Results 1 to 20 of 20
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring City/Surrounding Philadelphia area
    Posts
    3,473

    Default Mismatched Main Disconnect Breaker(s)

    I don't know what to make of this setup. This service panel has a 100 amp service cable and the main disconnect is 100 amp on one leg an 80 amps on the other leg. There is no tie arm on the breakers and when I flipped the 80 amp side, nothing happened. All power remained on in the basement and the rest of the house as far as I was aware. When I flipped the 100 amp side, all power went out.

    Thoughts?



    Similar Threads:
    Inspection Referral SOC
    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Bennett (Denver metro), Colorado
    Posts
    1,394

    Default Re: Mismatched Main Disconnect Breaker(s)

    Ok, I'll scratch my head too. And call for correction by a licensed electrician.....

    If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    NY State
    Posts
    440

    Default Re: Mismatched Main Disconnect Breaker(s)

    That is THE weirdest thing I have ever seen. As stated, it IS a common trip breaker. The handle tie got removed at some point, but the 80/100 thing is NUTS!

    As you can see on the breaker, it is a BR2100. A standard BR series 2-pole 100. I think Robert is right, poor quality control in the factory. An "80" handle got mixed in with the "100's".



    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Meier View Post
    Sounds like poor quality control by Eaton. That CB type is listed as a 2 pole, 100 amp, common trip CB which is being used as a back-fed main.
    It's actually not a backfeed breaker. It is a factory 100A main breaker panel.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,248

    Default Re: Mismatched Main Disconnect Breaker(s)

    Quote Originally Posted by Speedy Petey View Post
    That is THE weirdest thing I have ever seen. As stated, it IS a common trip breaker. The handle tie got removed at some point, but the 80/100 thing is NUTS!
    Agreed on the weird part - that IS weird. But if that breaker is internal common trip ... why would it have the second handle or a tie bar? That makes it even weirder than weird.

    It's actually not a backfeed breaker. It is a factory 100A main breaker panel.
    Looks like a backfed breaker to me, even has the required screw/clip to prevent it from just being pulled out.

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

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring City/Surrounding Philadelphia area
    Posts
    3,473

    Default Re: Mismatched Main Disconnect Breaker(s)

    As strange as it was, I found the fact that tripping the 80 amp leg did nothing and shut no power off even more odd. It's up to an electrician to sort it all out at this point. I don't recall ever seeing an 80 amp breaker in previous inspections either.

    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Philadelphia PA
    Posts
    3,177

    Default Re: Mismatched Main Disconnect Breaker(s)

    OK, Nick, fess up. You photoshopped that didn't you?

    "There is no exception to the rule that every rule has an exception." -James Thurber, writer and cartoonist (1894-1961)
    www.ArnoldHomeInspections.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    NY State
    Posts
    440

    Default Re: Mismatched Main Disconnect Breaker(s)

    I understand what you are saying, but IMO a factory installed main breaker should not be considered a "backfeed" breaker.
    In my experience, a backfeed breaker is a breaker installed onto a main lug panel with an add-on hold down kit.

    I know it's probably semantics, but in my world no one would call that a backfeed breaker.

    As far as the handle tie goes, without it you are able to turn off one breaker. That is NOT allowed in applications like this. For a trip they will go together, but for a manual shut of they will not in this case.

    Speaking of my world, some of my electrical forum friends say they HAVE seen this before. In all my years I have not.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring City/Surrounding Philadelphia area
    Posts
    3,473

    Default Re: Mismatched Main Disconnect Breaker(s)

    Quote Originally Posted by Speedy Petey View Post
    I understand what you are saying, but IMO a factory installed main breaker should not be considered a "backfeed" breaker.
    In my experience, a backfeed breaker is a breaker installed onto a main lug panel with an add-on hold down kit.

    I know it's probably semantics, but in my world no one would call that a backfeed breaker.

    As far as the handle tie goes, without it you are able to turn off one breaker. That is NOT allowed in applications like this. For a trip they will go together, but for a manual shut of they will not in this case.

    Speaking of my world, some of my electrical forum friends say they HAVE seen this before. In all my years I have not.
    Speedy, what did they have to say about this type of breaker oddity? Is it a manufacturing error?

