Need advice about a wiring situation

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  #1  
Old 03-05-11, 06:01 AM
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Need advice about a wiring situation

I am new to this forum and have a wiring problem I need help with.
In 1992, my wife and I bought my mother-in-law's house that was built in 1980 by my brother-in-laws.
I believe they didn't know what they were doing. The fuse box is too small for the house from what I can see.

The Kitchen has a wall mounted oven and a cook top for cooking.
The messy looking junction box has two lines running into it, one line is for the oven and one is for the cook top.

My sister-in-law who used to live here had a problem with the breaker popping when she used more then 2 burners on the cook top. We got a new cook top when we moved in and had the same problem.

I found out that the 2 lines running into the junction box is actually 2 lines coming from one 40A breaker.



I talked to a Lowes electrical expert and he told me since I have no extra room in my main breaker box, that I need to replace the 40A breaker and install a 100A breaker in it's place and run it to a sub-panel to power two 40A breakers so the oven and the cook top can have their own 40A breaker.

I was just looking in a Black & Decker Wiring book, it looks like you can replace 4 single pole breakers with a couple of slimline breakers, which has two breaker in the space of a single pole breaker.

Could I just replace 4 single pole breaker with slineline breakers and make room for another 40A breaker and just separate the 2 lines from the one breaker to feed the oven and cook top with 2 40A breaker that way, without having to deal with a sub-panel?

Thanks for any help or advice
 
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  #2  
Old 03-05-11, 06:27 AM
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Welcome.

First off that is a breaker panel, not a fuse box. Secondly you just cannot add tandem slimline breakers to every panel. The panel must be listed to allow their usage. If you post the model number someone can tell you if tandems can be used. Thirdly, those wires look too small for the breaker size. They look like #12 to me which would limit you to a 20 amp breaker size.
 
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Old 03-05-11, 07:27 AM
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That dryer breaker looks like it was laying outside for about 20 years before being put in the panel, and thus needs to be replaced. I can look at the little plastic rail and see if the panel can accept tandems.
 
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Old 03-05-11, 07:29 AM
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those wires look too small for the breaker size. They look like #12 to me which would limit you to a 20 amp breaker size.
It's hard to tell from the picture, but I am thinking those might be #10 wires. Regardless, they are too small for a 40 amp breaker. In addition to having a problem of too few spaces, you may need to upgrade the two circuits as well. SOME wall mounted ovens and SOME cooktops only require a 30 amp circuit, but you need to know exactly what size circuits your appliances require before going any further.
 
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Old 03-05-11, 10:00 AM
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Hard to tell from photo but aren't those two red and black lines under one screw in each breaker? Usually not allowed.
 
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Old 03-05-11, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by bob22 View Post
Hard to tell from photo but aren't those two red and black lines under one screw in each breaker? Usually not allowed.
Yes, the OP wrote:
I found out that the 2 lines running into the junction box is actually 2 lines coming from one 40A breaker
So right there, depending on the breaker box, we probably have a code violation.
 
  #7  
Old 03-06-11, 11:51 AM
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Yes I know the wires are too small and I really need #8 instead of #10 or #12. I do believe it is probably #10 wire.
My In-laws took short cuts to try and save money I guess. I plan on living here until I die, I just hope it is not in a house fire. LOL

I can't read the door label on the Oven any more, but this is the cook top we are going to replace to older one with.
All Products / Kitchen / Cooktops/Stovetops / FFEC3005LS

I'd like to go with a sub panel on the basement wall next to the main service panel because the kitchen is above this location.

I already have the new cook top and a Square D 100A 6 space 12 circuit sub panel, which does not have the ground bar kit with it.

I live in a rural area where there are no Electricians living near this area. Most home owners usually have to do their own repairs.
The Power Company doesn't even set up the power poles anymore for new homes or mobile homes, the owners have to and then an inspector comes and tells them if it is good or not. When it is good, they will hook up the power transformer to their pole.

