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-   -   Urgent Breaker Replacement Problem (http://www.diychatroom.com/f18/urgent-breaker-replacement-problem-47791/)

remodel-virgin 06-30-2009 02:02 AM

Urgent Breaker Replacement Problem
 
I replaced existing regular breakers in pannel with thin in order to make room for new microwave circuit.
At begining I wasnt expecting to be complicated, but it appears that when I turned power back on I dont get how water and my dryer doesnt have heat at all (only spins) dryer and water heater are separate circuits. When I used tester to see if there is power at all, both hot water are indicating that there is, but when I measure voltage accorss two how wires I was getting various numbers, from 0 to 30V.
This is urgent since I have to move in tomorrow and there is a major problem with electircal.
I will end up calling somebody in morning to fix my mess but I would like to know now what is the problem since I am so stressed that cant sleep.

Thank you.

thegonagle 06-30-2009 02:13 AM

Maybe one side of the main breaker didn't turn back on.

Are there any other lights or outlets that don't work right now?

Have you tried turning the main off and back on again?

remodel-virgin 06-30-2009 02:17 AM

I did try. 2pole breakers that I havent touched are working fine, when I measured voltage across two hot wires they were giving 220V.
Problem is only with new ones.
I am wondering if there are any jumpers or somethign similar that I didnt do when I replaced regular with thin ones.

thegonagle 06-30-2009 02:23 AM

Hmmm. You mentioned thin breakers. I don't know exactly how those panels (GE?) work, but are you sure you got the double pole breakers to connect to both hot busses instead of just one? Maybe try moving the double pole breakers up or down one "full" space.

busman 06-30-2009 05:52 AM

You haven't destroyed anything, you just got both hot wires for the dryer and water heater on the same phase. They need to be on opposite phases but still on a 2-POLE BREAKER. The phases on a 1/2 inch GE panel are as follows:

A
A
B
B
A
A
B
B

You need to get the 240V loads on one A stab and one B stab, but you really should get a licensed electrician to do this as there are other issues involved.

Mark

remodel-virgin 06-30-2009 08:04 AM

i believe that my panel doesnt support thin breaker. I will call electrician today and post update later.

md2lgyk 06-30-2009 11:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by busman (Post 295026)
You haven't destroyed anything, you just got both hot wires for the dryer and water heater on the same phase. They need to be on opposite phases but still on a 2-POLE BREAKER. The phases on a 1/2 inch GE panel are as follows:

A
A
B
B
A
A
B
B


Mark

Is that a typical stab setup? I'd think A B A B A B etc. would be the way to arrange them. Then there'd be no way to incorrectly install a double-pole breaker.

busman 06-30-2009 11:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by md2lgyk (Post 295166)
Is that a typical stab setup? I'd think A B A B A B etc. would be the way to arrange them. Then there'd be no way to incorrectly install a double-pole breaker.

It's hard to describe without seeing it, but the GE bus stab looks like a small cross versus a horizontal line (like on other loadcenters). That means each bus stab can take 2 half inch GE breakers. Think of it as a regular tandem breaker sawed in half. The advantage is that a GE panel can have a 2-pole circuit using tandem size breakers. I still don't install GE stuff because it's not the best, but it does have this one advantage.

Mark

md2lgyk 06-30-2009 12:01 PM

Thanks for the quick answer. I've only ever worked with QO and Homeline panels.

220/221 06-30-2009 04:13 PM

Put things back how they were and get some sleep tonight.

You have to have a little more electrical knowledge before you go moving breakers around.

If you must twin things up, do it on low useage 15 amp lighting circuits and make sure they are 2 wire home runs (no red wires). Leave you high draw stuff on full sized breakers.

remodel-virgin 06-30-2009 04:41 PM

Electrician checked panel and said that I will need new panel since old one doesn’t support 2 pole thin breakers and there is no room for adding new one.
I am wondering now if any brand of panel is better than other one (Square D, Siemens, GE etc…)


Thank you all for help.

busman 06-30-2009 07:54 PM

I'm a big fan of Sq. D QO series with Cutler-Hammer CH a close second.

Mark

spark plug 06-30-2009 08:11 PM

[Possible] reason for 220v. eq. not working
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by remodel-virgin (Post 295058)
[i believe that my panel doesnt support thin breaker.] I will call electrician today and post update later.

Your panel (probably, a low-end residential 8/16 or 12/24 from GE) DOES support thin breakers. Otherwise, the breaker wouldn't fit in the panel. Most likely, you positioned the breakers on the same leg. As a result you will have 120v. to ground and Zero volts across both breakers. As Busman pointed out, shifting/repositioning breakers in a panel is best left to a qualified Electrician!:yes::no:Couldn't bring up the "Drinking" icon. Anyway. Don't Drink and Drive!!!

goose134 06-30-2009 09:13 PM

Unless spec'd otherwise, I only install Square D. Costs a bit more but worth it, IMHO

busman 06-30-2009 09:33 PM

BTW. Just cause an electrician in slow times is telling you to install a new panel. That MAY not be the only option. It all depends on what you have right now. If you have a modern loadcenter with a main CB, and you're just out of slots for breakers, you MIGHT be just as well off with a sub-panel fed from the existing loadcenter. There are too many variables for me to assess online, but I'd get a few opinions from LICENSED electrical contractors before proceeding. That's good advice no matter what the circumstances.


Mark


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