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Electrical Panel Question (picture included)
Posted by: space-time
Date: January 27, 2018 12:23PM
The 5 & 7 feed the AC, and they are rated at 30A. This is 30A/240V (2 phases, 120V each). This is only for AC Compressor outside, since the furnace has a different circuit breaker (15A, single circuit breaker, 120V).

The 4 is feeding the water heater (not "Hot Water Heater", LOL) and is is also 30A, 2 phases.

Question: why is the physical size of 5&7 larger than the breaker for 4? both are 30A, both are dual phase, why not the same size?

Now that I think about it.... maybe the AC has a current surge when it start, and this larger breaker allows for more than 30A for a very short time, whereas the water heater never had a current spike, it is always below 30A.

Or is there another reason why these are different sizes?





Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/27/2018 12:53PM by space-time.
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Re: Electrical Panel Question (picture included)
Posted by: billb
Date: January 27, 2018 12:41PM
the double wides are two pole breakers with each leg connected one each to the two 110 poles or legs in the panel.

5 and 7 go to another panel ? missed AC


There's not much in that panel. Garage ? Work ?



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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/27/2018 12:42PM by billb.
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Re: Electrical Panel Question (picture included)
Posted by: space-time
Date: January 27, 2018 12:48PM
Small Townhouse (3 bedrooms). 1500ish sq ft.

I am exploring how feasible it would be to connect a 240V charger for my car.

here is the label on the inside of the lid.



detail





Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/27/2018 12:51PM by space-time.
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Re: Electrical Panel Question (picture included)
Posted by: billb
Date: January 27, 2018 12:57PM
This is not how your panel is wired nor the buss bars configured, but:



simplest representation of the double pole breakers spanning the two line ins I could find quick

you have two double pole breakers feeeding the AC and they are strapped so you can never have just half the AC system energized. There are other ways to acccomplish this but I'm guessing you have whole house AC



The Phorum Wall keeps us safe from illegal characters and words
The doorstep to the temple of wisdom is the knowledge of one's own ignorance. -Benjamin Franklin
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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/27/2018 08:45PM by billb.
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Re: Electrical Panel Question (picture included)
Posted by: billb
Date: January 27, 2018 01:01PM
Oh Geez, you have the wiring diagram right on the panel.
I don't understand the question any more.



The Phorum Wall keeps us safe from illegal characters and words
The doorstep to the temple of wisdom is the knowledge of one's own ignorance. -Benjamin Franklin
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Re: Electrical Panel Question (picture included)
Posted by: Filliam H. Muffman
Date: January 27, 2018 01:08PM
Do you have a 200 A main breaker? If the panel is new enough* it looks like you have room, but not enough spare amps. I don't know enough about how the code deals with overcapacity.


*depends on when your condo was built and when your state adopted the most recent version of the NEMA around that time.



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Re: Electrical Panel Question (picture included)
Posted by: mattkime
Date: January 27, 2018 01:11PM
How many amps is the car charger? (I don't really know anything about this, but it seems like useful info to know)



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Re: Electrical Panel Question (picture included)
Posted by: jdc
Date: January 27, 2018 01:16PM
Yeah, 220, 221, whatever it takes.

[www.youtube.com]



----


Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: Electrical Panel Question (picture included)
Posted by: btfc
Date: January 27, 2018 01:23PM
"If the panel is new enough* it looks like you have room, but not enough spare amps."

Yes.
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Re: Electrical Panel Question (picture included)
Posted by: billb
Date: January 27, 2018 01:24PM
The doubles span both L1 and L2, ( or both legs/poles) the singles do not.



The Phorum Wall keeps us safe from illegal characters and words
The doorstep to the temple of wisdom is the knowledge of one's own ignorance. -Benjamin Franklin
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Re: Electrical Panel Question (picture included)
Posted by: Rick-o
Date: January 27, 2018 01:25PM
Not at all an electrician, so I just know enough to be dangerous.

How many amps will the charger add? Seems like you are already at capacity.



