Electrical Wiring in the Home/Breaker Box


QUESTION: I have a double wide mobile home someone broke in and stole my 200 amp breaker box by cutting the wires at the ceiling and also the feed wires at the pipe. All wires are now to short to reach a new breaker box. Do I have to run all new wires for the home?

ANSWER: http://diy.stackexchange.com/questions/39798/is-it-against-code-to-splice-wires-

No insurance I take it?

It can be done as far as being as safe as a solid wire if done correctly   they have splicing kits for the type and size of wire

some local codes may prevent it so be sure to check,  

They wanted the breaker box   how odd,   but crooks who knows,  

YOu will see the basic idea is not to splice unless you have to   so check not only NEC but local codes,   for any changes and sometimes there are many changes local to national

If you could somehow get the shortened wires to something like a fused disconnect,  then extended from there that would be optimal,   

Man sorry to hear this   bunch of crooks who maybe made $50.00 and jacked you up  bad,    

Get some local electricians if you can and explain what happened,   often those guys will see the issue and do a lot to help,    they might see a path we dont,     

bottom line read the link above and check local code   it is phyiscally possible but I would prefer the splice to be in a box of some sort,  

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Not a question just a reply Thank you for your helpful information No, no insurance the place was bought at tax deed sale. In the time it had to set and wait for prior owners to decide if they wanted to keep it or not is when it was stolen. May I add with a few other hi price items hvac unit and so on and tax deed sales are as is so im left with the mess. I have spoke with a local electrician and he gave me a price of $975 Box and a few breakers included as long as he doesn't have to put in a fused disconnect then it would be another $500.

ANSWER: Have to put in a fused disconnect   is that a physical need or is that because I mentioned it,?

YOU don't have to have a fused disconnect for a repair,  it was just an option,  better than spliced wires in my book,   but if he can put a new main in to meet code without a fused gdisconnect that is fine,   

I like fuses because they react faster than breakers but most homes have just breakers and do just fine,  

Odd it seems if they were deciding to keep it   did you hold title?   Seems odd to me, but I have left my attorney shaking my head with the upside down laws and how they dont work fairly

IF you get into this further  and need opionions  let me know,  

Here is one thing I want you to do,   if the electrician is from a firm,  visit the firm,  if he is an independent  visit his garage or wherever he works out of,     it will tell you a lot   never just NEVER let someone show up in a truck  tooo many websites look all fancy and up to date but in person   well many times it is not what is online,   and I say this to help anyone facing the same thing,     go see where this person is coming from   and I dont care who it is  a huge contractor or a  one man band,  there is nothing wrong with either,  

One man shops can be just as good as a contractor  and a contractor can often do the work for as low a price as a one man or woman operation   get three bids  and go with the one that makes sense not price,    and if that is problem  write me back and I will help you  

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: The possibility of a fused disconnect was a choice he gave me If it was going to need one. As for the tax sale yes I bought it and by state law you have to give 1 year for original owners to come up with what you paid plus penalty charges and 10% of what you paid. The only thing you actually own for that year is the right to pay the taxes. If they pay back what you paid plus 10% then they can continue to own it and you get back what you paid and the 10%. If not then the town does a foreclosure and deeds it to you. During that year you can not do anything with the property and if they are actually still living in the home they can stay there until the town does a foreclosure, however they were not there and the place set empty for the year giving the thieves access to it if your not setting outside the property for a year. The one thing you want me to do does that mean if I take opinions or advice from you I should visit your place of business. Not meaning to be rude just a thought that went through my head. To be honest I will most likely do the work myself and have it inspected. Again I thank you for your very helpful advise.

Let me answer the last question first. Absolutely. If it were reasonable for you to visit my volunteer space or my business, prior to taking advice I would encourage that, and in my business, I hold free tours and classes adjusted to the groups or individuals needs.

But my advice concerning visiting the electrician's shop, is even more valid than simple advice. I am not sending you an invoice for anything, and they will.

