Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Electrical

CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY...IT'S FREE!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 11-14-2009, 09:04 PM   #1
Newbie
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 19
Rewards Points: 0
Share |
Default

Single breaker vs double pole breaker for MAIN


Today's electrical service panels are usually one main breaker at the top with a 100amp or 200 amp breaker for the main service breaker. Simple enough.

Old house (1970) I am working on has the main feed coming into a bus, lower part of the bus connecting to two wires which run to a 60Amp double pole breaker which feeds all the other breakers.

So the question is, is this considered a 60Amp panel or 120Amp panel compared to today's single breaker's ?

tuckerz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-2009, 10:03 PM   #2
nap
You talking to me?
 
nap's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: sw mi
Posts: 5,407
Rewards Points: 0
Default

Single breaker vs double pole breaker for MAIN


Not sure I understand what you have.

Does one breaker (the 60 amp) turn off everything?

If so, you have a 60 amp service. The "single" breakers you speak of for current panels are 2 pole breakers. Some of them have wide handles, some have a single width handle, but they are still 20 pole breakers.

nap is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-2009, 10:06 PM   #3
Member
 
joed's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Welland, Ontario
Posts: 7,597
Rewards Points: 130
Default

Single breaker vs double pole breaker for MAIN


Sounds like a split buss panel. One of the breakers in the top part of the panel feeds the lower part. Also some of the 240 volt loads like dryer range heater are fed off the upper buss as well. The size of this panel is not as easy to determine and normal panel. In this case you can add up the breakers in the upper half to possibly determine the service size.
__________________
Do not PM with questions that can be asked in a forum. I will not respond.
joed is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-2009, 10:09 PM   #4
Newbie
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 19
Rewards Points: 0
Default

Single breaker vs double pole breaker for MAIN


Quote:
Originally Posted by nap View Post
Not sure I understand what you have.

Does one breaker (the 60 amp) turn off everything?

If so, you have a 60 amp service. The "single" breakers you speak of for current panels are 2 pole breakers. Some of them have wide handles, some have a single width handle, but they are still 20 pole breakers.
The one breaker, 60 amps on each leg, turns the whole panel off. This breaker is not on the top of the panel like today's breaker's, it is fed from wires at the bottom of the bus and is the 2nd breaker down on the left hand side. I know, Thomas Edison crap and it should be updated probably.
Hard to believe this is only a 60 amp service. Why wouldn't if be 120 amps, 60 amps each leg ?
In comparison, a 200amp panel of today is fused how much on each leg ? 100 or 200 amp ?

Last edited by tuckerz; 11-14-2009 at 10:13 PM.
tuckerz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-2009, 10:11 PM   #5
Electrical Contractor
 
kbsparky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Delmarva
Posts: 3,368
Rewards Points: 0
Default

Single breaker vs double pole breaker for MAIN


You have an old split bus panel. The ratings of the mains are usually written on a label somewhere on the guts or cover of the panel.

There is no single "main" breaker --- you can have up to 6 "disconnects" with those.

Outlawed by the 1984 NEC, they were used extensively in the 1970's and early 1980's. Mainly because they were dirt cheap, without the cost of a real main breaker.
__________________
-KB

Life is uncertain -- eat dessert first!!
kbsparky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-2009, 10:13 PM   #6
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: South of Boston, MA
Posts: 17,248
Rewards Points: 0
Default

Single breaker vs double pole breaker for MAIN


A 100a or 200a panel today is 240v & may have one MAIN breaker handle but it turns off 2 hots
Rated 100a 240v or 100a 120v each hot, same thing for 200a

A 60a double pole breaker is usually 60a 240v, 60a 120v each leg/hot

Post a pic
Scuba_Dave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-2009, 10:24 PM   #7
Member
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Brooklyn, New York (NYC)
Posts: 1,124
Rewards Points: 0
Question

Single breaker vs double pole breaker for MAIN


Quote:
Originally Posted by nap View Post
Not sure I understand what you have.

Does one breaker (the 60 amp) turn off everything?

If so, you have a 60 amp service. The "single" breakers you speak of for current panels are 2 pole breakers. Some of them have wide handles, some have a single width handle, but they are still 20 pole breakers.
You probably meant "2-pole". Not 20 pole! Speaking of "Split Buss". The old residential 24 breaker FPE panels did not have "Intertwined" buss. Meaning that if you "Plugged" 2 breakers next to each other you wouldn't get 240v. You only got 2 spots for 240v. In the center, top and bottom.
spark plug is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-2009, 10:41 PM   #8
Newbie
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 19
Rewards Points: 0
Default

Single breaker vs double pole breaker for MAIN


Quote:
Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
A 100a or 200a panel today is 240v & may have one MAIN breaker handle but it turns off 2 hots
Rated 100a 240v or 100a 120v each hot, same thing for 200a

A 60a double pole breaker is usually 60a 240v, 60a 120v each leg/hot

Post a pic
Will do tomorrow.