Mr. Lahey: A lot of people, don’t know how to drink. They drink against the grain of the liquor. And when you drink against the grain of the liquor? You lose.

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Re: Electrical Panel Question (picture included)
Posted by: billb
Date: January 27, 2018 01:31PM
a 200 amp panel can have breakers that total more than 400 amps
he's got plenty of spaces and positions left.

none of those 15 amp breakers have 15 amp loads - they'd constantly pop the breaker and require rewiring.

a continuous 200 amp load would cost $36,000 a month. LOL



The Phorum Wall keeps us safe from illegal characters and words
The doorstep to the temple of wisdom is the knowledge of one's own ignorance. -Benjamin Franklin
BOYCOTT YOPLAIT [www.noyoplait.com]
[soundcloud.com]




Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/27/2018 01:35PM by billb.
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Re: Electrical Panel Question (picture included)
Posted by: Rick-o
Date: January 27, 2018 01:39PM
Quote
billb
a 200 amp panel can have breakers that total more than 400 amps
he's got plenty of spaces and positions left.

none of those 15 amp breakers have 15 amp loads - they'd constantly pop the breaker and require rewiring.

I *said* I know just enough to be dangerous!

Would a 200 amp panel with extra breakers exceeding 200 amps be up to code or insurance requirements? I would be worried that the insurance company wouldn't pay off a claim if electrical problems were the cause.



Mr. Lahey: A lot of people, don’t know how to drink. They drink against the grain of the liquor. And when you drink against the grain of the liquor? You lose.

Randy: What the @#$%& are you talking about?
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Re: Electrical Panel Question (picture included)
Posted by: billb
Date: January 27, 2018 01:59PM
Quote
Rick-o
Quote
billb
a 200 amp panel can have breakers that total more than 400 amps
he's got plenty of spaces and positions left.

none of those 15 amp breakers have 15 amp loads - they'd constantly pop the breaker and require rewiring.

I *said* I know just enough to be dangerous!

Would a 200 amp panel with extra breakers exceeding 200 amps be up to code or insurance requirements? I would be worried that the insurance company wouldn't pay off a claim if electrical problems were the cause.
Generally you run out of positions in the panel cover first in a residential setting and have to add a sub panel.


The car charger is going to use a double pole breaker just like for his water heater.
But it wiill be a 50 amp breaker ( for the 40 amp rated charger) and either hard wired or a NEMA 14-50 plug and socket.
Not too much different than wiring a dryer or electric range.

I think space-time wants a plug outside or a long cord and that is a local code issue.
Here you would have to have a service disconnect outside so you could turn the knife switch off, plug in the car and then turn the knife switch back on. Dumb I know because no one will do it but the switch has to be there so you don't stand in a puddle soaking wet making the connection.
For 110AC all you need is a GFI outlet, (here) .



The Phorum Wall keeps us safe from illegal characters and words
The doorstep to the temple of wisdom is the knowledge of one's own ignorance. -Benjamin Franklin
BOYCOTT YOPLAIT [www.noyoplait.com]
[soundcloud.com]
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Re: Electrical Panel Question (picture included)
Posted by: bfd
Date: January 27, 2018 02:26PM
200A panel - you're good to go.

You didn't mention the car or EVSE or charge rate, so it's a little hard to know what you should install. But a 240/40A (you'll want a 50A breaker as mentioned by billb) will provide you with level 2 charging.

If your EVSE and wall unit pulls less than 40A, you'll be fine. If it is 40A, you'll be fine. Few vehicles or chargers are pulling more than that. (Tesla is an exception, but that's for their expensive home charger - not the EVSE that comes with the car).
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Re: Electrical Panel Question (picture included)
Posted by: Bernie
Date: January 27, 2018 03:02PM
I comprehend your question.
One 240 breaker takes 2 spaces and one 240 breaker takes 4 spaces.

Best guess is duty cycle.

One is on demand and the other is or could be ........continuous.

Wire gauge could be different too.




