Go Back  DoItYourself.com Community Forums > Electrical, AC & DC. Electronic Equipment and Computers > Electrical - AC & DC
Reload this Page >

Should I replace broken breaker or the complete Main Panel

Should I replace broken breaker or the complete Main Panel

Reply

  #1  
Old 09-25-08, 07:46 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Miami
Posts: 12
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Should I replace broken breaker or the complete Main Panel

Hello everyone,

I have few questions and would like an advice.

One of the breakers is broken and I would like to know if its time to the complete panel.

The house is built in 1977(I bought it in 2006) and everything is electrical. This is in Miami.

From the description of the panel, it says Sylvania 225 Amps Max.

My Questions:
  1. Should I replace just the broken breaker or the complete panel ?
  2. If complete panel replacement is recommended, will the 200Amps panel available Lowes/Home Depot work ? ( the panel carries 12x20 Amps, 1x30 Amps, 1x50Amps and says 20 spaces/40 Circuits for about $130). I am assuming I will need to buy few extra breakers.
  3. Like a year ago I called an electrician to replace the outlet for the range and he looked at the panel and said it does NOT have a main breaker which when turned off will cut power to all breakers. Should I consider it when replacing ?
  4. How do I know if I need to replace a certain breaker with higher Amp breaker since I might be connecting more appliances. Should I call an expert electrician to analyse the house ?
  5. If I buy all the parts, what will be average cost to replace the panel in Miami ? Will I need to obtain a permit for this job ?
  6. Any other advise is really appreciated.

I have posted an image of the panel here http://www.fiu.edu/~atmakurk/kk/panel1.jpg
 

Last edited by miamikk; 09-25-08 at 08:33 PM.
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 09-25-08, 07:59 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,597
Received 13 Votes on 11 Posts
Why do you say the breaker is broken? Replacing a panel is usually not a DIY project. Replacing a breaker as long as it isn't the main breaker can be a DIY project.

You never increase a breaker size because of too much load unless the wiring is over-sized for the existing breaker and that is very seldom true. Increasing a breaker amperage can lead to a fire.
 
  #3  
Old 09-25-08, 08:17 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Miami
Posts: 12
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I said "breaker is broken" because it does not work. I don't the technical term. I wanted to know if it is adviced to replace the whole panel or just the breaker.

If was going to DIY if it just breaker but I wouldn't DIY the whole panel.

Thanks for the information about the breaker amperage.
 
  #4  
Old 09-25-08, 08:27 PM
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: NE Wis / Paris France{ In France for now }
Posts: 4,808
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I did spotted the broken breaker in the photo and I am pretty sure there is a replacement breaker for it.

But just watch the price it may get ya they will cost more than what most modern breakers will be costwise.

For this panel you say something about main breaker if that is located outside then you are ligit with it { I know majorty of the main breaker useally located outdoor in most case in state of Florida.}


If you want to replace the whole breaker box this genrally done by electrician due compated code related issue.

Merci,Marc
 
  #5  
Old 09-25-08, 08:33 PM
Member
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Ontario Canada
Posts: 1,767
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
You have a later Zinsco panel (Sylvania bought them). I'd strongly consider replacing it.

You don't upsize a breaker to account for the needs of additional appliances, you add a circuit or more for that.

Lastly, it appears you have a split-bus panel, The top bus would be hot from the meter, and the lower 60A would be the effective main for the branch circuits in the lower half of the panel. The high-draw loads are on the other breakers on the top.
 
  #6  
Old 09-25-08, 08:36 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Miami
Posts: 12
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
french277V:

I am sorry for the typo in my original post. I wanted to say that the panel does NOT have a main breaker.
 
  #7  
Old 09-25-08, 08:40 PM
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: NE Wis / Paris France{ In France for now }
Posts: 4,808
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
That ok and I did have a hunch it is a split buss panel so it will be more tricky to do the breaker replacement but as I did see on the photo the breaker located on the lower section so you turn one of the breaker on upper part that will feed the lower breaker section.

But It will be wise idea get plan to get that breaker box replaced anyway.

Merci,Marc
 
  #8  
Old 09-25-08, 08:47 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Miami
Posts: 12
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by classicsat View Post
You have a later Zinsco panel (Sylvania bought them). I'd strongly consider replacing it.

You don't upsize a breaker to account for the needs of additional appliances, you add a circuit or more for that.

Lastly, it appears you have a split-bus panel, The top bus would be hot from the meter, and the lower 60A would be the effective main for the branch circuits in the lower half of the panel. The high-draw loads are on the other breakers on the top.

I have checked Lowes and Home Depot but they don't have the same size breakers. The breakers I have are kinda thin profile but i am assuming it should able to find them online somewhere.

The top breakers are marked as follows:
60 A - A/C
50 A - Range
30 A - Dryer
60 A - Sub Main
 
  #9  
Old 09-25-08, 09:03 PM
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Chicago, IL.
Posts: 3
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
You should consider far more than merely replacing your circuit breaker panel. In all likelihood you quite possibly have outgrown the size of your current electrical service and should seek an estimate or at least an evaluation from a local electrical contractor before you go throwing away money needlessly for outdated replacement breakers. In other words you may need to upgrade far more than just your breaker panel but your meter socket as well and its associated pipe and wiring.

All the best.
 
  #10  
Old 09-26-08, 09:59 AM
Member
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Ontario Canada
Posts: 1,767
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Being as Zinsco panels have not been made since the 1970s, you will likey find it hard to find replacement breakers at the usual places. You will probably need to look at an electrical supply house, or specialty breaker seller.
Personally, I'd put that effort and cost into a new modern panel.

With your breakers labeled as such, you definitely have a split-buss panel, which I'd get rid of also.

You might not have to replace the incoming service, if you are replacing it with a 100A box, but with electric range, dryer, A/C, and I presume hot water, I'd go for at least a 150 or 200 A service. Do a load demand calculation to be sure.
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: