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jillers 01-21-2012 10:24 PM

Breaker Panel Replacement Plan
A little help needed.

We are upgrading the wiring and our panel in our 1905 craftsman and I have a few questions.

I was planning on a 200 Amp panel with 30 spaces.

Question 1: Recommendations on brand for my new panel.

Question 2: Do you see any problems with the configuration below?

1 12/2 20 - GFCI Gate Motor 2 12/2 20 - GFCI Refrigerator
3 14/2 15 - GFCI Dishwasher 4 14/2 15 - GFCI Garbage Disposal
5 12/2 20 - GFCI Microhood 6 12/2 20 - GFCI Stove
7 12/2 20 - GFCI Washer 8 12/2 20 - GFCI Dryer
9 12/2 20 - GFCI Kitchen Lights 10 12/2 20 - GFCI Kitchen Outlets
11 12/2 20 - GFCI Kitchen Ctr 1 12 12/2 20 - GFCI Kitchen Counter 2
13 12/2 20 Foyer 14 12/2 20 Dining Room
15 12/2 20 - AFCI Bedroom 16 12/2 20 - GFCI Bathroom
17 12/2 20 - AFCI Bedroom 2 18 12/2 20 - AFCI Bedroom 3
19 12/2 20 - GFCI Bathroom 2 20 12/2 20 - AFCI Bedroom 4
21 12/2 20 - AFCI Bedroom 5 22 12/2 20 Hallway
23 12/2 20 - GFCI Outdoor Lights
24 - 30 Open for future use

Question 3: If any of these circuits could be downgraded to a 15 A, is there a good reason to do so?

Anything else I should be doing while undertaking this task? Surge protector, special new breaker panel options, etc?


jbfan 01-21-2012 10:30 PM

Why all of the gfci's?

mpoulton 01-21-2012 10:36 PM

1,2,3,4,5,7, and 9 do not need to be GFCI, unless you have a specific reason for needing GFCIs there. It is often preferable to use GFCI receptacles instead of breakers. They are cheaper and sometimes easier to locate/reset.

Gas stove and gas dryer, I assume? No possibility of electric for those in the future?

What about water heater, air conditioner, and furnace?

You could simplify your wiring a bit by using MWBC's where possible. Dishwasher and garbage disposal can easily be one MWBC, micro-hood and stove can be another, and washer and dryer can also be one. The kitchen SABCs can be one MWBC if you use GFCI receptacles instead of breakers. You would need to arrange the panel to make this work, and use 2P breakers or handle ties on those circuits. I would use 15A circuits for lighting unless your load calcs show that more circuits would be required. I would use only 20A circuits for receptacles.

gregzoll 01-21-2012 10:40 PM

Yes, you have too many devices that are gfci protected, that do not require that device.

jillers 01-21-2012 11:42 PM

@mpoulton @gregzoll Thanks for the input on the GFCI units, I suppose I misread the code and thought that they were required when servicing the outdoors, kitchen and bathroom. Do I instead just need to use GFCI receptacles on 1,2,3,4,5,7 and 9?

@mpoulton Water heater, stove, and dryer aregas, not electric. Seeing that all of our applicances are still in their boxes, I don't see that changing anytime soon.

We don't yet have A/C or heat, hoping the extra 6 breakers will be sufficient room for those add ons one day.

I started with the Microhood and Stove and the Dishwasher and Garbage Disposal and Washer and Dryer can be on the same breaker, it is still an option, but I had so many open spaces still that I broke them up. Of course, I was't thinking about the work. I'm the planner, my husband is the doer. Is it that much easier to connect them to one breaker? I just figured it would be much more organized to have less on each breaker seeing that I have 30 spaces.

I'm a bit lost with the!

So your 20 to 15 reccomendations would be: 9 14/2 15 Kitchen Lights?

Would you suggest co-mingling outlets and lights on a breaker for each room, or splitting it up by outlets for two rooms and lights for two rooms?

You guys are quick! Awesome!

Jim Port 01-21-2012 11:45 PM

The bathroom receptacle circuit cannot be shared unless with other bathroom receptacles.

Kitchen receptacle circuit can only be shared with dining and/or pantry receptacles, no lighting.

Running a 20 amp for lighting is a waste.

jillers 01-21-2012 11:52 PM


Originally Posted by Jim Port (Post 830811)
The bathroom receptacle circuit cannot be shared unless with other bathroom receptacles.

Kitchen receptacle circuit can only be shared with dining and/or pantry receptacles, no lighting.

Running a 20 amp for lighting is a waste.

I have the eintire bathroom on one circuit, including lights and receptacles, is that a problem. Otherwise ther is no sharing. Also, no sharing with kitchen receptacles.

For the bedrooms, should I split the receptacles from the lighting and couple rooms instead of having both lights and receptacles on the same breaker?

Jim Port 01-22-2012 12:02 AM

Sorry, I read straight across the row and missed the column break.

Bathroom plan is fine.

Bedrooms can be either way.

Jim Port 01-22-2012 12:07 AM

MWBC = multiwire branch circuit is where a neutral is shared between 2 circuits. The cable would have a black, a red, a white and a ground. This could only be used where AFCI protection is not needed due to the shared neutral.

mpoulton 01-22-2012 12:25 AM

In general, you only need GFCI protection for: outdoor, garage, and unfinished basement receptacles; kitchen COUNTERTOP receptacles; bathroom receptacles; and special things that specifically require it (like whirlpool tubs). So none of the circuits 1,2,3,4,5,7, or 9 require GFCI by code. You may choose to use GFCI anywhere you want, if you feel like it. I would use it for laundry equipment. You may want it for the gate opener, and it's required if the gate opener plugs into a receptacle. I would use GFCI receptacles for all of these instead of GFCI breakers, except possibly the gate opener circuit depending on how it's wired.