Staunton, Virginia
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Re: Electrical Panel Question (picture included)
Posted by: iamrfixit
Date: January 27, 2018 03:02PM
Bad news.
That's a Federal Pacific Stab-Lok panel, they have a long history of problems and are considered a fire hazard as the breakers fail to trip. These panels can appear to be working just fine for years but may not trip when it's needed most.

It is recommended any Federal Pacific panel be replaced. You should call in an electrician right away.
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Re: Electrical Panel Question (picture included)
Posted by: testcase
Date: January 27, 2018 03:23PM
The reason 240VAC is used is that the amperage draw is greatly reduced. A 120VAC load would need more than double the amps that a 240VAC circuit uses.
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Re: Electrical Panel Question (picture included)
Posted by: Carm
Date: January 27, 2018 03:28PM
Quote
iamrfixit
Bad news.
That's a Federal Pacific Stab-Lok panel, they have a long history of problems and are considered a fire hazard as the breakers fail to trip. These panels can appear to be working just fine for years but may not trip when it's needed most.

It is recommended any Federal Pacific panel be replaced. You should call in an electrician right away.
This. While getting an estimate for the a new panel ask for the cost of running a new line.
More info: [structuretech1.com]



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/27/2018 03:31PM by Carm.
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Re: Electrical Panel Question (picture included)
Posted by: space-time
Date: January 27, 2018 03:45PM
Thanks. When neighbor sold the unit he had to replace the panel. Now I understand why.
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Re: Electrical Panel Question (picture included)
Posted by: modelamac
Date: January 27, 2018 04:29PM
No problem. Replace the water heater with a gas-heated model and use the old water heater 240V circuit for the Electric car charger.

Quote
space-time
Small Townhouse (3 bedrooms). 1500ish sq ft.

I am exploring how feasible it would be to connect a 240V charger for my car.



Remember how when you were little
you could just rip off your diaper and
just run around naked and everyone
thought it was so cute and funny?


Anyway, I need bail money.
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Re: Electrical Panel Question (picture included)
Posted by: space-time
Date: January 27, 2018 05:11PM
Quote
modelamac
No problem. Replace the water heater with a gas-heated model and use the old water heater 240V circuit for the Electric car charger.

Quote
space-time
Small Townhouse (3 bedrooms). 1500ish sq ft.

I am exploring how feasible it would be to connect a 240V charger for my car.

we will probably sell this place soon. I am not even sure it is worth to upgrade the panel for car, but if I have to replace it anyway before selling the house, I think adding a 240V circuit at the same time would not cost a lot more... need to look into getting quotes next week

Question: was the panel issue know in 2009 when I got this place? the inspector opened the panel and he said it looks fine.
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Re: Electrical Panel Question (picture included)
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: January 27, 2018 05:24PM
FP panels are not 'instant death'.. the problem relates to the use of mains wiring with aluminum wire. No aluminum input, no need to replace. Inspectors tend to over-react. When we sold our last house with an FP panel the inspector tried to do that, but I had the actual recall notice in a file folder and handed it to him. He read it and said "Oh. Okay".
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Re: Electrical Panel Question (picture included)
Posted by: iamrfixit
Date: January 27, 2018 05:36PM
Quote
space-time

Question: was the panel issue know in 2009 when I got this place? the inspector opened the panel and he said it looks fine.

Yes, been an ongoing problem since around the mid 80's.

Millions of houses had these panels installed, many are still out there putting people at risk. Most people probably never even realize there's a problem. In a properly wired home you could go years without ever having a breaker trip. But if an overload would occur and the breaker doesn't trip, the wires melt and burn until they break connection. If you're extremely lucky it would burn the wires off inside the panel, but that is just as likely to happen inside a wall which could start a fire.
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Re: Electrical Panel Question (picture included)
Posted by: space-time
Date: January 27, 2018 05:37PM
[www.cpsc.gov]
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Re: Electrical Panel Question (picture included)
Posted by: iamrfixit
Date: January 27, 2018 05:48PM
Quote
cbelt3
FP panels are not 'instant death'.. the problem relates to the use of mains wiring with aluminum wire. No aluminum input, no need to replace. Inspectors tend to over-react. When we sold our last house with an FP panel the inspector tried to do that, but I had the actual recall notice in a file folder and handed it to him. He read it and said "Oh. Okay".

