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Am I the only one who gets excited about an electrical panel upgrade? I suppose its normal for someone like me. I was contemplating doing whatever parts I could do myself but then I got what I think is a decent quote from a semi acquainted qualified electrician.

There will be no branch circuit work done beyond the panel. He will switch out my 60 amp Fed Pac fuse panel with SQ D QO 200amp service including about 20' of SEC since I have overhead drop. He will include all necessary bonding and grounding including GEC and driven rods. He'll do all the permit work too.

$1800

Does that sound decent?

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That would be cheap for us up here. I normally warn people it could be $3G or more.

A lot depends on the service mast, up thru the roof or just clamped to the wall. I believe you are allowed in the US to swing the service drop over the roof. That is not permitted here in Canada, over the eaves only.

Yes, I am excited for you. And your old house thanks you too.

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Am I the only one who gets excited about an electrical panel upgrade? I suppose its normal for someone like me. I was contemplating doing whatever parts I could do myself but then I got what I think is a decent quote from a semi acquainted qualified electrician.

There will be no branch circuit work done beyond the panel. He will switch out my 60 amp Fed Pac fuse panel with SQ D QO 200amp service including about 20' of SEC since I have overhead drop. He will include all necessary bonding and grounding including GEC and driven rods. He'll do all the permit work too.

$1800

Does that sound decent?

So much depends on the particulars. It's probably either close to decent or better.

Marc

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$1800

Does that sound decent?

Call a few local electricians with specifics so you can compare apples to apples. You should be able to get a few ballpark estimates and go from there.

$1800 with a permit, new mast, SEC and 200 A box sounds like a steal. Beware.

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$1800

Does that sound decent?

Call a few local electricians with specifics so you can compare apples to apples. You should be able to get a few ballpark estimates and go from there.

$1800 with a permit, new mast, SEC and 200 A box sounds like a steal. Beware.

I don't need a mast. It attaches to the front peak at the rake edge and travels down along the rake, wraps under the eave, down the wall and into the meter.

I've given this guy some work through referral. He has a reason to give me a good deal. Maybe I'll ask if he'll toss in the AFCI's and book the job.

I had another question earlier but the phone rang and I forgot what I wanted to ask. Oh well, I'm sure it will pop back up. Oh, I remember.

I'm not worried about my current panel or service capacity really. I've got everything balanced across each phase pretty good and nothing is over fused. Occasionally the wife will blow 1/2 the main by trying to run every single appliance in the house at the same time with all the lights cranked too. The main concern I have is the SEC. Right where it goes into the the weather head there's a crack in the insulation of one conductor. Inside the crack I can see what appears to be some significant whitish oxidation of the conductor. I'm thinking its only a matter of time for and open circuit there. In that event a panic replacement of the SEC would probably run 1/2 the cost of the entire upgrade.

That's why I'm considering the entire upgrade at the price of $1800 to avoid that potential panic repair of a failed SEC.

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John, it is an antique service. You wouldn't drive a Model T on the freeway. (Model T's have terrible brakes, little mechanical rods and cranks.)

With regards to the AFCI breakers, I wonder if you old branch circuit wiring will cause nuisance tripping? You should check that out. I so far have only seen them in newer construction, post 2007 or so.

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With respect to the AFCI part of the question, forget about it if you put in a Square D. Doesn't matter if it is QO or Homeline - they don't make one that will work with multiwire circuits, and most panels have multiwire circuits. Also, Square D's clunky technology for AFCIs leaves them sticking out into the gutter space and obscures the neutral bar.

John - if it were my house I wouldn't consider anything other than Siemens / Murray equipment. I would also stay away from any of the all-in-one panels that skimp on wiring space.

You might want to check in with the utility to see if they are going to throw any curves at you regarding the new service cable. Around here, $1,800 wouldn't begin to cover it.

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$18-2400 is pretty typical here.

He's using an SD panel because it comes with an installed main and a dozen breakers for around $150 at the box stores. I doubt they come with AFCIs.

Nearly all of the utilities here will replace the overhead at no charge when they connect a new service. If the service is antique, the entrance cables usually are too.

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$1500 to $2000 around here. Just had a client email me with a note saying my SWAG of $1600 was within $50 for the replacement of a Zinsco panel.

Did you ask for the Zinsco panel?

I do. I've gotten a couple so far. Sent one to Douglas, the other I use for demonstrations in the class I teach over at North Seattle Community College - it has a nicely arc-scorched aluminum bus bar.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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