Need panel solution for narrow wall cavity

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  #1  
Old 06-23-16, 02:12 PM
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Need panel solution for narrow wall cavity

Hi guys. My god, how time flys. This thread is actually a continuation of one I started last year..:

http://www.doityourself.com/forum/ne...9667&noquote=1

I finished everything that thread was concerned with, last summer. And thanks to you all..it turned out perfect.I'll post some pics of it soon)

However, now, I'm getting ready to upgrade the sub panel(load center) in the garage. As it exists, I've maxed out the existing panel(6 space), and now need to replace it with a 12 space, 24 circuit load center. This is what I have in mind...

Eaton 100 Amp 12-Space 20-Circuit Type BR Indoor Main Breaker Load Center-BR1220B100 - The Home Depot

As it is now, I have one double 20amp breaker, for a single 240v branch circuit, using 10ga conductors as a pigtail that terminates in a J-box, where the circuit is split, with the 10ga conductors continuing to a 240v 3hp Table saw, and another circuit in parallel branching off with 12ga conductors to a 240v 2hp Radial Arm saw. I read this is legal, and had no other choice as there was no space for another double breaker.

Here is a simple diagram of the existing electrical :

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But now, I want to rewire these saw circuits to a separate double breaker for each saw, as last week, my son turned on the Radial Arm while I was running the Table saw. It caused the breaker to trip.

Moreover I need 2 more 240v double breakers, as I just bought a 3hp Compressor, and a 190 Mig welder. The Compressor needs a 240 30amp circuit, and the Mig needs a 240v 20amp circuit. Also, I need more 3 more, 15amp dedicated branch circuits for a new Rheem central heat unit, a window air conditioner, and a vacuume system.

UNFORTUNATELY..as usual, things aren't simple..EVAH!

Here's the deal. This existing load center was here when I moved in. It was mounted on a wall next to a 4x4 post and had plenty of room. But I came along, and built a wall, within 2" of the panel, never thinking I might have to upgrade the panel later. But here is the rub. This existing panel is a Square D and only 11" wide, and the cavity is 13.25" wide. Every single new load center I've looked at, including the one above, is 14.25" wide or more. And THAT is my dilemma. The only solutions I can think of are to either notch out the 4x4, which eliminates access to any of the side knockouts, or to surface mount the panel, which isn't good either as the 4x4 is actually what an adjacent door jamb is fastened to, and the other side is almost the same, as there is a door opening right at the face of the panel.

Here's what the existing looks like and another of what a
surface mount would do..
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Sooooooo..what I'm asking is does anyone know of a load center that is 13" or less???? Or..another solution? Thanks for any help.
 
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Old 06-23-16, 02:53 PM
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How about installing the new panel to the right of the wall, inside the room? It sounds as if many of the circuits are from that room so the cabling should be able to be moved and what you cannot move you could either leave in the existing panel (running a feeder to the new panel) or you could remove the guts of the existing panel and use it as a junction box to extend the existing circuits to the new panel.

Narrow panels DO exist but you will pay exorbitantly for them.
 
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Old 06-23-16, 03:23 PM
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Old 06-23-16, 06:00 PM
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Hi guys! As usual..you're quick! That's why I come here.


How about installing the new panel to the right of the wall, inside the room?
ummm..well, this is why..

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All kidding aside, that is exactly what is there. Guys, this shop is a work in progress. What you see there is exactly what I built. In reality..this is a small "secondary shop room" that I built so I could work on "small stuff", like electronics and ebay repair stuff for my wife. I live in Michigan, and this garage is a metal clad building. Impossible to fully heat all day, everyday. Hence this room. Here is what it looks like. This is a "section view from outside that door...

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Here is the opposite wall..

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And just so you can get an idea of what the overall project is, in relationship to the electrical..here is the main room..

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Alright..nuff. Back to the question at hand.

It sounds as if many of the circuits are from that room so the cabling should be able to be moved and what you cannot move you could either leave in the existing panel (running a feeder to the new panel) or you could remove the guts of the existing panel and use it as a junction box to extend the existing circuits to the new panel
Ok, sounds great..and that relates to Astuff's comment:
How about a 10/20 instead? It is only supposed to by 11.25" wide and 15" tall.
What a coincidence. I just looked at that one just before I posted. However, after looking at it, something was very CONFUSING to me. Here is a pic of the guts...