Aluminum wire is not related to the Federal Pacific breakers failing to trip.

Aluminum wire is and always has been very common for the larger service entrance wires, especially true since copper prices rose dramatically a few years ago. Years ago aluminum was even used throughout some homes. That was not necessarily a problem as long as proper terminations were made and compatible receptacles, switches and breakers were used. Problems came about when changes were made using incorrect methods and components.
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Re: Electrical Panel Question (picture included)
Posted by: Pat
Date: January 27, 2018 06:05PM
You're diagram is wrong. Someone threw a bunch of mini breakers in there. The third breaker on "2" is actually on 4, and one of the poles on the water heater is also on 4 and the other on 6. If both sides of the water heater breaker were on 4, you would not have 240v. It has to feed from 2 separate legs of your supply. 2 120v feeds on the same leg do not equal 240v. That is why they used an odd number f breakers so the the water heater breaker would span both legs.

Mini breakers put 2 breakers in the space of one. The other 2 pole breaker is normal size, everything else has been switched to minis.
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Re: Electrical Panel Question (picture included)
Posted by: space-time
Date: January 27, 2018 06:28PM
Quote
Pat
You're diagram is wrong. Someone threw a bunch of mini breakers in there. The third breaker on "2" is actually on 4, and one of the poles on the water heater is also on 4 and the other on 6. If both sides of the water heater breaker were on 4, you would not have 240v. It has to feed from 2 separate legs of your supply. 2 120v feeds on the same leg do not equal 240v. That is why they used an odd number f breakers so the the water heater breaker would span both legs.

Mini breakers put 2 breakers in the space of one. The other 2 pole breaker is normal size, everything else has been switched to minis.

yes, this makes sense now. It was like this when I bought the house, and looking at the diagram, I bet it was like this from the beginning. Probably someone in a hurry to get the job done at the lowest cost possible.
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Re: Electrical Panel Question (picture included)
Posted by: space-time
Date: January 27, 2018 07:05PM
So looking at Amazon for a new panel, I see this

[www.amazon.com]

it's under $100, installation though is about $1300. I need to get some local quotes.

Square D by Schneider Electric
Is this a good brand?
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Re: Electrical Panel Question (picture included)
Posted by: bobinmurphy
Date: January 27, 2018 07:16PM
Quote
iamrfixit
Quote
space-time

Question: was the panel issue know in 2009 when I got this place? the inspector opened the panel and he said it looks fine.

Yes, been an ongoing problem since around the mid 80's.

Millions of houses had these panels installed, many are still out there putting people at risk. Most people probably never even realize there's a problem. In a properly wired home you could go years without ever having a breaker trip. But if an overload would occur and the breaker doesn't trip, the wires melt and burn until they break connection. If you're extremely lucky it would burn the wires off inside the panel, but that is just as likely to happen inside a wall which could start a fire.

Federal Pacific went bankrupt over the mess. The problem with their breakers only affect a small number of them, but they screwed up on a new design and didn't incorporate something like a date-code with any they manufactured with the newer design. So when the problem surfaced they had no way of tracking which breakers were at fault, therefore all breakers they ever made became suspect and the blanket recommendation to replace the panel and breakers. That forced them into bankruptcy.

So, if you have an old Federal Pacific panel and it hasn't given you any problems you're probably at very low risk if it isn't replaced. But to be on the safe side ANY Federal Pacific panel should be replaced.

If you have an old Federal Pacific and you're trying to add a new circuit, finding a breaker will be a problem. You can find old ones on eBay, but there aren't any new ones and no other manufacturer builds breakers that will fit. If they did it would be a very simple task to just swap out your old Federal Pacific breakers with new ones and not have to replace the panel and you'd be safe. Unfortunately that's just not possible.

