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Old 01-30-2009, 12:06 AM   #1
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Load Center Replacement - with or w/o main breaker?


I will soon be having my old Federal Pacific load center replaced and want to know if I should spend the extra on one with a main breaker. It seems to add quite a bit to the cost of the new load center which I presume is because a 200a main breaker is quite expensive by itself. This for a 1,500 sq ft 2br townhome. I don't have a main breaker now and I really haven't needed it in the past so just wanting to know if it's something I should get. Recommendations?

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Old 01-30-2009, 06:59 AM   #2
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Load Center Replacement - with or w/o main breaker?


I'm pretty sure there's a main breaker somewhere. Maybe you have a split buss panel and you're not familiar with those.

Anyway, to answer the question, yes you need a main breaker panel unless there's a disconnect located outside possibly by the meter.

They're really not that expensive, a Square D 200 main breaker load center "value pack" is only around $150 and comes with 1-250, 1-230, 6-120, and 6-115 breakers.

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Old 01-30-2009, 07:04 AM   #3
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Load Center Replacement - with or w/o main breaker?


Yup, I agree.
I would almost guarantee a remote main disconnect. This is typical of a town home.
You do not need a main breaker panel, although as nut said, they are NOT that much more expensive. Supply and demand.
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Old 01-30-2009, 12:04 PM   #4
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Load Center Replacement - with or w/o main breaker?


cuttler hammer ch panel with 200a main is a top of the line box only about $140 at menards. Comperable panels at HD for about. The same. Jamie
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