    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    2,777

    Default Re: Mismatched Main Disconnect Breaker(s)

    Did you use a tester to see if both legs were hot?
    Did you use a tester to see if the tripped 80 amp breaker actually cut power to that side of the bar (leg) in the panel?
    Thinking just a bad breaker...


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring City/Surrounding Philadelphia area
    Posts
    3,473

    Default Re: Mismatched Main Disconnect Breaker(s)

    Quote Originally Posted by Garry Sorrells View Post
    Did you use a tester to see if both legs were hot?
    Did you use a tester to see if the tripped 80 amp breaker actually cut power to that side of the bar (leg) in the panel?
    Thinking just a bad breaker...
    I did none of the above Garry. I'll leave that up to the electrician who services the panel.

    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,248

    Default Re: Mismatched Main Disconnect Breaker(s)

    Quote Originally Posted by Speedy Petey View Post
    In my experience, a backfeed breaker is a breaker installed onto a main lug panel with an add-on hold down kit.

    I know it's probably semantics, but in my world no one would call that a backfeed breaker.
    That breaker does have a add-on hold down kit - that additional screw you see between the breakers is the "hold-down kit".

    Every place I've been, that was referred to as a back-fed breaker, and it meets the code definition of a back-fed breaker and that screw (the hold-down kit) is required because it is back fed.

    Are you saying that does not require the additional hold-down and is allowed to just be pulled out of the panel, even though the normally-load-side terminals are now hot?

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

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    CO
    Posts
    48

    Default Re: Mismatched Main Disconnect Breaker(s)

    Ok I'm not the sharpest Crayon in the box when it comes to service panels. Why doesn't the 80amp breaker have any technical data listed on the front like all the other breakers? And if it is a back feed breaker shouldn't there be a second power source, like a generator, for the service panel? Maybe I don't understand what a back-feed is.


  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    NY State
    Posts
    440

    Default Re: Mismatched Main Disconnect Breaker(s)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    That breaker does have a add-on hold down kit - that additional screw you see between the breakers is the "hold-down kit".

    Every place I've been, that was referred to as a back-fed breaker, and it meets the code definition of a back-fed breaker and that screw (the hold-down kit) is required because it is back fed.

    Are you saying that does not require the additional hold-down and is allowed to just be pulled out of the panel, even though the normally-load-side terminals are now hot?
    No. What I am saying is that is NOT an "add-on" hold down kit, nor is that screw "additional". It is a factory installed breaker retention. Just like the screws that hold down any other main breaker.
    What also makes it not add-on is the fact that there are no breaker stabs on the opposite side of that main. There are KO's in the cover, but you CANNOT place a breaker opposite the main.


  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Chico,Ca
    Posts
    423

    Default Re: Mismatched Main Disconnect Breaker(s)

    I have to agree w/ Speedy, the breaker is a factory installed main so it does not matter how it was installed as long as it is listed, but the lack of a handle tie & the mismatched breaker poles are strange but the only safety issue is the missing handle tie, the mismatched poles are just bad QC, nothing else, there have been 3 pics of mismatched breakers on various forums that I can remember, 2 have been BR, type & one was SQ D HOM, so it is not unheard of.


  15. #15
    sanjeev supayia's Avatar
    sanjeev supayia Guest

    Default Re: Mismatched Main Disconnect Breaker(s)

    Quote Originally Posted by Lon Henderson View Post
    Ok, I'll scratch my head too. And call for correction by a licensed electrician.....
    Absolutely right
    SmartChoice Home & Mold Inspections
    Brampton Home Inspections Mississauga Home Inspector Toronto - Home


  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,248

    Default Re: Mismatched Main Disconnect Breaker(s)

    Quote Originally Posted by Speedy Petey View Post
    No. What I am saying is that is NOT an "add-on" hold down kit, nor is that screw "additional". It is a factory installed breaker retention. Just like the screws that hold down any other main breaker.
    I see many of these and all of the ones *I* see are "add-on" as the electrician "adds" those 100 amp breakers to that panel to try to call the panels 100 amp panels when the panels are actually rated much higher (typically 200 amps). Not sure why the factory would want to limit a 150 amp or 200 amp panel to 100 amps by installing that breaker.

    The electrician "forgets" to install the screw ... I write the lack of an "additional" hold-down device up and then the screw appears.

