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Thread: Main Panel

  1. #1
    Jody Humbert's Avatar
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    Default Main Panel

    When a switch is first in line from the pole, is the size of the service what the switch is rated at? Is the "old main panel" then considered to be a subpanel? The old main panel is 60 amp. It appears they installed a 100 amp switch(shut-off) to "upgrade to minimum 100 amp for residential" and because the panel is more than 10 feet from the meter box. However, they failed to separate the grounds and neutrals on the old panel if this is now indeed a sub-panel. There are also around 6-10 grounds and neutrals in the same slot on the bar. The service entrance wires appear to be 100 amp rated at the switch. Then two supply wires are feeding the old "main 60 amp panel" and a 50 amp sub-panel. I also see some free tapping on one of the subs. Double tapping is present. I had an electrician tell me that double tapping on fuses is not the same as on breakers. Any thoughts? In one picture, The white neutrals are just passing through the sub panel. Why is this? Any comments are appreciated.

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  2. #2
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: Main Panel

    "The main and remote distribution panels are very old units that are beyond their useful lifespans. You are strongly urged to have a licensed electrician replace these units with modern devices."


  3. #3
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    Default Re: Main Panel

    The system rating should be judged by the size of the pull out fuse in the service (fuse) panel and/or the panels rating. You cannot upgrade the rating any higher than the panels max. Also, the system can never be rated any higher than the capacity of the service entrance cable. Did you see what size the SEC is?

    The 100 amp breaker up line is basically a disconnect and you should not rate the system based on its size alone.

    I second the motion to have sparky come out and fix the mess.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Main Panel

    I don't see any subs there at all, just a service equipment and some non-service equipment panels ...

    I would not recommend "upgrade to minimum 100 amp for residential", I would say to 150 amps or more depending on what a proper load calculation determines is currently needed and with room for future expansion.

    More importantly, though, is to "remove all those panels and the service equipment and replace with properly sized service equipment (if left inside) or install service equipment outdoors and a properly sized electrical panel inside". Or wording to that affect.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  5. #5
    Jody Humbert's Avatar
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    Default Re: Main Panel

    Thanks for the replies. I did recommend for sparky to evaluate and replace as necessary. Service entrance wire was rated for 100 amps. This went to the switch(disconnect). From there, 60 amp to 50 amp to 30 amp and everywhere in between.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Main Panel

    Quote Originally Posted by Jody Humbert View Post
    Thanks for the replies. I did recommend for sparky to evaluate and replace as necessary. Service entrance wire was rated for 100 amps. This went to the switch(disconnect). From there, 60 amp to 50 amp to 30 amp and everywhere in between.

    No need to have "sparky to evaluate", just "replace as necessary". The electrical contactor must make his own evaluation without you telling him, unless you are going to tell him what to do and he does it, fitting for fitting, bolt by bolt, etc.

    I have never figure out why HIs feel a need to tell another trade or profession to "evaluate" when the HI knows darn well that the other trade or profession SIMPLY HAS TO "EVALUATE" what they are looking at before doing anything to it.

    YOU (the HI) just EVALUATED it, did you not? Is that not what YOU got paid for? Then why tell another person to do your job?

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Main Panel

    Jody, your questions are valid, so as a supplement to JP's comment.....
    Quote Originally Posted by Jody Humbert View Post
    1.When a switch is first in line from the pole, is the size of the service what the switch is rated at? 2.Is the "old main panel" then considered to be a subpanel?
    1. Yes, but also the wire size and the panel must be rated for the switch or breaker size. 2.Yes, but we call them (remote) distribution panels here.
    However, they failed to separate the grounds and neutrals on the old panel if this is now indeed a sub-panel. There are also around 6-10 grounds and neutrals in the same slot on the bar.
    You are right, that is a rat's nest, and not correctly done.
    I also see some free tapping on one of the subs. Double tapping is present. I had an electrician tell me that double tapping on fuses is not the same as on breakers. Any thoughts?
    I doubt if it is acceptable, but someone else can try to answer that one.
    In one picture, The white neutrals are just passing through the sub panel. Why is this?
    No neutral connections were made in that panel. Only the 'sparky' on that job knows why.

    ''Subs'' are submarines. I tried 'subordinate panel', but that did not fly.


  8. #8
    Darrel Hood's Avatar
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    Default Re: Main Panel

    Sorry, I can't find how to start a new thread, so I will post this here. What is the item in the photos? The data sheet inside the cover was not legible except for the words "starter motor". This home was built in the sixties. Thanks in advance.

    Darrel Hood
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  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Main Panel

    Looks like a pump control unit. Not sure, though. You need a camera.


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Main Panel

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    Looks like a pump control unit.
    Yep, looks like an Allen-Bradley motor controller.

    Not sure, though. You need a camera.
    Or a steadier hand.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

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