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Old 07-17-2011, 08:16 PM   #1
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100 amp breaker box


just searching the web for some answers to a problem I have with a breaker panel and saw your website - wondered if you could give me some suggestions about my situation. I moved into a small cottage that was built - probably in the early 1980s. The main panel is 100 amps but the bus bar is so small, only has 12 slots and I need more. I can do installs on fixtures, wiring and getting that sort of job done but have never tackled any panel or subpanel work. I want to put in a washer and dryer but have no slots for this. Can I put in a 100 amp subpanel off the main, taking out 2 of the current breakers for feeding the subpanel, and then have some breakers in the subpanel to work with? It would be much easier to just take out the old panel and put in a 200 amp, or possibly just a larger bus bar in the existing box (?) but the box looks like a snake pit with wires everywhere spliced into the breakers so I am not wanting to do that. I also can't pay for an electrician to do the work, and am told I'd need to get the electric company to turn off the power so I could do the box change, none of this is feasible for me. What do you think is the best approach? Thanks in advance for your help. see some images of the situation here:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/65318891@N02/?saved=1

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Old 07-17-2011, 08:27 PM   #2
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Was this place inspected for electrical? Are you renting, or own the property in question? I lost count of the number of violations in that panel, even though it is a Split bus.

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Old 07-17-2011, 08:36 PM   #3
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Was this place inspected for electrical? Are you renting, or own the property in question? I lost count of the number of violations in that panel, even though it is a Split bus.
That is not a split bus panel.
It is a 100 amp main breaker with 12 slots.
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Old 07-17-2011, 08:44 PM   #4
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I could not tell, due to the spaghetti mess in there, along with the disconnected Neutral or Ground taped up with electrical tape, that appears to be hanging in the air, along with another wire.
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Old 07-17-2011, 08:50 PM   #5
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You could simply replace the "guts" with a 20-circuit unit. That would give you an extra 8 more spaces without having to rip out the entire enclosure and starting over.

I might have a few of those lying around the shop ... PM me if you are interested....
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Old 07-17-2011, 09:55 PM   #6
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Here is a 20-circuit guts, without any breakers installed. If you count the buss bars, you would think it's a 24-circuit guts, but the main takes 4 spaces, leaving 20 for the branch circuits.

Notice the main breaker retaining clips on each side.

This would fit into your 12-circuit enclosure, since the boxes were all the same size in those days.

The whole assembly attaches with just 2 nuts, at the top and bottom.
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Old 07-18-2011, 07:13 AM   #7
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hey kbsparky, thanks for the picture and info on the unit. i am still new to this chatroom and need to find out how to PM you as I am very interested in the unit and want to get the details. can you send me a pm and ill respond? thanks!!
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Old 07-18-2011, 07:21 AM   #8
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The system has rejected my attempt to send you a PM. Either you have blocked them in your personal settings, or you may not be eligible due to insufficient message activity.

Check your panel cover and see if there is provision for additional circuits. We may have to get you a new cover as well.
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Old 07-18-2011, 10:36 AM   #9
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I'm new to this site as well, I believe you don't have the privilege to receive or send pm until you are a member for a specific about of time. I think its because of spammers.

hope that helps.
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Old 07-21-2011, 12:50 PM   #10
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Here is a 20-circuit guts, without any breakers installed. If you count the buss bars, you would think it's a 24-circuit guts, but the main takes 4 spaces, leaving 20 for the branch circuits.

Notice the main breaker retaining clips on each side.

This would fit into your 12-circuit enclosure, since the boxes were all the same size in those days.

The whole assembly attaches with just 2 nuts, at the top and bottom.
how much would you charge for this?
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Old 07-21-2011, 12:51 PM   #11
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here's one other possibility, I have a line that should be 240 going to a baseboard heater (which I've removed as it needed to be replaced) so would it be possible to split this, one line to the dryer and the other to the heater, and just turn off the heater when running the dryer? thanks for your help...
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Old 07-21-2011, 04:32 PM   #12
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how much would you charge for this?
You can have it for $30 including shipping.
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Old 07-21-2011, 04:34 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by perseuspowers View Post
here's one other possibility, I have a line that should be 240 going to a baseboard heater (which I've removed as it needed to be replaced) so would it be possible to split this, one line to the dryer and the other to the heater, and just turn off the heater when running the dryer? thanks for your help...
Most likely not, since the BB heater would usually be on a 15 or 20 Amp circuit, while the dryer is on a 30 Amp circuit. You would also need a double-throw switch to prevent the loads from operating simultaneously.

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