Breaker box questions

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Old 01-11-08, 04:07 PM
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Lightbulb Breaker box questions

Let me start off I've been looking all over for answers and have yet to find any so sorry if these are commonly asked.

I have an older home and the last person to do updates to this home I hope goes out of biz tomorrow because it's SCARY! I'm remodeling my kitchen and I'm have to move and add some outlets. I've helped remodel before but have never headed one up myself.

My breaker box main has a 200 amp main

down the left side there is 60 amp for my dryer (takes up two) next a 30 next a 20 = 110 amps

down the right side is 30, 30, 20, 20, 20, 60 for my ac = 180 amps. for a total of 290 amps

from what I've herd this is overloaded. (just so you know I have already re done some wiring which will lower a couple breakers and I know I need to replace those with the correct ones quickly.)

How do I go about getting the correct size breaker box?

I have extra space in my box now and will possibly have more when finshed. Why do I need a bigger box and not just a bigger main breaker?
 
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Old 01-11-08, 04:20 PM
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You have heard wrong. The sum of the breakers means nothing.

I suspect that your service, at 200 amps, is fine.

What concerns me is the breakers you have mentioned.

I have never heard of a dryer on a 60 amp breaker. Do you really mean a 30 amp breaker? Or do you mean a 60 amp breaker for your electric range?

Tell us whether all these breakers are 120 volt or 240 volt breakers.

What do the 30 amp breakers go to?
 
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Old 01-11-08, 04:25 PM
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Sorry, Racraft beat me to it....

First off....

The sum of the breakers has NOTHING to do with the size of your svc.

What I would be more concerned with is "How much of this stuff is on at the SAME TIME"


Also 60 amp breaker for a dryer?--That must be one huge unit, or the wrong breaker. Check the specs for your dryer and A?C and install the correct breakers ,,,,NOW...Get to it, shut down your computer , and GO....

Replacing the main breaker with a larger one requires larger FEEDER cables. Actually..this hold true to any circuit in your home.. The breaker and wiring MUST be "GAUGE MATCHED" to the circuit it is intended to protect.
 
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Old 01-11-08, 07:17 PM
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A double breaker with 30 on both handles is not a 60 amp breaker if that is what you calling a 60 amp breaker. It is a 240 volt double pole 30 amp breaker.

Like the others have said adding up the breaker handless mean absolutely nothing when calculating a panel size.
 
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Old 01-11-08, 09:56 PM
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well I'm glad I found this site. I'm not the greatest with electrical terms sorry. what I called 60 amp breakers are the 30 amp double breaker.

along with this remodel I'm pretty much re-wiring the house. the casing on the wiring is just crumbling(found this out by changing out a light fixture.) So far I've put the bathroom light and one bedroom light on one circuit and the outlets in those rooms (total of 3) on another. I used 14-2 w/ ground. (I hope you guys don't say redo it with 12-2 w/ ground) so from what you guys have said and some of what I've read I'll need a 15 amp on those two circuits because of the wire and not what's on it?

as for the other 30 and 20 amp breakers I told you about... they're just on lights and outlet circuits. I knew the 30's had to go before I got on here I knew that was unreal. the wiring now can't be any bigger than 12-2. (and that's w/o ground but they were nice enough to put 3 prong outlets on there and let me figure that one out)

is there a quick how much more I've got to go in my box? not that I'm want to cram as much as I can in there but just something to keep in mind as I'm working on this. Or maybe something to read so I don't waste to much of your all's time? I've tried finding articles but it's all how to wire a light or switch or something and I know how to do that it's the crap I'm asking you guys I don't know.

please bear with me I'm trying to learn before I go any farther and just mess stuff up.
 
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Old 01-11-08, 11:57 PM
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I used 14-2 w/ ground. (I hope you guys don't say redo it with 12-2 w/ ground) so from what you guys have said and some of what I've read I'll need a 15 amp on those two circuits because of the wire and not what's on it?

No..Ya shoulda used 12/2!!!! Just kidding...Almost..

