Renovation Job With Existing Panels

Questions about setting up and executing automated circuiting and regarding the use of the Circuit Manager and other circuiting tools.

Renovation Job With Existing Panels

Postby DeanUser » Wed Jun 23, 2010 10:25 am

My next project is a renovation job that includes some existing branch circuit panels and most of the 'power tree' already in place. Can I do this project in DraftLogic Electrical?
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Re: Renovation Job With Existing Panels

Postby forumadmin » Wed Jun 23, 2010 10:44 am

Yes, you can do this job with DraftLogic Electrical!

Typically when doing remodels (renovations) or tenant improvement work we must first begin by doing a relatively detailed site review which collects the data regarding the type and location of existing light fixtures, how they are fed and controlled, location of existing receptacles and data outlets and any other miscellaneous information that would be relevant to the planned changes. We would also examine the existing electrical panelboard that serves the area in question and record what existing breaker slots are used, unused, noted as spares, etc.

Our experience is that often many existing devices, lights will remain in place and be supplemented with new fixtures, receptacles in those areas where the remodel is to affect. The approach with DraftLogic Electrical is to use the site survey information to first identify the panel circuits that are available and those that are not. Where lights, receptacles and motors may remain no further action is needed as they will appear as “existing devices to remain” on the drawing, often engineers will plot these devices in a lighter line weight than new devices. What is of interest is that all new lights, receptacles and motors will use the new intelligent DraftLogic Electrical blocks. By entering the “available” circuits into the DraftLogic panel data and an estimate if the existing load (if available) DraftLogic takes over from there and will circuit the new devices back to the existing circuits if you use the ‘auto-circuit’ tool, if you have specific circuit assignments that must be followed you would use the ‘circuit manager’ to assign circuits to the devices and DraftLogic will still calculate your panel loads for you and complete the panel and other relevant schedules automatically.

The skill in using the tool for this type of application comes in understanding how the tools work and applying them properly to best advantage.

There are a few options on how to approach these types of jobs, select the one that gives you the reporting content that is the minimum you need in order to keep your time on the project low:


Easiest is for you to place existing branch circuit panels that you need to add devices into the project, designate which circuit numbers are used and should thus not be touched by either DraftLogic Electrical automated circuiting or the user’s manual circuiting operations (using the Circuiting > Panel Status & Spares function), and enter the existing load on the panel which will then be taken into account for protection and feeder calculations at the panel in question and upward in the power tree (using the Attribute Editor on the panels and filling in the 'Existing/future W' value). This method will give you panel schedules showing the old+new total load on the panel and details the contents of the new circuits.


If you need to update the Single Line to show the effects of the new loads and thus to verify whether the original protection and feeder built for the rest of the power tree is sufficient given the new load, you will also need to place blocks for the rest of the power tree (aka distribution devices) and create their parent/child results with the Circuit Manager. For sections of the branch circuiting that you have not touched with this renovation job, you can either capture the consolidated load at their parent devices in the 'Existing/future W' attribute OR place those branch circuit panels and capture the load at each individual branch circuit panel's 'Existing/future W' attribute. This method will give you a complete Single Line Diagram for the old and new parts of your project in addition to panel schedules showing the old+new total load on the panel and detail the contents of the new circuits.


In the case where the client has requested complete panel schedules to show both the old circuiting detail and the new circuiting detail, you will have to choose whether to A) proceed with one of the above methods and then copy old information into the new panel schedules or new into old; OR B) place the devices for the entire project into DraftLogic Electrical and generate complete panel schedules within DraftLogic Electrical. This would really not take that long when you consider that the Auto Reload and snap+rotate automation mean it is just one click per device after you have selected the first one of a type to be placed. Best case, of course, is when the original project was done in DraftLogic Electrical and they you can just start from that working drawing for the subsequent renovation job!
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