I have found it is getting more and more common to find very "creative" websites, and when you go there in person, it is nothing like what is online.

Now, will it make any difference to me if the craftsman shows up, has this wonderful website, and it turns out he is actually working from a shed in his backyard? Nope. So if you choose to not get references or check references, or take a few minutes before spending a grand to check out the reality of your contractor, it's worth what you paid for that advice, nothing.

I can tell you I failed to follow my own advice, and ended up with a contractor who was a premier contractor for an insurance company, surely they checked this outfit out. Well whoops, that did not happen, and my insurance agent ended up firing that contractor in my driveway after spraying the wrong primer, mixing the primer incorrectly, from buckets of primer that had frozen and thawed in the premier contractor's shed.

Not only was it incorrect, thinned incorrectly, but also failed to dry  after 6 months through a hot summer with the house locked up, and inside temperatures reaching those of an oven.....and it almost and now should have, caused the house to be either be stripped to the rafters, if possible, or feasible,  it would have been a massive job, or the other option, after waiting this primer out in a rental house for 6 months, was to rip the house down and start over, as it would have been more cost effective than trying to remove primer from 1800 sq feet of house.

I don't find it rude at all. But in this day and age of most everything coming from the internet, it is a prime situation for those contractors who are not even fit or equipped to repair a bird house.

When I did visit the contractors "place of business"  it was nothing more than a ranch house with a large out building.... with no heat or air conditioning, and going further, the primer was purchased from one of these freight salvage auctions,. and Lord knows how many times it had been either overheated or frozen or both BEFORE it was bought at auction and stored and frozen again.

Again I had the references from a Nationally Known Insurance Agency, and to this day the website of the contractor is not a shed
it actually looks very professional.

Very nicely done on the explanation of the tax purchase. I take it that is a township or city, not Federal but very interesting how that all works. I would guess any sort of bridge or gap insurance, considering all the contingencies is probably either not available or so cost prohibitive that self insuring is probably the best if not the only option.

But I appreciate you taking the time to explain it, and again for something that complex, it was very well done,  any chance we might get you interested in running for office, we could sure use some lawmakers who can explain complex issues in a manner anyone could understand?

By the way, what would be the plan the electrician had in mind to replace this entrance box? Originally the question was is splicing a viable option, as otherwise there would be a ton of structural work to replace what was left of the wiring.

At least in this part of the country, a new 200 amp main installed to code, for less than a grand is not out of line, then add on the issues of the remaining conductors and it begins to sound like a very reasonable price.

2015 prices from a long standing pricing GUIDE:

Typical costs:

   Typically it costs $800-$1,200 to have a qualified electrician upgrade an existing panel to 100 amps, or $1,500-$2,500 if a new panel is needed.
   Expect to pay $1,300-$3,000 to upgrade to 200 amps, or $2,000-$4,000 to go to 400 amps.
   Installing a new sub-panel runs $500-$1,000.

And the above assumes the existing conductors are there and in useable condition, not with the conductors cut flush.

Again many read these issues and can and do benefit from other's experiences. And because this is a volunteer site, [trust me the background checks are complete and the tests are not multiple choice that someone could guess their way through]

I simply try to lay out every possible mishap before it can become a mishap. And yes I would like to have people do the necessary background checks, references and go see who or what you are dealing with before shelling out considerable cash, not to mention an electrical service entrance must be correct for many reasons.

A question that comes up from time to time, is why do the single breakers, or double breakers, or both, when added together by amperage not match the rating of the main?

Because as you know as you are going to do this yourself, and know where you live, for the benefit of those less skilled, sizing a main is part science and part art, part the specialized understanding, be it formal training or the school of hard knocks, and part experience.

The link below gives a good explanation of why in most panels the sum of the amperage ratings of all individual breakers normally exceeds the rating of the main, and why it is theoretically possible yet likely physically impossible to have a subtotal of 1,000,000 amps below a 125 amp main.