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Ok, the description says this is a 100 Amp 10-Space 20-Circuit Type BR Main Breaker. In the picture, I see the "Main Breakers"
But something is odd here. It appears, these breakers work in "reverse", no??? I mean, it looks like, since there are NO main terminal lugs, the service "hot" conductors would have to bond to these Main breaker lugs, which would then power the buss bars, no???? Please correct me if I'm wrong, but IF I'm right, I've never seen this type setup.

But let me ask you something here. IF I were to use this as a "secondary" panel, above the existing, how would I connect the two? It would appear I would have to use a Double breaker in the existing box, to feed these Master breakers, which seems really redundant to me. I would lose 2 spaces in the existing, and the two Master breakers take up two of the ten spaces, leaving only 8, 6 of which I need for the 3 new 240 branches, and the last 2 spaces would have to replace the 240 branch I'm losing in the existing panel..no????? If so..this doesn't seem to improve things much. However..you tell me. Maybe I'm missing something here.

Thing is guys..the ONLY space I have is either replace the existing panel with a new NARROW panel with at least 12 spaces, or add one above, that has Main LUGS, not master breakers. As far as replacing the existing..
Narrow panels DO exist but you will pay exorbitantly for them.
Bingo!! I found out. WAAAAY more than my pockets hold.

But then.. this caught my attention...
or you could remove the guts of the existing panel and use it as a junction box to extend the existing circuits to the new panel.
I'll be danged. I thought about that, as I probably would have to do that. Even the 4 main service conductors would have to be spliced. ARRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGRRRRRRR...

Been there, done that out at the Meter panel when I added the Main Service disconnect breaker box. The conductors from the house were...get this... 7" too short. Cost $34 just to splce those 3 conductors.

So. It looks like, when all is said and done, I'll probably end up just biting the bullet and buying a NARROW 20 space or so panel. But WHICH ONE is the question. Any suggestions??

Thanks guys.
 
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Old 06-23-16, 06:25 PM
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I'll just say it's not unusual for the feed to the panel to come into what we often think of as the "output" of the breaker. The breaker doesn't care which way current flows through it.

You see this all the time in smaller main breaker panels and also for generator feeds with mechanical interlocks.

So if the Eaton panel works for you, don't let the main breaker arrangement put you off it.
 
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Old 06-23-16, 06:33 PM
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Oops!

About that 20/10. I just realized, those 10 spaces are in ADDITION to the two master breakers. No matter though..that's still not enough.
 
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Old 06-23-16, 06:50 PM
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Well, what I'm concerned with, if I replaced the existing panel with this one, my two main hot conductors are #4(I think). I pulled these in last year as part of an upgrade to a 4 wire system. Would these main breaker lugs accept a #4 conductor? If so..maybe..just maybe you guys can help me figure out how to rewire everything so I have enough breakers for everything. All I know is I need this...

1) 240v 30amp branch for Compressor
2) 240v 20 amp branch's for Table Saw and Mig welder
1) 240v 15 amp branch for Radial Arm
2) 120v 15 amp branch's for lighting
2) 120v 15 amp branch's for duplex circuits
1) 120v 15 amp branch for Vacuum system
1) 120v 20 amp branch for Heater/ Airconditioner

That's 14 spaces, regardless if it's achieved by virtue of TWO panels...or ONE. Seems to me though, it'll be a hellofalot easier just to replace the panel.. regardless of cost. That's my problem. As a plus though..IF I bit the bullet and bought a 20 or 24 space..I have room to add other tools. Like a planer. That's next on the list. Thanks
 
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Old 06-23-16, 07:27 PM
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That arrangement is known as a backfed breaker. It is fine as long as a hold down is added to keep the breaker on the bus. If it were to come off you could have live parts exposed..

How much weight is the 4x carrying ? As far as the knockouts, most of the time the sides are not used, mostly the top and bottom.
 

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Old 06-23-16, 07:59 PM
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100 amp BR breaker will accept up to 2/0 wire so no problem at all with #4.

See if Eaton makes a Quad BR breaker. That gives you one 2 pole (240 volts) and two 1 pole (120 volts) in 2 spaces.

Or a total of 5 240 volt and 10 120 volt circuits in that 10/20 box.
 
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Old 06-23-16, 08:37 PM
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Eaton makes all kinds of quads so can do everything the OP wants in 7 spaces. You can even get 240v 30a center with 240v 20a on outer. Recommend going with the BQC as they have common trip.

Some are $25 a pop so you pay for it.
 
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Old 06-23-16, 08:39 PM
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Yep, quad CBs are the answer. Everything in the existing panel and even room for another circuit or two.
 
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Old 06-24-16, 06:25 AM
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How much weight is the 4x carrying ?
Weight? I don't know what you are referring to. You mean wires or conduit? There is no conduit fastened to it. The main supply conductors enter the building in a 2" plastic conduit from below, but it terminates about 8" below the panel because of a narrow 2" offset from aligning with the appropriate knockout, with the insulated conductors entering the panel through a plastic knockout bushing. This is the only way I could do it. There wasn't anyway in hell I could align it. I know this probably isn't to code, but it was that way originally too. Besides..it's in a garage. I'll take a pic and show you. However, IF, I replace the panel, I might take another shot at somehow terminating the conduit at the panel. Although, at this point I don't have a clue on how to accomplish it.

See if Eaton makes a Quad BR breaker. That gives you one 2 pole (240 volts) and two 1 pole (120 volts) in 2 spaces.

Or a total of 5 240 volt and 10 120 volt circuits in that 10/20 box.
Wow.. cool. I learn something every time I come here. I definitely want to change this panel out. I hate the existing Square D panel. It's total crap. I used one of the Eaton 6 space for the "Master Disconnect breaker box" out at the meter panel. I like them.

Astuff said
Eaton makes all kinds of quads so can do everything the OP wants in 7 spaces. You can even get 240v 30a center with 240v 20a on outer
Oh, I was wondering how they were ganged. Ok. Now I get it. After looking at the picture of one, it dawned on me. The two outer are chained by a clip, and the centers have a pin.
S

So, let me see if I can arrange these to get what I need. This unit comes with 2 15amp singles, and a 30 amp double pole, but I may not be able to use them. Let me figure this out. I'll be back. Oh, thanks a million guys. You saved the day..as usual
 
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Old 06-24-16, 06:34 AM
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Oh,one more question. In the event I don't need a given pair tied ..like a 15amp outside pair tied together, can I remove the clip that gangs them? There is only one pair of 15amp 240 v branch that I need, and that's for the Radial Arm.

Thanks again.
 
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Old 06-24-16, 07:49 AM
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You can buy the same 10/20 box without the extra breakers: Eaton 100 Amp 10-Space 20-Circuit Surface-Cover Main Breaker Indoor Load Center-BR1020B100S11 - The Home Depot

Then it is a puzzle to get the right breakers for your needs. Here is one combination that would only take 7 spaces:

Eaton One 15 Amp 2-Pole and One 30 Amp 2-Pole Type BR, BQC Quadplex Circuit Breaker-BQC215230
1) 240v 30amp branch for Compressor
1) 240v 15 amp branch for Radial Arm
Eaton Two 20 Amp 2 Pole Type BR, BQC Quadplex Circuit Breaker-BQC220220
2) 240v 20 amp branch's for Table Saw and Mig welder
Eaton BR Type 15/15 Amp Single-Pole BD Tandem Circuit Breaker-BD1515
2) 120v 15 amp branch's for lighting
Eaton BR Type 15/15 Amp Single-Pole BD Tandem Circuit Breaker-BD1515
2) 120v 15 amp branch's for duplex circuits
Eaton BR Type 15/20 Amp Single-Pole BD Tandem Circuit Breaker-BD1520
1) 120v 15 amp branch for Vacuum system
1) 120v 20 amp branch for Heater/ Airconditioner
 
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Old 06-24-16, 07:50 AM
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Not sure if you can remove it (probably) but they sell it both ways, independent outers and tied outers.
 
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Old 06-24-16, 03:19 PM
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Holy s**t Astuf.

I'm amazed. Really!! Ask and thou shall receive. Ok, if I can't figure it out with that info, I'm a moron. Hahahahaha! I'll be back.
Thanks a million! Btw, you guys are great. PERIOD
 
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Old 06-24-16, 06:14 PM
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The conduit needs to be continuous to the panel. The open conductors in free air is not to code. You could install a piece of Carflex to come into the panel.

The weight I was asking about was the load that wall is carrying. Is it a bearing wall?

What did you use to make the sketches?
 
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Old 06-25-16, 05:03 PM
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Hi pcboss! Well, those "open conductors" are insulated. And regardless of code, they don't know they're not in compliance. Frankly..I don't give a crap any more about 8" of 4 conductors open to the inside of my garage. I live out in the middle of the land that time forgot, that inspectors don't even know I exist. Even if they did, they are welcome to eat me. If my garage burned down tomorrow, it wouldn't be because of those wires. But just to ease your mind..I intend on "trying" to manipulate two 45 degree 2" plastic conduit connectors to do what code "says"..just because I give a ****. So..don't let it keep you up tonight.

