100amp main panel

Reply

  #1  
Old 07-17-11, 05:56 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 13
100amp main panel

just searching the web for some answers to a problem I have with a breaker panel and saw your website - wondered if you could give me some suggestions about my situation. I moved into a small cottage that was built - probably in the early 1980s. The main panel is 100 amps but the bus bar is so small, only has 12 slots and I need more. I can do intalls on fixtures, wiring and getting this done but have never tackled any panel or subpanel work. I want to put in a washer and dryer but have no slots for this. Can I put in a 100 amp subpanel off the main, taking out 2 of the current breakers for feeding the subpanel, and then have some breakers in the subpanel to work with? It would be much easier to just take out the old panel and put in a 200amp, or a larger bus bar but the box looks like a snake pit with wires everywhere spliced into the breakers so I am not wanting to do that. I also can't pay for an electrician to do the work, and am told I'd need to get the electric company to turn off the power so I could do the box change, none of this is feasible for me. What do you think is the best approach? Thanks in advance for your help.
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 07-17-11, 07:40 AM
ray2047's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,044
Yes, you can install a subpanel. Assuming the panel has a main breaker no need to have the electric company to shut off the power to do the work. Just be very careful because some areas around the main breaker are still live when you shut off the main breaker.

Can you post some pictures of your panel so we can better help you? http://www.doityourself.com/forum/li...your-post.html
 
  #3  
Old 07-17-11, 07:41 AM
CasualJoe's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 9,385
You have several possible options. One is that your panel may accept tandem breakers to increase the possible circuit number from 12 to 24. A subpanel fed from a 60 amp 2 pole breaker is another option. The last option is to change the panel to one with more circuits, perhaps a 24 or 30 circuit panel. The first thing you need is a load calculation to see if 100 amps would still be adequate for the small cottage, I suspect 100 amps will be fine, but now is the time to find out. Please post the information from your existing 100 amp panel, manufacturer's name and catalog number if you can find it, pictures are also helpful.
 
  #4  
Old 07-17-11, 08:21 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 13
well, I could post them as I have 2 that are good but this forum won't accept images. I did just try Photobucket but for some unknown reason (never used that site) it wouldn't accept my sign up attempt. I did just send you a message so maybe I could post the images via email. Thhanks for addressing my issue though, I appreciate your taking the time to respond.
 
  #5  
Old 07-17-11, 09:02 AM
Justin Smith's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Cressona, Pa, USA
Posts: 2,546
Try flicker.
______________
 
  #6  
Old 07-17-11, 09:18 AM
ray2047's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,044
Originally Posted by Justin Smith View Post
Try flicker.
They don't allow direct linking and are a bit difficult to use.
 
  #7  
Old 07-17-11, 09:39 AM
Member
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: USA
Posts: 4,941
Flickr allows direct linking.

DSC00072 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

I take that back. A direct link would be just the pic itself and it is not allowed. Used to be.
 
  #8  
Old 07-17-11, 10:01 AM
Justin Smith's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Cressona, Pa, USA
Posts: 2,546
drooplug
Flickr allows direct linking.

DSC00072 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

I take that back. A direct link would be just the pic itself and it is not allowed. Used to be. Today 11:18 AMray2047
Originally Posted by Justin Smith
Try flicker.
They don't allow direct linking and are a bit difficult to use.
Then never mind.
___________
 
  #9  
Old 07-17-11, 10:47 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 13
that worked, thanks Justin, here they are:

Flickr: channelgrace's Photostream
 
  #10  
Old 07-17-11, 11:27 AM
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Wet side of Washington state.
Posts: 18,399
Please tell us what the label on the inside (not the back label) has for a model number.

There appears to be some serious problems with individual wires entering the panel and at least one unconnected wire inside. Perhaps some more pictures will help.
 
  #11  
Old 07-17-11, 12:00 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 13
the wire you see was taken off so my plumber could combine two for a new hot water heater (former tenant had an 18 gallon hot water heater) and he left one off, possibly to my baseboard heater since this no longer works. As I recall it's a square D main panel but I'll try and get the model number off it later today.
 
  #12  
Old 07-17-11, 03:10 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 13
label says the following: Square D corporation, Box catalog number: QOBW20M100-1, SERIES E7
 
  #13  
Old 07-17-11, 04:10 PM
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Wet side of Washington state.
Posts: 18,399
With a little (very little) research on my part it appears that panel is not listed for using "tandem" breakers (two breakers in the space of one) so adding a sub-panel or replacing this panel are the only viable options unless someone else can find that tandem breakers ARE okay.
 
