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Has Your Electrical Panel Upgrade Been Inspected

By Dave Rongey - Summary:

Upgrading an Electrical Panel: Why It Is Important to Get a Permit and Inspections When Upgrading Your Electrical System.

A Permit and Inspection is Required for Service Changes

Electrical Question: About a week ago the blinking of the lights in my house got so bad I couldn’t even turn on a lamp and the microwave.

  1. The property manager and his “electrician” didn’t think it was an emergency until I told them again that the box was sizzling on Monday morning this week.
  2. My kids and I left because I was told the box was fried and they were installing a new one.
  3. The house only had 100 amp service and it needs to be 200 amp.
  4. There is a 1600 square foot garage in the back yard that runs off a 50 amp breaking in the house box. So sorry such a long description,
  5. What I want to know is this:
    • If the box and breakers in the house were upgraded, but not the service to the house, am I safe to be here?
  • Below I will list the breakers installed in the new panel.

Thank you.

  • Main- no markings – Circuit Breakers, left right
    • 40 30
    • 15 20
    • 20 20
    • 15 20
    • 20 20
    • 15 30
    • 15 15
    • 15 15
    • 50

I hope that makes sense.

This home electrical question came from: Michelle, a Handy Woman from Garner, North Carolina.

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your Home Electrical question Michelle.

Why It Is Important to Get a Permit and Inspections When Upgrading Your Electrical System

Application: Upgrading an Electrical Panel
Skill Level: Advanced – Best performed by a Licensed Electrical Contractor, Not Recommended for Homeowners.
Tools Required: Electricians pouch of hand tools and the various power tools necessary for the electric panel upgrade.
Estimated Time: Depends on the exact type of the existing panel or fuse box, the replacement panel to be installed, the original wiring methods that were used for installing the existing wiring, and available access to the project area.
Precaution: This is an extensive project that should be performed by a Licensed Electrical Contractor and typically requires specifications in accordance with the local utility company or electric service provider.
Notice: Making changes to the Home Electrical Service Panel should be done according to local and national electrical codes with a permit and be inspected.

  • Upgrading an Electrical Panel

    • As described in this question, the electrician obviously discovered that the old existing electrical panel had sustained some damage and they were very smart to upgrade to a larger 200 amp electric service panel.
    • As long as this service upgrade was done according to code and the job was inspected by a local building inspector then everything should be fine.
    • This would ensure that the electric service to the house was to code as well because a service upgrade typically involves the local electrical utility company who will make the disconnect and then the reconnect, and they will not make the connection unless the job has been inspected and it has passed the inspection.
    • As a tenant who is concerned about the well being and safety of your family you have every right to ask your property manager about the project or contact your local building department for detailed information about the project.
    • The circuit listing that you have provided makes total sense to me only because I understand what they are commonly used for.
    • Hopefully the new panel is labeled so that you understand what each of these circuits are for, in fact labeling the circuits is required by code and this should have been in order to pass inspection.

    The Following will assist you with the Home Electrical Systems:

Electric panel

  • House Wiring Circuits and Circuit Breakers
    • This article looks at common 120 volt and 240 volt house wiring circuits and the circuit breakers that are installed identifying the types and amperage sizes used in most homes.

Circuit breakers

  • Electrical Wiring Protection using Circuit Breakers
    • A guide to home electrical circuit breakers and how they work to protect your electrical wiring.
    • When properly installed, your home electrical wiring is protected by a circuit protection device.

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Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all projects.

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