This was a real fun job for some great clients in Mount Royal, Calgary.
The homeowners have just purchased the property. One of the main points the home inspector had pointed out was the current electrical panel was only 70 amps. The code for a house of this size today is 100 amps. Many older homes built in the 1950 and earlier still have an undersized panel.
On initial consultation, the owners also mentioned that they would like to move the panel to the basement. This works well as the current location of the panel is on the stairs to the basement. Canadian electrical code gives certain requirements for panel locations and in a stairway is not allowed. The homeowners wanted to relocate the electrical panel into the basement, which is the standard place for electrical panels in Calgary. The basement was finished but the mechanical room was directly below the current panel so the location that the owner wanted to move the panel was perfect.
Both relocations of electrical panels and upgrades are a two-part job. One part of the job is the panel itself. This is pretty much the same as any panel upgrade. The second part is upgrading the service. The service (or consumer service) is everything from the overhead connection to the panel itself. As the conductors of a consumer service must be without joints and time we move the panel further than the conductors will reach the service must be upgraded.
The upgraded service consists of a new service mast through the roof, a new meter base or socket, and new service conductors from the top of the mast all the way to the new panel.
One benefit of moving the panel is we can install the new panel before removing the old panel. This gives us and the homeowner a long time before we remove power to the house.
The days started with the installation of the meter base and service mast on the house side of the house and the panel and mounting board on the inside of the house. As the day progresses the service on the outside is complete with surface mounted conduit and then wired with the appropriate size of wire for 100 amps. A new code update requires an additional bonding conductor to the electrical meter.
On the inside, we wired new circuits from the panel to the old panel location. At this location, we will splice all the old wires to new wires from the panel. There will be a junction box here. This will need to remain accessible but we left it so it can be finished in a neat way so it won’t be too visible.
We managed to install all the wiring on the first day of the installation. We usually allow two days for relocations like this. On the second day of the installation, we completed a few odds and ends, tested the circuit, and marked up the panel. We even had time to check some plugs and lights for the homeowner.
The homeowners were very happy with the job and commented on how neat and tidy the job was and how clean the job was left at the end.