Load center upgrades

Continuing in my grand tradition, I’m writing about yet another house project that I’d like to do… the problem, as always, is finding the time for it..

We have two circuit breaker panels which really should be replaced. They are FPE panels with known safety issues. One panel is our main house panel, and the other is a subpanel. The FPE subpanel is fed by a third subpanel, a Square-D QO type.

The Square-D subpanel has 20 slots, of which only 9 are currently in use. Because we’ve abandoned a few circuits in the FPE subpanel that it feeds, I could actually squeeze all the circuits into the Square-D if I wanted. However, if I did that, the panel would be full with no room for future expansion. So.. it would probably make sense to replace both subpanels with a single 24-slot Square-D QO type.

I would need a panel, a cover, and a ground bar kit, as well as a bunch of breakers. It looks like the project would cost around $500. Probably worth it for the safety and peace of mind — maybe I should slate it for this winter.

The main house panel is a bigger project. I would need to involve BG&E to get them to shut off my power at the meter, and to tell me what kind of service I have — the panel is 150 amps, but it appears that the service may be 200 amps. In this case, I’d get a 200amp, 40-slot panel. This project would probably run closer to $1000. If I can get the subpanel project under my belt this winter, maybe I could tackle the main panel next winter. Again, the main issue is finding time and prioritizing it amongst all the other stuff that has to get done around here.