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Old 02-21-2008, 12:55 AM   #1
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Attempting to re-wire whole house


In my breaker box I have (6) Tandem/Duplex 20/A 20/A breakers and no single pole breakers. I'm not 100% sure if I can leave it like this. Currently I have all 12/2 (with ground) wiring going from these breakers. THEN in the attic there are junction boxes with 14/2 cloth wiring (no ground) going to my lights and some appliances. I am going to correct this but right now still unsure if the tandem/duplex setup is safe.

Picture here http://i27.tinypic.com/a2gpqg.jpg

Thanks in advance for any help.

Ray Ross

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Old 02-21-2008, 01:36 AM   #2
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Attempting to re-wire whole house


You are fine. I would consider replacing that old square d panel some day.
You actually have single pole breakers at the bottom.. The ones you see with the two toggles on them are two single poles on the same frame using the same bus stab. The big wide ones in the top half are your double poles.

Do you have a main disconnect that is located somewhere else besides this panel? The 70 amp double pole at the top right I think is a branch breaker to somewhere based on the service entrance wire sizes I see coming up the left side of the panel . It would be nice to see the upper half of this panel...maybe post another pic?

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Old 02-21-2008, 01:50 AM   #3
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Attempting to re-wire whole house


Appreciate the quick response, http://i28.tinypic.com/11ui9ac.jpg. Thats the whole thing. Im an aircraft electrician, learned everything about home wiring right here on the forums.

I do have 2 more questions:

I'm thinking none of those breakers are AFCI, maybe I should grab one for the bedroom?

In an unfinished attic with insulation. Can I just put a junction box on top or on the side of a joist? Or do I need a guard board 1X4? Or a 2X4 to make it stick out?
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Old 02-21-2008, 09:11 PM   #4
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Attempting to re-wire whole house


rj, I agree with Stubbie that eventually the old panel should be swapped out. I'm not really hip on requirements for installing NM cable, as it is not allowed where I live. As to your AFCI question it depends on the locality. Many times a certain percentage of work, say 60% of the space is remodelled, you'll need to bring up the entire building to code. Other than that, neutral and grounding are the only thing (I think) that need to be updated.

I was looking at the photo and saw what looked to be a scorch mark on the neutral feeder. Is that just a quirk in the shot, or is there damage?
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Old 02-21-2008, 09:59 PM   #5
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Attempting to re-wire whole house


I'm going to venture a guess that whoever did this upgrade, didn't have combination 15/15 or 15/20 tandems, and that is why you ended up with #14 awg on 20a breakers. You should determine how many of these circuits have ANY #14 on them, and replace those breakers with the proper 15a.

Other than that issue, this is a 200a Square D panel, (And a darn good one at that) and it looks to me to be in fine shape. You do not need to replace it just because it isn't brand new and pretty.

I am curious as to what the 70a 2-pole breaker is for?
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Old 02-21-2008, 10:49 PM   #6
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I'm betting the 70 amp is for a furnace.
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Old 02-22-2008, 06:45 PM   #7
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Attempting to re-wire whole house


Wow, thanks for the input fellas. I followed the 70A Double Pole Breaker, and to my surprise.... I found a sub-panel in the far dark corner in the attic. I was just working with the 20A tandem breakers, so I didn't even want to mess with the big daddy double poles.

I did buy 15a square d breakers at lowes, for like $3 a piece and and going through all the wiring with 14 gauge. Thanks for the help again fellas.
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Old 02-22-2008, 07:32 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goose134 View Post
rj, I agree with Stubbie that eventually the old panel should be swapped out. I'm not really hip on requirements for installing NM cable, as it is not allowed where I live. As to your AFCI question it depends on the locality. Many times a certain percentage of work, say 60% of the space is remodelled, you'll need to bring up the entire building to code. Other than that, neutral and grounding are the only thing (I think) that need to be updated.

I was looking at the photo and saw what looked to be a scorch mark on the neutral feeder. Is that just a quirk in the shot, or is there damage?
Good eyes, It appears to be some white paint, all the rubber coating is still in tact.

Last edited by rjross2086; 02-22-2008 at 07:38 PM.
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Old 02-22-2008, 11:33 PM   #9
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Attempting to re-wire whole house


Quote:
Originally Posted by jbfan View Post
I'm betting the 70 amp is for a furnace.
Or not!

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