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[DECEMBER 2018 UPDATE] Ask me anything about home electrical requirements, electrical code, wiring, devices

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  • Feb 21st, 2019 1:49 pm
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Sr. Member
Nov 16, 2011
675 posts
414 upvotes
HAMILTON
200 amp service ... running out of breakers. Stablok panel . Currently 30 used breakers ( few doubles like AC, Stove, etc and only 4 vacant spots left to add breakers.

Would it be better/easier to upgrade the whole panel to more breakers or add a sub panel. Would I have to upgrade breakers with either choice ?

What would the cost variation be between the 2 options. Open area in full basement with easy access.

Probably inappropriate to ask but can you ballpark a price ? If no, I understand.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jun 21, 2003
2474 posts
370 upvotes
Stoney Creek, ON
luckystrike1 wrote:
Feb 11th, 2019 6:41 pm
200 amp service ... running out of breakers. Stablok panel . Currently 30 used breakers ( few doubles like AC, Stove, etc and only 4 vacant spots left to add breakers.

Would it be better/easier to upgrade the whole panel to more breakers or add a sub panel. Would I have to upgrade breakers with either choice ?

What would the cost variation be between the 2 options. Open area in full basement with easy access.

Probably inappropriate to ask but can you ballpark a price ? If no, I understand.
Personally I'd go with a new panel. Considering you already have 200A service it's just a matter of swapping the panel and should only take a few hours. It will look cleaner than adding a sub panel and stablok are terrible panels to begin with. I've seen dead shorts happen without tripping the breaker. I'm not sure what you mean by "upgrading breakers" but if you mean bring them up to current code like AFCI you do not need to do that unless you do work on the circuit. For a straight panel swap you do not need to change circuits over to AFCI.

As for cost I couldn't give you a great idea. I've never been involved in quoting jobs. The panel change will definitely be more expensive than just a sub panel but I wouldn't project it to be a massive difference since you would only be doing a panel change and not a service upgrade. I'd get a quote on both and see what you feel most comfortable with. If it is within your budget I'd highly recommend swapping out that stablok for a nice new Siemens or Square D. Consider adding whole home surge protection while you're at it.
Deal Fanatic
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Oct 19, 2008
5648 posts
1338 upvotes
Whitby
ChicoQuente wrote:
Feb 11th, 2019 6:57 pm
stablok are terrible panels to begin with. I've seen dead shorts happen without tripping the breaker.
+1....saw 2 breakers that crumbled in a panel, just fell apart but kept on working.
Sr. Member
Nov 16, 2011
675 posts
414 upvotes
HAMILTON
Thanks for the info. Is appreciated and I completely understand re costing.

Yes, was talking about upgrading to ACFI.
How big of a panel would you suggest for future proofing.
The whole home surge protection would be worth it as live rural and lately a number of 2 - 5 second outages and then one or two longer re weather. Thanks for that idea.
This is not a large house but seems to have a lot of circuits run.
On the same vein, if I run a couple of new circuits for say gas fireplace or other heating cooling options, I presume I would only have to make sure that circuit(s) are AFCI compliant ?

Thanks again for your help.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jun 21, 2003
2474 posts
370 upvotes
Stoney Creek, ON
luckystrike1 wrote:
Feb 11th, 2019 7:33 pm
Thanks for the info. Is appreciated and I completely understand re costing.

Yes, was talking about upgrading to ACFI.
How big of a panel would you suggest for future proofing.
The whole home surge protection would be worth it as live rural and lately a number of 2 - 5 second outages and then one or two longer re weather. Thanks for that idea.
This is not a large house but seems to have a lot of circuits run.
On the same vein, if I run a couple of new circuits for say gas fireplace or other heating cooling options, I presume I would only have to make sure that circuit(s) are AFCI compliant ?

Thanks again for your help.
32 or 40 circuit panel should be good. You can get tandem breakers for modern panels which gives you 2 breakers in a single spot. I actually found a pretty good deal for a panel on home Depot. It's a 200A panel and includes a bunch of the common breakers you'll need to get started. It's a great deal here.

