Garage sub panel finally installed but....

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Old 05-05-12, 10:07 PM
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Garage sub panel finally installed but....

We hired a general contractor to install a central vac and told me that he does electrical as well. So I told him that I needed 220V to my garage since the cable was already pre ran all he had to do is to tie to the electrical box and at the other end to the sub panel. I was home when he did and I know he didn't shut down the mains since I know when the mains are shut my alarm clock has to be reset!! So how the hell did he do this??

He installed 1 double 40A breakers in the main electrical box and 2 separate 40A and 2 separate 15A at the sub panel. So the 40A breakers at the subpanel are on the 220V? I didn't need 2 of them that's the thing one would of been enough is there a way change that 40A to another 15A? I have a 40A just in case one day I buy a welding machine.
 
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Old 05-05-12, 10:54 PM
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I was home when he did and I know he didn't shut down the mains since I know when the mains are shut my alarm clock has to be reset!! So how the hell did he do this??
Adding a branch circuit to a panel doesn't require the power feeding that panel to be interrupted.

He installed 1 double 40A breakers in the main electrical box and 2 separate 40A and 2 separate 15A at the sub panel. So the 40A breakers at the subpanel are on the 220V?
If you have single-phase 240V service (220V, all the same), then single-pole breakers supply 120V line-to-neutral and 2-pole breakers supply 240V line-to-line. Sounds like you have four single-pole breakers in the subpanel -- 2 15A and 2 40A, all 120V. So yes, you should be able to replace any one of them with a different single-pole breaker.

That would be the case here in the US. Where are you?
 
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Old 05-06-12, 06:55 AM
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Adding a branch circuit to a panel doesn't require the power feeding that panel to be interrupted.
I just want to add that for a qualified installer, who takes all the safety precautions, the panel does not need to be shut down. For a DIYer it is always best to shut the panel down.

You have 2 single pole, 40 amp breakers on the sub panel? What would they be for? Single pole 40's are very rare.
 
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Old 05-06-12, 09:32 AM
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@ i'm in Toronto Canada. I'll take some pix of the panel but I'm pretty sure they are single pole 40A which is fine if eventually I buy a welder but 2??? I have no real use for 2 40A circuits in my garage I think there was a miscommunication between me and the installer
 
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Old 05-06-12, 10:02 AM
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i'm in Toronto Canada
I think that you have the same power characteristics we do.

I'll take some pix of the panel but I'm pretty sure they are single pole 40A which is fine if eventually I buy a welder but 2??? I have no real use for 2 40A circuits in my garage I think there was a miscommunication between me and the installer
Might your welder require 240V, which would be protected by a 2-pole breaker? Maybe that's what the installer was setting it up for. Have you tried turning one of the 40A breakers on or off without changing the setting of the other one?
 
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Old 05-06-12, 10:05 AM
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Can you post a picture of your subpanel with the cover off? http://www.doityourself.com/forum/li...-pictures.html
 
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Old 05-06-12, 11:16 AM
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A picture would definitely help, but I suspect he back fed the panel with a 2 pole 40 amp breaker. This may be required if the panel has more than 6 circuits available.

I'll wait for the pict.
 
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Old 05-06-12, 11:28 AM
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I agree with Tolyn. IF he did use a MLO (main lug only) panel that could conceivably have more than 6 circuits then a local disconnect is needed, or at least it is if it were in the US. If this is the case then I would expect that a double-pole circuit breaker would be used AND it would be required to use a hold-down device for the back-fed circuit breaker.
 
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Old 05-06-12, 11:32 AM
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A picture would definitely help, but I suspect he back fed the panel with a 2 pole 40 amp breaker. This may be required if the panel has more than 6 circuits available.
Now that makes sense. However it raises the question why there aren't aren't empty spaces without removing the 40a breakers. Doesn't sound like he has six spaces or more filled. Maybe needs a different subpanel?

Audiotek, did you use a main lug panel? Were you under the mistaken belief the subpanel couldn't be larger then the breaker feeding it?
 
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Old 05-07-12, 10:31 AM
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So it is a double 40A breaker at both ends!!!

The only thing is he installed it upside down the cable was too short First pict I turn the camera around



 
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Old 05-07-12, 12:56 PM
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Panel is too small really for you purpose. Probably a 12 position 100 amp main breaker panel is better. Is the large red and black wire connected to the 40 amp breakers? Please step back and give us a picture of the rest of the breaker box.
 
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Old 05-12-12, 09:17 PM
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Here's more pictures

All I really need is 2x15A but since I mentioned I would eventually get a welder he offered to install a double 40A

The panel got installed upside down so the 2 black breakers on the left are the 2 single 15A and the 2 gray breakers on the right are a double 40A












 
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Old 05-13-12, 07:55 AM
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Not sure which ones are the 40 amp breakers but they are doing nothing for you. You have a main lug panel.

Your panel has a minor code violation (if there is such a thing) of being mounted upside down. The breakers are required to be "ON" in the up position. This might not be required in Canada as I have seen more panels mounted sideways on "Holmes on homes" which I believe is filmed in Canada.
 
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Old 05-13-12, 07:57 AM
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I am just assuming you are in Canada since you are using a Federal Pioneer panel. I don't know about the codes up there, but the NEC doesn't allow a panel like that to be installed upside down unless it is specifically stated that it may be. I suppose you noticed that the handles on the breakers are now in the down position when "ON" and up position when "OFF".
 
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Old 05-13-12, 10:45 AM
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There are at least two things that are really screwy. First, of course, it installing the panel upside down, especially since it appears that there was more than enough cable to install it correctly by just using a different knockout for the cable.

Second is that it appears that the wrong type of clamp was used to secure the cable.

Just these two things alone tell me that your General Contractor is NOT qualified to do electrical work.
 
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Old 05-13-12, 06:17 PM
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I knew about the upside down panel!! Good that I'm a bit aware of what's going on since the contractor didn't tell me about it!!! So what kind of connectors do I need for those 40Amps? Twist locks? I was just assuming that I could eventually need more Amperage but I never confirmed with him as long as I have the 2 15Amps!!!
 
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Old 05-18-12, 09:10 PM
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Is there a reason why the black and red wires are reversed? On the right the black wires hooked up to the lug with the red dot and on the left the red cable is hooked up to the black lug!!!

 
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Old 05-18-12, 09:45 PM
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I've never seen a panel where the lugs are marked for black and red. It doesn't matter where they go, it's AC.
 
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Old 05-18-12, 10:25 PM
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That one does It even has a green dot for the ground and a white one for the neutral!!! You can see the red dot right underneath the screw on the right side
 
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Old 05-19-12, 12:36 AM
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Turn off the power in the service (main) panel and disconnect the wiring to the subpanel. Remove the subpanel and re-mount it with the proper orientation. Use the proper clamp to secure the incoming cable to the panel enclosure. Close off the now unused knockout holes with the proper seals. Re-connect the wiring. Re-energize.

See, you COULD have done a better job yourself than the non-electrician.
 
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Old 05-19-12, 04:02 AM
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Again, the locations of the hot wires do not matter. However, the neutral and grounds do matter.

I agree with Furd. You could fix this, if you turn off the power to the panel, and do a better job than this your guy.
 
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Old 05-19-12, 07:44 AM
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Now I'm tempted to redo the whole thing!! What can I use to close the knockout holes?
 
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Old 05-19-12, 07:52 AM
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A knockout seal. They make them in metal and plastic. Plastic are easier to install but can be hard to find at the big box.
 
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