One of the projects that I knew needed to be near the top of the list was the electrical service in the building. The original service entered the main floor via a ¾-galvanized conduit with a water pipe elbow to direct it towards the panel. When dad purchased the building the service entered the building at the second floor landing and consisted of a three-meter set-up and a couple other electrical panels that fed the lower floor. The meters separated the service for each of the two apartments and the main floor. Since we have no plans of subletting any of the building in the future we decided to install a single 200 Amp service and have it enter the building on the east side. The power is fed from a pole on the south lot line on the east side so this eliminated a lot of overhead wire running along the side of the building.
The main floor panel is located in the “tunnel” on the north side of the building. It consisted of an old fuse style main and range panel. There was another box beside it that has additional fuse blocks installed. In the picture below the panel has the cover removed to begin the process of feeding this panel from the new electrical panel. We will rewire the entire building within the next 12 months or so, but for now I sub-fed this existing panel to make the cross over from the old service to the new a matter of minutes.
The rear door on this old building was originally double door on the northeast corner of the building. I removed the north door and framed the opening in to provide a place for the new panel and the outdoor meter socket. Note that the south door was removed and replaced with a piece of plywood at this point. I restored the original door and at this point had not completed the door. The new 200 Amp main breaker panel will provide all the power for the building. I will use conduit to feed the second floor panel that will be installed at a later date.
I mounted the meter socket and mast for the new service and had everything in place before the city arrived to change the service. My goal was to have the service changed out in about 30-minutes so that dad did not need to close the shop. The city guys installed a new overhead service to the weather head and removed the old service in very short order. I had everything ready to go once we had power and made the final connections and switched the breaker to the on position is a little less than 45 minutes from the point the power went off.
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