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  1. #1
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    Default 60 years with no main breaker

    Is it a 60 amp, 100 or somewhere in between? I couldn't accurately judge the wire size. Round meter base.
    The label says you need to pry the breakers out with a screwdriver.

    It is a Federal NoArk panel with some scary connections. Everybody knows the Ark was a boat. Are they saying there was no boat?

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    Default Re: 60 years with no main breaker

    My guess would be closer to 60 amp.
    Have also pried Stab-lok breakers out with screwdriver, don't know of any other way to pop them out thats why there is a groove as indicated on the schematic.


  3. #3
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    Default Re: 60 years with no main breaker

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    Is it a 60 amp, 100 or somewhere in between? I couldn't accurately judge the wire size. Round meter base.
    The label says you need to pry the breakers out with a screwdriver.

    It is a Federal NoArk panel with some scary connections. Everybody knows the Ark was a boat. Are they saying there was no boat?

    John,
    I believe you will find that the Federal NoArc is the same as the Federal Pacific Stab-Loc and has the same potential problems.

    Difficult to say, I would guess 100 amp. If there wasn't any rating on the panel, I would not state an amperage.

    This looks like a split-buss panel. I don't know much about those. I recommend searching this message board for specific information. There is lots here.

    Otherwise, you are correct, there are some problems in there other than just the recognized FPE design problems.


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  4. #4
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    Default Re: 60 years with no main breaker

    Canada has not had the same problems with Stab-lok as state side fwiw.


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    Default Re: 60 years with no main breaker

    What I don't see, and confirmed it should be there in the schematic on the door, and maybe I am just missing it, but ... I don't see the conductor which is being used to energize the top bus - there is no conductor in that top terminal.

    Am I the only one "not seeing it"?

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  6. #6
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    Default Re: 60 years with no main breaker

    Jerry

    I see the schematic on the door indicating what is seen in the second photo.


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    Default Re: 60 years with no main breaker

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    Canada has not had the same problems with Stab-lok as state side fwiw.
    Here's an article about your lack of Federal Pioneer problems, some of which might have been breakers that UL de-listed here. Canadian Federal Pioneer and Federal Pacific Electric FPE Stab-Lok Panel Circuit Breaker Hazards, Repairs, Electrical Panel Replacement Electricians Directory for Stab-Lok Repairs

    Keep in mind the biggest issue these have is that they won't trip when you need them to - so, it appears all is well in the panel till there's a problem somewhere. I'm just glad there's a bunch of lakes and rivers to help stop the inferno when it starts.........


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    Default Re: 60 years with no main breaker

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    What I don't see, and confirmed it should be there in the schematic on the door, and maybe I am just missing it, but ... I don't see the conductor which is being used to energize the top bus - there is no conductor in that top terminal.
    That is weird. How is power getting to those breakers?

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    Default Re: 60 years with no main breaker

    Bill

    Thanks for that. I know that I have seen few problems with FPE breakers (recall), I also know that if these panels were a concern the insurance companies would be requesting electrical authority inspections or would want the panels replaced before writing a policy and that is not happening. Also other inspectors in my area are not reporting any issues fwiw.

    Cheers,


  10. #10
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    Default Re: 60 years with no main breaker

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    I see the schematic on the door indicating what is seen in the second photo.
    Raymond,

    The schematic shows the same size conductor going from the bottom main terminal (encircled in red) to the top main terminal (also encircled in red), and, at best, there is a small conductor going from the bottom to the top, however, that is not visible at the top terminal, which could be from the angle of the photo, nonetheless, though, *IF* that small conductor is feeding the top, it is wrong. That conductor needs to be the same size as the conductor feeding the bottom terminal and which is feeding the center terminal (both phase legs should be the same, otherwise there are going to be problems).

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    Default Re: 60 years with no main breaker

    Thanks, Gunnar
    If there wasn't any rating on the panel, I would not state an amperage.
    That is what I did, or didn't do. "No main breaker". I believe if the load is say 70 amps, spread out over several circuits, nothing would happen. Then if the load was increased further to 110 amps, still nothing would happen, except the service conductors would be getting warm. Good thing that run is only a foot or two. The meter box is right there on the left.


    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    What I don't see, and confirmed it should be there in the schematic on the door, and maybe I am just missing it, but ... I don't see the conductor which is being used to energize the top bus - there is no conductor in that top terminal.

    Am I the only one "not seeing it"?
    Jerry, I believe the middle lug with the black conductor is feeding that side of the panel. I will search the photos to confirm.


