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flibby3655
Bully Spotter
Premium
join:2004-12-19
Lompoc, CA

Upgrade/Replace Electric Panel

Years ago I pondered the question here about upgrading my Pushmatic 100 amp panel. That was when I just moved into the house and money was tight.

My question is... If you were upgrading to a 200 amp panel.

What brand would you use? And if you like. Why?

My goal is to be able to add a transfer switch or interlock... Which seems impossible with Pushmatic breakers. TIA
--
"Safe in the permanent gaze of a cold glass eye"



nunya
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join:2000-12-23
O Fallon, MO
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1 recommendation

Dispensing with the crap-o-matic breakers is a good idea (I don't like those bastards).

I'd suggest the Siemens / Murray "Generator Ready" Load centers.
They aren't that much more in cost than a regular panel and give you the option of using them as a MTS, or installing an ATS which works with Siemens, Guardian, Centurion, and Generac gensets.

»w3.usa.siemens.com/powerdistribu···Benefits
--
If someone refers to herself / himself as a "guru", they probably aren't.



SwedishRider
Rider on the Storm
Premium
join:2006-01-11
not Sweden
kudos:1
reply to flibby3655

GE PowerMark Gold Load Center outfitted with Generator Interlock Kit.


telco_mtl

join:2012-01-06
reply to nunya

said by nunya:

Dispensing with the crap-o-matic breakers is a good idea (I don't like those bastards).

ive seen a lot of people shocked with those awful panels because of the cover retainers


flibby3655
Bully Spotter
Premium
join:2004-12-19
Lompoc, CA
reply to nunya

said by nunya:

I'd suggest the Siemens / Murray "Generator Ready" Load centers.
They aren't that much more in cost than a regular panel and give you the option of using them as a MTS, or installing an ATS which works with Siemens, Guardian, Centurion, and Generac gensets.

»w3.usa.siemens.com/powerdistribu···Benefits

This is what I found on Amazon »www.amazon.com/Siemens-Generator···05GLDETC Can they be found cheaper?
--
"Safe in the permanent gaze of a cold glass eye"


nunya
Premium,MVM
join:2000-12-23
O Fallon, MO
kudos:12

I pay $198 + tax for the exact same model at the supply house. Check local electrical suppliers, or just have your electrician get it.
--
If someone refers to herself / himself as a "guru", they probably aren't.



SwedishRider
Rider on the Storm
Premium
join:2006-01-11
not Sweden
kudos:1
reply to flibby3655

Click for full size
GE PowerMark Gold with GE Generator Interlock Kit
You could go to Home Depot and get a PowerMark Gold for $119: »www.homedepot.com/Electrical-Bre···Id=10053

And then buy the interlock kit for it for $44: »www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1v/R···Id=10053

At that point, you'd have a generator ready panel setup and still come out ahead of the Siemens panel.


nunya
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join:2000-12-23
O Fallon, MO
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You could go to the supply house and get a Siemens panel for $90 and and Siemens interlock for $40 and come out ahead of the GE installation.

While the interlock kits are OK for retro work, a GRP is nice because it gives you options. It also lets you divide your critical and non-critical circuits ahead of time. No stickers needed.
--
If someone refers to herself / himself as a "guru", they probably aren't.



SwedishRider
Rider on the Storm
Premium
join:2006-01-11
not Sweden
kudos:1

I have no idea what a PowerMark Gold panel goes for at an electrical supply house... and I'm not sure what that Siemens generator panel does that the GE panel can't do. I think I paid 49 cents for 100 stickers... they work just fine!

I'm just throwing out options for the OP.. I have the GE panel and it's been great for my generator setup.

EDIT: After further review, it looks like that panel can interface with a automatic transfer switch for standby units. Not much help with a portable generator setup, but could be useful in some cases.



nunya
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O Fallon, MO
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It works manually as well for people who want a portable. Like I said, options. For just a little bit more money.

IDK what GE costs either. I haven't seen GE residential stuff in a supply house in years. In this region, it's kind of like Square D residential stuff - relegated to Lowe's or Home Depot.
--
If someone refers to herself / himself as a "guru", they probably aren't.



flibby3655
Bully Spotter
Premium
join:2004-12-19
Lompoc, CA

1 edit

I prefer nunya choice if I can find it cheap enough. Thanks everyone!!! Can you share a link to your vendor? Striking out here in Cali besides Amazon.
--
"Safe in the permanent gaze of a cold glass eye"



flibby3655
Bully Spotter
Premium
join:2004-12-19
Lompoc, CA
reply to SwedishRider

Thanks for suggesting the GE panel. I need an outdoor panel and my house was built in 1966, all 12/2 20 amp wiring
--
"Safe in the permanent gaze of a cold glass eye"


Zach1
Premium
join:2006-11-26
NW Minnesota
reply to flibby3655

Royal Wholesale Electrical Supply lists Siemens/ITE as one of their product lines. Your EC would probably get a price competitive with what Nunya posted. My cost on that panel is within $4 of what Nunya pays.

