Split Bus Panel. Should I Rip It Out? - Electrical - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

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Old 09-29-2011, 05:08 PM   #1
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Split bus panel. Should I rip it out?

My home was built in 1978. I have a Gould 150A split bus panel. The first 4 breakers are double size and do:
Electric Range, Central AC
70A "main", Electric Dryer

The rest are the mini breakers (2 small's in the size of 1), except for 1 GFI breaker that goes to an electrical outlet in each bathroom (2 of them).

I was always perplexed as to where the heck was the main? I've replaced outlets and switches in rooms from the 1970's brown to a more modern white. Whenever I shut of the power, I always have to double check.

So do you think it's worth ripping out this 1978 split bus panel and put in a regular 200A panel with normal sized breakers? I don't have any non-living space that could be renovated, so 150A service works fine. But whos to say 10 years down the road we don't install a hot tub or something like that?

Anyway just really need to know if it's a hazard or code violation. The home inspector didn't bring it up. The only thing he said about it was that the GFI breaker was old and he'd rather see a regular breaker with a GFCI outlet in the bathroom. Well I put a GFCI outlet in the bathroom because I wanted all white outlets and switches so it looks nice. I also change the 1978 outlets from back stabbed connections to using the screw terminals on the newer stuff.


Last edited by cypherx; 09-29-2011 at 05:10 PM.
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Old 09-29-2011, 06:13 PM   #2
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The double pole breakers at the top together act as the main. You are allowed up to 6 throws of the hand to shut off the power.


Answers based on the National Electrical Code. Local amendments may apply. Check with your local building officials.
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Old 09-29-2011, 07:51 PM   #3
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As long as the panel is not deteriorated (rust/corrosion) or broken or missing parts, I'd probably leave it and upgrade when or if you need it.
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Old 09-29-2011, 09:30 PM   #4
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If wanting to expand, keep the split and add a appropiate sized sub for whatever you are doing.
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