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Panel Issues...


blazenut
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This panel had 4/0 aluminum service wire entering the middle box, where it was spliced to the panels on either side (wires appeared the gauge). The panel on the right had a 150 amp main breaker, it was full and it had two double taps. The panel on the left did not have a main breaker, was not set up as a sub (neutrals and grounds together-just spliced off the main), and most of the breakers in this panel were for not in use. The home did have a 2 zone heat pump system at one time but it was replaced with a gas system. You can see one of the abandoned heat pump wires in the corner of the picture. I've never seen a service line spliced inside by a panel like this... I would appreciate you professional thoughts...

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My thoughts often aren't professional, but here goes...

1: I'm not going to guess at the quality of the splices.

2: The incoming SEC's would have to be rated to handle both panels. As the "sub" doesn't have a main breaker, I think it would be whatever it was rated for + the 150 at the main panel.

3: Forget #1 & #2. There's really no way to prevent the "sub" from being used for more amperage than it's rated for. There are also more than 6 throws to disconnect all power (unless there is an outside disco). The "sub" should be fed from an appropriate breaker at the main.

4: The stick shouldn't be inside the panel.

5: It needs fixin'.

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This panel had 4/0 aluminum service wire entering the middle box, where it was spliced to the panels on either side (wires appeared the gauge). The panel on the right had a 150 amp main breaker, it was full and it had two double taps. The panel on the left did not have a main breaker, was not set up as a sub (neutrals and grounds together-just spliced off the main), and most of the breakers in this panel were for not in use. The home did have a 2 zone heat pump system at one time but it was replaced with a gas system. You can see one of the abandoned heat pump wires in the corner of the picture. I've never seen a service line spliced inside by a panel like this... I would appreciate you professional thoughts...

The splice isn't inside a panel, it's inside a wiring box. That's fine.

The piece of wood might not be 100% kosher, but it's a time-honored practice to put it there. It holds the wires back and prevents the splices from pressing against the panel cover. If they press against the panel cover, the splice coverings might deform and eventually allow the wires or splicing devices to touch the panel cover and cause a fault. Personally, I never mention the pieces of wood in gutters or big wiring boxes like this.

The left panel looks as if it has more than 5 disconnects. If so, that would total more than 6 disconnect and that would be wrong. It isn't a split bus panel, is it?

At the right panel enclosure, I see knockouts with too many cables passing through them.

None of the cables seem to be properly secured within 12" of the boxes.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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No, it wasnt a split bus, it just seemed strange with the one main breaker and not the other. Im assuming that it was originally done this way because of the old heat pump system. I just couldnt figure out why they wouldnt have just installed the panel on the left as a sub-panel. I have just never seen a splice like this inside.

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