  #14  
Old 07-17-11, 05:50 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 13
okay, that eliminates one option, thanks
 
  #15  
Old 07-17-11, 07:17 PM
CasualJoe's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 9,385
The panel catalog number indicates this is a 20 position panel, but the pictures clearly show only 12 positions. I think I'd replace it, it's obsolete anyway.
 
  #16  
Old 07-17-11, 08:51 PM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 4,251
Based on the photo, the best option is a full panel replacement BUT considering it'll cost probably around $500-$1000 and you mentioned additional costs aren't doable right now, I'd say your next best option is installing a subpanel. Do some research on some threads here, but you should be able to do it yourself for around $150-$200 - and have enough expansion possibilities for the future.
 
  #17  
Old 07-17-11, 09:01 PM
Justin Smith's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Cressona, Pa, USA
Posts: 2,546
The big orange has 6 space square d panels for $ 18 or something like that. $ 13 for a 2 pole 50A breaker, and $ 10 for the 4 6awg thhn assuming you put the sub next to the main panel. The main panel should be replaced, however due to it being so small and an obsolete model.
 
  #18  
Old 07-18-11, 05:22 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 13
thanks to all for the help, I got one option for a replacement of the "guts" - seen here:

Flickr: channelgrace's Photostream


picture titled QON-20M with the explanation provided here:


"Here is a 20-circuit guts, without any breakers installed. If you count the buss bars, you would think it's a 24-circuit guts, but the main takes 4 spaces, leaving 20 for the branch circuits.

Notice the main breaker retaining clips on each side.

This would fit into your 12-circuit enclosure, since the boxes were all the same size in those days.

The whole assembly attaches with just 2 nuts, at the top and bottom."


seems like a good option?
 
  #19  
Old 07-18-11, 09:33 AM
Justin Smith's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Cressona, Pa, USA
Posts: 2,546
If the guts fit, It should work. You can re-use the breakers.
 
  #20  
Old 07-18-11, 11:09 AM
ray2047's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,044
Originally Posted by Justin Smith View Post
If the guts fit, It should work. You can re-use the breakers.
But he may need an electrician to do it and he will definitely have to have the electric company kill the power to do the work. Here and probably where he is a permit will be required. Here only a master electrician can pull a permit that may be true where he is too. Thus the subpanel may be the best/cheapest way to do it code compliant.
 
  #21  
Old 07-18-11, 06:26 PM
CasualJoe's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 9,385
thanks to all for the help, I got one option for a replacement of the "guts" - seen here:

Flickr: channelgrace's Photostream


picture titled QON-20M with the explanation provided here:


"Here is a 20-circuit guts, without any breakers installed. If you count the buss bars, you would think it's a 24-circuit guts, but the main takes 4 spaces, leaving 20 for the branch circuits.
Questions: How much does the interior cost? What main breaker will fit this interior and the retaining clips and what would it cost? What would you do for a cover and door, will the old one fit?

This may be an alternative solution, but probably not the least expensive way to go.
 
  #22  
Old 07-18-11, 06:36 PM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 4,251
Hmm... If it were me, I'd rather just replace the whole panel rather than just replacing the interior. You'll need to pull the meter either way (which isn't a DIY activity), and with a new panel you'll get a lot more space for running/routing wires and such. I can't imagine the price is much different either...
 
  #23  
Old 07-18-11, 07:43 PM
CasualJoe's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 9,385
I can't imagine the price is much different either...
If the interior is purchased through a Square D distributor, I would expect it to cost quite a bit more than a decent copper bus panel purchased through any other source, such as a big box store. That would be including a Square D Value Pack panel that comes with breakers. Since being acquired by Schneider Electric, Square D has a reputation for screwing the after market purchaser.
 
  #24  
Old 07-18-11, 07:46 PM
pcboss's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Maryland
Posts: 14,587
Since the house is a tear down in a year the subpanel is most likely the most economical.
 
  #25  
Old 07-19-11, 09:17 AM
Justin Smith's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Cressona, Pa, USA
Posts: 2,546
Since the house is a tear down in a year the subpanel is most likely the most economical.
The tear-down is the Cutler-Hammer panel. The thread is "Breaker won't reset"
 
  #26  
Old 07-21-11, 10:54 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 13
alternatively, I wonder if it's possible to just split a 240? I have a line going to a baseboard heater (removed as it needed to be replaced) so could I split this and have one line going to the dryer and one to the heater and just turn off the heater when I want to use the dryer? could anyone answer this? thanks!!
 
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