Question on electrical panel

41 Replies

@Devin Gordon

Changing a panel does not trigger the upgrade to AFCI protection, unless you have to extend the branch circuits greater than six feet. This not likely unless the panel need to be relocated, than it might be triggered

New construction definitely triggers AFCI, with the 2020 code changes they will be required on all residential circuits.

@Account Closed I am glad to help. It gives me a chance to give back to the people in a position where I once stood. If I understand your last post correctly, your contractor completed the work and the inspector gave you a final inspection in which you passed. Since you did a service upgrade, all facets of this work mentioned by @Stephen Gallagher were completed, with the exception of adding the GFCI protection. They are not required by a service upgrade. The inspector knows this, and would have required it if it was necessary. Unless a customer directly asks about the upgrading of grounding and bonding techniques, I do not even bring it up, because quite frankly, it is an automatic part of every service upgrade and customers don’t really know or care about it. I just ask them to show me where the water heater and water meter are at the time of the estimate.

You are correct that a home inspector should bring up GFCI protection. He will check for it in the kitchen, bathrooms, garage, unfinished areas, and exterior. This is not a costly add on to a project, and usually ends up on the list once a home inspector does his walk through. I advise the investor take a couple of bucks off of the sale price and let the new owners fix it, because it is that cheap of a fix, <$500, usually less. You seem like you want to do things the right way, please continue to post any issues as they arise.

@Devin Gordon

New construction people are requesting the breakers as they dont like the looks of the rectangular receptacles. The dual function receptacle is around 30 my cost and the breaker is about 40. The time saved throwing the plug on breakers on balances the time wiring the receptacle, so it is pretty much a wash for me. Other companies and areas may have different results.

The receptacles were not even available in my area until last fall and they still are not in the big box stores so for some, the dual function combo breaker is the only option.

Manufacturers have to get their money somehow. The new 2020 code about to be released will have further changes that will cost the homeowner more money. My 3000 dollar service upgrade will most likely go up to 4500 to 5000 because of outside disconnect language.

But this is what happens when the majority of the code development panel is comprised of manufacturers reps.

Originally posted by @Devin Gordon :

@Stephen Gallagher thank you sir , I’m gonna add you as a friend and if I come across anything ever that I’m unsure of I may run it by you if you don’t care.

 Anytime,  good for anyone.  I am always open to sharing my knowledge..

@Sai T. Good question, depends on your AHJ. They will want to know what you are operating with the receptacles. General use, they will most likely want GFCI protection. A refrigerator or sump pump, that can go either way, as there are different philosophies at work. Check out any electrical forum on the topic, and they are littered with different responses from respected members of the electric field. Feel free to PM me any other questions, as this is someone else’s thread, and hijacking it doesn’t align itself with my style.

I'm trying to figure out why your paying the electrician to wire the old circuits into a new panel if the house is being rewired. Service should of been quoted with the re-wire. Now who ever does the re-wire will have to re-do the whole panel and most likely have to add AFCI/GFCI breakers. Were on 2017 here so on re-wire most circuits get AFCI/GFCI breakers. On the other hand if we just do a panel swap basic breakers are used. Your electrician is doing it correctly you're just having it done backwards.

@Account Closed

Hello Sophie I am an Electrician License with the state of California and currently I am living in the state of Texas so I put my license on hold was California a couple of years ago, that said the national electrical changes things in there all the time but based on my last review of it in the subject Of ground fault circuit interruption receptacles you need them (GFCI’s) within 6 feet of water supply, in garages, and out doors, The only exception for this is if you’re not touching the electrical work while doing a remodel or if you install GFCI circuit breakers in the main panel that’s feeding the areas I mentioned above, if you did not have it in the contract that’s not good however the contractor state license board will still have a bone to pick with an electrical contractor to do it less than Acceptable workmanship based on the NEC.

A new service means your power company must come out and disconnect power (in most cases). Assuming that's the case, the work will need to be inspected before meter is put back and power turned on. That means everything will have to be updated and follow current NEC standards including arc fault breakers and Ground fault protection (either in the form of breakers or GFCI outlets). I'm not 100% sure that all power companies will require the inspection but that is certainly the case in most places. As an Electrician, I would not expect payment until service was inspected and passed. 

Updated about 2 years ago

After reading the last few quotes, I see some say a new service doesn't require fully upgrading breakers to current standards. Perhaps this is the case in some places, I am going by the expectations of the inspector in my area.

Originally posted by @Eddie Day :

A new service means your power company must come out and disconnect power (in most cases). Assuming that's the case, the work will need to be inspected before meter is put back and power turned on. That means everything will have to be updated and follow current NEC standards including arc fault breakers and Ground fault protection (either in the form of breakers or GFCI outlets). I'm not 100% sure that all power companies will require the inspection but that is certainly the case in most places. As an Electrician, I would not expect payment until service was inspected and passed. 

this is exactly my case, everything have passed the inspection, but no GFCI breakers there. The home inspector of the buyer will be pulling my leg for that.... do you think I should press the electrician to set GFCI?

Account Closed

I do think electrician is going to install GFCI breaker.

Wait for inspection report and if buyer ask you then go to the electrician.  Good luck 👍 

Originally posted by @Sai T. :

@Sophie Maisel

I do think electrician is going to install GFCI breaker.

Wait for inspection report and if buyer ask you then go to the electrician.  Good luck 👍 

 thanks! Yeah, but it will go on sale only in 2020, and I have to decide on the electrical box now.

If you plan to rent, GFI outlets would be ideal as most tenants would be more likely to reset if the button is on the outlet. OTOH if you plan to sell, ground fault breakers do give the outlets more of a consistent look. GFCIs are kind of ugly in my opinion.

As far as the electrician is concerned, if he did the service but you plan to do everything else, buying basic basic breakers would save him money in materials. In the end, you'll be required to provide GFI protection and will have to pay extra for the outlets. That's not to imply that the electrician is crooked or shady, but if it wasn't discussed, was an opportunity for him to save a few bucks. Not a huge deal but something to think about in future dealings.

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