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I suggested panel replacement


Chad Fabry
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Sorry, no pics, I'm not on my computer.

1965 Murray split bus 200 amp service.

The panel has moderate rust from a leaking SE cable, a few of the mains have rust on the terminal screws and in the wire saddle, the phenolic cage is broken near where the se attaches and there are a handful of easily corrected wiring issues like double lugging, a defective GFCI breaker and a couple of aluminum wire branch circuits.

I realize the NEC would require panel replacement for the rust issue or the broken cage issue but my client is a little concerned that suggesting panel replacement is over the top.

I have two questions:

Would your report suggest that the panel be replaced?

If it was your panel, would you replace it?

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Depends on what I was doing with the rest of the house.

I don't like Murray panels, for no significant reason other than the crappy single dead front screw that never seems to hold the cover on satisfactorily. I'm completely willing to listen to other reasons to not like them.

Rust, I don't know; I'd have to see it. Cracked phenolic cage, I'd say "replace it" in the report.

Reality happens after the report; we have to write all sorts of stuff in reports to remain compliant, that we may apply shades of gray to when we're actually in a project.

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That's one ugly panel. I would definately call for replacement in my report, but for my own house I'm still not sure that it would be high on my priority list. Hell, my boiler and basement lights are still powered through the original fuse box, which is feed by a pair of 6ga stranded jumpers off a 30 amp double pole breaker in the 'new' Square D 200 amp panel I had put in 11 years ago. Some day I'll get around to swapping those last two circuits and get the dead front on.

Tom

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I'd replace it if it were in my house. No question. That's not a small amount of rust, and the buss could be worse behind the breakers. We're not talking about banjaxed plumbing, -where if things go wrong a ceiling gets stained. You're playing for all of the marbles with a panel, and they aren't all that expensive.

Put another way: What's the argument for keeping it?

Jimmy

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. . . Would your report suggest that the panel be replaced?

Probably.

If it was your panel, would you replace it?

If I had the time, sure.

The only time I like to keep things like this is if they have some kind of cool design or historical interest. The panel you're describing has neither.

It'd be like trying to restore a '81 Plymouth Reliant. What's the point?

Now, if it were a '67 Mustang, that'd be different.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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