Disconnecting power

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by DarylF08, Sep 26, 2007.

  1. DarylF08

    DarylF08 Mec. Elect. Engineer

    Messages:
    19
    Location:
    St. Louis Missouri
    I am going to change my panel from fuses to breakers.
    What is the easiest way to kill main power to the fuse box ?
  2. jbfan74

    jbfan74 Electrical Contractor

    Messages:
    131
    Location:
    Newnan, GA
    Have the power company disconnect it for you. You may have to upgrade your incoming wires also.
  3. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

    Messages:
    2,565
    Location:
    North Carolina
    WHY?????????

    As an engineer you should already know that fuses are a lot safer than breakers
  4. DarylF08

    DarylF08 Mec. Elect. Engineer

    Messages:
    19
    Location:
    St. Louis Missouri
    City Code now requires me to upgrade to a 100amp service with breakers.
  5. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

    Messages:
    2,565
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Pull the meter and disconnect the load side swinging the old meter out of the way.

    Install new service and then jump from the load side of the old meter to the new service and call for inspection.

    Here is a picture of an underground service that is being changed for the installation of a generator. It will give you an idea of how to use the old meter to maintain power to your house while you wait on the inspection department and the power company.

    [​IMG]
  6. Speedy Petey

    Speedy Petey Licensed Electrical Contractor

    Messages:
    1,001
    Location:
    NY State, USA
    How can the "City Code" require an upgrade????
    Do you mean "require" as in mandatory???
  7. statjunk

    statjunk DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    542
    The last home I purchased the insurance companies would not insure me unless I had breakers. Silly isn't it. They actually wrote me under Michigan Basic until I upgraded the panel.

    Tom
  8. DarylF08

    DarylF08 Mec. Elect. Engineer

    Messages:
    19
    Location:
    St. Louis Missouri

    YES, In order to get a new occupancy permit (selling the property)
    You are required to upgrade all 60 amp service to a 100 amp service
    with breakers
  9. Speedy Petey

    Speedy Petey Licensed Electrical Contractor

    Messages:
    1,001
    Location:
    NY State, USA
    Amazing. And I thought this was America. :rolleyes:
  10. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,317
    Location:
    New England
    It's a lot more likely someone will put in a 30A fuse where a 15 or 20A one was than someone replacing a breaker with the wrong one. There are still some pennies making the connection, too. In today's society, 60A doesn't cut it either...
  11. Alectrician

    Alectrician DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    689

    As an electrician you should know that generally a fuse installation is a lot more dangerous than breakers.

    There is more to it than the protection factor of the fuse VS the circuit breaker.:cool:

    spelling edit
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2007
  12. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

    Messages:
    2,565
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Would you explain your thoughts a little?
  13. Alectrician

    Alectrician DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    689
    I'd be happy to.

    Although the fuse itself is apparently does better job of breaking the circuit in an overload situation (I am taking your word for this btw) the entire system is going to be at least 40 years old and is more than likely to have been monkeyed with throughout the years.

    When you replace the fuse box you will also be correcting a lot of issues like bonding, repairing brittle insulation and correctly sizing protective devices.

    Make my day and agree with me.:eek:
  14. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,255
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    fuse

    As an engineer you should already know that fuses are a lot safer than breakers

    And as an engineer, he also probably knows that fuses, other than Fusetrons, are interchangable, so a 30 amp will replace a 15 amp, and that would not be "a lot safer than a breaker". A Model T Ford may be safer than a Ferrari, because it goes a lot slower, but would you want to go back to it?
  15. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

    Messages:
    2,565
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Over the years I have saw many service change outs and the panel and riser was all that was touched. There is always been a big misconception that breakers are safer than fuses. This is far from the truth.

    As far as the repairing of other defective parts of the electrical system, anyone who surfs these electrical sites will attest to the fact that every day someone will post the question, “can the inspector make me do this when all I am doing is changing the service?â€

    These questions alone is enough to lead me to believe that there are a lot of electricians through out America selling nothing more than the cosmetic breaker calling it a safer system.

    I will agree that it is easier to change a fuse to a larger size than to change a breaker to a larger size but with the same breath I must also say that I have witnessed just as many oversized breakers as I have fuses.

    The truth of the matter is that a 30 amp fuse will open faster under a fault condition than a 15 amp breaker. I have in the lab at school loaded 15 amp breakers to as high as 70 amps for a period of more than three minutes. A 30 amp fuse will blow at 35 amps in less than a minute.

    I will agree that the Model “T†is a lot slower than a Ferrari but the Model “T†is far from being as safe.
  16. joe in queens

    joe in queens New Member

    Messages:
    36
    You'll likely have to pull the meter to de-engergize the panel. If your meter has a locking ring, the utility usually needs to come out for an unlock. Around here though, if you wait for the utility you'll end-up watching the seasons change, so usually they're grinded them off (I am NOT suggesting you do this) and the job proceeds.

    Problem is, you'll likely have to upgrade the meter pan too or your meter will end-up being a main "fuse". You may also need to upgrade your feeders as mentioned, but the POCO's seem to play fast and loose with feeder sizing, so you may be able to get by with undersized (and perhaps grossely underdized) feeders. Can't tell you how many times I see things like 3/0 for 200A spliced into #2 aluminum and other nonsense like that.

    JW, aren't UG services fun? Nice ATS and meter pan set-up. Seems like there's not gap behind, did you cut out the siding to get them mounted so nice and flush? Do you have the rest of the genny install pics?
  17. Bob NH

    Bob NH In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,317
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    I installed a new 200 Amp QO panel to replace an old 100 Amp QO a few months ago. It went easily and quickly with the following process.

    1. Called the power company and got a number assigned.
    2. Got a permit from the electrical inspector.
    3. Installed the new panel adjacent to the old panel.
    4. Ran temporary lines from the old panel using lugs on the load side of the original panel. You can do that safely by disconnecting the main. The temporary lines were protected by the main on the old panel.
    5. Connected all of the branch circuits to the new panel through the breakers in the new panel.
    6. Preassembled the new meter pan, conduit, and weatherhead, and ran the wires from meter pan through weatherhead. I now had an assembly that I could fasten into place in one piece.
    7. Installed new (larger) Grounding Electrode Conductor.
    8. Installed PVC conduit inside to go from the new panel to the point where the back of the new meter pan would be installed. You could also use SE cable.
    9. Called the electric company and the inspector and scheduled the change-over. They told me since I had a service number I could disconnect the service without waiting.

    I didn't have to work anything hot. Only briefly without power during changeover from one panel to the other.

    On the morning of the service changeover, started at 7 AM:
    1. Cut the aluminum service wires on my side of the weatherhead service splice with a pair of Fiskar insulated pruning loppers, and bent them out of the way. The loppers worked great.
    2. Removed meter and old service equipment.
    3. Installed the new meter pan, conduit and weatherhead assembly with 4/0 aluminum conductors.
    4. Ran 4/0 aluminum from the meter pan to the new panel.
    5. Called inspector for inspection. About 9 AM
    6. Waited for inspector. (about 3 hours)
    7. POCO hooked up the power about 30 minutes after the inspector called.
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2007
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