So I was hoping to try and find out what I need to do. My nephew knows a Coal Mining Electrician that might be able to look at this for me, but that is not a sure thing yet.
 
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Old 03-06-11, 12:04 PM
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That cooktop requires a 30 ampere 240 volt branch circuit so that means number ten (copper) conductors and a 30 ampere double-pole circuit breaker. IF the existing wires are in conduit and are number ten then you could use them by re-connecting to a 30 ampere double-pole circuit breaker by themselves.

If the wiring is by type NM cable rather than conduit you can still utilize it the way I detailed. You WILL need to make whatever arrangements may be necessary for the oven.

Look at the back of the oven near the electrical connection for a label detailing the requirements.
 
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Old 03-06-11, 12:50 PM
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You could replace the 40 amp breaker with a 100 amp breaker and run the new subpanel off of that and move your oven and cook top to the new subpanel. There are other ways. That to me just seems the simplest since you have already bought the subpanel. I'd sugest 1" PVC conduit and either three #2 or #3 copper THWN conductors plus one #6 bare or green for ground.
 
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Old 03-06-11, 02:15 PM
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I agree with Ray and the Lowes guy, adding a sub panel will kill two (maybe more) birds with one panel. Replace the 40 with a 100 (or 60 if you don't want to but the cost difference will be minor) amp breaker and install you sub panel. Feed the existing cable with their own separate breakers. Make sure the existing wires are #10 and install a 30 for the cook top. If the range feed is also #10 I would suggest temporary connecting that circuit also to a 30 amp breaker so you can keep things up and running. This will allow you time to run the correct circuit but still allow you to cook. I have seen quite a few "standard" ranges that run on 30 amp circuits for years (just not all burners and oven on high all at once, but how much does that happen? ) . While this is not 100% code compliant (the circuit must be sized to handle the entire load) the 30 amp breaker will protect the #10 wire from getting too hot and prevent a fire.
 
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Old 03-06-11, 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by bob22 View Post
Hard to tell from photo but aren't those two red and black lines under one screw in each breaker? Usually not allowed.
On a single pole QO breaker it wouldn't be an issue because they are rated for two wires and have "M" type clamps. The 240v breakers have 'setscrew' clamps andf are only rated for one wire (since they are only supposed to serve one circuit), so yes that is a violation.
 
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Old 03-06-11, 03:00 PM
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Toyln, my suggestion on a 100a feed was based on moving both stove and oven to the sub. The OP seems to currently have both on the same breaker so if he removes that breaker to free up a space for the subpanel breaker he will need to move both of them.

100a may be a bit over kill but it leaves room for future expansion or eventual higher wattage cooking apliances..
 
  #13  
Old 03-06-11, 04:03 PM
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Had to take the door off of the built in oven to see the label. It is mostly faded but I can see 120/240V 3.3 kw and 120/208V 2.7 kw.

How to you wire a sub panel from the 100A Breaker which I also already have, I also got two 40A breakers but it sounds like I may need only one maybe two 30A breakers for the sub panel.

And does the sub panel need that Ground Bar Kit?

Both the Cook Top and built in Oven have conduit covering over the wires going into the junction box.

And yes, I have been planning on switching out that Dryer Breaker.
 
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Old 03-06-11, 04:18 PM
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Are the old appliances wired with type NM cables?

Yes the subpanel will need a ground bar. Most of the time these are not included with the panel.

You would run 4 conductors between the panels, 2 hots, 1 neutral and 1 ground. The hots would connect to a 2 pole breaker.
 
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Old 03-06-11, 04:30 PM
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pk7gta ground bar kit for QO 6/12. I also have QO 2p breakers with the m clamp, although they stop using that above 30A and switch to setscrew.
 
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Old 03-06-11, 05:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Justin Smith View Post
pk7gta ground bar kit for QO 6/12. I also have QO 2p breakers with the m clamp, although they stop using that above 30A and switch to setscrew.
That would be correct, single or double pole has nothing to do with it. Even single pole 40 and 50 amp type QO breakers have the single setscrew type clamp.
 
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