I’m trying to fix this ugly condition in my old house. I understand that a lot of what’s happening here isn’t code complaint, probably in many more ways than I’m aware of. This picture shows the current condition, mostly is it came with the house (I’ve done some demo on the wall behind as well). I’m trying to fix this mess and looking for guidance from the knowledgeable folks on this forum.
As you can probably tell from the picture, the electrical panel is surface mounted. The power comes in through a knock out in the back of the panel. For unknown reasons, all of the circuits come out of the side of the panel, which results in the many exposed, face-stapled cables you can see in the picture.
I would like to clean up this mess.
Part 1 - I want to reroute 5 of the NM cables together, through a 2” knock out, so that they run directly into the wall behind the panel.
For Part 1, the 5 circuits are: 2 15 amp circuits (fed by the old metal cables, see upper right of panel. These which will be replaced with 2 14/2 NM cables); 2 15 amp circuits (fed by 2 14/2 NM cables); 1 20 amp circuit (fed by a 12/2 NM cable).
Part 2 - I want to reroute the remaining 7 circuits into a conduit connected to a 2” knock at the bottom of the panel. I’ll use THHN wire in the conduit, which will run to a junction box a short distance from the panel. At the junction box, I’ll connect to the original NM cables pictured and continue into the wall behind.
For Part 2, my 7 circuits are: 2 20 amp circuits (fed by a 12/3 NM cable, 2 hot wires go to 2 separate 20 amp breakers); 1 20 amp circuit (fed by a 12/2 NM cable); 2 paired 40 amp circuits (fed by a 10/3 NM cable, 2 hot wires go to paired 40 amp breakers); 2 paired 15 amp circuits (fed by a 14/2 cable, 2 hot wires go to paired 15 amp breakers); 2 paired 30 amp circuits (fed by a 12/2 cable, 2 hot wires go to paired 30 amp breakers); 1 15 amp circuit (fed by 14/2 NM cable).
By code, am I allowed to route 5 NM cables together and run them through a single 2” knock out?
Am I allowed to run 6 circuits in a single conduit (as long as the conduit is large enough) or is there a maximum number of circuits?
Am I allowed to connect conduit to the bottom of the electrical panel or do I have to connect to the top?
If I use PVC conduit, do I need a separate ground wire for each circuit or can I combine to reduce the total number of wires?
If I use a metal conduit, do i need to include a ground wire?
I would prefer if the new junction box was flush-mounted, but I assume it will need to be surface mounted like the electrical panel. Is there any way to connect conduit to the face of a junction box, rather than to the side?
By code, how large does my junction box need to be?
I’m somewhat familiar with the NEC professionally, and actually enjoy reading the code. I’m happy to look up code sections if anyone can point me in the right direction and offer some guidance.