As for the weight..hahahahahaha..that's funny. Bearing wall???Like a 30 lb panel, supported by 4 lagbolts into plywood, which is fastened to horizontal 2x4's fastened to 4x4's... wait.. what part of my "sketches" didn't you really look at? I mean..the wall is laughing.

C'maan dude. As for those sketches.. I use Sketchup. The EASIEST, most usable graphic program for anyone to portray 3d stuff ever invented. Try it. Ok, now.. back to my project. Thanks for the input. And don't let my 72 yr old cynical view of nonsense stop you from posting.
 
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Old 06-25-16, 05:18 PM
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Fitz, don't be so hard on PC. We all try to make our answers comply with the National Electrical Code or else we don't post at all. That your particular installation has not been (and won't be) inspected is on YOU and there are many, many more people that are reading this forum.

Further, PC suggested that you use Carflex. This is flexible, non-metallic conduit (often called Smurf tube because of its blue color) that will make the bend to fit your panel easily. You would probably need to cut the existing conduit back somewhat and then add a coupler before adding the flexible conduit. Since you will be changing out the panel anyway it would change your non-complying hack job to a professional looking job with very little increase in cost or labor.
 
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Old 06-25-16, 05:44 PM
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Hey pcboss. .. as for using Sketchup to illustrate to MYSELF, exactly what I had to do to create in REALITY, those elements of my last project, of which, this whole series of threads are in relationship to..check these series of Sketchup jpgs.. out. In reality, I model every single detail, so that I know EXACTLY what I am dealing with. But it was only because of the input of people on this forum, that I gained the knowledge to put together 2+2 of their electrical insights, advice and suggestions, which I am forever in their debt.
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The mere fact, you guys helped me decipher the upgrade from a 3 conductor system to a 4 conductor system, and I succeeded beyond my belief, is a testament to your presence here. Thank you so much.
 
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Old 06-25-16, 05:51 PM
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OMG..my apology is in order. Old fart syndrome sucks. PC... I apologize for my reply. PLEASE ..sometimes I'm an idiot. And Furd.. you too. Won't happen again. I appreciate ALL of you guys input. Now, excuse me while I go bang my head against the wall..twice.
 
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Old 06-25-16, 06:06 PM
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Your apology is very much appreciated. Luckily it doesn't happen too often but occasionally we get people that insist on doing the wrong thing, it seems they come here only to have holy water sprinkled on their lousy work and have it then be blessed. We don't do that. A few get belligerent calling us all kinds of names and insisting there is nothing wrong with their work.

I don't mind, and I'm pretty sure that most of the regulars here also don't mind people questioning us on WHY we insist on doing things in a specified manner. Some are very chary about giving us the necessary information to make an informed comment. You have been completely open and willing to share ALL with us on why you have done something in the manner you have. It has been a joy, at least for me, to work with you and to read this entire thread.
 
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Old 06-25-16, 07:54 PM
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Car flex is a plastic nonmetallic conduit that looks like a hose.. You would install a female adapter on the conduit to switch to a carflex connector. Cutting the PVC shorter may help bend the carflex by giving more room to flex.

I like the sketches, good work. I was not sure they were Sketchup.
 
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Old 06-30-16, 07:01 AM
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Hi guys!! Sorry I didn't reply right away. Too many irons in the fire.

Ok, I did some research on the breakers Astuff provided links to. Holy moly. So many combinations..but the bottom line is..as usual..moola. Or lack of it. So, I really had to knuckle down and see what my options were, money wise as well as future proofing as much as possible. Of course, compromise is the name of the game with me. So I broke it down into options.

The first option is to purchase the Load Center that comes with three breakers...(1) BR230 double pole, which I'll use for the compressor 240v circuit, and (2) BR 115's, which I'll use for the two duplex branch circuits.

Then I only need these..
Add
3) BR 115 @$4 ea for 2 Lighting Circuits/Future Vacuum
1) BR 120 @$4 ea AirCond. Heater
(Note: I have a question regarding this later)
Eaton BQC215220 @ $21 Table Saw Radial Arm

With the panel, and the breakers..roughly $105 + tax.
However, this doesn't include the MASTER breakers. I've got some questions about this below.

For Option 2, I modified Option 1 as follows..
I substituted (2) of the BR 115's with (1) BR 15/15 Tandem for the (2) Lighting circuits, and (1) BR 15/20 for the Vacuum and Heater circuits.
Then, I substituted the BR 115 for the Vacuum and BR 120 in Option 1, with a BR 220 double pole for the MIG circuit.