»www.royalsantamaria.com/home.html

While an interlock seems to be a decent solution for an existing installation, the Siemens Generator Ready panel is, without a doubt, my choice for a new service.
--
Zach



flibby3655
Bully Spotter
Premium
join:2004-12-19
Lompoc, CA

Wow, that's right in my backyard. Thanks! I'll give them a call on Monday. My BIL has a contractors license, should help!
--
"Safe in the permanent gaze of a cold glass eye"


Zach1
Premium
join:2006-11-26
NW Minnesota

said by flibby3655:

Wow, that's right in my backyard. Thanks! I'll give them a call on Monday. My BIL has a contractors license, should help!

I just noticed you stated you need an outdoor panel. The Siemens site lists an outdoor version (NEMA type 3R) but it will be considerably more expensive than the indoor version. I've not used a type 3R so I don't have any pricing and my normal Siemens distributor doesn't list pricing either. Just a heads-up.
--
Zach


flibby3655
Bully Spotter
Premium
join:2004-12-19
Lompoc, CA

Thanks to all who replied... I want to do it right.

So here we go... Not wanting to start a who is right and who is wrong debate...

I spoke to the supervisor of our local power utility. He said you would have to have a 5KV generator back fed into your house to injure a lineman upstream assuming you did not trip the main breaker. He also stated that any small genny would trip its breakers or just plain die if it was back fed through your house if you did not trip the main breaker.

Also when asked about the Pushmatic panel and lack of choices to use a genny. As long as the main is tripped they are fine about back feeding. They always ground the line they are working on.

Please, don't shoot the messenger, just repeating what I was told.
--
"Safe in the permanent gaze of a cold glass eye"



PSWired

join:2006-03-26
Annapolis, MD

While all that is true in most cases, it's not enough to address "most cases" when working at kilovolt levels. People get killed when there are simultaneous unexpected problems.

Say your house is the only load at the end of a distribution spur. The fuse upstream of a fault blows, leaving your house connected to the spur, but without a connection to the rest of the distribution circuit. You've got your generator backfeeding the panel with the main off, but you've been turning the main on every so often to see if the utility's come back. This most recent time you checked was in the middle of the night, and being groggy you forgot to turn it back off.

Line crew rolls in later that night, sees the fault, looks over at your house, sees no lights on, and in a hurry the lineman just reaches over to pull the fallen branch that's causing the fault off the line. Boom, lineman's dead.

They're *supposed* to ground the circuit, the insulating gloves are never *supposed* to have holes in them, the pole grounding conductores are *supposed* to not have been stolen by thieves, etc. etc. etc.

Most recent outage I had at work, the crew was working on the 13.6 kV lines feeding our building without grounding them out or using their gloves. They were depending on our ATS working properly to keep them alive.



nunya
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O Fallon, MO
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reply to flibby3655

The supervisor was actually wrong, and that is very unfortunate.

An interlock device (manual or automatic) is required by code anyway, so it's a moot point.
--
If someone refers to herself / himself as a "guru", they probably aren't.



tschmidt
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Milford, NH
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reply to nunya

said by nunya:

I'd suggest the Siemens / Murray "Generator Ready" Load centers.

What a clever design. That approach should be more cost and space effective then using a separate transfer switch and main breaker.

Same panel has the option to do either manual or automatic transfer. I assume the automatic operator is simply a motorized cam that flips the breakers.

We don't have a backup generator but I printed out a copy and filed it away if we ever decide to buy one.

/tom


IowaCowboy
Iowa native
Premium
join:2010-10-16
Springfield, MA
Reviews:
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reply to flibby3655

I wonder why your breakers are outdoors anyways. I would not want someone getting into mischief messing with my breakers.

I installed a reliance manual transfer switch on my existing panel. No panel replacement necessary. I don't think interlocks are allowed by Massachusetts code.

As for any electrical components, anything outside in this area has to be secure or you'll have people stealing the copper wiring out of them to sell for scrap. The poco here uses locking rings on meter sockets.


telco_mtl

join:2012-01-06

said by IowaCowboy:

I wonder why your breakers are outdoors anyways. I would not want someone getting into mischief messing with my breakers.

i know, when i go down grocery shopping in your fine nation i sit at a traffic light and look at the big switch on the signpost at the walmart and think of how as a kid i would have turned that thing off in a heartbeat!


flibby3655
Bully Spotter
Premium
join:2004-12-19
Lompoc, CA
reply to IowaCowboy

I don't know why either. However, all of them in my city are. Mine is at least in my back yard. Must go through locked gates to access the panel. Smart meter for local POCO.
--
"Safe in the permanent gaze of a cold glass eye"


HarryH3

join:2005-02-21
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Suddenlink
reply to IowaCowboy

Different places do it different ways. When we lived in Houston, the panel HAD to be in the detached garage. The builder wouldn't put it inside the house. Here in central Texas the main panel is outside, on the side of the house.

(To be even more bizarre, the outside panel at this house only feeds 240 volt circuits, including the one that goes to the main 120 volt panel that is located in the garage, all the way on the other end of the house. So the a/c compressors, double-oven and cooktop breakers are all outside (All 240 volt circuits). There's a 60-amp breaker that feeds the panel in the garage, which houses the breakers for all of the 120 volt circuits in the house.)


tedmarshall

join:2000-12-02

Here in California, almost all houses have their breaker panel on the outside of the house, often in the same box as the POCO meter. No sub-panels for the 120V circuits. Everything is generally in the main box and if sub panels are added, they are all fed with 240V and all of the panels can mix 120V and 240V circuits.