You are correct...the wiriing limits you to 15 amps.....Not a huge deal, but you may kick yourself later.
as for the other 30 and 20 amp breakers I told you about... they're just on lights and outlet circuits. I knew the 30's had to go before I got on here I knew that was unreal. the wiring now can't be any bigger than 12-2.
Lighting and General use recepts, are limited to 15 and 20 amps only. Yes the 30 must go......

While your in there , make sure that the 20's you have arent actually on 14 gauge wires...that would be a mess.

As a rule of thumb, and because I hate math, Buy the biggest box you can find that will fit in the space you have, and you should be fine. Even at legal fill amounts, the boxes get overcrowded very quickly. You can never have too deep of a box..

OOps , misread that...Bathroom receptacles are required to be 20 amp......Yep , youll be redoing them...20 amp requires 12 gauge wiring.
 
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Old 01-12-08, 12:10 AM
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well thanks a bunch! I think I got it. (for the time being) I'm pretty sure there'll be more questions. I'll just work till I get to one and ask then it hasn't failed me yet. besides this site is awesome I wish I knew about it a long time ago. packed full of codes and how to's
 
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Old 01-12-08, 09:29 AM
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I just thought of something!

What I called a 200amp main again I added the double pole breaker together so each breaker has 100 amps. So I don't know if this changes what you guys think about how big my box is. another thing is there anything that would prevent me from using that 14-2 w/ ground on the lights? I bought it (while back) can't take it back if I can I'd like to use it. I have 7 rooms all with ceiling fan except the bath. it has a light with exhaust fan.
 
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Old 01-12-08, 09:47 AM
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Contractors often use #14 on lighting circuits.
 
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Old 01-12-08, 01:52 PM
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What I called a 200amp main again I added the double pole breaker together so each breaker has 100 amps.
If this is the case , then it is only 100 amp service

If the main hasnt "POPPED" , I wouldnt worry too much about an overload, but any MAJOR upgrades will require a svc upgrade eventually.

14/2 wG is totally acceptable for lighting circuits,depending on how many lights you actually install.

(Volts) x (AMPS) = Wattage

120 x 15 = 1820------18 - 100 watt light bulbs
120 X 20 = 2400 ----- 6 extra 100 watt light bulbs..
Receptacles are open for debate....while code requires certain locations to be 20 amp and dedicated, The "Un-Regulated" or "General use living space"- can be 15 or 20.
IN MY OPINION---(Which counts for nothing actually)- It would be wise to use the 20 amp applications , simply because of the added available power, and the cost difference in wiring between 12 and 14 is so Negligible.
That super duty plasma TV youve been Eyeing up may reccomend a 20 amp Dedicated ckt. As you read the instruction manual , and think about how you just finished wiring the living room last week..and you only have 15 amps available?....Your gonna be PISSED -OFF.
 
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Old 01-12-08, 04:16 PM
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All bedroom outlets need to be AFCI. Outlets includes receptacles and lights and smoke detectors. Best not to put other rooms on those circuits but it is not prohibited. You stated that the bedroom and the bathroom lights were on one circuit.
 
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Old 01-12-08, 05:47 PM
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Well I guess I'm back to my original question. Maybe my box is fine as far as amps go, but to make everything "ok" doing thins like putting the bath and bedroom on one I'm cutting it close as far as slots and the box is going to be a mess. To make it better separating everything how it probably should be there for sure won't be enough room for all the wires and I may not have enough slots.

can I get a bigger a box with the same size service so all the wires will fit?

or if I get a bigger box and don't mess with the service call the electric company and have put me in new feeders or what ever they have to do do it so I can get a new box?

I am starting to get frustrated. My cousin is a plumber and came over not to long ago and pretty much told me what a mess this house is. It's a two bedroom one bath built in the 1920 and it's just if anything is done it all has to be done. The house looks nice, but there a phrase I've been told before you can't polish a terd. I really don't know how this house hasn't burnt down already. It wasn't long after we moved in here I was putting something up in the attic and bumped a wire that shouldn't have even been there but it started cracking and popping and all the lights in the house went off then it started cracking and popping again and the lights came back on.
 
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Old 01-12-08, 05:51 PM
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but the roof is good did that just a few months ago full tear off doesn't leak.
 
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Old 01-12-08, 09:13 PM
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The key is AMBITION.
 
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