Service Panel Amps

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  #1  
Old 07-14-14, 03:43 PM
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Service Panel Amps

Our house has an old breaker box that is falling apart and also doesn't have a main disconnect breaker so I want to put something better. Problem is I'm not sure what service I have (100A, 150A, 200A). I called our power company and they said that the breaker box is our responsibility and they have no ideas what kind of service lines are going to our house (which I thought was weird since they are giving me the service).

From what I can see the Panel has room for 12 breakers. Currently it has 1 40A breaker, 2 30A breakers, 4 20A breakers and 2 15A breakers. Which I guess adds to to 215A which is strange to me. The service line coming in from the power company to the panel has TWO #2 awg black cables and a ground cable and a #4 awg Neutral Cable. The outside Smartmeter is a Focus AXR-SD CL200.

From that information can I figure out what service it is so I can replace it with something of same Amp?
 
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  #2  
Old 07-14-14, 03:58 PM
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From that information can I figure out what service it is so I can replace it with something of same Amp?
No. Can you provide pictures of both the inside panel with cover removed and all that you have outside including meter socket, service entrance cable/conduit and weatherhead? Is there a label inside the panel cover/door? The information might be there, but we have no way of knowing till you tell us. What brand is the panel? It sounds as if you have a split bus panel that wouldn't have a main breaker.
 
  #3  
Old 07-14-14, 04:22 PM
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Only pictures I have now are these 2. I think in the sticker it says 125A. I'll take more better pictures when I get home. But is possible for it to be a 125A service even though there are over 200 Amps in breakers? Thanks
 
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Old 07-14-14, 04:36 PM
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The #2 AL is good for 100 amps.

Adding the breaker handles up is meaningless.
 
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Old 07-14-14, 05:14 PM
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The #2 AL is good for 100 amps.
So since there are Two #2 hot wires connected to 2 different buses on the panel does that mean the service could be 200A total since its 100A per wire/bus?
 
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Old 07-14-14, 06:18 PM
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The breaker will allow up to 100 amps to pass on either or both legs of the panel. your service is considered a 100 amp service.
 
  #7  
Old 07-15-14, 01:45 PM
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100 amps at 240v or 120v? sorry im a little confused, I can't see how 100A for more entire house including the 240V appliances would be enough lol. Thanks
 
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Old 07-15-14, 02:56 PM
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Assuming no 240 volt loads you can draw 200 amps on120 volts only. But that is theoretical and will never occur.
 
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Old 07-15-14, 03:00 PM
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Assuming no 240 volt loads you can draw 200 amps on120 volts only. But that is theoretical and will never occur
Thats what I thought.. Thanks

Last question, since we currently dont have a main breaker fpr everything then we could be overheating the main service cables and not know it?
 
  #10  
Old 07-15-14, 07:26 PM
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Is there a master breaker for the house somewhere upstream, such as at your meter?
 
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Old 07-16-14, 09:50 AM
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No, there is no way to shut off electricity to the whole house other then shutting off all the breakers. Outside the house is only the meter and inside is the breaker box. Thanks
 
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Old 07-16-14, 12:06 PM
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The panel label shows you have a split bus panel. The top breakers are your main disconnects.
 
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Old 07-16-14, 01:26 PM
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They must have done some weird wiring because the top left shuts half of the house outlets and the top right is for the dryer. the rest are random room lights and outlets not effected by what the top 2 breakers do.
 
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Old 07-16-14, 01:43 PM
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The top should be 240 volt breakers only. Usually one breaker on top supply's 240 volts to the 120 breakers on the bottom. But it looks like the diagram shows the 240 breaker for the 120 v outlets is on the bottom.

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  #15  
Old 07-16-14, 07:31 PM
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The panel label shows you have a split bus panel. The top breakers are your main disconnects.
I thought that too at first, but the panel diagram does not coincide with the picture posted by the OP. The picture appears to be just a 12 space interior.
 
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Old 07-16-14, 08:11 PM
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But if true how did they avoid the six throw rule. Isn't the rule several decades old?
 
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Old 07-16-14, 08:22 PM
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I am now thinking the diagram was of a 12 circuit panel that could be fed as a main lug only panel......OR......could be fed with a backfed main breaker.

I believe the six throw rule is at least 40 years old, but don't know exactly when it first appeared in the NEC.
 
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Old 07-16-14, 09:51 PM
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I am now thinking the diagram was of a 12 circuit panel that could be fed as a main lug only panel......OR......could be fed with a backfed main breaker.
That seems to be supported by the label but part of it is cut off. Maybe parentof3 can give a better shot of the label. See #4:

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Not relevant but interestingly also the label indicates it can be used as 3 phase delta.

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  #19  
Old 07-16-14, 09:56 PM
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I think the six throw rule is at least fifty years old. I also suspect that the panel under discussion is a load center and NOT suitable as service equipment.
 
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Old 07-17-14, 07:19 AM
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Not relevant but interestingly also the label indicates it can be used as 3 phase delta.
Nearly all single phase or 2 pole loadcenters of that vintage were approved for Grounded "B" phase 3-phase systems - sometimes called grounded Delta 3-phase systems - when the appropriate 2-pole 240 volt rated breakers were used. Like this one.

QO230H, Square D, Type: QO, Circuit Breaker, 2 Pole, 30 Amps, 240 VAC, 240VAC Only

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think the six throw rule is at least fifty years old. I also suspect that the panel under discussion is a load center and NOT suitable as service equipment.
Furd could be right, the six switch rule very well could be at least 50 years old. I really don't know when it first appeared in the NEC. I also agree that if we could see the entire label on the panel it probably does not state "Suitable For Use As Service Equipment". All loadcenters are panelboards so I don't believe being a loadcenter is pertinent here. The term loadcenter was made up by the manufacturers and does not appear in the NEC.
 
  #21  
Old 07-17-14, 03:08 PM
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I vaguely remember reading a paragraph in Wiring Simplified pertaining to the six throw rule when I was no more than fourteen years old. That was fifty years ago.

I have always seen a "load center" as an auxiliary (sub) panel and not as service equipment. Maybe I have been wrong all these years. It wouldn't be the first time by any means.
 
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