One final problem with upgrading or replacing an old Federal Pacific panel and breakers is with building codes. The codes change all the time and what was built to code in the past may not pass an inspection at this point forcing you into a much larger problem of rewiring, possibly rewiring as much as your entire home.
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Re: Electrical Panel Question (picture included)
Posted by: iamrfixit
Date: January 27, 2018 07:52PM
Quote
space-time
So looking at Amazon for a new panel, I see this

[www.amazon.com]

it's under $100, installation though is about $1300. I need to get some local quotes.

Square D by Schneider Electric
Is this a good brand?

Square D is a good brand but I'm not a big fan of their homeline due to the aluminum buss, probably fine but something better in copper is only a few dollars more. The square D QO line is high quality, used in a lot of commercial jobs but not the most economical when buying a lot of breakers.

I usually use Siemens panels with copper buss bars, they are good quality, the breakers are economical and they are what my local electrical supply carries, so getting whatever I need is never a problem. Some brands may not be as readily available in your area.

You'll likely have to install Arc fault and GFCI breakers so getting bundled breakers is probably a waste. Your electrician may have have a preference for availability and ease of installation so probably best to let them get the panel.
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Re: Electrical Panel Question (picture included)
Posted by: Racer X
Date: January 27, 2018 08:15PM
Quote
modelamac
No problem. Replace the water heater with a gas-heated model and use the old water heater 240V circuit for the Electric car charger.

Quote
space-time
Small Townhouse (3 bedrooms). 1500ish sq ft.

I am exploring how feasible it would be to connect a 240V charger for my car.

I have an unused 2xxV circuit from an electric clothes dryer. Adequate for an EV charger? I have always assumed so, but have never tried. My plug-in prius just has the 110v 15A cord right now.
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Re: Electrical Panel Question (picture included)
Posted by: billb
Date: January 27, 2018 08:37PM
Quote
space-time
Quote
Pat
You're diagram is wrong. Someone threw a bunch of mini breakers in there. The third breaker on "2" is actually on 4, and one of the poles on the water heater is also on 4 and the other on 6. If both sides of the water heater breaker were on 4, you would not have 240v. It has to feed from 2 separate legs of your supply. 2 120v feeds on the same leg do not equal 240v. That is why they used an odd number f breakers so the the water heater breaker would span both legs.

Mini breakers put 2 breakers in the space of one. The other 2 pole breaker is normal size, everything else has been switched to minis.

yes, this makes sense now. It was like this when I bought the house, and looking at the diagram, I bet it was like this from the beginning. Probably someone in a hurry to get the job done at the lowest cost possible.

the water heater is on L1 and L2 via position 4b and 6A
there's nothing wrong with the diagram
The AC is on L1 via position 5 and L2 via position7 - 'tis why breakers 5 and 7 are bridged


the magic marker on the front panel is likely not indicating circuits but rather groups for something, who knows what
the circuits are stamped right on the front panel - ignore the magic marker scribbling



The Phorum Wall keeps us safe from illegal characters and words
The doorstep to the temple of wisdom is the knowledge of one's own ignorance. -Benjamin Franklin
BOYCOTT YOPLAIT [www.noyoplait.com]
[soundcloud.com]
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Re: Electrical Panel Question (picture included)
Posted by: Pat
Date: January 27, 2018 09:29PM
Bill,
Thanks for repeating what I said. But, the magic marker scribblings are denoting breaker positions and are wrong. Like I said.
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Re: Electrical Panel Question (picture included)
Posted by: ztirffritz
Date: January 28, 2018 08:54PM
Most consumer grade L2 chargers pull between 30-50A. The L1 chargers pull between 8-12A. Tesla Superchargers for comparison will pull 250A.



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Re: Electrical Panel Question (picture included)
Posted by: davester
Date: January 28, 2018 10:45PM
I went through the Federal Pacific ugliness and had to pay a bunch of money to replace it. Better than the risk of the house burning down though. No, cbelt3, it has nothing to do with aluminum wiring.



"In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion." (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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