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  1. #1
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    Default Over- amped panel...

    Recently saw a home that had been doubled in size - with additions-from 1500 feet to 3000 ft.. It's panel was a 100 amp rated panel from the manufacturer (see photo) - suitable for the smaller house but highly questionable for the new larger house. A 125 amp circuit breaker was installed - apparently to accommodate the addition for a main breaker at this panel, without upgrading the panel itself. And a 60 amp circuit breaker was installed for a second panel for general lighting, receptacle, and appliance circuits.

    I reported the panel was over fused and a potential safety hazard. Not only this, but there was only a total of 14 general lighting and appliance circuits for the entire house-the new kitchen alone having only two circuits. Lots of electrical problems as I saw, but primarily the fact that the 100 amp rated-panel had a 125 amp main circuit breaker installed.
    The owner says her contractor and his 'electrical guy' said it was okay, and apparently the local A HJ approved this. The owner is pretty upset with me, because the buyers backed out - okay, not only for this but many other reasons-heating and AC systems were original and not upgraded to represent the new 3000 ft. house, roof flashing problems, attic inaccessible, foundation wall not backfilled, etc, etc, etc.
    Is there even a remote possibility that this electrical setup could possibly be an approved installation?

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Over- amped panel...

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Weekly View Post
    It's panel was a 100 amp rated panel from the manufacturer (see photo) ...

    A 125 amp circuit breaker was installed
    Chris,

    Do you have another photo of the panel schematic which shows the entire schematic?

    Your photo cuts it off to the right, but from what is shown ... the service entrance comes in at the top, goes off to the right (disappears), and (I presume) comes back in at that top right breaker?

    If that is correct, the top right breaker would be the main service disconnect is not permitted to be greater than the rating of the mains in that panel.

    Instead of using the term "overfused", which, to the electrician, may have indicated you were referring to individual circuits, and they said there was not problem there ... I would state to the affect that 'the maximum rating of the panel mains is 100 amp as shown on the panel label, and the panel label says to see the service disconnect handle, and the service disconnect handle says 125 amp - that means the 125 amp breaker exceeds the maximum rating of 100 amps'.

    They can argue until the cows come home, but your are stating what the label shows, and you include a photo of the label stating it - your only response is "Didn't they read the report and look at the photo showing the label? The label says 100 amp max, the label says to see the main service disconnect, the main service disconnect says 125 amp."

    Nothing else would need to be said on your part - the manufacturer's label says it all right there in that photo in your report.

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

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Over- amped panel...

    [Do you have another photo of the panel schematic which shows the entire schematic?

    Your photo cuts it off to the right, but from what is shown ... the service entrance comes in at the top, goes off to the right (disappears), and (I presume) comes back in at that top right breaker?

    If that is correct, the top right breaker would be the main service disconnect is not permitted to be greater than the rating of the mains in that panel.]

    Yes, that is what the schematic shows, and is the existing set-up in the panel. This was a very poorly wired panel with Main CB exceeding max rating of the panel, but also had a 30amp 2-pole breaker with a #10 and a #12 wire, improper MWCB, unconnected circuit wires, and other electrical no-no's.
    Then...there was the total # of circuits for general lighting, outlet and small appliance circuits at the subpanel in the laundry (60 amp service) -- there were 12 circuits (and 2 spares) for all of the that. I reported that a licensed electrical contractor evaluate and repair. Its overwhelming to think what needs to happen if this needs more circuit wiring. The house was finished with drywall throughout...what do you do? "Wire-mold?"

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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Over- amped panel...

    First, the electrical contractor does not need to evaluate anything - they need to document the noncompliant item.

    Second, they need to make appropriate corrections based on what they documented.

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

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