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Breaker location


Chris Bernhardt
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Looking at the wiring diagram of this panel, picture below, the main breaker feeding the lower half of the panel appears to be in the wrong location and in the location of where I believe the main breaker should go is a full width breaker and two half width breakers, 2nd picture.

Is this right?

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Chris, Oregon

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Originally posted by Chris Bernhardt

Looking at the wiring diagram of this panel, picture below, the main breaker feeding the lower half of the panel appears to be in the wrong location and in the location of where I believe the main breaker should go is a full width breaker and two half width breakers, 2nd picture.

Is this right?

Chris, Oregon

That's how it looks to me as well.

I'd have caught the half width breaker in the wrong place, but I'd never have noticed the mirror-image breaker placement.

Dyslexics Untie!

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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This is an odd version of a split-buss panel. If you look close you can see the top two breakers are on the un-fused buss, then the wires feed the top breaker for the lower busses. In this case the top two breakers, and the sub-main would shut off all the power in the panel - 3 hand actions. The NEC used to allow up to 6 disconnects at a dwelling so this was OK.

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Welcome, Jim. I'm glad you took me up on my invite and stopped in to say hello.

Folks, Jim is very well known among electricians and home inspectors here in Washington State and he's a second generation electrician. I believe his dad had something to do with authoring portions of the codes used here in Washington State and had written a book about electrical systems.

About 9-10 years ago, Jim gave an excellent 4-hour presentation on inspecting electrical systems for the annual training seminar put on by the franchise outfit that I used to be with. It was after that seminar that I first started gaining confidence that one day I'd be able to figure this electrical stuff out. After that, I bought Douglas Hansen's excellent book and now feel a whole lot more comfortable with this stuff than I ever thought I would.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Originally posted by Mr. Electric

This is an odd version of a split-buss panel. If you look close you can see the top two breakers are on the un-fused buss, then the wires feed the top breaker for the lower busses. In this case the top two breakers, and the sub-main would shut off all the power in the panel - 3 hand actions. The NEC used to allow up to 6 disconnects at a dwelling so this was OK.

Thanks, Jim. But I think that Chris already knew that. He's asking about the mirror image placement of the main breaker on the lower bus and the presence of a half-size breaker on a bus position that's only designated for a full-size breaker.

What's your opinion of those issues?

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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It appears that Chris is correct. The sub main appears to be on the wrong side and the peanut type (half size) breaker is sitting where the sub main should be. I am not sure that there is a safety issue here though. As long as the breakers go onto the buss properly (which some peanut type can only be installed at a specific location in a panel), there should not be an issue. You can see by the schematic that beside the sub main the lower section is rated for all peanut type breakers.

Another issue is simply that if the sub-main breaker was installed per the diagram the wires would impede access to the neutral bar, maybe that’s why it was installed that way. Hope this helps.

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Hi All,

Apparently Mr. Electric also likes to fish. I just got an email from him. He says,

I went Sturgeon fishing last week for the first time down on the Columbia River. I don't know if you have ever seen one but they are one ugly fish (see attached)! They get huge (up to 13' long), but you can only keep them between 42" and 60"

We got a couple keepers (I got a 52") and had a good time. Weather was not nice but you can put up with a lot if the fish are biting.

I have to agree, that is one ooooogly fish! Wonder if those things fight hard?

Sorry for the thread drift. I now return you to your regular channel.

OT - OF!!!

M.

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