    What also makes it not add-on is the fact that there are no breaker stabs on the opposite side of that main. There are KO's in the cover, but you CANNOT place a breaker opposite the main.
    If that is your basis for saying it is not "added" then you need to look again - closer - and you will see the sliver breaker tabs just to the right of the breaker ... granted, those tabs are almost hidden from view because of the angle the photo was taken, but those breaker tabs are there.

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

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,248

    Default Re: Mismatched Main Disconnect Breaker(s)

    Additionally, you guys are not even reading the code, you are probably going from memory or some continuing education class where you did not accurately hear what was stated.

    This is what 408.36(D) states:
    (D) Back-Fed Devices
    - Plug-in-type overcurrent protection or plug-in type main lug assemblies that are back-fed and used to terminate field-installed ungrounded supply conductors shall be secured in place by an additional fastener that requires other than a pull to release the device from the mounting means of the panel.

    Did you guys get that? Here is a "hint": That does not reference a 'field-installed device', that references "filed-installed ungrounded supply conductors".

    Those supply conductors definitely DO NOT look to be 'manufacturer installed', those conductors to that back-fed device look to be "field-installed".

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

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    NY State
    Posts
    440

    Default Re: Mismatched Main Disconnect Breaker(s)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    I see many of these and all of the ones *I* see are "add-on" as the electrician "adds" those 100 amp breakers to that panel to try to call the panels 100 amp panels when the panels are actually rated much higher (typically 200 amps). Not sure why the factory would want to limit a 150 amp or 200 amp panel to 100 amps by installing that breaker.

    The electrician "forgets" to install the screw ... I write the lack of an "additional" hold-down device up and then the screw appears.
    I totally get that you are saying, but that is NOT the case here.



    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    If that is your basis for saying it is not "added" then you need to look again - closer - and you will see the sliver breaker tabs just to the right of the breaker ... granted, those tabs are almost hidden from view because of the angle the photo was taken, but those breaker tabs are there.
    The hooks for the screw side of the breaker are there, but the BUSS itself is NOT THERE. I promise.
    If I had one to take a pic of I would post what I am talking about.


  19. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    NY State
    Posts
    440

    Default Re: Mismatched Main Disconnect Breaker(s)

    This is that panel:


    Notice how the buss is notched to avoid placing a breaker opposite the main?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Additionally, you guys are not even reading the code, you are probably going from memory or some continuing education class where you did not accurately hear what was stated.
    Ummm, actually that's not the case AT ALL.



    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    This is what 408.36(D) states:
    (D) Back-Fed Devices
    - Plug-in-type overcurrent protection or plug-in type main lug assemblies that are back-fed and used to terminate field-installed ungrounded supply conductors shall be secured in place by an additional fastener that requires other than a pull to release the device from the mounting means of the panel.

    Did you guys get that? Here is a "hint": That does not reference a 'field-installed device', that references "filed-installed ungrounded supply conductors".

    Those supply conductors definitely DO NOT look to be 'manufacturer installed', those conductors to that back-fed device look to be "field-installed".
    All this proves is that you have never seen this type of MAIN BREAKER PANEL before, with a factory installed main breaker. You CANNOT put an "additional" fastener in a place where the factory already put one.


  20. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,248

    Default Re: Mismatched Main Disconnect Breaker(s)

    Quote Originally Posted by Speedy Petey View Post
    You CANNOT put an "additional" fastener in a place where the factory already put one.
    Pete,

    From your photo, and from your description, that breaker 'already has' the "additional fastener" installed from the manufacturer.

    Keep in mind that the code is not saying that an "additional fastener" needs to be "in addition to what was provided by the manufacturer" but that there is required to be an "additional fastener" in addition to the clips at the load-side end which will prevent a push in breaker from being pulled out without the removal of that "additional fastener" - and that breaker in your photo (thank you for that photo) does have that required "additional fastener" installed by the factory (based on what I see in your photo and your description) ... nonetheless, though ... that "fastener" (which may be a screw, a clip, or something else) is in addition to the buss bar snap-on clips which hold the breaker to the buss bar. Note that there is no such requirement for 'bolt-on' breakers, only for breakers which can be pushed on and pulled out.

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

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •