How to Upgrade an Electrical Panel to 200-Amp Service (Part 2) | This Old House

normally I would mock the wires before I start cutting them however the descriptions don't seem to match what the wires belong to and they're all doubled up so we're going to go ahead and just cut them all out we'll figure it out afterwards okay and we have the final screw right here and there you go you can take that to the scrapyard so this larger piece of wood will give us plenty of room to mount the new panel we've got the cable coming in from the outside I'm going to go ahead and tighten this down it's going to hold the cable in place okay that's it now we're going to go ahead and level it and fasten it to the board I'm going to take these bare aluminum wires braid them together as one which is going to be your neutral and tie it into the neutral busbar this gel prevents oxidation on the wire now go ahead and connect the two power wires to the electrical panel so why do you curl the wire like that we curl the wire so that it gives us the ability to bend the wire up and then reinsert it into the log pretty easily I'll take the cable and insert it through one of these knockouts into the electrical panel and I'll tighten the locknut with a couple taps and now I'll feed each circuit into the panel pretty much like that now I'm going to take the bare wires which are grounds and the white wires which are neutrals and connect them to the neutral and ground bar on the sides of the panel now we're ready to install the circuit breakers remember the job of the circuit breaker is to prevent the wires from overheating we have three different sized wires that come in to your electrical panel the smallest goes on a 15 amp breaker the medium on a 20 amp breaker and the largest on a 30 amp breaker now the first circuit breaker I'm going to install is a 15 amp circuit breaker now when I plug it in it's going to receive 120 volts from the left side of the busbar this Y here is a 15 amp wire I'm going to go ahead and install it tighten it down and that's going to send power right up to that circuit this 30 amp circuit breaker is a little different it's a two-pole circuit breaker it provides 240 volts to your electric clothes dryer so what I'm going to do is snap this in now it's installed it gets 120 volts from the left side of the panel and 120 volts from the right side of the panel giving the closedrier 240 volts of electricity now instead of just one wire there are two we have a black wire and a red wire this is your main ground wire this wire runs out through the bottom of the electrical panel and ties on to this copper water main that comes in from the outside I got a clamp runs over and jumps your water meter and ties to the other side that way there if the water meter ever gets removed you'll always have this important ground all right so is that it that's it what do you say we go ahead and call the power company have them reconnect your service get your lights on all right all right now the power company has reconnected outside I'd like you'd have the honors of turning the main breaker alright let's see what happens hey what do you say about that that's awesome alright so we have a 200 amp main circuit breaker with plenty of room for expansion down below all I need to do is label the breakers and you're good to go

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