This brought the price up to about $142 + tx

For Option 3, I simply substituted the BR 220 for the MIG, with a BQC 220220, which still gives me the Mig circuit, but now I have another 240v 20amp circuit for any future use..like a planer. But now, were lookin close to $200 with the masters. However, Option 3 is the way I'm going.

As for Astuff's option, I looked at what it would cost for but it was financially out of the question..at least for now.

But guys, I do have a couple of questions. The first of which, has to do with these Master Breakers for this new panel.

However, I'm a little embarrassed to ask, because it has to do with the previous project, of which, because of various reasons, I never had inspected. I did it without permits, but followed as much of code as I could. The thing is, I had to leave an existing old Fuse box in the circuit, as a MASTER breaker panel, as had I removed it, it would have invoked a permit, as the Electric company would have had to disconnect it from the Meter, and then, reconnect it after taking the Fuse Panel out of the circuit.But they would only do that with a permit. Although I did everything I could to bring things up to code when I ADDED a new MASTER distribution Panel. Which is an Eaton 6 space/12 circuit Load Center.
This panel has 2/ new 60amp breakers for the House and Shop, and 1 new 20 amp for an adjacent duplex outlet on the Meter structure. This is what it looked like when I first started.
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Thanks to everyone here..7 WEEKS later..it looked close to this, with the new Load center behind the Meter panel.
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As it was, I originally bought a Square D panel, exactly like what I'm replacing in the garage. But after investigating hooking up the 4 conductor system(that YOU guys recommended) it was a nightmare. That Panel SUCKED So, I exchanged it for the Eaton. Much better and easier to wire.
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Ok, so here's the deal. The feed to the shop, already has 60amp fuses, and a 60amp Master Breaker in the circuit. And now, to use this new panel, I have to add another set of Master Breakers in the panel. Trouble is..what breakers do I use and what amperage???

Ok, second question. Originally, I built that little room so I could have a small area heated in the winter. So I only needed a 15amp circuit for a small room heater. But I also have a window air conditioner, that I ran a dedicated run of 12/2 romex to a duplex by the AC. However,I haven't wired it to the load center yet as this is precisely why I need more breakers.

However, later on, I plan on installing a large Rheem heater I recently bought. This heater, will be in a separate structure I'm building, outside the garage, but adjacent to this room I built. The plan was, to daisy chain off the AC duplex box, to the heater. While I don't know the amperage requirement for the heater, I assume this should be 20amp circuit. The question is, is there any harm in plugging in the AC to a 20 amp circuit?

Also, about that Radial Arm 240v 15amp circuit. Can I use 12/3 w/ grnd? I ran 10/3 w grnd, for my table saw, but it's a 20amp circuit. Which brings up the last question.

The cord from my table saw, has the two hot wires and a ground..but NO neutral. WTF? I've seen various tools wired like this, but I always thought you had to have a neutral to make 240 work. I do NOT understand this. Also, I haven't looked at it yet, but my Radial Arm is normally 120v, but you can rewire it inside the Jbox on the saw, to make it 240v. I'm wondering if the same thing happens there too? Since the 120v cable has only two conductors and a ground. I'll have to investigate that though.

Btw, as I told in the other thread, by accident, I disconnected the NEUTRAL at the fuse box when I was working on that project. HOLY MOLY!! Didn't know what happened, as all of a sudden..I fried a computer and some other stuff, and the whole electrical system was..GAK..240. Man do I hate learning stuff the hard way.

Ok guys, sorry for the LOOOOOOOOOONG post, but that's me.
I'll be back.
 
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Old 06-30-16, 07:16 AM
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Hmmm, I guess only 3 images can be attached. I tried to include these but it wouldn't let me.

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Ok guys, if you can tell me which Master Breakers to use, I'll get this stuff ordered and get on with this. I do have more questions about my branch circuits, but later for those.
 
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Old 07-01-16, 10:41 AM
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That arrangement is known as a backfed breaker.
Hello again. I just noticed this. Is that what they call the "actual" breakers? Or do I just use a normal double pole breaker?
 
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Old 07-01-16, 10:56 AM
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OMG. Just out of curiosity, I thought to myself.."hey..I wonder if Square D makes "quad" breakers?"


Square D Homeline 2-20 Amp Single-Pole 1-30 Amp Two-Pole Quad Tandem Circuit Breaker-HOMT2020230CP - The Home Depot

Maybe, ...just maybe..I can figure out a combination where I DON'T have to replace the panel? These breakers are cheap too. Plus, my daughter gets a discount at Lowes. If I can do this..I'll save myself a whole lotta pain. Cause changing the path of those 4 main conductors just KILLS my hands.

