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Summary of options for 3-foot requirement between main panel and gas riser

holeydonut

Active Member
Supporting Member
Jun 27, 2020
3,666
3,182
East Bay NorCal
i am in the same boat, no main panel upgrade at all but tesla cancelled my project. I have 90amp and 40 amp breakers on my main panel, tesla was planing to build a new subpanel and connecting to 90amp but they cancelled the installation 3 days before the date saying my main box is 30inch away from gas pipe, even if they touch to thepanel without a change pge will not accept. I am also very disappointed, how did you overcome your issue?

I am planning to cancel my contract with tesla and do with another company
View attachment 773531


Man, your situation looks pretty hairy since it seems you actually need an upgraded (higher rated amperage) main service panel?

I posted on the first page of this thread a mega-long explanation of how I overcame the issue. My original main service panel was a 200A rated panel that was being replaced with a new 200A rated panel. My installer applied for a new permit that was a pure stand-alone main panel replacement. This prevents PG&E from saying solar was making the install "unsafe." And once a new main service panel was installed that had a beefy busbar, they installed solar (well outside of the 36 inch bad-zone) and battery stuff.

I think, you'll need to find a local installer that will make sure their designed system can use a main service panel of the same amperage rating as your old one so you can do the "like for like" replacement within the 36" bad-zone.

If you end up going with Sunrun anywhere near East Bay Walnut Creek, CA... let me know your order details and I'll ping the main operations guy of Sunrun's local branch. He is now familiar with the bifurcated permitting/process to get your system in under the like-for-like.

If you end up going with @Vines, then he'll get you sorted with no sweat on your end lol.
 
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Ampster

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Supporting Member
My installer applied for a new permit that was a pure stand-alone main panel replacement. This prevent PG&E from saying solar was making the install "unsafe." And once a new main service panel was installed that had a beefy busbar, they installed solar (well outside of the 36 inch bad-zone) and battery stuff.

I think, you'll need to find a local installer that will make sure their designed system can use a main service panel of the same amperage rating as your old one so you can do the "like for like" replacement within the 36" bad-zone.
I agree, and since his supply is underground he may be limited in terms of increasing the size without considerable trenching and bigger conduit. Fortunately, there are some creative options like you mentioned of he gets the right electrician. Then, Tesla may be willing to take another look.
 
i am in the same boat, no main panel upgrade at all but tesla cancelled my project. I have 90amp and 40 amp breakers on my main panel, tesla was planing to build a new subpanel and connecting to 90amp but they cancelled the installation 3 days before the date saying my main box is 30inch away from gas pipe, even if they touch to thepanel without a change pge will not accept. I am also very disappointed, how did you overcome your issue?

I am planning to cancel my contract with tesla and do with another company
View attachment 773531
If you can leave alone the existing service panel and accept a 100A maximum grid connection you could probably make this work without replacing the service panel. You would need to enter the service panel from the backside with your 100A wire, hopefully that is your garage there and the wall could have some equipment on it.

I would put the TEG on the backside of that service and land all your generation in it, and then put the Powerwalls to the right of the hot water heater. The conduit for the PW would have to run to the roof, then penetrate and run along the interior wall to the Gateway. It sounds like you have a 90A breaker feeding a subpanel somewhere in the house, this subpanel will also need a main breaker installed in it.
 
Thank you @Vines @Ampster and @holeydonut

Let me give more information:
My main service panel is 125A. Has two breakers, 90 amp (going to subpanel inside the home to control everything) and 40 amp goes to HVAC compressor. And this was the Tesla's design, not to upgrade the panel since electricity is underground and requiring huge trenching.
@Vines unfortunately, behind the main panel is living room and finished wall :(

So, upgrading main panel was never part of the design, Tesla was planning to create new load center directly from 90 amp and do the rewiring from new load center,
They finished the design at december and got the city permits, completed the site inspection and they were supposed to install at March 8th but last friday they decided to cancel my appointment and now they are telling me, they will not install the solar until i move my main panel to someewhere else or I can cancel the contract :( big dissapointment :( The system was 6.8kwh solar panel and 1 powerwall+ for partial backup.

So I am looking for a solution or a new company, @holeydonut I read all your posts but i dont need panel upgrade according to this design , so i am just looking for another solar company who can do the project and pass the PG&E inspection without an hassle, if you are happy with sunrun, i will love to get in touch with your guys. I live in Danville.

@Vines are you installing solar?
I really want to install solar panels and desperately looking for a solution.


After the solar project, based on the load calculation, I want to install Tesla Wall Charger and one electrician recommended to replace 40amp HVAC breaker with 40/40 Quad breaker and install the Tesla Wall Charger, I hope that will be possible as well.

1646026572899.png
 
Thank you @Vines @Ampster and @holeydonut

Let me give more information:
My main service panel is 125A. Has two breakers, 90 amp (going to subpanel inside the home to control everything) and 40 amp goes to HVAC compressor. And this was the Tesla's design, not to upgrade the panel since electricity is underground and requiring huge trenching.
@Vines unfortunately, behind the main panel is living room and finished wall :(

So, upgrading main panel was never part of the design, Tesla was planning to create new load center directly from 90 amp and do the rewiring from new load center,
They finished the design at december and got the city permits, completed the site inspection and they were supposed to install at March 8th but last friday they decided to cancel my appointment and now they are telling me, they will not install the solar until i move my main panel to someewhere else or I can cancel the contract :( big dissapointment :( The system was 6.8kwh solar panel and 1 powerwall+ for partial backup.

