Code is NEC 2017. My existing main panel has plenty of ampacity but few spaces, and thus, is totally full. I have several potential paths for an upgrade.

One involves fitting a subpanel and moving 4 circuits (2 double-stuff breakers) there, and adding circuits there.

The other involves outright replacing the main with a very fine 60 space main panel. No more space problems!

But what happens with AFCI and GFCI requirements? If this were a new house, nearly all my circuits would require it, but I am grandfathered. Will the "new main" scenario void the grandfathering and require that nearly all circuits be upgraded to that protection? Or can I just move over my old breakers and call it good?

  • What state do you live in? I ask because my state has some allowances based on the type of wiring (ie, they would rather have breakers than fuses and upgrading to a panel or extending existing circuits only GFCI around water is required). – Ed Beal Jun 21 '18 at 16:33
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    NEC straight up, no local mods. – Harper - Reinstate Monica Jun 21 '18 at 18:20

With the NEC straight up I think 210.12.D. Would require AFCI's where required (when the branch is modified, replaced or extended) the only exception is if the conductors are extended less than 6 feet with no new devices. Note I just checked with a inspector I worked with in my last county, he said 6' on either end with no new devices in our state would not require all the new code, I always read this as an extension to the end of line for a remodel with the total devices the same so even in my state and county there are some options.

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