GE Circuit breakers in a THQL panel

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  #1  
Old 11-29-17, 10:27 AM
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GE Circuit breakers in a THQL panel

Hi,

I have old house with 2 old GE panels. The first panel accepts THQP breakers, and I have been replacing the fat breakers with thin THQP breakers, since I have added a lot of outlets etc.
  • (BTW, I saw your post about the aluminum panel and the thin breakers catching fire. Iím not able to replace the panel now, but this is duly noted. If I have to replace all the breakers, as well as the panel, my estimate is probably around $500)
Anyway the second panel is a THQL panel that only seems to accept the fat circuit breakers, and it looks like it will take about ten of those. Currently, I have a 40A circuit breaker, as well as a 20A 240 breaker for an a/c. I plan to add to it another 240 breaker for the electric oven that I bought, and there is room for that.

However, I need to add three more regular 20A circuits, and I was hoping to put those in the second panel, but there is not enough room since it only accepts the fat breakers.

The question is, is there some way to put thin breakers on that second panel? Is there a replacement breaker, or some way to modify the panel to put those thin breakers on it? Or do I have to just replace the panel?

I still have about 3 fat breakers that I can replace with 6 thin ones, on the first panel

Thanks
 
  #2  
Old 11-29-17, 12:25 PM
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You numbers/description aren't adding up for me. Can you post a picture of the 2nd panel? And the panel label where it states what breakers are allowed.

Most likely you need to get a bigger panel.
 
  #3  
Old 11-29-17, 02:25 PM
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Even on the panel that can accept THQP, some slots may not accept thin THQP. Check diagram on the breaker.

If you plan on changing load center in the future, it might be better to replace that sub panel to larger model. If not, why not just add new circuits to the main panel that you can replace breakers to THQP?
 
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Old 12-04-17, 08:17 AM
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Hi lambition

I will check whether I can add three new breakers. What do you mean by "adding new circuits"? The current main panel is full.

To re-cap:

I have three panels:

1. The main THQP panel that is full.

2. An adjacent THQL panel, that only contains a 240 a/c breaker, and a 40A breaker. This THQL panel has its own meter and the 40A line leads to a second-floor third THQP panel (it is officially a two-family brownstone), that distributes electricity to the entire second floor.

For this new kitchen on the 1st floor, I need to run three 20A single-pole 70' lines and the 70' 20A 240 for the electric oven.

So I need 4 new breakers and thought that I could put them in the THQL panel but there is only room for 4 fat breakers, 2 of which are already being used. I think I can use the THQL panel for the oven breaker, and try to fit the three lines in the THQP panel by replacing the fat breakers with thin ones.

Before I started this, I asked if I should run one huge line to the kitchen which is in the back of the house (70' away) and make a fourth subpanel in the kitchen. (similar to the 40A setup going to the second-floor). But I was told that 70' runs are common and that it probably did not pay.

Now I am not so sure.

Other than replacing the main THQP panel, what do you suggest? If I did run a line from the THQL panel to a sub-panel to the kitchen area, what would the amp need to be?

Thanks
 
  #5  
Old 12-05-17, 02:38 PM
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What do you mean by "adding new circuits"? The current main panel is full.
Didn't you say following?
I still have about 3 fat breakers that I can replace with 6 thin ones, on the first panel
Then, you can have 3 circuits added to first THQP panel and 1 2 pole breaker on THQL panel. No?

Also, if both panels have their own meter and not fed from another panel, they are both main panels. Main panel is the first panel after the meter even if there is only one breaker in it.

If there is enough room around the panel and you don't plan changing panel anytime soon, you can add a sub panel. It can be a small main lug panel. This would be cheapest and easiest solution. If you will going to change existing panel with larger one in the future, now is the time.
 
  #6  
Old 12-05-17, 06:22 PM
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You’re right. I can probably fit all of them. However, this leaves me with almost no additional circuits, for something in the future.

At the BB, There is a GE PowerMark Gold 125 Amp 14-Space 24-Circuit Indoor Main Lug Value Kit that Includes 6 THQP120 single-pole 20 Amp circuit breakers, 1 THQP230 double-pole 30 Amp circuit breaker and 1 THQP250 double-pole 50 Amp circuit breaker for ~ $60. In addition, they sell 2-2-2-4 Gray Stranded Al SER Cable.

The question now is:

What Amp, breaker and gauge wire to use? (the kit comes with a 50A DP, but I don't think that's sufficient)

The 2-2-2-4 SER is overkill, but probably cheaper than CU

Thanks
 
  #7  
Old 12-05-17, 08:47 PM
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Since you have two services and the property is designated as two family other rules kick in. You aren't allowed to feed one residence from two different services so ignore that THQL panel. Safety issue in that by pulling the meter power is guaranteed removed.

So plan on feeding the new panel from the THQP panel. Figure out how to move a few circuits from it to the new panel.
 
  #8  
Old 12-05-17, 09:44 PM
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Astuff is right about issue with having 2 separate meters feeding one unit. So adding a sub panel is the best route.

I would move smaller loads (lights and outlets) to the sub panel and put heavy loads like range oven and water heater in the main panel. That way, you don't have to worry about possibility of tripping the breaker feeding sub panel.

You can put 6 AWG copper or 4 AWG aluminum on 60A breaker. 2 AWG will be hard to work with and definitely over kill for a sub panel. 50A breaker that comes with the kit will be fine as well if you keep heavy loads on the main panel.
If you want to feed 100A to a sub panel, you can use 4 AWG copper or 2 AWG aluminum. But the breaker is expensive and 100A sub panel is not necessary in most cases. Also 100A breakers are not available in most hardware stores. Will have to order on-line or buy from electric supply stores.
 
 

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