Anyway, this would be a savings grace. Now to see if I can pull it off. Not only that, but I won't have to buy Masters either. Ok guys..I'll be back.
 
  #28  
Old 07-01-16, 11:29 AM
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You use a regular breaker and then you install a breaker hold down kit appropriate for the brand of panel. The hold down eliminates any chance of having the breaker pop out and wave around with live wires attached.
 
  #29  
Old 07-01-16, 11:36 AM
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I'm a happy camper. I did it.



1) 30a double pole/2) single pole 15a
Square D Homeline Quad Circuit Breaker
$18.57

Item # 4012 Model # HOMT1515230CP
Shop Square D Homeline 30-Amp 2-Pole Quad Circuit Breaker at Lowes.com

For Compressor and two lighting circuits
------------------------------------------------
1) 20a double pole/2) single pole 20a
Square D Homeline 20-Amp 2-Pole Quad Circuit Breaker
$17.98
Item # 8801 Model # HOMT2020220CP
Shop Square D Homeline 20-Amp 2-Pole Quad Circuit Breaker at Lowes.com

For Table Saw, Heater and Unused 20amp(maybe planer)
--------------------------------------------------
2) 20a double pole/2) single pole 15a
$17.70
Square D Homeline 20-Amp 4-Pole Quad Circuit Breaker
Shop Square D Homeline 20-Amp 4-Pole Quad Circuit Breaker at Lowes.com

1)For Radial Arm and two duplex circuits
1)For MIG, Vacuum and Window AirConditioner
---------------------------------------------------

As for future 240v tools. If anything, I'll daisy chain from the Radial Arm to another 240v box, or simply unplug one and plug in the other. I will never run both tools at once.

Ok guys. Looks like this is the solution. Square D quads. 4 of them for a grand total of $71.95 plus tax minus a 10%.....


errr...wait wait...I just remembered. My panel is a SIX SPACE. What a maroon. Back to the Eaton. crap
 

Last edited by fitz70; 07-01-16 at 11:52 AM.
  #30  
Old 07-01-16, 02:36 PM
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Sorry if this was already discussed, but did you consider using an exterior panel (3R enclosure) mounted on the outside of the building near that human door? You could then use a standard 16 or 24 space panel and alleviate all of these headaches with combining circuits and skinny breakers. A few strategically placed junction boxes and conduits would make supplying the building interior very easy. You can padlock the panel if you think tampering would be a concern.
 
  #31  
Old 07-04-16, 01:38 AM
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Hi ib. Well, no it hasn't been discussed. I thought about it too. Unfortunately, to do this would require moving the section of 2" plastic conduit that encloses the main conductors, about 4" backward towards the outside. Which is something I really really don't want to do, as it's already buried, and would require a ****load of work. Not to mention cutting the conduit with the wires in it, in order to remove a section just before the curved section that goes up through a hole in the concrete floor. But thanks just the same.
 
  #32  
Old 07-06-16, 05:32 AM
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Hi guys. Again, sorry for not getting back. But now I'm a little confused about certain "nomenclature" used to describe these Square D quad breakers. Today, while looking at these again, I came across something I don't understand. The difference between a "2-pole" quad, and a "4 pole" quad?

First off, the 1) 30amp 2 pole/2) 20amp single poles breaker I was going to purchase is described at Lowes like this...

Square D Homeline 30-Amp 2-Pole Quad Circuit Breaker

Shop Square D Homeline 30-Amp 2-Pole Quad Circuit Breaker at Lowes.com

The picture shows exactly as described: Two center 30amp breakers ganged by mechanical bridge, and two outside single pole 15amp breakers.

On the other hand, as I was looking at the other quads, I saw something. This one looks exactly like the one above, only the center breakers tied together are 20 amp, and the two outside ones are 15amp. The difference is Lowes calls this one a "4 pole".


Square D Homeline 20-Amp 4-Pole Quad Circuit Breaker

Shop Square D Homeline 20-Amp 4-Pole Quad Circuit Breaker at Lowes.com

Even their description says this "4 pole" thing is not right.
quote:"The Square D by Schneider Electric Homeline Quad-Pole Tandem Circuit Breaker consists of (2) single-pole, 15 Amp and (1) double-pole, 20 Amp breakers"unquote

Can someone explain what is going on here? Lowes is 30 miles from my house and I don't want to buy the wrong thing. Although, frankly, I think someone at Lowes screwed up when listing this. But you tell me?

Thanks again for any help.
 
