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randynavarro

I'm second-guessing myself

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This situation today has left me scratching myself. . . I mean my head. For some reason, I'm just not computing. . .

These are #2 service cables correct? They just look bigger to me.

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Then, how does one know when a panel is too full? This same panel has 80-amp and a 125-amp feed to sub-panels in addition to all the normal 240-volt and 120 volt appliance and branch circuits.

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To determine if the panel is sized appropriately you would perform a demand load calculation. Remember, adding the breaker handle ratings is meaningless as far as determining the load.

I can't answer on the conductor sizing.

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If that's a 200A main brkr, then the 2 ungrounded service conductors look like 2/0 to me. I get that by just looking at the fill inside the lugs and how far the allen screw has gone.

I don't know what the '2' on the cable refers to. I could be wrong, of course.

Marc

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You have 2 neutrals under one lug there. Pic #1. I believe that is wrong.

The service conductors have a very thin insulation, while the feeders to the 125 amp device have a thick insulation. Those feeders are likely Aluminum, and there is an Al black wire taped with white in Pic 1. In my area (country), the branch circuit neutrals are not brought back to join the service neutrals. They would be attached with big lug connectors to the neutral bus.

I see the wire taped with green going to the neutral/ground bus. If that is the ground, where is the service neutral? It must be one of those smaller whites that are doubled up. Sorry, I'm just describing what I see there.

The main breaker should protect the service if the load goes over 200 A, I would think? Because we don't know what the actual loads are on those other breakers, we just have the defer it to an electrician if there is a suspicion of amateur work.

I would call for an electrician to check that installation. There are a lot of wire nuts in there. The panel appears to be a replacement. Some jackets were not stripped back completely, and that is the mark of an amateur. JMO. I'm not sure if any of the above is an actual code violation.

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This situation today has left me scratching myself. . . I mean my head. For some reason, I'm just not computing. . .

These are #2 service cables correct? They just look bigger to me.

I can't tell without a better frame of reference.

Then, how does one know when a panel is too full? This same panel has 80-amp and a 125-amp feed to sub-panels in addition to all the normal 240-volt and 120 volt appliance and branch circuits.

You really can't tell without doing a load calc.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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