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-   -   Can circuit breakers be in series? (http://www.diychatroom.com/f18/can-circuit-breakers-series-139491/)

philalethes 04-06-2012 11:47 PM

Can circuit breakers be in series?
 
Got a house trailer with its own internal panel, double 30a main with with a double 15a under one of them; a 20 amp under the other.

the trailer was parked and expanded into a house. Then another panel was added outside for extra circuits. A double 30 a breaker on the outside panel feeds the double 30 am main on the inside panel.

Is it OK to have two breakers inline like this? I would think it best to have a larger panel and combine everything into one new panel.

But .... what is downside of having one circuit breaker downline of another?

k_buz 04-06-2012 11:49 PM

There is no issue with two breakers. Its done all the time. The only downside is you have to check two locations if one trips.

One thing to check is if the neutrals and grounds are separated in the first panel. The way you describe it is the original panel is now a sub panel. It is possible that when the new main panel was added, they didn't separate the grounds and neutrals.

philalethes 04-07-2012 12:34 AM

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Originally Posted by k_buz (Post 893434)
There is no issue with two breakers. Its done all the time. The only downside is you have to check two locations if one trips.

One thing to check is if the neutrals and grounds are separated in the first panel. The way you describe it is the original panel is now a sub panel. It is possible that when the new main panel was added, they didn't separate the grounds and neutrals.

You're right, the grounds tie into the neutral bus. In fact there is no grounding rod on this panel. This place is so old it apparently had a generator backup as it has one of those A or B input switch boxes with the blades. Sorry I don't know the name but here is a picture of the power coming in, neutral in middle, and two hots either side.

You can see that these 3 wires go out the bottom to a meter panel being used as a sub panel for a few lights in this old pump house. A second set of 3 go out to the "outside" (panel on another building) I was writing about which is picture #2, and you can see the ground connecting to the neutral bus.

The old circuits in the trailer don't have a ground wire anyway, but the new romex ones do

Please refer to my other post about the voltage swings between the two 125v feeds. Could this be due to ground wires connect to neutral bus as well as no ground rod?

:(

rrolleston 04-07-2012 07:52 AM

If that is your meter main panel there is no way that anyone will pass that and put in a meter without that wire in conduit. And you will also need to add proper grounding if it's not there at the meter main. Then go to four wire feed after the meter main. Any you can't have two wires in one lug. You need a lug that can accept two wires.

rrolleston 04-07-2012 08:15 AM

Looking at the pictures again. Honestly I would just start over in the first picture and run or extend the conduit to the mobile home and put a four wire feed. Separate the neutral and ground in the mobile home ground to the metal water main if there and bond to the homes metal frame. Add a ground rod at the homes panel too if no water main there.


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