Anyway it sounds like you have found a solution and that is the goal,  but just to make sure;  

To be clear "does that mean if I take opinions or advice from you I should visit your place of business"??  Up to you.
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Will Babbitt


Electrical issues of all types, wiring, control, appliances, components, specialty in Electric MOTOR or APPARATUS trouble shooting, electric motors, electrical problems, single phase, three phase, DC, capacitors, elevator MG-Sets, modifications, reverse engineering, VFD Drives, single to three phase convertors. Repair of most any electrical/mechanical/electronic apparatus, OEM, AC, DC, Industrial Applications, Three phase, single phase failure mode, determining the root cause of the equipment failure BEFORE failure repeats, Antique appliances, electric motors, fans, ceiling fans, base mount fans, poor equipment performance, Modifications, habitual failures, vibration, redesign, obsolete issues, collectible items restored, rewinding. Owner of EMR Repair Inc www.emrrepair.com More information on electric motors, under Engineering/Motors Ask about any electrical or mechanical problems in the home, office, or even at your work. B2B or business to business CONSULTING I can do but it would be a much more complex issue, that would require a significant amount of time. repair@mearservice.com from there we can discuss and begin work on about anything. Industrial electric motors, controls, troubleshooting, vibration, alignment, any type of industrial or commercial electric/electrcical equipment For the home owner, renter, apartment if you have odd things going on, describe to me, photos are normally very helpful, appliances, heating and air conditioning issues, light switches, installation, DIY PROJECTS FOR THOSE NOT EDUCATED IN ELECTRICAL, we can do some things, but for safety and sanity reasons, I may refer you to a local electrician, and help you find one, help you with pricing and even speak directly with anyone you hire if you have issues,


Over thirty years with a major repair and sales company, VP of Operations, and former owner of my own specialty repair shops, MEAR Services local to Kansas City Missouri EMR Repair Inc., located in Kansas City Missouri, 2014 sold both businesses to JCI Industries, Lee's Summit Missouri wbabbitt@jciind.com Evaluation and repair of electrical/mechanical apparatus. Electrical and mechanical repairs, trouble shooting including, vibration and balance issues. About.com provides this service, and the huge costs to provide help on about any subject. They provide the servers, the people to vet the experts, costs that would be the same as operating a good sized business, They should be appreciated for what they do, the huge costs and the great help they provide for free, Electric motor questions, can be answered here but there is a dedicated category that has other experts to help and add to a solution. Other common questions, are noises in the walls, breakers tripping, devices not starting or shutting down for no apparent reason, smoke alarms buzzing, thermostat change outs, or sizing wire or needing information for a new project, but anything can be resolved, anything, with enough effort and patience, DIY, with electrical is possible, but in most cases the use of a simple ohm meter or volt meter is needed, they can be purchased at any hardware store for a few bucks. If you have smoke, or smell smoke, don't be writing me, call 911 the Fire Department has no problem looking for smoke smells, better then spraying water on a blazing fire. DO NOT GET CAUGHT INVESTIGATING AND TRAPPED IN A BASEMENT LOOKING FOR A BLOWER FAILING< As to the tip jar, it is up to you, it is appreciated, every expert spends out of pocket that I know, we spend on IP time, computer wear, printing documents, books, and of course our time, but if we prevent a $400 service call, we did well,

Former IBEW, EASA, IEEE, UL, ..............


10 plus years, various Technical Schools, followed by Industrial College Credit and non Credit Courses, electronics courses, experience in most any electrical apparatus, electric motors and generators, AC OR DC, fractional to above 5000HP, other electrical apparatus, slip rings, sleeve [plain] bearings, lubrication, identification-no data plate, control components, service and sales. I have continued night schools for decades, the list is extensive. I have been in the business of repairing most anything with wires or mechanical parts for decades, I have some helpful hints and directions you won't have to dig up. Or hopefully not have to pay a huge service call invoice to find.

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