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wires on main lugs then to a two pole breaker


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This is a nice FPE Stab Lok sub panel. You can see wires on the main lugs that go directly to a two pole breaker. No other wires are involved.

So, what is the purpose/intent? And why has this not exploded? Voltage across the breaker terminals is 230.

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All other concerns aside, with regards to your question, looks like it's simply a back-fed panel.

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Oh Shoot! Now I have to ask what a back-fed panel is? And is it a bad thing.

Hi Mark,

A back fed panel is simply a panel that has the service/ feeder wires run to a breaker, and the breaker is what supplies power to the panel.

But then what are the other wires doing attached to the main lugs? Feeds from the main panel, right? Then those wires are feeding the sub not the breaker.

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Lets assume that the top wires are the feeder wires from the service equip. to the sub panel.

Do the bus bars extend all the way up to that top feeder wire attachment point?

It's possible that the top feeder wires are secured to that top connection point, and then the lower feeder wires are what is feeding power to the panel.

Jim will probably be along soon, and it's highly unlikely that he needs a panel diagram to tell you more.........

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Lets assume that the top wires are the feeder wires from the service equip. to the sub panel.

Do the bus bars extend all the way up to that top feeder wire attachment point?

That hit me just before I read your comment. I don't know if they extend down or not. I can't see them - plastic in the way. If they did extend all the way down, we'd have a problem which is that brought up the issue. So they must not extend down.

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Lets assume that the top wires are the feeder wires from the service equip. to the sub panel.

Do the bus bars extend all the way up to that top feeder wire attachment point?

That hit me just before I read your comment. I don't know if they extend down or not. I can't see them - plastic in the way. If they did extend all the way down, we'd have a problem which is that brought up the issue. So they must not extend down.

Yes. I think that Brandon's nailed it. It's a split bus panel and they're backfeeding the lower set of bus bars.

It makes me wonder what happened to the original wires that fed the lower buses.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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Lets assume that the top wires are the feeder wires from the service equip. to the sub panel.

Do the bus bars extend all the way up to that top feeder wire attachment point?

So they must not extend down.

It's a split bus panel and they're backfeeding the lower set of bus bars.

It makes me wonder what happened to the original wires that fed the lower buses.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

They were removed so that the subpanel could be backfed by what appears to be a 60 amp breaker. But you knew that. [:)]

There should have been a label on that breaker. It is not much help to the occupants if they don't know what the breaker does.

Why hasn't it blown up? Those copper busbars are better quality, so that helps.

The breakers must fit relatively snug, and none fell out so that must be the case.

And three, if no circuits are ever overloaded, the old breakers are never put to any real test to see if they would actually protect the wiring or allow the whole mess to go up in smoke.

To me that is the question to ask for any breaker panel over 30 or 40 years old - Will those old breakers snap off when they need to?

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