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I called this panel out as having too many breakers and the panel is overloaded. The cover is pushing on a blob of wiring within the box. The owner claims he had an electrician come in to "Fix" the electrical problems. He claims that the existing panel is ok and no sub-panel is required. I am sticking to my opinion and think the electrician is wrong or the owner is not being honest about using a licensed electrician.

There is a 200 ampere main breaker switch. Sorry for the blurry image.

Lots of crude homeowner wiring in the house including open boxes, bundles of sloppy wiring, exposed pigtailed connections and back-feeding the panel with a generator through a box in the detached garage with no lockout device or transfer panel.

The owner is a local fireman and he claims everything passed local inspection.

I told my client that he should get his own licensed electrician into the house to evaluate the corrective work needed.

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I've seen plenty of houses, each with 4 HVAC systems, that are properly supplied by a 200 A service though there's still a reasonable chance it's overloaded. In such a case as yours I'd likely do a rudimentary calculation of my own to ballpark the load then recommend a sparky to do a proper calculation if my number indicates to me that it's borderline.

The number of breakers/circuits doesn't have anything to do with it.

Marc

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I've seen plenty of houses, each with 4 HVAC systems, that are properly supplied by a 200 A service though there's still a reasonable chance it's overloaded. In such a case as yours I'd likely do a rudimentary calculation of my own to ballpark the load then recommend a sparky to do a proper calculation if my number indicates to me that it's borderline.

The number of breakers/circuits doesn't have anything to do with it.

Marc

Thanks for your reply Marc.

What about the jumble of wires behind the cover? Is there a requirement to have wires organized and not pushing again the cover because they are sloppily installed?

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Tom is right. Look for a diagram on the cover and see if the breaker fill is compliant with it.

CTL compliance is a little difficult unless you start pulling breakers out, which I don't recommend.

Marc

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You are looking after your client, nothing wrong with that. There is enough doubt with the tandems in there, plus the other items you mention.

Usually 200 amps is plenty enough service for residential, but that doesn't mean all the add-ons are compliant or safe.

Yesterday I witnessed a bad feeder install for a Heat pump. The panel has had some recent additions done properly by an electrician and he obviously chose to ignore the existing fault. Maybe his attitude is that he wasn't hired to fix what was there already. That doesn't mean it was approved, but the owners will interpret it that way.

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In my opinion it was a mistake to call out the panel for having two many breakers. The panel was designed for that many, sure it's definitely full. By looking at breakers I would guess that the home has gas heat, gas water heater? If so, it takes the large loads off the panel.

I would call out the cover being difficult to install. Recommend an electrician clean up wires in panel so cover fits. I would not recommend a sub panel as its' not needed. A sub panel will not increase the 200 amp capacity, just create more breaker space which is not needed.

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Steve, is the panel box rated for tandem breakers? I doubt it. I would make the same call as you. The fireman owner knows people, and is probably not being honest.

Trent the question wasn't whether a subpanel box increases the 200 amp capacity. I would think that answer is obvious.

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I called this panel out as having too many breakers and the panel is overloaded. The cover is pushing on a blob of wiring within the box. The owner claims he had an electrician come in to "Fix" the electrical problems. He claims that the existing panel is ok and no sub-panel is required. I am sticking to my opinion and think the electrician is wrong or the owner is not being honest about using a licensed electrician.

There is a 200 ampere main breaker switch. Sorry for the blurry image.

Lots of crude homeowner wiring in the house including open boxes, bundles of sloppy wiring, exposed pigtailed connections and back-feeding the panel with a generator through a box in the detached garage with no lockout device or transfer panel.

The owner is a local fireman and he claims everything passed local inspection.

I told my client that he should get his own licensed electrician into the house to evaluate the corrective work needed.

Click to Enlarge
tn_2015320114944_BXX%20(21).jpg

34.15 KB

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tn_2015320115010_BXX%20(22).jpg

38.71 KB

Click to Enlarge
tn_2015320115116_BXX(23).jpg

36.58 KB

Steve, the attached document is from the Eaton/Cutler web site. It states that the NEC no longer limits the number of breakers in a loadcenter.