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    Default Re: 60 years with no main breaker

    Thanks Jerry, I appreciate that. I now see what you mean. I saw the double undersized tap on the bottom bus, but thought that the two main lines where feeding the bus bar from the middle and bottom.


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    Default Re: 60 years with no main breaker

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    Jerry, I believe the middle lug with the black conductor is feeding that side of the panel. I will search the photos to confirm.

    John,

    This is the wiring of that panel.

    There are only 4 positions which can have 240 volt breakers - see attached.

    Being as that is service equipment, and being as there are more then 6 breakers, here in the states that would not be allowed.

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    Default Re: 60 years with no main breaker

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    John,

    This is the wiring of that panel.

    There are only 4 positions which can have 240 volt breakers - see attached.

    Being as that is service equipment, and being as there are more then 6 breakers, here in the states that would not be allowed.
    Thanks Jerry. I see now what you were referring to, no connection between the upper and lower bus lugs. That is a mystery I can't resolve from any of my pics. They must be internally connected.
    The smaller double-tapped wire appears to leave the panel at the top, making it an unprotected branch circuit if it is connected to any devices or receptacles in the house. That is scary.

    Jerry, does the rule say 6 breakers or "6 sweeps of the hand"?


  15. #15
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    Default Re: 60 years with no main breaker

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    Jerry, does the rule say 6 breakers or "6 sweeps of the hand"?
    Maximum of six disconnects.

    Actually, it is started out as a maximum of one disconnect, then an exception came along to allow a maximum of 6 disconnects for dwellings, and it is now a maximum of 6 disconnects for all, with some exceptions, such as another one for fire pumps.

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    Default Re: 60 years with no main breaker

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Maximum of six disconnects.

    Actually, it is started out as a maximum of one disconnect, then an exception came along to allow a maximum of 6 disconnects for dwellings, and it is now a maximum of 6 disconnects for all, with some exceptions, such as another one for fire pumps.
    Ok. I wonder where the expression "6 sweeps of the hand" came from. I know I read it on some forum or message board.

    A panel with no main disconnect is simply not allowed here in Canada, AFAIK.
    Here's some Canadian input. I notice this rule says an overcurrent device is needed, which is not just a disconnect.
    "Canadian Electrical code says:
    14-606 Panelboard Overcurrent Protection
    (1) Except for panelboards where more than 90% of the overcurrent devices supply feeders or motor branch circuits,EVERY panelboard shall be protected on the supply side by overcurrent devices having a rating not greater than that of the panelboard.
    (2) The overcurrent protection required by Subrule (1) shall be permitted to be in the primary of a transformer supplying the panelboard provided the rating of the panelboard is NOT LESS than 125% of the rated secondary current of the transformer and the primary overcurrent device is rated or set at NO MORE than 125% of the rated primary current of the transformer."


  17. #17
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    Default Re: 60 years with no main breaker

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    Ok. I wonder where the expression "6 sweeps of the hand" came from. I know I read it on some forum or message board.
    Home inspector lore.

    I am guessing that the "6 sweeps of the hand" was to indicate that you could use "1 sweep of the hand" to turn off each disconnect, thus 6 disconnects would make "6 sweeps of the hand".

    A panel with no main disconnect is simply not allowed here in Canada, AFAIK.
    Here's some Canadian input. I notice this rule says an overcurrent device is needed, which is not just a disconnect.
    "Canadian Electrical code says:
    14-606 Panelboard Overcurrent Protection
    (1) Except for panelboards where more than 90% of the overcurrent devices supply feeders or motor branch circuits,EVERY panelboard shall be protected on the supply side by overcurrent devices having a rating not greater than that of the panelboard.
    (2) The overcurrent protection required by Subrule (1) shall be permitted to be in the primary of a transformer supplying the panelboard provided the rating of the panelboard is NOT LESS than 125% of the rated secondary current of the transformer and the primary overcurrent device is rated or set at NO MORE than 125% of the rated primary current of the transformer."
    That does not say what you think it says.

    That says "EVERY panelboard shall be protected on the supply side by overcurrent devices having a rating not greater than that of the panelboard.", i.e., *THE SUPPLY SIDE* is the SUPPLY END of the feeders, which is back at the previous panel.

    Or, there *could be, but is not required to be* overcurrent protection on the supply side OF THE PANEL, which would be a main within the panel itself.

    Thus, just like here in the states, you COULD have a main service disconnect, which feeds a panel, with no main disconnect in the panel, because that panel is "protected on the supply side by overcurrent devices having a rating not greater than that of the panelboard" which happens to be the main service disconnect.

