Breaker Box

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  #1  
Old 07-15-12, 08:44 AM
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Question Breaker Box

Hi, I recently built a small shop on my property but don't know enough about wiring to do it myself, so I asked my brother-in-law to do it for me, but for some reason the panel just doesn't look right to me, as I said I don't know much about electrical work so I can't be sure, but my gut is telling me it's not right.



I installed a bigger AC that requires a 240 and bought the necessary wiring/breakers for it, but it appears instead of using the breaker I bought he has connected it to 2 smaller ones, is that even safe? ... Also I see the numbers don't add up, now this is where I have to question myself because I have no idea if that even means anything. (Main breaker being 100, smaller ones adding up over 100)

Question I pose to you guys is do I need to have this looked over by someone else or should I just have a little trust in my brother-in-law ?

I mean I don't want to finish the building only to have it burn down a month later :P

Thanks

http://img210.imageshack.us/img210/4845/img0656oy.jpg for a bigger version
 

Last edited by pcboss; 07-15-12 at 09:06 AM.
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  #2  
Old 07-15-12, 09:03 AM
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Is this a Main panel tied to a meter socket or is it a subpanel off another panel. If it is a subpanel there are lots of mistakes but not the ones you are worried about.
 

Last edited by ray2047; 07-15-12 at 10:12 AM.
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Old 07-15-12, 09:09 AM
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In addition to Rays points, the breaker for the A/C should have been a two pole breaker and also had the white re-identified as a hot with black or red tape or magic marker.

Adding up the breaker handle ratings is meaninless, unless you like math problems. A demand load calculationis the proper method to size a panel or feeder.
 
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Old 07-15-12, 09:29 AM
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It is the main panel tied to meter socket, but as I said in my orginal post I'm almost clueless to all this, all the construction, plumbing, carpeting, and painting I always do myself, just electrical I'm a total dumb dumb...thanks for the input though
 
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Old 07-15-12, 09:39 AM
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What do you propose doing with the 30 amp double breaker bottom left? What size wire is run from the 20 amp breakers. Either they are 14 gauge, which is too small for the breaker, or the wiring to the two 20 amp unbridged breakers is 10 gauge and you intended for the 30 amp breaker to go there. Is the bare wire in the lower left connected to a grounding rod on the outside of the structure?
 
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Old 07-15-12, 10:11 AM
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The double breaker was bought for the AC, but I see he did not use it for anything...best I can tell you about the wiring is what I bought which was 12 gauge for most everything (ceiling lights, 110 outlets, etc) and for the AC I got 10 gauge, all this was bought based on what my brother-in-law told me to buy. It is connected to a grounding rod outside.

I think I'm going to have a trusted electrician come and just take a quick look to make sure everything is right so I can get the rest of the building ready, the electric work is whats holding me up right now.

Thanks for the input about everything, I appreciate it, and sorry for my total ignorance for everything electrical
 
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Old 07-15-12, 01:34 PM
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It is the main panel tied to meter socket
Did your BIL have to turn the power off to wire this panel, or has the POCO not yet connected to the meter feeders?

The two hot-phase feeders have too much insulation stripped off the conductors. There should be just enough conductor showing to fit with each lug, as was done with the neutral feeder.

It looks like some of the individual strands in the two hot feeders may have been cut, and are now missing. If so, the remaining strands need to be cut off flush where the insulation ends now, and enough insulation stripped back from there to expose enough of the conductors to fit within the lugs.

The set screws on the feeder lugs may have been over-tightened. The feeder on the left, in particular, looks splayed. The torque values for these screws, and the screws on the individual branch circuit breakers, should be included on the panel label.

it appears instead of using the breaker I bought he has connected it to 2 smaller ones, is that even safe?
No, it isn't safe. It looks like the two #10 conductors for the 240V A/C are connected to the two single-pole 20A breakers in positions 4 and 6 - the second and third breakers down on the right side. That can be corrected by turning the power off, turning off the two breakers with the #10s connected now, disconnecting the two #10 wires, exchanging the double-pole 30A breaker with the two single-pole 20A breakers and connecting the two #10 conductors to the two-pole 30A. Remember to re-designate the white wire by coloring it with electrical tape or a permanent marker. Black or, preferably, red.
 
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Old 07-15-12, 06:19 PM
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The aluminum service entrance conductors are aluminum and should have been coated with anti-oxidant paste. The actual service entrance conductors appear to be URD (Type USE direct burial cables). If so, they are not permitted to be installed inside the building. Is this an underground or overhead service?
 
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Old 07-15-12, 06:40 PM
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Honestly guys all this technical talk has me stumped. I have no clue what BIL or POCO even means lol...

Little history,

I'm a painter by trade and also do a little carpenter work, had some extra money laying around so I decided to build this shop, in all honesty I made it bigger then originally intended so it's more money and time then I would have liked, now I'm at the electrical work and as I know nothing about it, I get my brother-in-law who claims is an "expert electrician" to do it.

When he done the basic wiring at first I had no intentions of getting an AC that requires a 220 line so we didn't install that at the time. The building inspector came and approved everything, then when the city came out to turn the outside box on nothing was working (Should have been my first clue to my brother-in-laws expert claim), but, being the nice guy that he was from the city, he fixed the problem for me saying two wires was in the wrong place, simple fix no charge, awesome.

Was at home depot buying a small AC when somehow the sales people convinced me I need a bigger one and it was on sale so what the heck...

Brother in-law comes back and we both go to Home Depot and buy whats needed including the 30 amp breaker, he hooks it all up and it's running fine. The only reason I noticed it in the first place is because I went to flip the AC breaker off and nothing happened, then looked and seen it wasn't even connected!

Thats when I took the picture and posted it here. As I've said previously since I know jack squat about it I'm just getting another local electrician out here in the next couple of days to do what needs to be done, and I'll be sure to let my "expert electrician" brother-in-law know that he doesn't know as much as he thinks

Regardless though, I really thank everyone for all of your input, I'm just to ignorant of electrical work to do anything myself. >.>
 
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Old 07-15-12, 06:58 PM
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BIL, your electrician brother in law. POCO, power company.
I made it bigger then originally intended
Don't worry it will shrink with the weather Mine did. Wish I had built it twice as big as I did.
 
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Old 07-15-12, 07:05 PM
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Assuming you bought a window a-c unit, it takes a HUUUGE window unit to require a 30 amp 240 volt circuit. I am thinking you probably didn't need a 30 amp breaker or the #10 wire. What kind of receptacle is the a-c unit plugged into? Do you still have the box it came in? I'll bet it's a 20 amp receptacle.
 
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Old 07-15-12, 07:21 PM
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We need to get this straight as it is VERY important.

The utility power comes directly to the shop, thorough a utility-supplied meter (for billing purposes) and then directly into the panel in the shop, correct?

If the power comes from your house to the shop then there are many things incorrect with the installation.
 
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Old 07-15-12, 07:28 PM
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I have no clue what BIL or POCO even means lol...

BIL = Brother-in-law
POCO = Power company

And you've already answered the question:
[After] he done the basic wiring... The building inspector came and approved everything, then when the city came out to turn the outside box ...
Your BIL did the wiring before the POCO turned the power on.

Now you have a panel with energized feeders, and those feeders need to be reworked. In all likelihood, only a licensed master electrician is authorized to make those repairs. It may be somewhat expensive, but it is pretty much the only safe route at this point.

You might want to show the person you hire to correct this our comments.
 
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Old 07-16-12, 06:59 AM
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Haha BIL/POCO, how did I not make that connection, anyway yes I was planning on showing the comments to the electrician that came out and to Furd, yes it is separate from my house
 
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