Breaker box information

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Old 09-09-19, 04:05 PM
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Breaker box information

Iím thinking about installing a generator interlock but my panel is full. I have one open space and hope to use 1/2Ē breakers to create the last space for the 30A breaker for the generator. What Iím not sure about is if I can use those breakers with my panel. I have a GE TM3015WS. Any help would be greatly appreciate as I cannot find any info on the panel.

 
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Old 09-10-19, 01:32 AM
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I'm not the pro on GE panels but the breaker you need to use would be two full size breakers.
I don't believe you would get 240v with two half size breakers.
The breaker you need should be a THQL2130.

Cross reference (pdf)
 
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Old 09-10-19, 06:01 AM
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Can you take a picture of drawing inside and/or on the door ?
That will show which locations you can have 1/2 size breakers.
There are 1/2 size 2 pole breakers, but I'm not sure there will be interlock that works with it.

You could install a transfer switch at the main feed if there is no space to add a breaker, but to do this you will have to have a power company remove the meter.
 
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Old 09-10-19, 12:01 PM
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Here are a few pics. The last picture I was trying to get the box number and a look at the neutral bus bar.
 
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Old 09-10-19, 07:35 PM
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Label says "30 POLES MAXIMUM" as well as "CLASS CTL" and the schematic shows 30 full size poles so your panel isn't rated to take tandems. You might be able to double up a few circuits to free spaces.

Best option for you is probably a small transfer panel that you mount next to what you have.
 
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Old 09-10-19, 07:39 PM
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You can have maximum of 30 poles in that panel. How many breaker spaces do you have on that panel?
Looks like that panel allows THQP (1/2 size breakers), but according to the diagram, doesn't looks like you can use extra space for additional 1/2 size breaker.
 
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Old 09-11-19, 11:46 AM
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I only have one space free (29 used). If I add a transfer switch how would I attach the neutrals from the transfer switch when my neutral buss is full.
 
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Old 09-11-19, 03:58 PM
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You could move some grounds over to a dedicated ground bar to free up space for the neutral.

Adding a subpanel will free up breaker space for the interlocked breaker.
 
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Old 09-12-19, 09:10 AM
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Label says "30 POLES MAXIMUM" as well as "CLASS CTL"
Agree

the schematic shows 30 full size poles so your panel isn't rated to take tandems.
Look again and count the actual spaces. I only count 28 spaces and if the diagram is correct, the top 2 spaces on each side will take the 1/2 size Type THQP breakers. The OP would need to use 4 - THQP 1/2" breakers, 2 on each side at the top, to get the maximum of 30 poles. The panel label says you can use THQP breakers and the top 2 spaces on each side are the only places I can see that will accept them. Forget tandems, GE doesn't make them.

Now consider this, this GE panel appears to be a 1977 vintage and GE panels of that vintage all had aluminum bus. There are documented cases of these old GE aluminum bus panels catching fire when using THQP breakers. I'd replace this panel with a new modern 40 circuit panel with copper bus and use one that has an interlock panel cover available.
 
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Old 09-13-19, 02:06 PM
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So I went through the whole box confirming where each branch goes. I found that there were two circuits that I do not need. Having said that, I could add a 30am double pole without needing to use the 1/2Ē size. Now I have two questions....

1. Based on the last reply, do I have an unsafe panel? I just replaced my roof and do not want to spend a bunch more money on a new panel if itís not necessary.

2. I will need to move a couple of breakers so the interlock will work. My concern is the black wire will not reach the new location without a pigtail. Are pigtails legal in a breaker box?

I feel comfortable adding the 30 amp breaker. I do have electrician friends that Iím sure would help if needed (I try not to bug them too much). I would hire an electrical company to change my whole panel. Because of the added cost of labor I would prefer to use what I have if itís safe. I pasted a link to the interlock I would use.

https://www.geninterlock.com/product...mp-old-panels/

thanks for for all the help.

 
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Old 09-14-19, 07:37 AM
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1. Based on the last reply, do I have an unsafe panel? I just replaced my roof and do not want to spend a bunch more money on a new panel if itís not necessary.

If it were mine I'd probably still change the panel, but I am sort of anal about these things. You probably do not need to change it if using full size THQL breakers.
 
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Old 09-16-19, 06:26 PM
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Look again and count the actual spaces. I only count 28 spaces and if the diagram is correct, the top 2 spaces on each side will take the 1/2 size Type THQP breakers.
Top 2 "spaces" are designed for 240v loads - 2 pole breakers so actually are 2 spaces each which turns into 30 full size breakers.
 
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Old 09-16-19, 06:29 PM
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2. I will need to move a couple of breakers so the interlock will work. My concern is the black wire will not reach the new location without a pigtail. Are pigtails legal in a breaker box?
Pigtails are legal but you might have a local regulation against them. Also possible they might not allow that transfer interlock. I think Canada didn't permit pigtails in a box for a while.
 
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Old 09-18-19, 10:18 AM
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Top 2 "spaces" are designed for 240v loads - 2 pole breakers so actually are 2 spaces each which turns into 30 full size breakers.

Any 2 adjacent spaces anywhere in the panel would be designed for full sized 2-pole breakers for 240 volt loads. The top spaces are for THQP breakers.
 
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Old 09-18-19, 05:03 PM
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Look closer. Drawing shows space 1 as having both legs so 2" wide. Doesn't show split for tandems. If top allowed THQP then panel would go to 34 poles.
 
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Old 09-20-19, 09:09 AM
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Doesn't show split for tandems. If top allowed THQP then panel would go to 34 poles.

Doesn't show split for tandems because GE doesn't make a tandem breaker. Please point out to me in your opinion where THQP breakers can be used.
 
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Old 09-20-19, 02:59 PM
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I talked with my inspector and he was ok with my plan using an interlock. I also called GE to see if there was one made by them that worked with my panel. He told me no, but directed me to the GenInterlock website. I feel better that GE knew of the place I planned on ordering one from. I pulled the permit and plan on installing in the next couple of weeks as time allows. Now I have my self a little nervous about frying my furnace electronics with my generator. Itís a 3500/4000 champion. I bought a meter that showed volts, amps and HZ. My plan is to adjust it to 60Hz at 1/2-3/4 load using the meter.
 
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Old 09-20-19, 05:13 PM
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It isn't the operating voltage or frequency. It's spikes from disconnecting things from the generator and some generators have high harmonic distortion that interferes with the control boards. Keep some load on the generator to absorb spikes. Incandescent lights work well.
 
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