I'm looking to get my house panel upgraded from a 100 amp FPE firestarter panel to new Square D Panel. The panel I want to use is surface mount and the one built into the house in the 1970's is flush mount.

The picture below shows the panel and an overlay on what I want to do with it. I'm planning on adding a whole house generator in a few months so I want to be smart about this upgrade to make that process easier and cleaner.

My biggest unknown is how do I get the home runs that currently drop into the top of a flush mount box now into the "back?" of a surface mount box.

Upgrade Plan for 200A service

I can shift up the new box 12-14 inches which hopefully will let me avoid a bunch of pigtails.

I'm guessing I'll need to pull the old panel, repair the hole in the wall with new stucco, paint etc before mounting the new surface box.

What is best practice here for doing this.


  • It doesn't look like this will come into play, but just in case, there is a maximum height for breakers (6'7" according to that answer). Also this is on an exterior wall, right? – JPhi1618 Jul 10 '19 at 19:19
  • That was something I was aware of and checked on. I shouldn't violate that rule in this case. – Ericc Jul 10 '19 at 19:23
  • What's on the other side of that wall? Is there any possibility of a panel being installable there? Honestly, insisting on surface mounting the new panel seems like a lazy installer... Also you may really want a bigger panel than that... 30-space is barely enough for a house in this day and age, don't want to be back here with a question "my panel is full, what do I do?" And right now, more spaces is only a few dollars more, later it will be a lot more... – Harper - Reinstate Monica Jul 10 '19 at 20:32
  • On the other side of that is a garage wall. It's not the easiest wall to get to with the current configuration but doable if that ends up being the best choice here. The current panel is 24 space and I'm using 22 at the moment. Thx for the suggestion on flipping the panel around inside. – Ericc Jul 10 '19 at 22:54
  • That looks like a semi-flush meter main configuration, with the meter socket and the breaker panel in the same enclosure. Am I correct with that statement? – ThreePhaseEel Jul 10 '19 at 23:47

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