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#113767 - 09/27/02 09:07 PM Topic: >> Unsuitable Equipment  
Admin  Offline

Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 3,447
This is a situation where a previous Homeowner had replaced their old 100A service panelboard with this (BTW, didn't change service cable) What are your comments, concerns and recommendations?

[Linked Image]

Tools for Electricians:

#113768 - 09/27/02 09:31 PM Re: Topic: >> Unsuitable Equipment  
TheRodge  Offline
Junior Member
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 6
Gillett, WI
It appears the homeowner used a 3-phase panel on a single phase feed (I just love the jumper between the middle and right lugs). The panel board is also everyone's favorite brand - FPE.

Unless it is elsewhere, I also don't see a main breaker.

#113769 - 09/27/02 09:52 PM Re: Topic: >> Unsuitable Equipment  
Bill Addiss  Offline
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 3,878

Welcome to ECN!
You picked up the main points here. This is still connected to a threadbare 100A capacity service cable too. The previous owner likely picked this out of the Trash where he worked and brought it home.

What advice would you give the new owners of this house and how would you justify it?


#113770 - 09/27/02 10:48 PM Re: Topic: >> Unsuitable Equipment  
txsparky  Offline
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 552
Magnolia,.Texas U.S.A.
The panel is being used in a way its not designed for.There are twice as many circuits on one phase than the other.The lugs are not designed for 2 wires.Can't relly make out the breaker size as opposed to wire size.At least 1 open k.o.


#113771 - 09/27/02 11:01 PM Re: Topic: >> Unsuitable Equipment  
Currently  Offline
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 53
Point out FPN's glorious safety record.
Tell them that those new solid state appliances they have will love those spikes and surges they are getting without a main disconnect. (not to mention FPN's reliable and sensitive performance [Linked Image] )
The cost and aggravation of finding FPN breakers will more than make up the price of a SqD Homeline 200 amp kit.

Or we can mention the reaction of the city inspector walking by the panel and red tagging it. I don't see a grandfather in this clause!

Also, I pray to God there is a Main Breaker close to the meter! Or judging from the threadbare service cable, shall I assume 60 amp cartridge fuses?

[This message has been edited by Currently (edited 09-27-2002).]

#113772 - 09/27/02 11:08 PM Re: Topic: >> Unsuitable Equipment  
Currently  Offline
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 53
Is that an 8 gauge solid ground I see creeping out of that box on the right going up?

BTW, what is the home inspector for the new homeowner doing in this story?

#113773 - 09/27/02 11:47 PM Re: Topic: >> Unsuitable Equipment  
Bill Addiss  Offline
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 3,878

No, there is no main at all anywhere. I don't know if there was a Home Inspector involved prior to resale, but that was several years ago anyway. They apparently had some trust in the former owner because he was an Engineer (let us not go down that road) and did not see any immediate concerns here even after hearing what I had to say.

This was found during a Kitchen Remodel I was brought in on awhile ago. When I found out that all the kitchen outlets + Bathroom outlet + Dining Rm and some in the Living Rm, hall & outside lt were on 1 circuit I recommended some new wiring be pulled in while the walls were open. It would have been rather easy since the Panel was below and only about 15 ft away. The wiring was cloth-covered 2-wire with a separate (smaller gauge) aluminum ground wire.

To make a long story short the walls were closed back up with only a new dishwasher and microwave circuit added. And the service was not touched. After paying for the $1500.00 countertop (6' long) there just wasn't enough money left in the budget to do anything else. How can you argue with that?


#113774 - 09/27/02 11:56 PM Re: Topic: >> Unsuitable Equipment  
Bill Addiss  Offline
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 3,878
To pick a subject here;

What can be said about the brand of panel here that would not be considered as heresay or evoke accusations of using 'scare tactics' ?

What are the facts that can be stated?


Another topic;

There is no Main breaker here. What does that mean? What are the Concerns, Is that dangerous? What are the Code Violations?


#113775 - 09/29/02 09:28 AM Re: Topic: >> Unsuitable Equipment  
Texas_Ranger  Offline
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 2,399
Vienna, Austria
Is this a green wire going up to the last single pole on the right?
Or is it blue?
Anyway, what does it do here? It doesn't belong there according to ANY code all around the world I know.

#113776 - 09/29/02 08:28 PM Re: Topic: >> Unsuitable Equipment  
Fred  Offline
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 449
Straughn, IN 47387
When I get a service call from someone having trouble with a Zinsco or FPE panel or breaker I don't usually go in to how bad they are in my opinion. I focus on the expense of replacement breakers and rationalize that replacing 8-10 breakers is more money than buying an ITE 200A contractor pack with a copper buss and an assortment of breakers. I get calls quite often where a Zinsco breaker won't turn off or half of the main breaker goes dead intermitently(sp?)or where someone bought a Zinsco breaker at the hardware store in town(about $45.00) and when they pulled the old one out part of the buss came with it. The FPE problem calls are pretty much what everyone has heard before. The customer took the cover off and half of the breakers fell out and dangled by the branch wires. I try not to scare customers into doing the right thing but when it does become necessary to emphasize the potential danger of a situation I always give them the name and number of at least 2 other local electricians for second opinions. I don't want anyone to think I'm trying to scare them out of their money.

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