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service panel/ load center photos


Chad Fabry
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I'm upgrading my service from 100 amp to 200 amp and from overhead to underground.

So please, post pictures of the nicest residential panels you have come across to help me choose a "style".

I'll take before and after pictures- be warned though, the "before" shots include vice grips. Viewer discretion is advised.

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I kind of like this one:

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Sure the back fed main chews up some space, but 8 branch circuits and a double pole for the range should be plenty for your place.

This was new, with the electricians name and phone number written in a girly cursive on a torn piece of lined paper taped to the cover. I'll check my image files and find it for you if you like[;)]

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I did a house for a woman from Belgium recently. She was aghast over all the exposed cables running through the basement ceiling. I told her that was pretty much the norm, and she said in Belgium, the wires had to be installed in "little tubes," like in your way-cool photo.

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This is mine. Siemens, 42 circuits. I like the bonding clamp @ the conduit; seems so much better than those little green screws (which I know are just fine).

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That other thing is a 1600 amp 3 phase......saw it a couple weeks ago in a little cottage downtown.

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Canadian service panels have all grounding conductors separated from the neutrals. The service conductors are kept separate from the branch circuits.

It makes for a tidy panel.

Pics to follow.

Mike, I photograph every panel, 4 pics or more.

I have gone back to my pics to answer questions, like "Are the conductors to the kitchen range Al or copper? Can we put in a breaker for a hot tub, etc".

The insurance co had a good question for my client the other day, "What % of the wiring is Aluminum?" The service conductors are stranded Al. Dumb ???

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This next one I threw in for a laugh. I know you'all hate them Stabloks. It is a Federal Pioneer main panel with a 60 A feeder to a generator subpanel with transfer switches .

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There is a fault that needed immediate repair in one of these pics of residential, combination service panels.

First spotter gets a beer. [:-party]

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You have a Cutler Hammer 15-40-40-15 (BQC2402115?) breaker in that third photo with a double tap at one of the 15-amp terminals. There also seems to be at least one too many conductors at the quad 15-amp breaker directly above. To my knowledge, it's only some CH type breakers that are rated (and designed) for two conductors.

But, I don't know about needing "immediate repair" so that may not be what you are talking about?

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I think this is more along the lines of what Chad is thinking.

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That is one of my favorite photos of home inspection. With the right frame and mat it could hang in a gallery!

Well, then I should disclose that it's not mine, though I can't remember who I stole it from. Douglas might recall.

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You have a Cutler Hammer 15-40-40-15 (BQC2402115?) breaker in that third photo with a double tap at one of the 15-amp terminals. There also seems to be at least one too many conductors at the quad 15-amp breaker directly above. To my knowledge, it's only some CH type breakers that are rated (and designed) for two conductors.

But, I don't know about needing "immediate repair" so that may not be what you are talking about?

No, the double tap is for the doorbell ringer, which some authorities allow here. The big one is lower down in the same panel.

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Marc,

What exactly do you think is going to damage it; wire mites? There's conduit protecting the wires below the panelboards where they might get damaged by something placed against the wall but above a box like that there's not a whole lot is going to damage it unless someone goes in there with an ax and...

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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You have a Cutler Hammer 15-40-40-15 (BQC2402115?) breaker in that third photo with a double tap at one of the 15-amp terminals. There also seems to be at least one too many conductors at the quad 15-amp breaker directly above. To my knowledge, it's only some CH type breakers that are rated (and designed) for two conductors.

But, I don't know about needing "immediate repair" so that may not be what you are talking about?

No, the double tap is for the doorbell ringer, which some authorities allow here. ....

With all due respect to your Canadian authorities, that makes no sense. The Square-D and type CH breakers that are listed for 2 conductors have specially designed lugs that, when used correctly, ensure good contact on both wires. On all others it is possible (maybe not likely, but possible) that one of the two conductors will not be fully trapped and secured under the lug screw. I don't see that it matters if the doorbell transformer tap only has a light load as it could be the main circuit conductor that comes loose and arcs. I have no issue with using the circuit for the doorbell, but the tap should be done with a wire-nutted pigtail.

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Marc,

What exactly do you think is going to damage it; wire mites? There's conduit protecting the wires below the panelboards where they might get damaged by something placed against the wall but above a box like that there's not a whole lot is going to damage it unless someone goes in there with an ax and...

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

The AHJ's in my area would disagree. Exposed NM in living areas must be protected from damage.

Ever seen a house with the NM installed on the exposed side of the wall finish?

Marc

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I am guessing you are seeing something regarding the bonding. I am assuming the conduit is metallic? Is this the service panel? If it is the bond strap is laying in the bottom left corner of the panel.

Jim, there is a beer set aside here for you. Better hurry, it won't stay fresh for long. [:)]

Yes, after all that neat and tidy installation, he neglected to install the bonding strap of the neutral bus to the back of the panel. 3 years later, I'm reporting it. The neutral is bonded to the meter can, so I think that may be why nothing bad happened?

I suppose an apprentice made that error. Fresh out of school, he should know better.

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You have a Cutler Hammer 15-40-40-15 (BQC2402115?) breaker in that third photo with a double tap at one of the 15-amp terminals. There also seems to be at least one too many conductors at the quad 15-amp breaker directly above. To my knowledge, it's only some CH type breakers that are rated (and designed) for two conductors.

No, the double tap is for the doorbell ringer, which some authorities allow here. ....

With all due respect to your Canadian authorities, that makes no sense. The Square-D and type CH breakers that are listed for 2 conductors have specially designed lugs that, when used correctly, ensure good contact on both wires. On all others it is possible (maybe not likely, but possible) that one of the two conductors will not be fully trapped and secured under the lug screw. I don't see that it matters if the doorbell transformer tap only has a light load as it could be the main circuit conductor that comes loose and arcs. I have no issue with using the circuit for the doorbell, but the tap should be done with a wire-nutted pigtail.

Thanks Richard. I reported the double-tap as well. The electrician should reinstall that connection with a pigtail like you described.

Here's how I tackle the transformer question here. If it's an old house, old panel, was allowed, I report it as was acceptable at the time. The transformer must be outside the panel and mounted securely. New house, not allowed unless SqD or CH type breaker.

This was a panel upgrade in an older house. The double-tap is wrong, because the new installation comes under the stricter rules.

But as Joe pointed out, it is unlikely to start a spark show, and I will hesitate to call for a repair if that is the only fault I can find in an old house.

I've set a beer aside for you as well. Want to flip for it, double or nothing?

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Marc,

What exactly do you think is going to damage it; wire mites? There's conduit protecting the wires below the panelboards where they might get damaged by something placed against the wall but above a box like that there's not a whole lot is going to damage it unless someone goes in there with an ax and...

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

The AHJ's in my area would disagree. Exposed NM in living areas must be protected from damage.

Ever seen a house with the NM installed on the exposed side of the wall finish?

Marc

No, I've never seen NM exposed (well at least when it's correctly installed) on the exposed side of the wall in living areas; however, that's a mechanical room - it is not living space. One can see that the walls outside of that room are covered with rock and taped.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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