, those 20 trips up and down multiple flights of stairs is a giant pain in the ass. Even up and down 1 flight of stairs to the first floor starts to get old after the first few times.
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Old 07-06-2019, 11:01 AM   #51
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If the original circuit is blank, I leave it blank on the new panel. Marking a panel can take hours and is a royal pain as Hacky said. If you're dealing with a larger house that has been hacked up over the years, it could be a downright nightmare to mark the panel. Most inspectors here don't even look at the panel, and even if they do, they don't care about a few blank spots.
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