Spa subpanel install in an older house


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Old 10-30-17, 08:46 AM
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Spa subpanel install in an older house

1st post here.. I am wiring a 50 amp gfci sub panel spa box into my older house. I wanted to post pics of my panel to get advice. I know to connect the ground and neutral to the ground bar in the main box. Main question is to look at pic of my main box and offer opinions/suggestions. Thanks...
 
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Old 10-30-17, 09:37 AM
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Welcome to the forums.

You can put a 2P50 breaker in the upper right location for the sub panel.

Some issues there.... a 240v circuit requires a two pole breaker or at the very least a tie handle to tie the two breakers together. I see at least four places (red boxes) that need this addressed.

In the pink circle.... are those wires going underneath the breaker plate ??
That is not correct and in most cases a very tight squeeze or no clearance at all.

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Old 10-30-17, 10:36 AM
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Thanks Pete,

I'm not sure about the pink highlighted issue. I'll look at it closer. There is no main power shut off on this panel otherwise I would feel more comfortable re-doing some of it.. There is a sub panel to an addition on the house (top rleft 100amp breaker).

What do you think of he ground/common bar? Do I just pick 2 open studs for the ground and common coming from the spa sub panel (they are #6).
 
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Old 10-30-17, 10:53 AM
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That's a main lug electrical panel. It MUST have a disconnect.
Maybe out by the meter.

Yes.... use two screw connections for neutral and ground.
 
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Old 10-30-17, 12:23 PM
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Putting a 50A across from a 100A might overload the bus stabs -- if you can read the panel label see if there's a max stab rating which would need to be at least 150A to put that 50A in the top position. You might need to move a couple smaller breakers like 15s or 20s up across from the 100A and free up space for the 50A in a lower position.

BTW, what does that 100A breaker feed? Another panel somewhere in the house? I see a lot of big amp numbers on the handles. I'm concerned if this electrical service is already at capacity and can't support the load of the spa. Do you have all electric appliances? Heat?
 
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Old 10-30-17, 07:14 PM
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I suspect that is a split buss panel.
 
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Old 10-30-17, 07:24 PM
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I'd originally thought that too. It just doesn't look like one.
Maybe the OP could post a picture of the diagram on the panel door.
 
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Old 10-31-17, 05:15 AM
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The 100A left breaker feeds a sub panel for an addition to this house see pic...

I do have all electrical appliances. But I know the labels are not all correct. I do not have a freezer (circuit 18), and do I really need 20A (entry 13) for a couple of outlets? Also #10 circuit (50A) is just basement stuff, 3 light bulbs and an outlet.

Also I attached pics of the panel labels (not much info here). One looks homemade (typical for original homeowner)...

I also included a closeup of the the wires from the pink highlighted (by Pete) breaker. It looks like those are designed to go behind the breakers, almost like there are holes there for them. I think this confirms it is a split bus panel . see diagram pic.

I checked the meter outside the house for a shut off and cannot find one

The next to last pic is just the panel door. Notice the top right has "Main" written on the punch outs.
 
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Last edited by gcamick; 10-31-17 at 06:47 AM.
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Old 10-31-17, 08:18 AM
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OK, so it is a split bus panel based on your diagram. My opinion is that you're probably overloaded on the service and you should do a demand load calculation before adding the 50A spa load. The split bus design is obsolete for a couple reasons, but the important one in this case is that they are easy to overload by adding large breakers in the upper section. Putting the 50A breaker in the top section of the panel effectively increases the size of the service by 50A. You're already at 260A and this would jump it to 310A. From the look of the panel it should probably be no more than 150A, probably more like 125A.
 
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Old 11-01-17, 06:29 AM
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Thanks for all the advice. Much appreciated!
 
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Old 11-03-17, 10:18 AM
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In addition, the GE panel has breakers in it that are not UL LIsted for use in a GE panel. The one that stands out is the Square D Homeline single pole breaker. At the bottom right it appears there is also an Eaton/Cutler-Hammer breaker installed that shouldn't be there as well.
 
 

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