main panel


Old 06-10-07, 10:16 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 4
Post main panel

I have an older home and the electrical panel was updated in the late 70's. My question is this. How do I tell what size electrical service I have. Inside the panel it says that the panel is rated for 125 amps. It has two #2 copper wires coming in to the service. It doesn't have a main disconnect at the top of all the breakers, but it does have a breaker that says, main lighting that is a 60 amp double breaker mixed in with the other breakers. Does this mean my panel is only a 60 amp panel or do the #2 wires coming in mean that it is a 125 amp panel. I would appreciate any and all responses.
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Old 06-10-07, 10:26 PM
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 995
Where is the meter? Do the wires landed on the 2-pole 60A breaker come from the meter? Is there another breaker at the meter, or between the meter and this panel?
Old 06-10-07, 11:02 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2007
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main panel

The service panel is in the basement. The wires going to the 60 amp breaker do not come from the meter, and there is no other breaker between the meter and the service panel.
Old 06-11-07, 02:08 AM
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Wet side of Washington state.
Posts: 18,399
If the panel label states it is a 125 ampere panel then that is what it is.

This does not necessarily mean that the service wires (from the meter) are capable of continuously supplying 125 amperes and if you do indeed have #2 wire then it cannot. However, it can supply 95 (maybe 115) amperes continuously and short-term 125 amperes.

More likely than not the panel is what is called a "split bus" design where the upper section could hold a maximum of 6 double pole (240 volt) circuit breakers and one of these would be the 60 ampere breaker that then supplies power to the lower section of the panel that contains the single pole 120 volt breakers. This was allowed under the rule that permits a maximum of six breakers to secure all power in the house.

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