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Old 10-20-2007, 07:21 AM   #1
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Breaker Panel configuration


I have a 20 space, 40 circuit 200A breaker panel that I installed. I have alot of spare breakers that I wanted to use instead of buying new and they are both the 1/2 slot and full slot variety. The 1/2 slot two pole breakers (one slot total) end up on a 1/2 slot offset because of the need to hit both phases. When looking at the full panel, the switch handles don't line up left/right due to this 1/2 slot variation. Silly perhaps but it bugs me. So A) is it okay to leave it and B) are there some tricks of the trade to even them out? I have plenty of spares, so can I just install empty 1/2 slot on the alternate side to even it up?

Which also leads me to my next question....Can I populate the entire panel with breakers even though many will have no connection? Spares, so to speak?

Edited to correct my mistake of listing it as a 40 space panel. It's a 20 space, 40 circuit. Sorry.

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Last edited by robertmee; 10-20-2007 at 03:55 PM.
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Old 10-20-2007, 08:11 AM   #2
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Breaker Panel configuration


First off, what brand of panel is this? Can I assume GE?

Second, you are unhappy with the fact that the handles don't line up??? Wow! I though I was anal. My rough-ins are extremely neat and they are covered with sheetrock the next day.

I wouldn't give it a second thought.

If it still bugs you post the name and model of your panel.

And yes, you can fill the panel with "spare" breakers. This is done commercially all the time.

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Old 10-20-2007, 11:29 AM   #3
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Breaker Panel configuration


If it is a 40 full slot panel you can't use those 1/2 size breakers. That would allow the installtion of more than the 42 breakers limit in the NEC.

1/2 size/twin breakers do not need to be installed to hit both legs unless you are running multi wire circuits or need 240 volts.
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Old 10-20-2007, 11:51 AM   #4
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Breaker Panel configuration


You can fill one side of the panel with breakers and leave the other side empty and still have a fully balanced panelboard.
Stay away from the "piggy back breakers"! As mentioned this could lead to installing more than 42 circuits allowed.
If you have any open slots on the cover, make sure you cover them with the manufacturers blanks or equivalent.
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Old 10-20-2007, 11:59 AM   #5
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Breaker Panel configuration


Yes, it is a GE panel (TM2020CCU). I'm nowhere near 40 breakers, as only a few are the 1/2 slot variety. It just happens that the two pole 220V 30A I'm using is a single slot total, but since it has to catch both legs of the panel, it starts 1/2 slot down from the the full size breakers I'm using.

And yes, I admit, I'm extremely anal.

Last edited by robertmee; 10-20-2007 at 12:02 PM.
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Old 10-20-2007, 12:43 PM   #6
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Breaker Panel configuration


Even tho you are nowhere near the limit on the number of breakers you panel probably is not listed for use with tandems. This would be creating a Code violation by not using materials in a manner consistent in which they were listed.
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Old 10-20-2007, 01:18 PM   #7
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Breaker Panel configuration


Robertmee- If the panel(which i'm hoping Stubbie is lookin up and will provide a link to) Is a 40 space, 40 circuit panel, and not a 30 or 20 space, 40 circuit panel, then you are going to have the electrical police breaking down your door . If you would like to make your panel look neat and line up correctly, THEN GET THE RIGHT FRIKKIN BREAKERS!!!
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Old 10-20-2007, 02:30 PM   #8
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Breaker Panel configuration


This is a 20 Slot, 40 Circuit Panel.

I looked up the data sheet for the panel and it says:

200 Amp Main
18 1 pole 1 Space
10 2 pole 1 Space
40 1 pole 1/2 Space
18 2 pole 1/2 Space
40 Total 1 Pole Spaces

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Old 10-20-2007, 02:38 PM   #9
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Breaker Panel configuration


Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy in ATL View Post
Robertmee- If the panel(which i'm hoping Stubbie is lookin up and will provide a link to) Is a 40 space, 40 circuit panel, and not a 30 or 20 space, 40 circuit panel, then you are going to have the electrical police breaking down your door . If you would like to make your panel look neat and line up correctly, THEN GET THE RIGHT FRIKKIN BREAKERS!!!
It's a 20 space, 40 circuit panel.

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Old 10-20-2007, 04:27 PM   #10
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Breaker Panel configuration


In that case, simply shut off the main and shift the breakers so that they line up.
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Old 10-20-2007, 05:09 PM   #11
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Breaker Panel configuration


There's no power, yet...New service.

I can't shift the breakers up...That's the problem. Here's an example:

From the top

Left side: Two pole, Two Space 30A breaker for Dryer
Right side: Two pole, Two space 50A breaker for Range

They Match

Next

Left Side: Two pole, One space 30A breaker for Water Heater
Right Side: One Pole, One space 20A breaker for General Outlets

They don't match because the Two pole 220V breaker on the left must hit both legs and to do so the breaker fits in a notch on the mounting bar to ensure that it does. This notch is 1/2 slot down, leaving a 1/2 slot space between it and the above two space 30A breaker for the Dryer. It is the way that the buss bar clips are arranged that forces this.

So, the end result is that this two pole, one space breaker is 1/2 space further down than the adjacent breaker on the right which is a one pole one space breaker. That either leaves a 1/2 slot space or I fill it with an unused 1/2 space breaker.

I think for sanity sake, I'm just going to buy a 2 space, 2 pole 30A breaker and be done with it. I never liked those 1/2 spacers anyway.

Last edited by robertmee; 10-20-2007 at 05:19 PM.
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Old 10-20-2007, 06:36 PM   #12
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Breaker Panel configuration


You really have no choice then. Those GE "skinny" two-pole breakers use a "half" space down or up from a single pole full size breaker, if that makes any sense.
So any skinny two-pole will always be 1/2 space off from ANY full size breakers.
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Old 10-20-2007, 06:47 PM   #13
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Shoulda bought a real mans panel (40 space).
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Old 10-20-2007, 06:48 PM   #14
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Breaker Panel configuration


Why does anybody install a G.E. 200 amp 20 circuit panel ??????
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Old 10-20-2007, 08:26 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobelectric View Post
Why does anybody install a G.E. 200 amp 20 circuit panel ??????
Because A) it's cheap, B) this is in a 900 sq foot bungalow which doesn't need alot of breakers, and C) it's temporary as it is slated to be torn down in 5 years when we build our retirement home. We bought it for the lot. The local elec co-op requires 200A for any new work otherwise I'd have gone with a 100A. Fair enough???????????????????

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