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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Have some #3s feeding an old FPE panel mounted horizontally. I'm upgrading the panel and mounting it vertically, the feeders however May not reach the lugs of the new panel.

Anyone ever done butt splices on the main feeders coming into a house panel?
 

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Electrical Contractor
Trying to retire or at least slow down a bit, but life not cooperating
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The only reference I can find regarding splices on service entrance cable, is on underground installations. (6-300)

I've seen splices on commercial service upgrades, but those installs were more than 10 years old.

Besides, will there be enough room in the main breaker section?
 

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Estwing magic
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I don't like it. Why not just run new conductors?

Or create your own knockout so the existing conductors reach (??). I would run that one by the inspector first.
 

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We did some on the new mains we pulled on the first job I was on. The journeyman running the job terminated them on the bottom of the main disconnect... The inspector was called in and he understood the "oops" and allowed us to splice the 500's - not a fun job in itself inside the disconnect...
 

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Sideways Sparky
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Not an issue here because a panel change almost always requires a service change. Either the mast is wood, the conductors are not rated to -40 etc.
I would Htap the feeders in the mains area and never lose a minutes sleep.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Utility is pulling the Meter and all I'm doing is upgrading to a newer panel and cleaning everything up. I was thinking of the butt splices because I didn't want to change the wiring going outside to the meter.
 

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In our area, the poco defines spliced in a main feeder as illegal. Only time that is allowed is in an underground installation with an approved kit.

If the cables were to be spliced I would assume the said spliced would have to be accessible. But if the run is less than 20' why would you not just repull.


Don't get lazy at this point of you want to do a good job.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The splices were going to be right in the panel, I guess I'll change the wire or mount horizontal.
 

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If the meter is being pulled then pretty easy to pull new wires from the panel to the mb. Probably under 10 feet too?

Edit: Looking at the pic... some electricians have no pride (existing crap).
 

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We do it quite often, ours arent in pipe though so may not be an option for you to do it outside the panel. These shearbolt splices are a PITA with flexi cantols, I ended up taping the copper up and inserting it into the splice then taking out the second shear bolt ripping the tape out with needle nose pliers.
 

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I've done it a few times on a straight 1 to 1 panel swaps. Wire was fine, just 3" short. Inspector approved it. Just used a butt joint and tapped it. It's just like if an existing circuit won't reach and you extend it with a pig tail.
 

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Chief Flunky
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I'd feel better about crimped on barrel connectors though. No mechanical joints to fail. Yeah I know shear bolts are also "permanent" but it's still a threaded fitting. Plus the barrel connector is barely bigger than the wire. Just a little tape to build up the insulation. This is outside of the application but when I worked on dredges we had a #6 480 V shore power system. Lots of problems with boats hitting it, wind twisting and banging on it, getting wet, drug in the sand on the bottom, you name it. It was always getting damaged and the only real purpose was to run bilge pumps so the boat didn't sink. You can't seal up a mining pump since they use stuffing boxes.

Anyways...we tried everything. Plugs simply didn't work. We eventually found that barrel splices with heat shrink adhesive jackets with another outer heat shrink adhesive jacket over those worked and was tougher than the original cable. Nothing ever pulled apart and the cable around it would fail before the splice would. It even held up spending extended periods of time underwater.
 

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We used butt splices on the surface cables in the mine. 4160 and 7200 It is amazing how much damage a D8 or D9 caterpillar or a loaded haul truck can do to a cord. After they drive over it. Thank god the ground fault system we used was flawless. The only difference we did was to wrap the conductors, already insulated with a vulcanizing tape and cook the splice for 20 minutes.
 
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