A MWBC is a "multi-wire branch circuit". This is a circuit that has two hot wires and a single neutral. If both halves of the circuit are running to the same general area, this saves you one wire because you can run both circuits using a single 12/3 cable. It's easy to wire a duplex receptacle so that the top half is on one leg and the bottom half is on the other leg. This is useful for the dishwasher/garbage disposal receptacle under the sink, for example. You can also just use a double gang box with two receptacles, one on each half of the circuit. This would be good for the washer/dryer and convenience receptacles in the laundry area. For the two required Small Appliance Branch Circuits in the kitchen, you can run a MWBC to the first receptacle location, install two GFCI receptacles, and then run separate 12/2 cables to the other countertop receptacle locations. MWBCs require the use of either a double-pole breaker or a handle tie, so both halves of the circuit are shut off simultaneously.

I like to keep lighting and power completely separate. This is the standard in commercial work, and it's usually not that much harder to do. Keeps the bathroom from going dark when the hairdryer and clothes steamer are plugged in at the same time.

jillers 01-22-2012 09:06 PM

How does this look?

1 12/2 20 - GFCI Gate Motor
2 12/2 20 Refrigerator
3 12/2 15 MWBC Dishwasher/Garbage
4 12/2 20 - GFCI MWBC DispMicrohood/Stove
5 12/2 20 -GFCI MWBC Washer/Dryer
6 12/2 15 Kitchen /Basement Lights
7 12/2 20 - GFCI Kitchen Counter 1
8 12/2 20 - GFCI Kitchen Counter 2
9 12/2 20 Kitchen Outlets
10 12/2 20 Foyer/ Dining Outlets
11 12/2 15 Foyer/ Dining/Living Lights
12 12/2 20 Living Outlets
13 12/2 20 - AFCI Bedroom Outlets
14 12/2 15 Bedroom / Bathroom Lights
15 12/2 20 - GFCI Bathroom Outlets
16 12/2 15 Upstairs South Lights
17 12/2 15 Upstairs North Lights
18 12/2 20 - AFCI Bedroom 2 Outlets
19 12/2 20 - AFCI Bedroom 3 Outlets
20 12/2 20 - AFCI Bedroom 4 Outlets
21 12/2 20 - AFCI Bedroom 5 / Hallway Outlets
22 12/2 20 - GFCI Outdoor Receptacles
23 12/2 15 Outdoor Lights
24-30 Free

gregzoll 01-22-2012 09:11 PM


Originally Posted by jillers (Post 831670)
How does this look?

112/2 20 - GFCI212/2 20Gate MotorRefrigerator312/2 15 MWBC412/2 20 - GFCI MWBCDishwasher/Garbage DispMicrohood/Stove512/2 20 -GFCI MWBC612/2 15 Washer/DryerKitchen/Basement Lights712/2 20 - GFCI812/2 20 - GFCIKitchen Counter 1Kitchen Counter 2912/2 201012/2 20Kitchen OutletsFoyer/ Dining Outlets1112/2 151212/2 20Foyer/ Dining/Living LightsLiving Outlets1312/2 20 - AFCI1412/2 15 Bedroom OutletsBedroom / Bathroom Lights1512/2 20 - GFCI1612/2 15Bathroom OutletsUpstairs South Lights1712/2 151812/2 20 - AFCIUpstairs North LightsBedroom 2 Outlets1912/2 20 - AFCI2012/2 20 - AFCIBedroom 3 OutletsBedroom 4 Outlets2112/2 20 - AFCI2212/2 20 - GFCIBedroom 5 / Hallway OutletsOutdoor Receptacles2312/2 1524Outdoor Lights252627282930

Say what? Only places that need GFCI are what I and mpoulton have listed. As for AFCI, it depends on what code cycle your area is on. Mine is still on 2008 NEC, but as of the adoption of the 2011 NEC, when they do go with it, they are still only sticking with bedrooms as the only place needing afci, no where else in the house.

jillers 01-22-2012 09:20 PM

I felt better having the gate on a GFCI, but I can take that out. I thought mpoulton said that I should have GFCI on the stove and washer, but I can take those out too. That only leaves me with kitchen countertop receptacles, bathroom and outdoor receptacles. I also only have AFCI on bedroom receptacles.

We also have a ton of 12/2 wire, so I took out the 14/2 wire.

I also moved several of the 20 amp breakers to 15 amp.

Thank you all for your help, any other suggestions are welcome.

jbfan 01-22-2012 09:24 PM

If you go through the trouble of running #12, just keep it on a 20 amp breaker.
If you have a sink in the laundry room, any receptacle with-in 6 foot needs to be gfci.

gregzoll 01-22-2012 09:32 PM

Way too broken down. Foyer & dining can not share outlets, only Kitchen & dining can. Foyer can share either off of the Living room lighting circuit, or Living Room outlets. Use K.I.S.S. Let's start from the beginning. How many floors including basement, how many rooms, how many square feet? As for why you are going with 200 amp, or already have, what exactly do you have that are large loads (Electric Dryer, Heat pump or A/C, Furnace, Electric Water heater)?

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