30 Amp breaker to 50 Amp

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  #1  
Old 11-10-05, 09:59 PM
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30 Amp breaker to 50 Amp

I own a 1600 sq foot house built around 1959. It has a Frank Adam circuit breaker panel, with NO main breaker to turn off everything in the house. I think the circuit panel is 100 Amp service, I may be wrong. I also think it is a split-bus, but I may be wrong. The breakers may be numbered incorrectly by previous owner. See picture and/or diagram below.

http://home.rochester.rr.com/hosie/frank/index.htm

1 - 30 Amp for Oven 11 - Other half for Stove
2 - Other half for Oven 12 - 30 Amp for Stove/cook top
* - Red from Elec Meter * - Black from Elec Meter
3 - 40 Amp for Dryer 13 - Other half of sub-main
4 - Other half for Dryer 14 - 50 Amp sub-main for all 12 breakers below

* - Red from 14 * - Black from 13

5 - 20 Amp 15 - 15 Amp
6 - 15 Amp 16 - 20 Amp
7 - 20 Amp 17 - 15 Amp
8 - 20 Amp 18 - 20 Amp
9 - 15 Amp 19 - 20 Amp

My question is can I replace the 30 Amp breaker in 1 & 2 with a 50 Amp breaker for a new kitchen range?

I would also run about 50 feet of Waterson/Hammock AWG 6 with AWG 10 ground, that contains Red, White, Black and ground wires. From the new 50 Amp breaker to a new surface mount 50A 125/250VAC 3-Pole, 4 wire, Range outlet.

I will remove (if needed) the 30 Amp breaker in 11 & 12. I will also pull out of the panel the old wires that went from 1 & 2 and 11 & 12 to the old oven and stove.

If there is no way for me to turn off the power to the upper breakers, than how do I replace the breaker with out killing myself?

Can I just remove the wires that went from 1 & 2 and 11 & 12 to the old oven and stove, and leave the 30 Amp breaker in but turned off?

Does it matter which half of the 50 Amp breaker I hook the Red and Black wires to?

Does the new white wire just get connected to where the old white wire went to?


Anything else?
 
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Old 11-11-05, 05:34 AM
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I believe that you _can_ do what you suggest, but I would advice against it.

Taking out 2 30A breakers for cooking appliances, and replacing them with 1 50A breaker makes it pretty certain that you will not be overloading your panel...though you should really do a proper load calculation to be certain. Other loads in your house have probably changed.

I doubt that you can buy new 'Frank-Allen' breakers, but the 'QP' designation suggests that you will be able to find classified breakers for this panel. But you might not be able to get a properly tested and approved breaker.

The neutral/ground terminal bar is very crowded, and looks to have a couple of problems that need to be corrected.

The only way to cut power to the service section is to have the power company pull the meter. Getting the meter pulled is _not_ a DIY job; while anyone can learn to do the job, there are significant safety issues involved, the POCO gets mighty annoyed when us mortals muck with their billing equipment.

Looking at your pictures, there is no way that I would work in that panel 'live'. It is small, crowded, at it looks like the old insulation on the larger wires is degrading.

I would strongly consider upgrading to a new panel.

I suggest that you should do a bit more reading on electrical wiring; your question about where the wires go suggests that you are somewhat new to this stuff. After you do the reading you can decide how you wish to proceed.

-Jon
 
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Old 11-11-05, 10:32 AM
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I'm not an electrician, just a novice, but that looks like some scary stuff there. Does the panel sit behind your clothes dryer?
 
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Old 11-11-05, 10:53 AM
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Dryer

Jon and Timinindy,

Thanks for your opinions.

Yes, it does look like a bit of a rats nest. I have done some basic electrical wiring, put in outlets, ceiling fans, GFIs, outdoor flood lights, replaced a few breakers. But I could always turn a breaker off before doing the work never worked with live circuits. And I did not know if I could have 2 50 amp breakers and a 40 amp breaker up top. The power from the POCO goes to the middle of the upper bus. Making all 4 breakers equally distant from the source. I think this is a bit unusual, but a good thing. Yes I will read some more before decieding what to do.

What problems might the neutral/ground terminal bar have?

How much should I expect to spend upgrading/replacing just the panel by a pro?

Yes the panel is above an electric dryer.
Tom
 

Last edited by b4u8cake; 11-11-05 at 10:55 AM. Reason: Forgot to answer a quesion.
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Old 11-11-05, 10:59 AM
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Neutral/ground problems:
Multiple wires under single screw terminals in the upper right.
Multiple ground wires just bundled together in a lug that is probably rated for a single conductor.
Ground wires loosely twisted in the ground wire bundle
Wire wrapped the wrong way around a screw terminal (lower middle left)
Your grounding electrode conductor (main ground wire) and supply neutral appear to be in the same lug.

-Jon
 
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Old 11-11-05, 11:03 AM
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As an FYI, the dryer should be moved. It's blocking access to the panel.
 
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Old 11-11-05, 04:01 PM
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Thanks Jon for pointing them out.

racraft, not much room to work with. The panel is about 3 inchs above the dryer. Does in front of the panel have to be completely clear?

Tom
 
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Old 11-11-05, 04:07 PM
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Imagine a refrigerator box, 30" wide, 36" deep, and 6'6" tall. Code requires that you be able to set that box on the floor, and push it up until it touches and covers the panel cover, without hitting anything.
 
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Old 11-18-05, 11:08 PM
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Update...

I am in the middle of making changes for the new range that is coming on Sunday.

So far I have ran about 48 feet of new 4 wire cable, removed the 30 amp breaker (old wall oven) on the upper left side, totally removed its cable from the panel, installed a 50 amp breaker where the 30 amp was, connected the red and black wires in the cable to the 50 amp breaker, (sides does not matter), the white to a new 6-14 AWG lug and attached Lug to neutral/ground bar, attached a 4 prong outlet to the end of the cable, and started to fix other problems with neutral/ground bar.

After the range is installed, I plan on disconnecting the wires that go the the 2nd 30 amp breaker (old cooktop) and totally removing its cable from the panel. But leaving the old 30 amp breaker in place but turned off.

The large ground bundle, can I unbundle it and attach/insert 2 or 3 grounds to new lugs that are attached to the neutral bar? I think there are not enough screws in the bar for all the neutrals and grounds. So, is it ok to have multiple wires to a single lug attached to a single screw?

Your grounding electrode conductor (main ground wire) and supply neutral appear to be in the same lug.
The silver wires that goes to the large lug in the center of the neural bar, is the ground wire for a 40 amp breaker for the dryer.

About the 30" opening (side to side) in front of the panel (dryer blocking panel). To meet the required opening I would have to move the dryer to the right to make the 30" inch opening. But the dryer would bump into the water heater, so the water heater would have to be moved. Once the dryer is moved to the right its door would hit into the furnace, only allowing to open the door about 1/4 the way open. Somebody made the utility room in the basement a little too small. And it was not me

When I am done with the panel, I will update the pictures.
 
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Old 11-19-05, 07:01 PM
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You need to connect all the strands from the one cable to the same termination lug, you cannot split it. The dryer wire needs terminated under its own space also.
 
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