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Per NEC, am I allowed to extend the meter-to-main-panel wires (hot, hot, neutral) inside the main panel using split bolt connectors? The wires could be a bit short for the new replacement panel.

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  • A breaker panel is nothing more than a very large junction box that happens to have several pre-mounted specialty fixtures in it. Since you can splice the wiring leading from a breaker to a fixture, I can't see why you couldn't (with the proper splices) splice the wires feeding it. I don't have any specific chapter and verse to quote for you, so not an answer.
    – FreeMan
    Mar 9, 2023 at 19:00
  • Per NEC requirements, the unprotected service entrance wires must be very short. They ought to be aluminum. Some people fear aluminum but why? "dissimilar metals" they always say... but the lugs they're attaching to are aluminum. Therefore, it is all but certain that replacing the wires entirely will be cheaper than Polaris connectors. Mar 9, 2023 at 19:12
  • @FreeMan. One difference that I see is that this portion of the wire has no overcurrent protection against shorts.
    – mcu
    Mar 9, 2023 at 19:13
  • @Harper In my case extending makes sense if it is allowed. I understand that this is not the best solution.
    – mcu
    Mar 9, 2023 at 19:15
  • These are service entrance conductors, not feeders, by the way.
    – Ecnerwal
    Mar 9, 2023 at 19:42

1 Answer 1

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May depend on your applicable code revision.

Per NEC 2020, 230.46 at this point in time (since Jan 1, 2023) all line side splice devices must be marked "suitable for use on the line side of service equipment."

I'm going to bet you'll have a hard time finding split bolts so marked, since they depend on how well you wrap them with tape for their insulation - but there are other connectors with less dependence on the skill of the installer to maintain their insulation.

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  • So, the NEC allows the splicing if proper connectors are used?
    – mcu
    Mar 9, 2023 at 19:34
  • Explicitly - the chapter and verse are there so you can look it up directly.
    – Ecnerwal
    Mar 9, 2023 at 19:41
  • Does this also apply to the neutral wire, or just the hot wires?
    – mcu
    Mar 9, 2023 at 20:05
  • 2
    Neutral conductors are current carrying conductors same as the hots, unless specified otherwise.
    – KMJ
    Mar 9, 2023 at 22:17

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