  #33  
Old 07-06-16, 06:05 AM
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Hi guys. All of a sudden, another couple of questions occurred to me.

Ok, for reasons of time and money, given I've decided to use (3) Square D quads, which means the 3) 240v branch circuits are taken up by the Compressor, the Table Saw, and the Radial arm. Unfortunately..this means I won't have a separate 240v outlet for the MIG. UNLESS, I can daisy chain a second 240v 20 amp outlet from the Radial Arm outlet, to a place by the MIG station. My question is... IF, it is ok to do this, what about the BREAKER? Should this now be a 40AMP???? I mean, WHAT IF..and this will never happen..but shouldn't this branch circuit breaker by code, be sized for BOTH machines running at the same time?

Which has always confused me. From my understanding, you can daisy chain off as many duplex outlets on one 15amp branch circuit as you want. But how does one calculate a load on the circuit? I mean, it seems..IF, you plugged some kind of load into every outlet and turned them ALL on.. it might blow the breaker..no?

Anyway, this brings me to my next question. As for DUPLEX outlets..what is the difference between a 15amp duplex..and a 20amp duplex?

Ok, I'll give you guys a breaker...er...break. Hahahahaha.

But I'll be back.
 
  #34  
Old 07-06-16, 07:10 AM
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The one breaker is actually two 240 volt breakers. The other is the two pole with two independent single pole breakers.

The difference between a 15 and a 20 amp duplex is the T slot on the 20 amp. The 15 is still rated for 20 amp feed through.
 
  #35  
Old 07-06-16, 09:19 AM
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pcboss said:
The one breaker is actually two 240 volt breakers. The other is the two pole with two independent single pole breakers.
hmmm, ok. Then what trips both outside breakers on the 4 pole? I see a mechanical bridge on the center poles, but nothing on the outer poles that would connect them, vs the same thing on Eaton breakers? They have a mechanical bridge for both. That's what confused me.

The difference between a 15 and a 20 amp duplex is the T slot on the 20 amp.
Hahaha. I have some of those and didn't know what the T slot was for. As for the PLUG on the machine, I assume I should put a plug that matches the T-slot, or does it matter?

Which brings up another question. What type plug and outlet would I use for a 240v 20amp circuit, like for the Radial Arm? Right now it's wired and has a plug for 120v.


Also, can you answer my question about what breaker to use for a daisy chained 240v 20amp circuit. I'm still confused about this. I mean, this would be so I could keep the Radial and Mig both plugged in, but never use at the same time.

hmmm, now that I think about it. Isn't the reason most homes are wired with 15amp branch circuits for duplex outlets, is the cost of 14/2 vs 12/2 for 20amp circuits? Given all my duplex circuits are wired with 12/2/g, can't I use a 20amp breaker for them. Most are for tools, except at my workbench? I know from experience, if I turn on a high amp tool like the Radial on 120v, it seems like a real slow start up. That's why I'm changing it to 240v. Or does it make any difference? Btw, given I've wired all the duplex with 12/2, shouldn't they BE on a 20 amp breaker by code? The only reason for using the 12/2..is the wire was ALREADY there. I just rearranged the duplex boxes. And the original duplex outlets were connected to a 15amp, which is still in the panel.

Ok, nuff questions for now.
btw, thanks again for enlightening me. I DO appreciate it.
 
  #36  
Old 07-06-16, 10:08 AM
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The code only specifies that certain circuits are required to be 20 amps. Cost is a factor so many will limit to only those required to be wired with #12. If ALL of the circuit is wired with #12 there is no reason it cannot be on a 20 amp circuit.

The circuit for the saw can remain as is if another receptacle is added for the welder. You are not adding additional load.

Receptacles are configured for the voltage and ampacity they are for use with. This prevents someone plugging in a tool for the wrong voltage.

The quad should have a linkage to ensure both legs are turned off at the same time.
 
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Old 07-06-16, 01:32 PM
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If ALL of the circuit is wired with #12 there is no reason it cannot be on a 20 amp circuit.
Cool. Given both the duplex and lighting circuits are #12, then I don't see a reason to limit the panel with any 15amp breakers. All 120v will be 20amp now.

As for this:
The circuit for the saw can remain as is if another receptacle is added for the welder. You are not adding additional load.
But...but.... I AM adding an additional load ...IF both machines were on at the same time, which is why I asked how loads are calculated. Someone may come along after I'm gone and use both at the same time. SO..what size breaker should be in place AS IF both outlets were to be used at the same time? I mean, how do pro's calculate the load on a given circuit, when they don't even know what's going to be plugged into it? In this case, if I were to be using both machines at the same time, the total amperage draw would be somewhere around 25amps. The radial is 11amps(at least thats given for 120v) and the MIG is..wait. Ut oh. I just remembered something. I'll be back. I gotta check the MIG's amperage rating.


