How Many Breakers Can I Add To My Panel?

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Old 08-11-05, 07:21 PM
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How Many Breakers Can I Add To My Panel?

Hi, I have 100 amp panel in my house. I recently added 4 more circuits to the existing 7 .. now i have a total of 10 circuits on it .. it is an old and very small house .. anyway, i would like to add some additional circuits to add an electric water heater, a heat pump, and some 20 amp plugs .. howmany circuits can i add to a 100amp box? Can i put as many as I can fit in the panel box or is there a rule as to what is the max number of circuit breakers or total amp of circuits u can add to a circuit panel .. thanks all.
 
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Old 08-11-05, 07:29 PM
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The max allowed in the NEC is 42 including the main disconnect. It is also limited by your panel.
 
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Old 08-11-05, 07:37 PM
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For a 100A panel the max # of circuits is 20.There are some 100A panels manufactured that allow for up to 30 circuits. These numbers are for fullsize breakers only not "twins or halfsize" breakers
 
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Old 08-11-05, 07:57 PM
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Actually the limit is 42 regardless of panel size, although a 32 space is the largest 100 available, but not readily.
Most 100s are 20 space or 20/24.

As far as twins (or skinnys, or half size) breakers this has ONLY to do with what the panel will accept.
If the panel is a 20/24 then it is a 20 space, 24 circuit panel. It can hold 16 full size breakers and 4 twins breakers for a total of 24 circuits.
Many 100 amp panels are simply 20 circuits. 20 full size breakers only.
 
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Old 08-12-05, 07:27 AM
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ok, the way mine is set up, the main line comes into the house and goes through the main breaker, form there, it goes to the meter, and from there it goes to the panel . .on the panel i have about 10 circuits . .so 2 questions . .first of all, is this the correct setup? I thought the main breaker has to come before the panel and not before the meter 2nd question, since i have only about 10 circuits on my panel, i should be able to add at least 10 more! that sounds good as i thought i had to switch to a 150amp panel ..
 
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Old 08-12-05, 10:00 AM
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very old setup. My cottage has the same thing. The main breaker has a seal on it like the meter.
 
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Old 08-12-05, 10:18 AM
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i liked the setup becasue it allowed me to switch the power off completly before it even goes to the meter . . it allows you to work safely in the panel . .whereas if the main is after the meter (and the main is combined in with the rest of breaker in the panel, as it is with most modern setups) you have to worry about touching the hot wires in the panel .. i wonder why they don't continue with this setup!
 
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Old 08-12-05, 10:24 AM
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I would guess one of the reasons this is not done today is by doing this the service MUST come into the house first and then to the meter so now it makes it hard for the POCO to read the meter unless the have a key to the house to be able to get to the meter.

Also I can see someone DIYer trying to remove the meter and by passing it in some fashion..not that it would not be detected but bank robbers know they will get caught yet still rob banks..lol...hmm..bad analogy...anyway you get my meaning.

It was done many years ago but just makes it hard for the POWER company to read the meters....PLUS the POCO run under their own rules and regulations pertaining to the LINE side of a meter cab....but in this layout it would fall under the local AHJ...and POCO does not like that....

Those are the reasons I can come up with.......
 
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Old 08-12-05, 10:28 AM
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ElectricalMan,

Do they still read meters manually where you are? Where I am they read them electronically by driving down the road (at about 30 mph) and receiving a transmission from each meter. Other area of the country have similar or equivalent means of performing automatic readings. Eventually everything will be automated....
 
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Old 08-12-05, 10:33 AM
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Rac,

Has nothing to do with where i am or what type they have. If the meter is INSIDE the house many of the people driving the little carts that read them wont be able to within the walls of the house. It is fine on the outside of the house so I was refering to what we see alot in many remodels where the meter is located INSIDE the house on the load side of the main disconnect.

Very hard for a meter reader to read these.......I know because I used to own a few rentals that were older and we had not had time to remodel yet and they were still rented out and it had this setup....we have since remodeled them and changes the entire setup.

My personal home has this electronic meter reading style....but I have no idea how it would work if the older style is located within the house and the reader needs to read it.......many old meter cabs also might not work with the new meter plug ins......as well.

Just giving my take on WHY maybe POCO would not do it.....as we are all aware AHJ and POCO like to keep their standards different as far as what they like and what they can do.
 
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Old 08-12-05, 11:48 AM
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lol......also RAC just wanted to say in regards to my post above..no I did not own any slum lord buildings..thehehehe.......just so much on my plate and no time to remodel them for about 2 years until we finally did......and guess what rents tripled...lol
 
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Old 08-12-05, 12:40 PM
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yep over here in my neighborhood, we gotta let the meter reader in every month to look at the meter in the garage, or we can copy out the readings and stick it on the front door.

though over by my gf's house, they have this sensor thing they run outside so you just hold up a reader to it, and it zaps the info into their scanner.
 
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