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  18. #18
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    Default Re: 60 years with no main breaker

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    That does not say what you think it says.
    You are correct, but I didn't quite say what I meant, either. A disconnect is required, but not nesaceraly in the panel.
    Thus, just like here in the states, you COULD have a main service disconnect, which feeds a panel, with no main disconnect in the panel
    That is correct. Condo units for example do not need a main disconnect anywhere near the panel,


  19. #19
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    Default Re: 60 years with no main breaker

    Fusible Loadcenter Inserts: upgrade yur' old fuse box to shiny new Stab-Lok breakers....

    http://www.schneider-electric.ca/www.../b_section.pdf

    (yes... I know... its not those Stab-Loks... )

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  20. #20
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    Default Re: 60 years with no main breaker

    it appears that the bottom section would be 208-240 as the feed to the top section is being fed from the middle, and the lower section from the bottom. look closely and you can see the nuetral or ground is connected at the very bottom lug


  21. #21
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    Default Re: 60 years with no main breaker

    Has anyone considered that this panel might be a 120/240 split phase sytem which was allowed in the time frame specified (60 years with no main breaker). The amperage of the system is dictated by the service entance cable.
    The split phase system was authorized by the NEC from the early 1920's to the late 1960's and then the NEC no longer approved such systems. In my opnion the seventh circuit on the upper phase does not meet the original requirment of six circuits on each phase and would not pass. Just a thought in my humble opinion.


  22. #22
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    Default Re: 60 years with no main breaker

    Quote Originally Posted by Jamie Coburn View Post
    Has anyone considered that this panel might be a 120/240 split phase sytem which was allowed in the time frame specified (60 years with no main breaker). The amperage of the system is dictated by the service entance cable.
    The split phase system was authorized by the NEC from the early 1920's to the late 1960's and then the NEC no longer approved such systems. In my opnion the seventh circuit on the upper phase does not meet the original requirment of six circuits on each phase and would not pass. Just a thought in my humble opinion.
    Did you read through the posts and review the photos and drawings?

    If so, I suspect you will see that was addressed.

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  23. #23
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    Default Re: 60 years with no main breaker

    Does anyone here know when the 6 disconnect rule came into play and what it was before the 6 main rule?


  24. #24
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    Default Re: 60 years with no main breaker

    The 1925 N.E.C. required a single disconnecting means. The 1928 N.E.C. expanded the rule to four disconnects. In the 1937 edition the rule stated no more than six disconnect grouped in any one location.


    So between the 1928 edition
    and the 1937 edition the rule was changed to six.


    Last edited by A.D. Miller; 02-11-2010 at 07:37 AM. Reason: Hann's Crap Interface Can't Get the Fonts Right!

  25. #25
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    Default Re: 60 years with no main breaker

    I think Jerry has that panelboard pegged to a tee.

    The only other way they could power that top section of bus would be to use a 'jumper' from one of the poles of a double pole breaker connected to the bottom section of bus (black in Jerrys drawing) or one of the single poles on that section of bus.. I don't think that is the case and wouldn't make much sense .. not to mention dangerous.


  26. #26
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    Default Re: 60 years with no main breaker

    Quote Originally Posted by A.D. Miller View Post
    The 1925 N.E.C. required a single disconnecting means. The 1928 N.E.C. expanded the rule to four disconnects. In the 1937 edition the rule stated no more than six disconnect grouped in any one location.



    So between the 1928 edition

    and the 1937 edition the rule was changed to six.
    Aaron,

    Seems like I recall that information from somewhere ...

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  27. #27
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    Default Re: 60 years with no main breaker

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Aaron,

    Seems like I recall that information from somewhere ...
    JPL The difference is that I did not have it committed to memory; I had to look it up. You, on the other hand, having had first hand experience . . .


  28. #28
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    Default Re: 60 years with no main breaker

    Quote Originally Posted by A.D. Miller View Post
    JPL The difference is that I did not have it committed to memory; I had to look it up. You, on the other hand, having had first hand experience . . .
    Aaron,

    I'm not that old ... just seems that way.

    What I was referring to was - I recall posting that information (or something quite similar to it) here 1-2-3-4 or so years ago.

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  29. #29
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    Default Re: 60 years with no main breaker

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Aaron,

    I'm not that old ... just seems that way.

    What I was referring to was - I recall posting that information (or something quite similar to it) here 1-2-3-4 or so years ago.
    JP: I wish I had known that. It took me much longer to research the way I went about it.


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