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#64557 - 04/10/06 03:08 PM 200 Amp Panel With 4.....
Cinner Offline
Member

Registered: 12/01/04
Posts: 77
Loc: Kelowna, B.C., Canada
My home panel has a main breaker 200 amp, but it is 4 breakers (4 x 200 amp)with at tie bar....shouldn't it just be a 2 pole?

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#64558 - 04/10/06 03:16 PM Re: 200 Amp Panel With 4.....
iwire Offline
Moderator

Registered: 01/05/03
Posts: 4343
Loc: North Attleboro, MA USA
What you have is very likely a GE panel.

The breakers are actually four single pole 100 amp breakers rigged with an internal common trip mechanism and set up in such a way that two 100s are paralleled on each phase giving a total ampacity of 200 amps per phase.

I have this very panel in my own house.

[This message has been edited by iwire (edited 04-10-2006).]
_________________________
Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician
Massachusetts

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#64559 - 04/10/06 03:34 PM Re: 200 Amp Panel With 4.....
Cinner Offline
Member

Registered: 12/01/04
Posts: 77
Loc: Kelowna, B.C., Canada
Yes they are GE.

Why does GE do this versus using 2 of 200 amp breakers?

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#64560 - 04/10/06 03:39 PM Re: 200 Amp Panel With 4.....
iwire Offline
Moderator

Registered: 01/05/03
Posts: 4343
Loc: North Attleboro, MA USA
I can only imagine it is cheaper.
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Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician
Massachusetts

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#64561 - 04/10/06 04:48 PM Re: 200 Amp Panel With 4.....
caselec Offline
Member

Registered: 04/14/02
Posts: 557
Loc: San Jose, CA
The first manufacture I remember doing this was ITE (Siemens). GE and Square D (Homeline) must have liked the idea since they started doing the same thing.

curt
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#64562 - 04/10/06 04:50 PM Re: 200 Amp Panel With 4.....
Redsy Offline
Member

Registered: 03/28/01
Posts: 2138
Loc: Bucks County PA
Seimens used to do it also. Circa 1990.

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#64563 - 04/10/06 06:15 PM Re: 200 Amp Panel With 4.....
e57 Offline
Member

Registered: 05/27/03
Posts: 2837
Loc: S.F.,CA USA
If you look at max sum of breaker stab, it may be below 200A. Many of the stab ons are rated at 145-165 max sum of each stab, due to either the reduced contact area of that type of breaker, or the way the buss-work is cut and bent, might reduce cross-section.

GE has a really small contact area on stab breakers.
Murray/Siemens have reduced cross-section.
Older CH, and SqD QO just dont have either to make higher amperage CBs work out without burning the busswork.
Newer CH have bigger greased pads for contact on the stab in CBs in the 50 to 200 range.

Our PM just found out the hard way about this very issue, trying to get a 320/400 MM w/ 200A and another 200 out of the 200 distribution portion of a 20/40 in the same panel. (165A Max sum per stab)

FYI If you need CBs for feeders in the 100 -200 range you may be better off with bolt on's.
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Mark Heller
"Well - I oughta....." -Jackie Gleason

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#64564 - 04/10/06 08:39 PM Re: 200 Amp Panel With 4.....
Larry Fine Offline
Member

Registered: 02/18/05
Posts: 684
Loc: Richmond, VA
Some tears back, an engineer explained to me that the 4-section GE main breaker is comprised of two currect-sensing sections (like a 2-pole, 200a breaker) and two parallel contact-only sections (sort of like fully-rated auxillary contacts) for lower overall contact resistance.
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Larry Fine
Fine Electric Co.
fineelectricco.com

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#64565 - 04/11/06 01:49 AM Re: 200 Amp Panel With 4.....
iwire Offline
Moderator

Registered: 01/05/03
Posts: 4343
Loc: North Attleboro, MA USA
Larry I bet he was guessing.
_________________________
Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician
Massachusetts

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