12 Inch Wide 40 Space Breaker Panel??

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  #41  
Old 10-08-14, 06:56 PM
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That's a good question, pugsl. I don't see any useful purpose for those wires. Plug-on breakers are held in place by both the mounting rail and tension on the busbars and bolt-on breakers typically are held in place both by the mounting rail and the screw attachment to the busbar. I think these breakers have screws attaching them to the metal mounting interior. I'd love to see this panel up close.
 
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  #42  
Old 10-14-14, 01:09 PM
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I say the breakers are not by Federal Pacific Electric, but are Zinsco style which means they could even have a GTE/Sylvania name on them, but they look old enough to have the Zinsco name.
I took a photo of the top breaker (see image)Name:  97 Breakers.jpg
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Size:  35.8 KB and it's a Zinsco "Magnetic"(?) model? As such, does this relieve us of the Federal Pacific issue? Also, are replacement breakers available for these things? Many thanks for all the pros that have helped me out on this.
 

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  #43  
Old 10-14-14, 01:38 PM
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That doesn't look like a proper mounting rail. It actually looks like just a piece of flat metal. That would explain why there are two pieces of wire holding the breakers in place. I would doubt you're going to find replacement breakers for that application.

I left you a link previously to rail mounted breakers.
 
  #44  
Old 10-14-14, 06:14 PM
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I took a photo of the top breaker (see image)Attachment 40090 and it's a Zinsco "Magnetic"(?) model? As such, does this relieve us of the Federal Pacific issue?
I would say it should, but that would be up to the insurance inspector who obviously isn't very experienced. Show him your picture. You still may want to ask him exactly where he saw the Federal Pacific breakers because these aren't them.

Also, are replacement breakers available for these things?
Maybe.....but they would be used if they can be found. To look for used replacements we would need to know the Type which would probably be found on the little labels visible from the front of each breaker.
 
  #45  
Old 10-14-14, 06:45 PM
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That has to be one of the oddest installations I have ever seen. It is just using breakers in place of fuses and just holding them in place with pieces of wire?!?! I really doubt this was ever an approved installation.

If it was me, I would install some 30 amp fuse blocks and 20 amp fuses. May seam like going backwards but this would be the least expensive fix for a very bad installation. A block like below (3 circuits) is about $9

Fuse block example:

Name:  fuse block.jpg
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  #46  
Old 10-15-14, 07:01 AM
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That has to be one of the oddest installations I have ever seen. It is just using breakers in place of fuses and just holding them in place with pieces of wire?!?! I really doubt this was ever an approved installation.
Yes, the installation seems a bit odd, but we haven't seen all the details of the installation either such as the connections at each meter and how the conductors are routed into the circuit breaker enclosure. This type of breaker is typically a bolt-in installation so I doubt the wires really secure anything. I have no doubt that this was approved when it was installed. I'd leave it all alone and continue using it as is.
 
  #47  
Old 10-15-14, 12:58 PM
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Art 230.72 (C), access to occupants---"in a multiple occupancy building, each occupant shall nave access to the occupant's Service Disconnecting Means".

230.74 Simultaneous opening of poles; " Each Service Disconnect shall simultaneous disconnect all ungrounded Service Conductors"

These CB's should comply with 230.74 and should have "positive identification" in regard to what unit is connected to a particular CB when it's necessary to disconnect power to a specific unit.

If the mechanical support for the CB's is being lashed in place by a wire , then a serious hazard exists. The owner should immediately hire a qualified person to determine exactly how the CB's are 'fixed -in-place".
 
  #48  
Old 10-15-14, 07:07 PM
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If this were a new service I would agree, it should meet all of today's codes, but this is an existing installation from roughly the '60s or early '70s and we have no reason to doubt that it was inspected when the building was built. There is so much we don't know about this building and service. We have no idea at this point if each unit is served with a 120/240 volt subpanel or a 120 volt subpanel. We have no idea how many circuits are in each unit. We don't know for sure how the breakers are mounted, but I am certain there is a mounting means other than two wires holding the breakers in place. We don't know if there is a maintenance staff on duty which would negate any requirement for the tenants to have access to the service disconnecting means. The only issue we know of is the insurance company inspector had wanted the Federal Pacific breakers, that we have yet to see, replaced, but we suspect they do not exist. Under the circumstances, I would still just leave it all as is, but I do agree that the breakers should all be labelled.
 
  #49  
Old 10-16-14, 08:00 AM
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An immediate determination in regard to how the CB's are fixed-in-place is most urgent in order to resolve the question of a Code-compliant installation.

In regard to the issue of two-pole CB's , the insurance inspector doesn't recognize a problem , but I presume a multi-occupancy building is subject to inspection by municipal inspectors more knowledgeable about the integrity of the buildings electrical system .
 
  #50  
Old 10-16-14, 06:19 PM
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An immediate determination in regard to how the CB's are fixed-in-place is most urgent in order to resolve the question of a Code-compliant installation.
I agree, but these breakers have lugs at both the line and load side. I have never seen a breaker of this type that wasn't bolted in place. The two wires we see in the picture would not hold the stack of breakers in place like we can see they are in the pictures.

In regard to the issue of two-pole CB's , the insurance inspector doesn't recognize a problem , but I presume a multi-occupancy building is subject to inspection by municipal inspectors more knowledgeable about the integrity of the buildings electrical system .
I would also agree with this, but like I said before, we don't know the voltage to each unit. I can only assume this building has been inspected numerous times over the last 40 plus years.
 
  #51  
Old 10-17-14, 07:25 PM
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I have no idea if this is ok to do in the US but...

You could try finding two smaller panels to put in. Double lugs on the first panel, then run your feeders into the first panel and out to the second. Again, no idea if you can do that in the US or not, ask an electrician.
 
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