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#27177 - 07/03/03 10:21 PM What would it hurt?  
Electric Eagle  Offline
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 914
Alpharetta, GA
What would it hurt to add 1 or 2 tandem breakers in a 200 amp 40 circuit panel. There's plenty of room for neutrals and grounds. It won't overload the buss, it would be perfectly code acceptable to put 1 or even 2 or 3 - 100 amp sub panel off the same buss, so what does it hurt to squeeze in one more circuit rather than forcing a customer to pay for a sub panel? Don't just point out code referrences that disallow it, but the real harm it could cause. Thanks.

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#27178 - 07/03/03 10:33 PM Re: What would it hurt?  
golf junkie  Offline
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 507
York, NE
We do it all the time. If we don't our competition will and I don't consider it a safety issue.


#27179 - 07/03/03 10:36 PM Re: What would it hurt?  
sparky  Offline
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 5,311
what would it hurt?

if we expose the NEC as a document of arbitrary bench marks with flimsey rationale to substaintiate it, the NFPA may fold like a cheap K-mart table..

the trade as we know it will cease to exist

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#27180 - 07/03/03 11:28 PM Re: What would it hurt?  
Electric Eagle  Offline
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 914
Alpharetta, GA
Well Sparky, What good is the NEC if they have black and white rules that sometimes aren't safety issues. I think the NEC is needed and without it and licensing we would have a lot of unsafe conditions created. But an answer basically saying the NEC is the law, right or wrong, and we should abide doesn't cut it with me. Do you ever go a little faster than the speed limit when you drive?

#27181 - 07/04/03 07:17 AM Re: What would it hurt?  
ga.sparky56  Offline
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 558
young harris georgia usa
The question in my mind would be where would the line be drawn,and who would draw it?

If you could add 1 or 2 why not 3 or 4?

Btw Eagle, I read an article in the AJC that said a DOT study showed that the average speed on I-285 was 85 mph. That would meanroughly 50% are going over 85 mph.

That tells me that if there were no limits,some would have a lot more than 1 or 2 tandems if they could get away with it. Just mho.


[This message has been edited by ga.sparky56 (edited 07-04-2003).]

#27182 - 07/04/03 07:42 AM Re: What would it hurt?  
Electricmanscott  Offline
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 1,457
Holden, MA USA
Quite simply, absolutely nothing.

#27183 - 07/04/03 09:33 AM Re: What would it hurt?  
Electric Eagle  Offline
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 914
Alpharetta, GA
I do agree that you have to draw a line somewhere, but I see more harm in putting 5 - 100 amp sub panels off 1 - 200 amp service than adding 2 circuits to a 40 circuit panel. Yet the 5 sub panels would be allowed.

#27184 - 07/04/03 10:35 AM Re: What would it hurt?  
PCBelarge  Offline
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 681
Dobbs Ferry, NY, USA
The 2 sparky's have, IMHO given very good answers, especially the 1st one.
Scott, I also think you are right about the bus, but another reason to think about is the gutter space. Sometimes trying to find where a wire leads to in a panel is dificult at best and unsafe, also heat dissipation is a consideration, and the manufacturers have only tested their panels to these specs.
One of the hard parts of being a concerned contractor is the consideration of a customers needs (including financial).
If you have 42 existing circuits, and you need 1 or 2 more the dilema is, new subpanel or twin breakers. It can be a tough decision, only you can make.
I will ask one more thing - What separates the professional from the nonprofessional?


Pierre Belarge

#27185 - 07/04/03 12:24 PM Re: What would it hurt?  
electure  Offline

Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 4,260
Fullerton, CA USA
The average residential panel is generally so lightly loaded at any one time that I don't see it as much of a safety issue. The load on the bus is only going to change by the amount of additional things put on it.
You could put 20 subpanels in a 40 circuit panel, and not increase the load at all.
Eagle, is there a reason that you can't increase the # to 42 anyway??
Commercial work could be a completely different story, however.

#27186 - 07/04/03 04:30 PM Re: What would it hurt?  
Electricmanscott  Offline
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 1,457
Holden, MA USA
Electure, I have never seen a residential type panel that allows more than 40 circuits.

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