Yes any new circuits you run that feed a receptacle will need to be AFCI protected.
Last edited by ChicoQuente on Feb 11th, 2019 8:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Sr. Member
Nov 16, 2011
675 posts
414 upvotes
HAMILTON
Which panel is it or is it better to let the electrician pick their own ?
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jun 21, 2003
2474 posts
370 upvotes
Stoney Creek, ON
luckystrike1 wrote:
Feb 11th, 2019 8:40 pm
Which panel is it or is it better to let the electrician pick their own ?
Sorry I didn't realize my link was messed up. Here it is. I'm sure most companies would prefer they provide the panel as they mark up the material but I've worked with contractors where we had no problem installing customer provided materials provided it was correct for the job.
Newbie
Jan 11, 2019
3 posts
Is it required or just preferred to provide a service/courtesy loop when wiring new outlets or switches? What length of wire is enough of a loop? Also, when stapling the wire within 12" of the box, would this include the wire for the loop? Sorry if this is rehashing an old question, but I did not see any previous mentions when i searched the thread.
Thanks in advance.
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User avatar
Jun 21, 2003
2474 posts
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Stoney Creek, ON
fsmark wrote:
Feb 12th, 2019 2:56 pm
Is it required or just preferred to provide a service/courtesy loop when wiring new outlets or switches? What length of wire is enough of a loop? Also, when stapling the wire within 12" of the box, would this include the wire for the loop? Sorry if this is rehashing an old question, but I did not see any previous mentions when i searched the thread.
Thanks in advance.
It is preferred but not code. This wire must be included in your measurement to a staple if this loop is between the staple and box. If it is after the staple then the measurement falls in to the measurement for the maximum of 1.5m between supports. Every inch of cable from box to box has to be accounted for in these measurements.
Newbie
Jun 9, 2007
11 posts
Toronto
Hey there, I want to wall mount my TV and hide my cables. Had a couple of questions regarding the rules here in Ontario:

- I found this power solution for wall mounted TVs that doesn't require you running a new junction box. Do I need to get a permit to install this/Do I need an electrician? : Powerbridge Solutions Cable Management System
- I've been able to find CL2/CL3 HDMI and optical toslink cables for routing through the wall. Not having luck finding equivalent 10-15 foot ethernet cables (CAT6a?) and RCA/component video cables rated for in wall installation. Only things I'm digging up are giant spools of ethernet that I don't need for a single tiny run. Is this necessary considering it's 'low voltage'?

I'm a new home owner so just trying not to run afoul of insurance and rules in case something awful unfortunately happens. Thanks!
Jr. Member
Feb 11, 2009
155 posts
38 upvotes
Is it legal to run romex wire to be in contact/buried in the attic with blown cellulose insulation? If not, what kind of cable is required?

Also does it need to be stapled if within X feet of the attic entrance?

Thanks!
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jun 21, 2003
2474 posts
370 upvotes
Stoney Creek, ON
steph3n wrote:
Feb 17th, 2019 5:11 pm
Is it legal to run romex wire to be in contact/buried in the attic with blown cellulose insulation? If not, what kind of cable is required?

Also does it need to be stapled if within X feet of the attic entrance?

Thanks!
Yes you can use Romex. I am unsure what bearing the distance to attic entrance has but yes cables must still be supported/stapled. You must follow the same rules as anywhere else in your house. Support the cable within 300mm of boxes and no more than 1.5m between supports along the run. As well you can not run the cable on the top of the ceiling joists or bottom of the rafters unless the clearance is 1M or less.
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Aug 29, 2006
1010 posts
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Does anyone know a good electrician in the GTA who has reasonable prices? I need some light fixtures changed (new design) and would like some pot lights installed.
On Koodo $40/6gb plan.
Newbie
Feb 19, 2019
1 posts
OK all, I have an interesting power problem, as follows: I need to plug in a bunch of 110V devices, mostly pretty low amperage, non-mechanical loads into a site that has only a NEMA 1430R receptacle available. I can't modify the panel or the wiring at this site in any way, like changing the breaker, for instance - it's not my building. It looks like there are some commercial adapters for this purpose, like a Conntek P1430611 that's a NEMA 1430P on one end and (4x) NEMA 5-20R receptacles on the other, with some heavy looking wire in between. There doesn't appear to be a breaker or a fuse on the 110V end of this whip.

Question is, is there any danger to the 110V equipment plugged into an adapter like this downstream of a 30A 220 breaker, assuming the 5-20R ends are not individually fused in any way, which they don't appear to be. Anyone have any thoughts?
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