Download Attachment: icon_adobe.gif Cutler Hammer Loadcenter.pdf

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I know that they removed the maximum number of breaker requirement from the code, but I'm sure that is a typical 42 slot breaker panel. The maximum number of poles is 42. No tandems allowed.

Just because they fit does not make it correct. Many tandem breakers will state "Not for use in a CTL panel".

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There's two different kinds of overloaded:

If the panel is electrically overloaded, the only real way to tell is to do a load calc. Once you've gathered the necessary data, the calculation is very simple and takes only a few minutes.

If you're talking about physically overloaded, then you only need to look at the panel schematic and compare it to the breaker placement. It looks like too many breakers to me.

As for wads of wiring, if you can get the panel cover on, it's probably not overloaded. The requirements for cross-section fill allow a *lot* of wires in there.

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If I counted correctly the panel directory shows 5 or 6 spare breakers. There are only 6 tandum breakers in the panel.

Did you remove the cover and verify if all the breakers were utilized?

By the way the panel directory is not code compliant. They utilized persons names to identify rooms ( not allowed)

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Steve, the attached document is from the Eaton/Cutler web site. It states that the NEC no longer limits the number of breakers in a loadcenter.

OK, I need an update. I thought NEC said total 42 circuit/breakers in a panel. Now it's unlimited?

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Steve, the attached document is from the Eaton/Cutler web site. It states that the NEC no longer limits the number of breakers in a loadcenter.

OK, I need an update. I thought NEC said total 42 circuit/breakers in a panel. Now it's unlimited?

Since the 2008 edition.

Here's the best explanation that I've seen so far:

http://static.schneider-electric.us/doc ... DB0701.pdf

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Steve, the attached document is from the Eaton/Cutler web site. It states that the NEC no longer limits the number of breakers in a loadcenter.

OK, I need an update. I thought NEC said total 42 circuit/breakers in a panel. Now it's unlimited?

Since the 2008 edition.

Here's the best explanation that I've seen so far:

http://static.schneider-electric.us/doc ... DB0701.pdf

So do the manufacture CTL rules still apply?

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So do the manufacture CTL rules still apply?

Absolutely. Existing panels can only be configured according to their labeling.

408.54 Maximum Number of Overcurrent Devices.

A panelboard shall be provided with physical means to prevent the installation of more overcurrent devices than that number for which the panelboard was designed, rated, and listed.

For the purposes of this section, a 2-pole circuit breaker or fusible switch shall be considered two overcurrent devices; a 3-pole circuit breaker or fusible switch shall be considered three overcurrent devices.

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If I counted correctly the panel directory shows 5 or 6 spare breakers. There are only 6 tandum breakers in the panel.

Did you remove the cover and verify if all the breakers were utilized?

By the way the panel directory is not code compliant. They utilized persons names to identify rooms ( not allowed)

It does not matter if the breakers are not all used. Assuming that is a 42 slot panel manufactured pre-2008 or manufactured to the 42 slot limit (which most are) then tandem breakers cannot be used.

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?

In my opinion it was a mistake to call out the panel for having two many breakers. The panel was designed for that many, sure it's definitely full.

It was not wrong to call out the panel for too many breakers. That panel pre-dates the lifting of the 42 circuit limit in the NEC. The maximum number of breakers can be discerned from the model number. Even with the limit removed the panel still must be installed as designed and listed. The unlimited number does not apply retroactively.

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If I counted correctly the panel directory shows 5 or 6 spare breakers. There are only 6 tandum breakers in the panel.

Did you remove the cover and verify if all the breakers were utilized?

By the way the panel directory is not code compliant. They utilized persons names to identify rooms ( not allowed)

It does not matter if the breakers are not all used. Assuming that is a 42 slot panel manufactured pre-2008 or manufactured to the 42 slot limit (which most are) then tandem breakers cannot be used.

I took Jacks post to be saying that it would be simple to fix the issue as the tandems could be removed and the spare single poles utilized.

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I am sure the panel is not listed for all the circuit breakers that are installed! 40 circuits (more than likely) with the main counted as 2. As far as the "no limit on number of breakers now," that is correct, "as long as the panel is Listed" for the number of breakers that are installed. That rule change does not affect existing panels!

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