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Default New Residential Electrical Service Box Questions, Please

Hello,

Will be replacing a quite old residential electrical service box with a new
150 or 200 amp one in the near future.

Haven't spoken to any electricians yet, but before I do, would like to gain
a bit of knowledge as to
what is state of the art, etc., these days.

e.g.,

a. What brand(s) do I want to ask for, and I guess what's more important,
which to stay away from ?

b. Square D still the preferred one to go with ?
If so, do they have a "good," "better," "best" kind of lineup ?
Which should I specify ? Much of a price difference between ?

c. Not sure what bells and whistles to ask about.
I guess I want GFE breakers somewhere.
Where should they be put in ?
Any potential problem in having one in the service box if there is already
one or two GFE's on outlets in the circuit ?

d. What about "Arc-Fault" breakers, which I've heard about.
What are they, and where would I want them ?

e. Is a ground rod required these days for the Gnd/Neutral, per Code ?
Presently, there doesn't seem to be one.

Much thanks; appreciate it.

Bob


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Default New Residential Electrical Service Box Questions, Please


c. Not sure what bells and whistles to ask about.
I guess I want GFE breakers somewhere.
Where should they be put in ?
Any potential problem in having one in the service box if there is already
one or two GFE's on outlets in the circuit ?


GFI = Ground Fault Interrupter (also GFCI)

GFE = Girlfriend Experience, a term used by prostitutes for a type of
service, according to "The Urban Dictionary"

If you are going to have a GFE in your house, this is wrong group to
talk about it. :-)

JK

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Default New Residential Electrical Service Box Questions, Please


Robert11 wrote:

Hello,

Will be replacing a quite old residential electrical service box with a new
150 or 200 amp one in the near future.

Haven't spoken to any electricians yet, but before I do, would like to gain
a bit of knowledge as to
what is state of the art, etc., these days.

e.g.,

a. What brand(s) do I want to ask for, and I guess what's more important,
which to stay away from ?


Avoid stuff like Bryant like the plague.


b. Square D still the preferred one to go with ?
If so, do they have a "good," "better," "best" kind of lineup ?
Which should I specify ? Much of a price difference between ?


Square D QO, not Square D Homeline. Not a huge price difference for a
basic residential panel, probably add $100 to the materials cost. Get a
40 space panel, they fill up a lot faster than you think.


c. Not sure what bells and whistles to ask about.
I guess I want GFE breakers somewhere.
Where should they be put in ?
Any potential problem in having one in the service box if there is already
one or two GFE's on outlets in the circuit ?


Do not put GFCI breakers in the panel, they cost 4x what a GFCI outlet
does and don't provide any more protection. You will need to put AFCI
breakers on any circuits serving bedrooms, but the AFCI breakers are
more reasonably priced.

Other options to look at are the "Surge Breaker" surge suppresser, and
the generator interlock kit if you want to provide a connection point
for a generator.


d. What about "Arc-Fault" breakers, which I've heard about.
What are they, and where would I want them ?


Recent code requirement for circuits serving bedrooms.


e. Is a ground rod required these days for the Gnd/Neutral, per Code ?
Presently, there doesn't seem to be one.


Two 8' ground rods at least 6' apart.


Much thanks; appreciate it.

Bob

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Default New Residential Electrical Service Box Questions, Please


"Robert11" wrote in message
. ..
Hello,

Will be replacing a quite old residential electrical service box with a
new 150 or 200 amp one in the near future.

Haven't spoken to any electricians yet, but before I do, would like to
gain a bit of knowledge as to
what is state of the art, etc., these days.

e.g.,

a. What brand(s) do I want to ask for, and I guess what's more important,
which to stay away from ?

b. Square D still the preferred one to go with ?
If so, do they have a "good," "better," "best" kind of lineup ?
Which should I specify ? Much of a price difference between ?

c. Not sure what bells and whistles to ask about.
I guess I want GFE breakers somewhere.
Where should they be put in ?
Any potential problem in having one in the service box if there is already
one or two GFE's on outlets in the circuit ?

d. What about "Arc-Fault" breakers, which I've heard about.
What are they, and where would I want them ?

e. Is a ground rod required these days for the Gnd/Neutral, per Code ?
Presently, there doesn't seem to be one.

Much thanks; appreciate it.

Bob

I suppose Square D, QO is still regarded as the best, although IMO all the
majors are pretty decent. I never recommend a 150 amp service as the labor
cost is the same as for a 200 amp and the material cost is negligible. I
agree with Pete c that I'd want a "full size" 40 circuit panel, which you
won't get with a 150 amp service, at least with a built in main breaker. I
wouldn't install any GFCI breakers unless you're replacing ones in the
current panel. I think it makes more sense to use receptacles where needed.
New code requires AFCI protection for virtually everything in bedrooms, but
unless the bedrooms were wired for AFCI protection, you could be opening up
a can of worms, especially if multiwire branch circuits were used and your
existing wiring should be grandfatherd. I wouldn't worry about ground rods
and related stuff as that's why you have an inspector check the job, he'll
do what's required in your area.