Outlawed ? Holy crap. Is it really that bad ????
What really sucks even more is this is Al wiring which I am selectively upgrading to Cu on some circuits.

Last edited by tuckerz; 11-14-2009 at 10:44 PM.
tuckerz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-2009, 11:30 PM   #9
nap
You talking to me?
 
nap's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: sw mi
Posts: 5,407
Rewards Points: 0
Default

Single breaker vs double pole breaker for MAIN


Quote:
Originally Posted by spark plug View Post
You probably meant "2-pole". Not 20 pole! Speaking of "Split Buss". The old residential 24 breaker FPE panels did not have "Intertwined" buss. Meaning that if you "Plugged" 2 breakers next to each other you wouldn't get 240v. You only got 2 spots for 240v. In the center, top and bottom.
Yep, sure did.

and I had thought about the split bus. That is why I asked for the OP's explanation of the 1 breaker turning off everything.

It still sounds like a split bus but...

to tuckerz:

a 2 pole 60 amp breaker still only allows 60 amps of current therefore, a 60 amp breaker/service/ what have you.
nap is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-2009, 11:38 PM   #10
Member
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Brooklyn, New York (NYC)
Posts: 1,124
Rewards Points: 0
Thumbs up

Single breaker vs double pole breaker for MAIN


Quote:
Originally Posted by nap View Post
Yep, sure did.

and I had thought about the split bus. That is why I asked for the OP's explanation of the 1 breaker turning off everything.

It still sounds like a split bus but...

to tuckerz:

a 2 pole 60 amp breaker still only allows 60 amps of current therefore, a 60 amp breaker/service/ what have you.
That's a mistake a lot of amateurs make. I did before I was initiated! It's "Simple math, isn't it? if one side/pole can pull 100 amps., then two poles can pull 120?, NO?! The answer, obviously is that each side can ONLY pull 100amps.
spark plug is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-15-2009, 08:32 AM   #11
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Nashua, NH, USA
Posts: 6,951
Rewards Points: 16
Default

Single breaker vs double pole breaker for MAIN


A panel where the feed goes first into a maximum 60 amp breaker is called a 60 amp panel, whether the breaker is single or double pole. No one component (subcomponent if you insist) inside the panel is (should be) subjected to more than 60 amps.

When a 120/240 volt feed (two hots and a neutral) comes into the panel, the breaker is supposed to shut both off at the same time hence the present requirement of a double breaker.

Even in the distant past, it was rare to find a main panel for 120 volts only (one hot and a neutral) for more than 40 amps.

Quote:
Old house ... has the main feed coming into a bus, lower part of the bus connecting to two wires which run to a 60Amp double pole breaker which feeds all the other breakers.
What else can be connected to the bus between the main feed and the 60 amp breaker unit?

Nowadays we can have a main panel with more than one (up to six) "main" disconnect switch or breaker unit, for respective subpanels. There should be a rating in amps for the incoming feed which would of course be greater than the rating for any individual breaker unit.
__________________
Stop wasting time re-adjusting the pattern. Have several lawn sprinklers, one for each pattern.

Last edited by AllanJ; 11-16-2009 at 08:01 PM.
AllanJ is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2009, 06:42 PM   #12
Newbie
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 19
Rewards Points: 0
Default

Single breaker vs double pole breaker for MAIN


Talked to a city inspector today and he clarified it.
The panel is a split panel consisting of a top and bottom section.
The top section which contains 6 double breakers each connected directly to the line without an overall main breaker in series.
The bottom of the bus bar has wires that run to two 60A breakers, which feed the lower section of the panel.
Thus effectively the panel is 60A on the lower plus the top section breakers added together, which in this case it is a 150 amp panel.
If you look at it with the breakers in, it looks like just one panel, not split in any way noticeable.

Thanks guys who were on to it with the split bus post.


Last edited by tuckerz; 11-16-2009 at 06:46 PM.
tuckerz is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Converting a single pole switch to a 3 way Rze Electrical 7 09-13-2011 12:39 PM
Converting a single pole switch to a 3 way Rze Electrical 9 05-02-2011 10:10 AM
Double pole CH breaker ?? James Con Electrical 7 07-09-2008 11:41 PM
Slimline Vs. Tandem Vs. Double Pole turd hurder Electrical 1 06-23-2008 03:00 AM
single vs. double breaker Neil_K Electrical 3 11-14-2004 11:02 PM




Top of Page | View New Posts

Copyright © 2003-2014 Escalate Media. All Rights Reserved.