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Discussion Starter #21
Pull meter , label circuits accordingly, swap panel, reinstall everything in reverse. Has my brain gone in defunked mode ?
Can't do that around here. Meter and panel are in same panel. Have to cut at weather head. After they cut it, you have to finish work then inspector comes and hopefully passes it. If not utility will not reconnect service and customer will be in the dark.
 

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"Mobius87" makes a critical point. You'll likely have to schedule your work around the schedule of the inspection department and the POCO. I've only done my own and back then the POCO wanted 48 hrs notice to pull the meter and would re-install only on the inspector's OK. And the inspector was only available in my area one day a week. Remember...failing to plan is planning to fail. Get everything ready BEFORE pulling the plug.
 

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Am I going Insane . Cut at weather head. Do your work accordingly, resplice with rubber tape and bugs carefully so it’s 100%

or if you wanna do it legit , call the pcoco and have them cut off

riddle edit : what’s the difference between a lineman bug splice and an electricians?
 

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Am I going Insane . Cut at weather head. Do your work accordingly, resplice with rubber tape and bugs carefully so it’s 100%

or if you wanna do it legit , call the pcoco and have them cut off

riddle edit : what’s the difference between a lineman bug splice and an electricians?
It works better if you put the bugs on before the rubber tape...

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All kidding aside, find something better than bugs to splice it in. They loosen up way too easily in the wind. We always crimp for overhead stuff, but we have the tools to do that.

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Der. I reiterate. Get one of those fancy crimp tools for $3k , then use friction tape and after , call your momma to say how proud you are.
 

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You can buy a crimp pliers for a couple hundred bucks.

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I don’t know you , but I already like your style

Just so you know , we’re living in the future , get some battery tools

Who wants to be in the air with loppers ?
 

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Not me , I like to struggle and use my handle loppers

Well I guess it all depends on what gauge wire
 

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Am I going Insane . Cut at weather head. Do your work accordingly, resplice with rubber tape and bugs carefully so it’s 100%

or if you wanna do it legit , call the pcoco and have them cut off

riddle edit : what’s the difference between a lineman bug splice and an electricians?
A couple L16's?
 

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We can’t pull meters. It can get tricky. Inspector’s last call is around 4 pm. At that time of day the utility switches to night crew. I have had the reconnect done close to 8 pm.

One time I got disconnected, started taking things apart and realized I could not finish by inspection time. I had to put it back together and get it inspected before it could be reconnected. Then I had to go to Plan B and re-schedule.
...And that's why people don't get permits.
We used to have locks on our meters here. First the POCO would come out to unlock and relock when done.
Then they decided that a union POCO guy taking the time to do that costs more than the electricity they lose to thieves -since anyone could come out with a grinder to cut the locks anyway.

...So then it became OUR job to cut the locks with a grinder.
 

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Connecting old circuits to AFCI's or GFCI's is a recipe for disaster. You are very likely to get a circuit that won't hold. The NEC allows the conductors inside the panel to be extended up to six feet without adding AFCI's. I do everything in my power to stay within that six foot limit which is difficult if you have to relocate a panel.

If you don't want to spend extra hours troubleshooting, it's also very important to put panels back together exactly like they were. This means: all hots should be on the same phases they came off; not putting a white conductor from a two pole breaker on the neutral bar; and if a red conductor is grounded, ground it. The only change I will make is to downsize a breaker that is too large for the wire it's connected to.
I live in a land of pre-1900 victorians. I put old circuits on AFCIs every week. Just tell your customers it might be part of the job. If you have a good reputation, they will trust you (and frankly, I don't want to work for people who don't trust me).

Nobody has ever complained that I charged an extra $100-$200 to troubleshoot an AFCI/GFCI problem. 9 times out of 10, the issue is a shared neutral. That takes about 10 minutes to troubleshoot and I don't bother charging if I did really well on the job. Sometimes I'll add $50 for labor since that's what I charge to change a breaker.
(And in either case adjust the materials charge obviously)

I love AFCI panels; no guessing as to which terminal the previous electrician popped the neutral into.

I've made a google document to give to customers that explains everything they need to do before a service. For those who opt for AFCI/GFCI upgrades, I include this :

"Side note #2: Please keep in mind that if there is a problem after installing a GFCI, AFCI, or Dual Protection device, that this is a separate issue (trouble-shooting) that must be dealt with. These devices find problems; that's what their job is. Don't be upset if these devices trip. They are tripping because they are protecting you or your home!"