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Default New Residential Electrical Service Box Questions, Please


"Robert11" wrote in message
. ..
Hello,

Will be replacing a quite old residential electrical service box with a
new 150 or 200 amp one in the near future.

Haven't spoken to any electricians yet, but before I do, would like to
gain a bit of knowledge as to
what is state of the art, etc., these days.

e.g.,

a. What brand(s) do I want to ask for, and I guess what's more important,
which to stay away from ?

b. Square D still the preferred one to go with ?
If so, do they have a "good," "better," "best" kind of lineup ?
Which should I specify ? Much of a price difference between ?

c. Not sure what bells and whistles to ask about.
I guess I want GFE breakers somewhere.
Where should they be put in ?
Any potential problem in having one in the service box if there is already
one or two GFE's on outlets in the circuit ?

d. What about "Arc-Fault" breakers, which I've heard about.
What are they, and where would I want them ?

e. Is a ground rod required these days for the Gnd/Neutral, per Code ?
Presently, there doesn't seem to be one.

Much thanks; appreciate it.

Bob



Didn't you ask a bunch of questions about a service upgrade a year or two
ago?



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Default New Residential Electrical Service Box Questions, Please

Pete C. wrote:
Robert11 wrote:


If you are going to post to multiple newsgroups use crossposting so your
questions don't have to be answered multiple times.



d. What about "Arc-Fault" breakers, which I've heard about.
What are they, and where would I want them ?


Recent code requirement for circuits serving bedrooms.


Vastly expanded in the 2008 NEC.

--
bud--
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Default New Residential Electrical Service Box Questions, Please

Robert11 wrote:
Hello,

Will be replacing a quite old residential electrical service box with
a new 150 or 200 amp one in the near future.

Haven't spoken to any electricians yet, but before I do, would like
to gain a bit of knowledge as to
what is state of the art, etc., these days.

e.g.,

a. What brand(s) do I want to ask for, and I guess what's more
important, which to stay away from ?

b. Square D still the preferred one to go with ?
If so, do they have a "good," "better," "best" kind of lineup ?
Which should I specify ? Much of a price difference between ?


Square D is fine. The difference between 200 and 150-amp service is about
$5.00. You can get "kits" containing the box, master disconnect, an
assortment of breakers, and (most of) the hardware. Take a census of what
breakers you currently have and make sure the kit contains enough
replacements for the sizes already in use.

Also, replacing the breaker box is a DIY job (assuming you don't have
communists or trade-unionists running your local government). Take pictures
of the set-up before (and after). Label the wires before you remove them as
to what size breakers they belong and whether any are phase-paired.

Job will take about four or five hours (including a couple of trips to the
hardware store for things an electrician will have on his truck). You'll
probably need power from a neighbor to run a drill or Dremel.

In addition to reserving the upper-right double breaker for an
emergency-power connection, you may want to add a whole-house surge
protector (about $40.00) as long as you have the box open.



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Default New Residential Electrical Service Box Questions, Please

On Apr 11, 11:18*am, "HeyBub" wrote:
Robert11 wrote:
Hello,


Will be replacing a quite old residential electrical service box with
a new 150 or 200 amp one in the near future.


Haven't spoken to any electricians yet, but before I do, would like
to gain a bit of knowledge as to
what is state of the art, etc., these days.


e.g.,


a. *What brand(s) do I want to ask for, and I guess what's more
important, which to stay away from ?


b. *Square D still the preferred one to go with ?
If so, do they have a "good," "better," "best" kind of lineup ?
Which should I specify ? *Much of a price difference between ?


Square D is fine. The difference between 200 and 150-amp service is about
$5.00. You can get "kits" containing the box, master disconnect, an
assortment of breakers, and (most of) the hardware. Take a census of what
breakers you currently have and make sure the kit contains enough
replacements for the sizes already in use.

Also, replacing the breaker box is a DIY job (assuming you don't have
communists or trade-unionists running your local government). Take pictures
of the set-up before (and after). Label the wires before you remove them as
to what size breakers they belong and whether any are phase-paired.

Job will take about four or five hours (including a couple of trips to the
hardware store for things an electrician will have on his truck). You'll
probably need power from a neighbor to run a drill or Dremel.