So I am looking for a solution or a new company, @holeydonut I read all your posts but i dont need panel upgrade according to this design , so i am just looking for another solar company who can do the project and pass the PG&E inspection without an hassle, if you are happy with sunrun, i will love to get in touch with your guys. I live in Danville.

@Vines are you installing solar?
I really want to install solar panels and desperately looking for a solution.


After the solar project, based on the load calculation, I want to install Tesla Wall Charger and one electrician recommended to replace 40amp HVAC breaker with 40/40 Quad breaker and install the Tesla Wall Charger, I hope that will be possible as well.

View attachment 774743

Maybe you can install a small sheetrock soffit on the inside of the wall? Frame out an area to pop out of the existing living room wall and hide everything there?

Alternatively, you could just blow out the existing sheetrock on the inside of that wall and re-do it. Paint over the equipment and conduit when done.

My company will install these Powerwalls but our minimum instrallation is 2 PW currently.
 
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holeydonut

Active Member
Supporting Member
Jun 27, 2020
3,666
3,182
East Bay NorCal
Maybe you can install a small sheetrock soffit on the inside of the wall? Frame out an area to pop out of the existing living room wall and hide everything there?

Alternatively, you could just blow out the existing sheetrock on the inside of that wall and re-do it. Paint over the equipment and conduit when done.

My company will install these Powerwalls but our minimum instrallation is 2 PW currently.


I guess I'm confused why Tesla abandoned coffeci's project to begin with. He's keeping his old MSP. And there is already wiring going from the 90A branch breaker to his current load center. Is the problem that an installer is actually barred from re-using the wiring from that 90A to run to the TEG2?

@coffeci , in the screenshot of your line diagram, can you tell me what is the wiring/conduit being described in (5)? Were they actually going to run new conduit and wires there?

1646074867166.png
 
I guess I'm confused why Tesla abandoned coffeci's project to begin with. He's keeping his old MSP. And there is already wiring going from the 90A branch breaker to his current load center. Is the problem that an installer is actually barred from re-using the wiring from that 90A to run to the TEG2?

@coffeci , in the screenshot of your line diagram, can you tell me what is the wiring/conduit being described in (5)? Were they actually going to run new conduit and wires there?

View attachment 774891
If the existing wiring could be re-used then that would work, but often it is buried in the house somewhere. If that wire could be intercepted and new wire run somewhere to a GW and PW then this might work. There is still rapid shutdown to think about so the equipment or at least a means of disconnect would need to be located on some other exterior wall.

Tesla wants it easy, that's why they cancelled it. Another installer could take one of the choices offered and it will be a lot more work.
 
I guess I'm confused why Tesla abandoned coffeci's project to begin with. He's keeping his old MSP. And there is already wiring going from the 90A branch breaker to his current load center. Is the problem that an installer is actually barred from re-using the wiring from that 90A to run to the TEG2?

@coffeci , in the screenshot of your line diagram, can you tell me what is the wiring/conduit being described in (5)? Were they actually going to run new conduit and wires there?

View attachment 774891
Hi @Vines and @holeydonut

Thank you for your support, that diagram was Tesla's design document which they applied for the permit from City of Danville.

Currently, the conduit from 90amp breaker directly goes to my subpanel which is in the middle of the home, second floor, inside a bedroom closet. That conduit most probably go through crawl space and then in the middle of the home goes up directly.

Tesla was telling me, they will create a new subpanel outside, next to the tankless water heater, and they will connect powerwall to that subpanel, so everything on that panel will be on partial backup except the load on 40amp on my main panel which is HVAC.
Does it make sense?

I really didnt understand why tesla dropped me in last minute, by the way, i didnt change the location of the main panel or gas since the project begin, they accepted as it is, applied for permit etc but now they just dont want to do it.

So i need a professional Solar company, who will install both solar and hopefully a powerwall for back up, just in case.

1646076387351.png
 
Hi @Vines and @holeydonut

Thank you for your support, that diagram was Tesla's design document which they applied for the permit from City of Danville.

Currently, the conduit from 90amp breaker directly goes to my subpanel which is in the middle of the home, second floor, inside a bedroom closet. That conduit most probably go through crawl space and then in the middle of the home goes up directly.

Tesla was telling me, they will create a new subpanel outside, next to the tankless water heater, and they will connect powerwall to that subpanel, so everything on that panel will be on partial backup except the load on 40amp on my main panel which is HVAC.
Does it make sense?

I really didnt understand why tesla dropped me in last minute, by the way, i didnt change the location of the main panel or gas since the project begin, they accepted as it is, applied for permit etc but now they just dont want to do it.

So i need a professional Solar company, who will install both solar and hopefully a powerwall for back up, just in case.

View attachment 774902
If your existing 90A subfeed is through the crawlspace then you could perhaps make something work if the crawlspace isn't too small.

If you can intercept the existing subfeed under the house, you could install all the generation equipment away from the gas meter and be compliant from PGE perspective. If it is a 2 story house and the sub is upstairs though I'd be surprised if the builder went down first with the wire before going up but you know your house better than I.

The company I work for isn't the cheapest, and this may be a good bit of work.
 

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