All you have to do is communicate to your customers before hand and they will be loyal to you for your expertise and ability to explain a job, plus your honesty for not coming up with (to their minds) a suspicious "extra".
 

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I'm just a DIYer, but no one in this thread has mentioned the service conductors. I understand Matt1 wants to swap a 100A service for a 200A service. The service conductors for the 100A can be #1 AWG, but a 200A will require 4/0.
 

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I'm just a DIYer, but no one in this thread has mentioned the service conductors. I understand Matt1 wants to swap a 100A service for a 200A service. The service conductors for the 100A can be #1 AWG, but a 200A will require 4/0.
I'm not sure that he actually said that. here's his quote:

If I'm upgrading a panel with multiple circuits (100 to 200 amp) what's the process?
I think he meant "if I'm changing a panel that's between 100 and 200 amps big ..." but you could be right as well. The English usage is confusing. Regardless, yes, if you upsize a panel you have to properly size the service conductors, but the POCO doesn't and usually won't. I have called the POCO many times to tell them I upsized a panel and their response is "Okay" and then they don't do anything except wait to see if the drop burns up.
 

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Poco goes by a different code of ethics. I’ve seen them run one 1/0 aluminum for parallel copper 500’s. I guess they figure , if it burns up , it’ll be outside

To them , 100 amps is penny pushing

Everything is oversized , for the most part
 

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Poco goes by a different code of ethics. I’ve seen them run one 1/0 aluminum for parallel copper 500’s. I guess they figure , if it burns up , it’ll be outside

To them , 100 amps is penny pushing

Everything is oversized , for the most part
Agreed. Most panels rarely see full load for long. However, some parts of the system need to be designed for the max amperage they will see not the average, and fire is still fire.
 

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Pull meter , label circuits accordingly, swap panel, reinstall everything in reverse. Has my brain gone in defunked mode ?
Not that simple in many areas. Here is the process in our area: POCO has to pull the meter, we perform the installation, POCO inspects the service, AHJ inspects the panel and grounding then releases to POCO, who then comes out and reconnects.

There is a lot of coordination that has to happen and you have to be mindful of shift changes and of course the inspectors schedule.
 

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I live in a land of pre-1900 victorians. I put old circuits on AFCIs every week. Just tell your customers it might be part of the job. If you have a good reputation, they will trust you (and frankly, I don't want to work for people who don't trust me).
Yesterday's job: Panel replacement, track a couple of "mystery" circuits, implement plan to add grounded receptacles, ...and add dual protection to 2 old non-grounded circuits so they can keep their entire 2nd floor's worth of 3-prong receptacles.
2 hours later I had found (4) circuits that shared neutrals.
1 shared all 4
2 shared 3
3 shared 1
4 shared "none" ...meaning that there is probably a neutral that is only shared on a switched line with number 1

Solution: merge the circuits into 2 circuits on a DP GFCI.
Side benefit: 2 circuits were in #12 with 20A CBs ...but led to a junction box and #14cables. Now they are properly protected. $ pieces of BX were replaced by a single piece of 14/3 which helped to clean up the panel and made it clear(er) to future electricians that these are on a shared neutral system (also left notes on panel label and on J-box cover).
Next job: strategically add new receptacles throughout the building., (which was part of the plan anyway, but this allowed us to modify the plan more sensibly).

Result: I get paid well for "doing the right thing".
My customers are SO GLAD that I found these issues. Like most people they understand that it was not likely that they were going to die in a fire, but they are happy that:
A). They can "legally" keep the 3-prong receptacles they have, and
B). They are safer just in case. "Just in case" may be relevant here. Pic is from the old panel; the entire bus bar shows over-heating ...on a panel with lots of breakers and relatively little load (only 1 DP breaker for an electric dryer). That said, the panel was really old too so that may be a factor.
155332
 

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Connecting old circuits to AFCI's or GFCI's is a recipe for disaster. You are very likely to get a circuit that won't hold. The NEC allows the conductors inside the panel to be extended up to six feet without adding AFCI's. I do everything in my power to stay within that six foot limit which is difficult if you have to relocate a panel.

If you don't want to spend extra hours troubleshooting, it's also very important to put panels back together exactly like they were. This means: all hots should be on the same phases they came off; not putting a white conductor from a two pole breaker on the neutral bar; and if a red conductor is grounded, ground it. The only change I will make is to downsize a breaker that is too large for the wire it's connected to.
I label everything, write it down, and take photos on every retrofit. Mismarked wiring gets remarked. This may seem like overkill but you’d be amazed how often a label gets knocked off or something gets wrote down wrong.
 
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