This project is continued from Part 6.
Since I’ll be working in the main circuit breaker panel, I shutoff the electricity to the house at the 150 AMP main disconnect on the outdoor electric meter box. Do not attempt to work on the circuit breaker panel unless the electricity is OFF because you can be electrocuted, burned or maimed. If in doubt, hire a licensed electrician.
Before I wire in the new NM-B 12/2 branch circuit for the new instant hot water dispenser to the ground fault circuit breaker, I need to take care of a small issue: no cable clamps are on several NM cables entering the main panel. Cable clamps are required by the National Electrical Code (NEC) to protect the cables from the sharp edges of the knockouts on steel panel box.
The cables serve wall outlets and lights in the finished basement – work that was done by the prior homeowners without an electrical permit and proper inspections in an effort to avoid a property tax increase. The trouble with having work done without proper permits is you don’t have assurances that quality work will be done by licensed contractors in compliance with the Building Codes. Always beware of home improvements undertaken without a proper permits!
Fortunately, this problem is easily corrected by a couple of 3/8 inch two piece NM cable clamps that cost a couple of dollars for a bag of 5:
The NM cable clamps are installed by:
- Remove the two screws to separate the clamp halves.
- Insert the “wings” of the clamps through the bottom of the panel box on opposite sides of the cables.
- Reinsert the screws and tighten the clamp snug against the cables.
It is not necessary to disconnect the cables. See the red box in this photo:
Wire the Branch Circuit to the Ground Fault Circuit Breaker
The next wiring steps are:
- Cut the new run of yellow NM-B 12/2 a longer than needed to route into the main panel to reach the bus bars and ground fault circuit breaker (GFCB).
- Remove the yellow outer insulation such that ~2 inches of yellow outer insulation extends past the cable clamp in the bottom of the panel box.
- Insert the cable through the clamp and the tighten the clamp snug on the cable.
- Fasten the ground wire to the ground bus bar at an open position. Tighten bus bar hold-down screw to 20 lb-in per the panel manufacturer’s instructions.
Take care to route your wires along the bottom and side gutters with wide gentle turns. The wires in the bottom of my panel aren’t routed or “dressed” as neatly as I would prefer because these were installed by the prior homeowner who lacked proper care and skills. The wiring in this other circuit breaker panel is a work of art.
See the red arrows and red box highlighting the new cable:
The new black (hot) and white (neutral) branch circuit wires are routed in the gutter to the GFCB, cut to length and 5/8 inch of insulation stripped as shown:
The white (neutral) wire is attached to the neutral terminal marked by the white dot on the Eaton Cutler-Hammer Type BR 20 AMP (Part # GFCB120CS) ground fault circuit breaker. The black (hot) wire is secured to the other terminal. The terminals accept either a flat blade screw driver or a square drive bit; I’m using a square drive bit in my Dewalt cordless drill/driver. The terminal screws are tightened firmly – the breaker instructions didn’t specify a torque value in lb-in, so I went with 20 lb-in.
View of the finished wiring job. The GFCB is highlighted in the red box:
The under sink branch circuit and outlet wiring is now complete!
This project is concluded in Part 8.
Thanks for reading,
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