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Old 01-16-2009, 02:45 PM   #1
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adding more breakers, few ??


I have added some pics of my current panel in the basement. I do not know the age of the panel, but it obviously has been updated since the build of the house, 1903. I am wanting to rewire the first floor with the next few months, and plan on putting the living room(four outlets) on its own 20amp circuit, the dining room(three circuits) on its own 20 amp, and giving my microwave its own 20 amp circuit..from the pictures, is that going to be feasible? I have heard that you want to even out the two sides of the panel, as far as amps added up per breaker. thanks in advance.









sorry for the crappy pictures, the wife always has the camera with her

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Old 01-16-2009, 02:50 PM   #2
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adding more breakers, few ??


making each side even makes no sense. The actual amps (power usage) is the only determination of load. And on a single phase system there is no need to do this. We balance loads on three phase systems so we can underrate the size of the neutral. Yes you can add the circuits you stated with no issues. Check the panel label. It will tell you the total number of circuits you can have. but with empty spaces shown you have no problem.

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Old 01-16-2009, 02:59 PM   #3
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adding more breakers, few ??


so from what I can tell from the panel label, which states 24 max breaker pols, I can use spot 5 6 7 14 15, is that correct...can those all be used as 20 am if necessary? also from the pictures, am I going to have a hard time finding breakers for this panel?
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Old 01-16-2009, 03:05 PM   #4
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adding more breakers, few ??


Man I can't really help you, but have you determined that your Federal Pacific panel is safe?

http://www.ismypanelsafe.com/fpe.aspx
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Old 01-16-2009, 03:08 PM   #5
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adding more breakers, few ??


well ****, wasn't looking to have to think about that...errrrr, now i'm starting to doubt the home inspection we got back in 06, b/c nothing was said about the panel not being potentially safe...
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Old 01-16-2009, 03:15 PM   #6
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adding more breakers, few ??


well can I have some reccomendations on what would be a good panel to replace mine with?? no reason to really upgrade to 200 amp service..I am not going to be doing any remodeling in my home or needing that extra umph.
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Old 01-16-2009, 03:51 PM   #7
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adding more breakers, few ??


That is a split bus panel, so positions 6&7 are reserved for a double pole breaker. You have room to add two slim single pole breakers at positions 14 & 15 and both could be 20A if required.

But I would follow the advise of others and have this panel replaced. Most anything available today is better and safer than the old FPE panels.
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Old 01-16-2009, 03:55 PM   #8
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adding more breakers, few ??


so double pole breakers are just larger in size, correct?..so that would give me 4 extra breakers total, 6 7 14 15...in looking for a new panel, should I follow the single phase like the one I currently have? I am no electrician, but switching over to a new panel is something I feel i can handle, just take my time I would think, or should I always leave that to a pro
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Old 01-16-2009, 04:42 PM   #9
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adding more breakers, few ??


Don't panic, there are replacement breakers that will fit the panel. The Canadian Federal Pioneer breakers should fit that panel. I'm not sure if these have a UL listing though. They may only be CE, but that really shouldn't be a problem.

But, if you can afford it, go for an upgrade to a nice Square D or Siemens box.
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Old 01-16-2009, 05:28 PM   #10
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adding more breakers, few ??


ok, Square D or Siemens was what I was looking for, is it ok to get one from a big box store? what is the norm for the number of breakers a box has, I seen alot of 20 and a couple 30's...i'm sure the price goes up quick when buying breakers for the boxes..
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Old 01-16-2009, 06:42 PM   #11
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adding more breakers, few ??


Is your main feed 125a?
If so you may want to installed a 200a panel & feed it with 125a
That will give you plenty of room for breakers
And if an upgrade is needed in the future - 1 less thing to buy
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Old 01-16-2009, 07:04 PM   #12
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adding more breakers, few ??


FPE?



From the Inspect-ny website
"Do not simply replace individual FPE Stab-Lok circuit breakers: first of all, there is no data suggesting that new stock, replacement FPE breakers, or "new old stock" FPE breakers found in storage somewhere perform any better than the ones already in the FPE Stab-lok panel. Second, there are other functional and safety concerns in the panel besides the breakers themselves. We've seen panel bus damage, panel bus meltdowns, and failure of breakers to remain secured in or onto the connecting bus itself."
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Old 01-17-2009, 10:31 AM   #13
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adding more breakers, few ??


well that is a bit scary!! would hate to see that ever in my lifetime..

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