Using Panel as Junction Box To Extend Branch Circuit Wiring to New Panel

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Molo

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Hello,
We are considering installing a new residential panel approximately 8ft from the existing panel. The old panel would become a junction box for multiple circuits to be extended to the new box and all breakers removed.

1. Is it ok to junction the wire for a standard electric stove/oven wire? Can it be done in a manner that the junction will be safe and durable? If so, what type of wire connectors are best for a durable, safe, and long-lasting solution?


2. Another consideration is to keep the existing panel with some of the breakers in it and extend some of the circuits using the existing panel as a junction box for some of the circuits. Is this acceptable?

Thank you in advance for any replies
 
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Afjes

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Curious - for what reason are you installing another panel 8 feet from existing instead of replacing existing panel with a new one?
Yes, this can be done but it may be cost efficient and better to just replace the existing panel.
If you need more breaker positions than the present one has you can install a sub panel after the existing panel and run more circuits from there.

Give your reasoning first for this and then you can be guided better.
 

Molo

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Thanks for your reply. The existing panel is in the basement which gets damp and the new panel would be installed in the living space above it.
 

wwhitney

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Note that current AFCI requirements will apply to any circuit extended by more than 6', so be prepared to install a lot of AFCI breakers. Also to spend some time finding inadvertent neutral-ground connections in the existing wires, and crossed neutrals, unless you select a brand whose AFCI breakers no longer have ground fault detection.

1) Yes. Polaris-style connectors are a good choice.

2) Yes.

Cheers, Wayne
 

Molo

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Note that current AFCI requirements will apply to any circuit extended by more than 6', so be prepared to install a lot of AFCI breakers. Also to spend some time finding inadvertent neutral-ground connections in the existing wires, and crossed neutrals, unless you select a brand whose AFCI breakers no longer have ground fault detection.

1) Yes. Polaris-style connectors are a good choice.

2) Yes.

Cheers, Wayne
Thank you for the reply. Just to confirm: It IS to code to use a breaker panel box that has breakers that are in service also as a junction box to extend branch circuits?
 

WorthFlorida

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There are millions of homes in the NE with basements and for the most part usually more damp or humid than the rest of the home. If your present breaker panel shows signs of corrosion due to humidity, then it might be warrantied. However, installing some insulation and heat or a dehumidifier would be far more cost effective. All breakers would need to be ARC Fault Circuit Interrupter and/or Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter for the latest 2020 NEC code. It can get quite expensive. Another big cost would be to have the service moved via underground or an aerial mask. The power company will not do it unless a licensed electric is used and pulls a permit. Some jurisdictions the power company will allow a homeowner to do the work but a permit will be required with a final pass inspection. During the transition you'll be without power. A well experienced electrician with a crew may be able to cut over it in one day, maybe one day to set things ups and another day to run wire. A new panel will probably need a second ground rod to in installed, two are now required unless you're in a newer home.

If you just need extra circuits, adding a sub panel is far more practical.

The 2020 NEC code change, the AFCI had a big change. This is what Wayne stated about distance.

Screen Shot 2022-03-03 at 10.41.22 PM.jpg
 

Molo

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There are millions of homes in the NE with basements and for the most part usually more damp or humid than the rest of the home. If your present breaker panel shows signs of corrosion due to humidity, then it might be warrantied. However, installing some insulation and heat or a dehumidifier would be far more cost effective. All breakers would need to be ARC Fault Circuit Interrupter and/or Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter for the latest 2020 NEC code. It can get quite expensive. Another big cost would be to have the service moved via underground or an aerial mask. The power company will not do it unless a licensed electric is used and pulls a permit. Some jurisdictions the power company will allow a homeowner to do the work but a permit will be required with a final pass inspection. During the transition you'll be without power. A well experienced electrician with a crew may be able to cut over it in one day, maybe one day to set things ups and another day to run wire. A new panel will probably need a second ground rod to in installed, two are now required unless you're in a newer home.

If you just need extra circuits, adding a sub panel is far more practical.

The 2020 NEC code change, the AFCI had a big change. This is what Wayne stated about distance.

View attachment 81665
Thanks for the reply. If a 100 amp panel is upgraded to a 200 amp panel and kept in the same location, can the same breakers be used or do they need to be updated to afci (according to code)?
 

wwhitney

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Thanks for the reply. If a 100 amp panel is upgraded to a 200 amp panel and kept in the same location, can the same breakers be used or do they need to be updated to afci (according to code)?
The trigger in the NEC is extending the branch circuit 6' or more. If you replace the panel without extending the branch circuit, you don't need to comply with the current AFCI requirements.

Cheers, Wayne
 
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