In addition to reserving the upper-right double breaker for an
emergency-power connection, you may want to add a whole-house surge
protector (about $40.00) as long as you have the box open.- Hide quoted text -

- Show quoted text -


In this part of North America AFIK 200 amp is minimum allowed for any
residentioal/domestic installation. Only exception might perhaps for
hooking up a temporary construction shack.
If doing an extensive refit such as proposed it will probably be
necessary, in most jurisdictions, to have it done or at least checked,
by a registered electrician and then inspected.
Also for example many codes now require AFCI for bedroom circuits.
You may or may not be able to grandfather sectionas of your existing
wiring etc.
Sounds like the OP has a big job on their hands.
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Default New Residential Electrical Service Box Questions, Please

On Apr 10, 10:31*am, "Pete C." wrote:

snip.


Two 8' ground rods at least 6' apart.

p
Not in all communities. Our power company specifies one ground rod.
Check with your power company and get acquainted with your local
building inspection department.
For a major panel replacement. consider the advantages of converting
to an underground service. Adds value to the property, input wiring is
heavier gage, less chance of storm damage, often lower insurance
rates, and looks much nicer. HTH

Joe
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On Apr 10, 9:23*am, "Robert11" wrote:
Hello,

Will be replacing a quite old residential electrical service box with a new
150 or 200 amp one in the near future.

Haven't spoken to any electricians yet, but before I do, would like to gain
a bit of knowledge as to
what is state of the art, etc., these days.

e.g.,

a. *What brand(s) do I want to ask for, and I guess what's more important,
which to stay away from ?

b. *Square D still the preferred one to go with ?
If so, do they have a "good," "better," "best" kind of lineup ?
Which should I specify ? *Much of a price difference between ?

c. *Not sure what bells and whistles to ask about.
I guess I want GFE breakers somewhere.
Where should they be put in ?
Any potential problem in having one in the service box if there is already
one or two GFE's on outlets in the circuit ?

d. *What about "Arc-Fault" breakers, which I've heard about.
What are they, and where would I want them ?

e. *Is a ground rod required these days for the Gnd/Neutral, per Code ?
Presently, there doesn't seem to be one.

Much thanks; appreciate it.

Bob


A surge and lightning arrestor on the main panel and a simple 6
circuit generator transfer switch are a good idea. You need a very
good ground for saftey. Even GFIs consume power 24x7, only install
what you need.


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Default New Residential Electrical Service Box Questions, Please

On 2008-04-11, Joe wrote:

On Apr 10, 10:31 am, "Pete C." wrote:

Two 8' ground rods at least 6' apart.


Not in all communities. Our power company specifies one ground rod.
Check with your power company and get acquainted with your local
building inspection department.


Well, the power company may only require one, but if you are under the
NEC, and if the ground rod is your only grounding electrode, then you
better drive two. For the NEC, one ground rod is adequate if you can
show that the resistance to ground is 25 ohms or less, but doing that
is way more expensive than driving a second ground rod, so everybody
drives two ground rods.

Cheers, Wayne
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Default New Residential Electrical Service Box Questions, Please

I agree. It depends on the AHJ. In our town, they ONLY require the ground
to the water supply pipe. I found this out AFTER i drove two 8' rods 6'
apart AND ran solid wire all the way across the basement to the water inlet.


So the point is, check with YOUR local jurisdiction.


s


"Joe" wrote in message
...
On Apr 10, 10:31 am, "Pete C." wrote:

snip.


Two 8' ground rods at least 6' apart.

p
Not in all communities. Our power company specifies one ground rod.
Check with your power company and get acquainted with your local
building inspection department.
For a major panel replacement. consider the advantages of converting
to an underground service. Adds value to the property, input wiring is
heavier gage, less chance of storm damage, often lower insurance
rates, and looks much nicer. HTH

Joe


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Default New Residential Electrical Service Box Questions, Please

link to proof of this?

s


"ransley" wrote in message
...
Even GFIs consume power 24x7, only install
what you need.


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Default New Residential Electrical Service Box Questions, Please


"S. Barker" wrote:

I agree. It depends on the AHJ. In our town, they ONLY require the ground
to the water supply pipe. I found this out AFTER i drove two 8' rods 6'
apart AND ran solid wire all the way across the basement to the water inlet.

So the point is, check with YOUR local jurisdiction.


Codes are all minimum standards and there is nothing wrong with going
beyond those minimums.
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"S. Barker" wrote:

link to proof of this?

s

"ransley" wrote in message
...
Even GFIs consume power 24x7, only install
what you need.


You don't need a link, it's common sense and you can prove it yourself
with an amp probe. Both GFCIs (breakers or receptacles) and AFCI
breakers have sensing circuitry that consume power. It's a pretty
negligible amount of course so nobody should be very concerned about it.
The same applies to all varieties of photocell controlled lighting, be
it night lights or outdoor lighting.
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