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elementx440 05-15-2007 08:56 PM

breaker retrofit
My breaker box is probably 10-20 years old

Just about all the breakers seem to be 15A when they should probably be 20A. I'm wondering, as I upgrade to 12/2 wiring (where/if needed), will I be able to put new 20A breakers in? Are breakers a universal fit? or are they branded?

While I'm pulling all this new wire anyhow, should I just replace the panel (and the 2nd add-on) with one large single one?

How difficult is such a thing? I'm fine with the electrical theory, I'm saying how hard is it to have the power shut off, pull the panel, try and keep the wiring organized, all with no power? Never had the joy of doing such a thing...

hbsparky 05-15-2007 11:28 PM

if you are willing to do the work of moving every circuit in the sub to the main panel location, then I don't see a problem with it, as long as it is not in a detached building. as for the main panel change-out, call an electrician...the scope of work needed to get codes right in that location, since there are so many and some are unique to each locality, etc, not to metion that you could be dealing with live feeders.

NateHanson 05-16-2007 06:47 AM

Breakers are not universal fit. They are specific to brand and model. You can probably find the name and model of your panel somewhere in the panel, or on a breaker. If not, you could pull a breaker and bring it to your local supply house for ID.

15 year old breakers probably aren't hard to find. (unless you have MY 15 year-old Square D Trilliant Breakers :()

I'm not sure why you'd replace the panel and subpanel though, if they're fairly new and in working order. Just replace the wiring in the couple circuits that you wish to upgrade to 20A, and be done with it.

elementx440 05-16-2007 04:37 PM

well, here's the existing setup. I wanted to clean it all up, I just tend to be obsessive compulsive about stuff like that... And look at the rust. I figure I should do it while I'm new to the house and have the motivation.

I work with 480vac and 100+kv x-ray equipment for a living, I'm no stranger to the dangers/safety issues of "high voltage"

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