The quad should have a linkage to ensure both legs are turned off at the same time.
Of course it should. That was the POINT of my question. The picture shows NO linkage to the outside breakers, so it couldn't be TWO double pole breakers. So...what does FOUR POLE mean?

Anyway, thanks for the info. I'm learning a lot.
 
  #38  
Old 07-06-16, 01:59 PM
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I don't know about Square D specifically but some manufacturers make "quad" circuit breakers that have the center two as a common trip (and handle yoked) 240 volt 2-pole CB while the two "outside CBs are 120 volt single-pole CBs. Some will have the aforementioned 240 volt center CB AND the two outside CBs handle-yoked (and with common internal trip) so that in the double space you have TWO, 240 volt circuit breakers. They come in a variety of different ampere ratings for each set.

Common practice for 240 volt machinery is ONE circuit per machine. That does NOT mean that you can only have one receptacle per circuit, just that running several different machines from a single circuit is uncommon. It would be perfectly acceptable to have a single receptacle serve either your saw or your welder OR to have multiple receptacles spaced throughout the shop so that you could use any tool of the proper rating in any receptacle. You would, have the same problem of possibly overloading the circuit with multiple tools being used if you were using multiple 120 volt tools on a single 120 volt circuit.

Welding machines follow a different code, Article 630, where significantly smaller conductors for the CB size are allowed, depending on the "duty cycle" of the machine.

BTW, ALL the diagrams you posted the other day are incorrect. Also, I have no idea of what you mean by the term "master breaker".
 
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Old 07-07-16, 10:03 AM
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Some will have the aforementioned 240 volt center CB AND the two outside CBs handle-yoked (and with common internal trip) so that in the double space you have TWO, 240 volt circuit breakers.
Hello Furd. Oh, internal trip... no wonder. It didn't occur to me. Visually, though, that's confusing.

BTW, ALL the diagrams you posted the other day are incorrect.
Well, I assume you are referring to how I illustrated WHERE the "red/black" hots of a branch circuit terminate at the breakers. If that is what you are referring to..yes, you are right. One circuit should have terminated at the center breakers, and the other at the outside breakers. Trouble is..in 2d illustrations, you have to "jump" one conductor over another, and it's time consuming to do that in an illustration. My bad.

I was simply a matter of illustration convenience, which I assumed you would understand. I drew them as if the breakers were conventional two pole. Sorry about that. Next time I won't cut corners..so to speak.


Also, I have no idea of what you mean by the term "master breaker".
I was referring to the Two Pole breakers that feed the buss's on the Eaton Panel. If you turn them off, the entire panel goes dead. I thought someone else called them that. Look, I'm not an electrician but I'm doing the best I can to keep up and learn the correct nomenclature. I should have called them "Main Breakers", or as someone said below..."backfed breakers".

As for the Square D panel, there are NO main breakers in the box. They are in a separate panel out at the Meter station.
 

Last edited by fitz70; 07-07-16 at 11:24 AM.
  #40  
Old 07-13-16, 07:15 AM
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Hi guys. I've got another question. I'm confused about something..which is normal for me.

Ok, I ordered the quad breakers from Home Depot, which should be here in the next few days. In the meantime, I'm running the new240v branch circuits for the Radial Arm/Mig, and Compressor. However, I don't understand something. When I run a 240v circuit for a stove, it needs a 10/3 w-grnd. Which means there is a neutral in the circuit. When I hooked up my Table Saw, the cord only had two hot conductors and a ground. Moreover, when I researched a 20amp 240v outlet for the Radial Arm and Mig.. they have only two poles and a ground. Don't modern 240v motors need a neutral?? I used to own a giant Paper cutter that we used in a bindery shop, and if I'm not mistaken, that motor DID require a neutral. Anyway, can someone explain this to me. I need to buy the Romex today and ALMOST bought 12/3 for the Radial Arm and 10/3 for the Compressor. But it dawned on me that the Radial cord is only two conductor with a ground, and given you just have to rewire the motor inside of the motor j-box, I guess I can use 12/2 w ground...right? Same with the Compressor. The plug on it has two hot poles and a ground. So..I can use 10/2...no? It would sure save me some money..which I need to save every cent as I'm on a fixed income. Anyway..thanks for any insight.
 
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