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Thread: What is the size of my electrical service (pics)

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member teddynono's Avatar
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    Default What is the size of my electrical service (pics)

    Hey Gang,

    I have 240v service coming in from outside. There are three wires--two hot and one neutral. I am not sure what gauge the service wire is.

    It comes into the panel and is connected to a 60 amp main breaker. But the wire going into the 60 amp main breaker looks narrower than the wire coming in from the street.

    Does that mean that each of the hot wires are 120 V and 30 amps (for 240 V and 60 amps total?).

    Or is it calculated some other way? Is the main breaker always sized to the maximum current that the service wires can carry?

    By the way, this is a Square D QO breaker box.

    Thank you!




  2. #2
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    That is a split bus panel of either 150 or 200 amps.

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    Electrical Contractor Jim Port's Avatar
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    The 60 amp breaker is only to shut off power to the lower part of the panel. It is not a main to shut off the whole panel. You can have up to 6 breakers to shut down the power to the panel. The incoming lugs will still be hot.

    You can see some labeling in the larger insulated wires going to the topmost terminals in the panel. Tell the size and then someone can tell you what size service you have.

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    Licensed Electrical Contractor Speedy Petey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwelectric View Post
    That is a split bus panel of either 150 or 200 amps.
    I was going to say 100 or 150A.

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    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    Seems to me he simply walks to the meter panel that feeds this and reads the breaker rating.

    Those wires arent coming off the transformer.

    Whats the mystery?

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    DIY Senior Member Rich B's Avatar
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    Very interesting...never saw one of those. Is there a main breaker after the meter and before the panel? If there is not than the only way to shut off power to the panel is to pull the meter........
    Last edited by Rich B; 02-03-2011 at 11:28 AM.

  7. #7
    Electrical Contractor Jim Port's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ballvalve View Post
    Seems to me he simply walks to the meter panel that feeds this and reads the breaker rating.

    Those wires arent coming off the transformer.

    Whats the mystery?
    If this is a split buss panel, like several suspect, there is no breaker ahead of this panel.

  8. #8
    Licensed Electrical Contractor Speedy Petey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ballvalve View Post
    Seems to me he simply walks to the meter panel that feeds this and reads the breaker rating.
    A) Very few places have a main outside by the meter.

    B) You obviously have never seen a split-buss panel.

  9. #9
    Licensed Electrical Contractor Speedy Petey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich B View Post
    Very interesting...never saw one of those. Is there a main breaker after the meter and before the panel? If there is not than the only way to shut off power to the panel is to pull the meter........
    No, the way to shut off power is to throw the (typically) four or six mains.

  10. #10
    DIY Senior Member Rich B's Avatar
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    Answering the last 2 posts......My house is a 2 family. 1 service, 2 meters. Panle number 1 is just inside from the meter panel outside. Main breaker is inside in the panel.......Panel number 2 is on the other side of the house some 35 feet away. Main breaker for panel number 2 is in a weatherproof enclosure just below the meter pan.......So an outside breaker is not all that rare to me anyway and I believe it was done properly when installed in 1978.And as far as turning the breakers off to de-energize the panel in the split buss panel....yes I am aware of what opening the breakers will do.......I was thinking about being able to de-energize the panel completely.

  11. #11
    DIY Senior Member Rich B's Avatar
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    Deleted by jwelectric duplicate post
    Last edited by jwelectric; 02-03-2011 at 07:08 PM.

  12. #12
    DIY Senior Member Rich B's Avatar
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    Deleted by jwelectric duplicate post
    Last edited by jwelectric; 02-03-2011 at 07:09 PM. Reason: double post

  13. #13
    DIY Senior Member Rich B's Avatar
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    Website seems to ignore my attempts to remove multiple posts.....I tried to delete them...

  14. #14
    Licensed Electrical Contractor Speedy Petey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich B View Post
    .......Panel number 2 is on the other side of the house some 35 feet away. Main breaker for panel number 2 is in a weatherproof enclosure just below the meter pan.......So an outside breaker is not all that rare to me ..............
    I was referring to requiring an outside disconnect as mandatory. What you have is standard anywhere in the country if the panel is that far into the structure.

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    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    Hereabouts, every house and mobile home I ever saw feeds a subpanel in the house from a remote drop or underground line that has a meter and disconnect on the pole or post. And usually a space for a few breakers for the well.

    You guys are suggesting that the feed to this panel comes from a remote meter without a breaker on the feed wire?

    A) Very few places have a main outside by the meter
    Never saw one without it here. You would run unprotected wires 50 or 200 feet from the meter to a subpanel???
    Last edited by ballvalve; 02-04-2011 at 10:06 AM.

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