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  1. #1
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    Mar 2010
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    Default 60 amp main breaker as main on 150 service

    Just bought this as rental; need some help on old electrical - 1964 home - main panel and most wiring appears newer. The main panel is a Square D with 1/0 copper feeds (which I assume is a 150 amp service), no main breaker. There is, however, a 60 amp at the upper left that is labeled as main but box is not a split bus (I don't think). Shouldn't there be a 150 main breaker?
    BTW, no main disconnect at the meter.

    Now the sub: Challenger - It is connected to the main panel via a PVC water pipe coupler (no metal). It has a three wire feed (two hots with ground to floating bus, floating bus has no bond to panel box). There is a circuit (hot, neutral & ground) coming in at top of sub box with the hot & neutral going back into the main panel to a breaker; the ground goes to the floating neutral bus in the sub.

    Thanks, Mark

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Ormond Beach, Florida
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    Default Re: 60 amp main breaker as main on 150 service

    While I am not addressing any of the other issues, the first photo of the "service equipment panel" shows that the service entrance conductors enter in at the lower left, then go up and feed the top part of the panel.

    The upper left "MAIN" has conductors which then feed back up and down into the top of the panel to feed the bottom part of the panel - a split bus panel ... at least that is what I think I am seeing.

    If that is the case, then there are likely 5 mains (up to 6 are allowed):
    1 - the upper left "MAIN" which feeds the bottom of the split bus panel
    2 - the next breaker down on the left which feeds the range
    3 - the upper right "MAIN" which feeds the other panel
    4&5 - then next two breakers down for "outside lighting" and "microwave"

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

  3. #3
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    Default Re: 60 amp main breaker as main on 150 service

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    While I am not addressing any of the other issues, the first photo of the "service equipment panel" shows that the service entrance conductors enter in at the lower left, then go up and feed the top part of the panel.

    The upper left "MAIN" has conductors which then feed back up and down into the top of the panel to feed the bottom part of the panel - a split bus panel ... at least that is what I think I am seeing.

    If that is the case, then there are likely 5 mains (up to 6 are allowed):
    1 - the upper left "MAIN" which feeds the bottom of the split bus panel
    2 - the next breaker down on the left which feeds the range
    3 - the upper right "MAIN" which feeds the other panel
    4&5 - then next two breakers down for "outside lighting" and "microwave"
    Thanks, that helps for the main. For the sub: Should I install a four wire feed, isolated the neutral and install a separate ground bus or is it okay the way it is. Also; I'm a little concerned with the circuit coming in at the top of the sub and routed over to the main but with the ground wire attached to the floating neutral in the sub.


  4. #4
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    Mar 2007
    Location
    Plano, Texas
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    4,170

    Default Re: 60 amp main breaker as main on 150 service

    Quote Originally Posted by mark petty View Post
    Thanks, that helps for the main. For the sub: Should I install a four wire feed, isolated the neutral and install a separate ground bus or is it okay the way it is. Also; I'm a little concerned with the circuit coming in at the top of the sub and routed over to the main but with the ground wire attached to the floating neutral in the sub.
    That looks like 240 only in that panel, no neutral needed.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  5. #5
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    Mar 2010
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    Ocala Florida
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    Default Re: 60 amp main breaker as main on 150 service

    Shouldn't the floating neutral be bonded to the panel box? Thanks


  6. #6
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    Mar 2007
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    Vancouver - Canada
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    Default Re: 60 amp main breaker as main on 150 service

    Quote Originally Posted by mark petty View Post
    Should I install a four wire feed, isolated the neutral and install a separate ground bus or is it okay the way it is.

    If you're asking these questions you should really hire a licensed electrician. Don't risk creating a possible shock or fire hazard.

    Joe Klampfer RHI
    www.myinspection.ca
    Pacific Home Inspections

  7. #7
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    Mar 2010
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    Default Re: 60 amp main breaker as main on 150 service

    Got one scheduled for Friday; just want a little help so I'll know what I'm talking about. No disrespect but if you know the answer, why not share it. Thanks


  8. #8
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    Default Re: 60 amp main breaker as main on 150 service

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Klampfer View Post
    If you're asking these questions you should really hire a licensed electrician. Don't risk creating a possible shock or fire hazard.
    Joe,

    Mark is in Florida, and in Florida ... (I know, we can't count ... but ... we sure can license people) ... Mark is not allowed to do ANY work on his rental unit which requires a licensed contractor - with property which is for sale or lease, or listed for sale or lease, within ONE YEAR of the owner doing work on their property ... the statute AUTOMATICALLY takes even that listing of being for sale or lease as evidence that one did unlicensed contracting and the fine is up to $5,000.

    Sure, there are some (many) people who do all the work on their rental properties, but there are some (only a few) who are caught and fined). If more were fined, fewer would attempt to get around it.

    Not only that, but if an owner (and not just in the state of Florida) works on their property which they rent out ... if ANYTHING goes wrong and some one is hurt or injured - that owner might as well suck it up and just that rental property over to the person who was hurt or injured and hope that person does not ask for anything else. Working on property you rent out to others, doing work which should have a licensed contractor doing the work ... might as well play Russian Roulette - except doing it using a 9 mm semi-automatic instead of a revolver. At least the revolver gives you a chance to win.

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

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Vancouver - Canada
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    Default Re: 60 amp main breaker as main on 150 service

    Impressive laws in Florida, while the penalties sound hefty, I wish this Province did the same.

    Sorry Mark, even if I could offer help, you should probably ignore it as there'll be differences in code (many similarities perhaps, but still different). Good luck Friday.

    Joe Klampfer RHI
    www.myinspection.ca
    Pacific Home Inspections

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Maryland, DC, and Northern Virginia, electrical only
    Posts
    116

    Default Re: 60 amp main breaker as main on 150 service

    Quote Originally Posted by mark petty View Post
    Just bought this as rental; need some help on old electrical - 1964 home - main panel and most wiring appears newer.

    Now the sub: Challenger - It is connected to the main panel via a PVC water pipe coupler (no metal).
    Mark, if the panels truly are connected via a plumbing fitting, the second panel was installed illegally and the electrician will most likely replace the paired panels if he/she wants to pass inspection.


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