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#11771 - 07/22/02 08:33 AM Circuit distribution. (or... high is high, or low)
Redsy Offline

Registered: 03/28/01
Posts: 2138
Loc: Bucks County PA
When terminating homeruns in a breaker panel, do you install all your higher rated breakers at the uppermost, or lowermost positions.


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#11772 - 07/22/02 09:11 AM Re: Circuit distribution. (or... high is high, or low)
elektrikguy Offline

Registered: 05/25/02
Posts: 133
Loc: woodstock,ga,usa
Our panels come preloaded with breakers bolted in position as per the panel schedules on the engineered prints. Kinda nice that way.

#11773 - 07/22/02 09:12 AM Re: Circuit distribution. (or... high is high, or low)
sparky66wv Offline

Registered: 11/17/00
Posts: 2342
Loc: West Virginia
Yep, not always, but usually:

11)KITCHEN 2 12)BATH 1
17)Bedroom AFCI 18)LIGHTS
19)Bedroom AFCI 20)LIGHTS
etc. etc.

Depending upon the loads and the job at hand...

I guess I want the Main bus to handle the least amount of current as possible. Putting higher loaded breakers near the top makes less of the bus heat up... That and I try to keep the kitchen circuits and other like circuits together.

<diclaimer>JMHO and my own theory, which could be greatly flawed. </disclaimer>

(Edited to repair an incomplete sentence...)

[This message has been edited by sparky66wv (edited 07-23-2002).]
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#11774 - 07/22/02 02:15 PM Re: Circuit distribution. (or... high is high, or low)
pauluk Offline

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
Most people here install new panels with the highest rated C/Bs next to the main and then in descending order of current rating.

There's no requirement to do it that way, and extra circuits usually just get added in any convenient space.

#11775 - 07/22/02 03:43 PM Re: Circuit distribution. (or... high is high, or low)
Electricmanscott Offline

Registered: 01/12/02
Posts: 1478
Loc: Holden, MA USA
I am wondering if this is really an issue. The bus is usually rated to handle the load and then some unless it is an unusual installation. I myself try not to put heavy loads back to back. Most panels are rated for maximum load per stab now and I am surprised at what the ratings are. Usually pretty high.

#11776 - 07/22/02 04:04 PM Re: Circuit distribution. (or... high is high, or low)
electure Offline


Registered: 12/24/00
Posts: 4229
Loc: Fullerton, CA USA
Lighting c/b's at the top.
I always put the heaviest loads as close as I can to the incoming power (why stress the buss?)
BTW, I normally deal with panels that aren't resi setups.
They'll always start looking at the top. That gives them some lights to find the problem.

#11777 - 07/23/02 04:31 AM Re: Circuit distribution. (or... high is high, or low)
jes Offline

Registered: 07/12/02
Posts: 103
Loc: CT
Concentrating highest load circuits at the top would seem to do two things...places the largest heat generators together, and since heat rises, puts them in a naturally warmer location in the panel. Any other reasons for doing this?? Bad experiences distributing them along the buses??

#11778 - 07/23/02 07:56 AM Re: Circuit distribution. (or... high is high, or low)
ElectricAL Offline

Registered: 10/10/01
Posts: 615
Loc: Minneapolis, MN USA

I like your panel arrangement.

When I apprenticed, seems like the majority of the panels I made up were "split-bus". The goal there was to get all the big loads on their own breakers, that counted as service disconnects, and to get the big loads off the "lighting main".

As I got further in my engineering studies, I continued to put the large loads close to the line terminations to help minimize the I²R heat generated in the panel.

The shorter the distance the large current travels inside the box, the less heat will be created by the resistance of the path.

Al Hildenbrand

#11779 - 07/24/02 12:47 AM Re: Circuit distribution. (or... high is high, or low)
joeh20 Offline

Registered: 03/21/02
Posts: 95
Loc: Tullahoma, TN, 37388
Monday I pulled a 50 amp double pole for a an AC condensor of off 40/42 in a 30 year old GTE panel, the busses looked like cast aluminum, the breaker was really hot and you could hear it arcing on the buss. I had 50 amp from the range as they were going to gas, and it was on 36/38. I pop it out and went to 5/7 and relanded the AC there,
water heater 1/3 sub feed for garage 2/4
AC condensor 5/7 dryer 6/8
fridgerator 9 washer 10
dishwasher 11 kitchen recepts 12
kitchen recept13 kitchen recepts 14
general lite 15 general lites 16
bath one 17 bath two 18
bath three 19 bedroom one 20
bedroom two 21 bedroom three 22
living room 23 storage room 24
sunroom 25 outside lites 26
Lighting the way

#11780 - 07/24/02 08:09 AM Re: Circuit distribution. (or... high is high, or low)
George Offline

Registered: 02/23/02
Posts: 380
I don't think that heat or electric stress is important.

I arrange them by use.

My main panel has a group of breakers for subpanels, a group for the HVAC, a group for large appliances, a group for the exterior, and a group for the garage the main is located in. There are empty spaces between the groups.

There are subpanels for my detached shop, the west bedrooms and baths, the living and kitchen, and the east bedrooms and baths.

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