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Old 06-30-2009, 02:02 AM   #1
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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.

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Old 06-30-2009, 02:13 AM   #2
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Urgent Breaker Replacement Problem


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?

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Old 06-30-2009, 02:17 AM   #3
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Urgent Breaker Replacement Problem


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.
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Old 06-30-2009, 02:23 AM   #4
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Urgent Breaker Replacement Problem


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.
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Old 06-30-2009, 05:52 AM   #5
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Urgent Breaker Replacement Problem


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
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Old 06-30-2009, 08:04 AM   #6
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Urgent Breaker Replacement Problem


i believe that my panel doesnt support thin breaker. I will call electrician today and post update later.
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Old 06-30-2009, 11:47 AM   #7
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Urgent Breaker Replacement Problem


Quote:
Originally Posted by busman View Post
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.
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Old 06-30-2009, 11:57 AM   #8
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Urgent Breaker Replacement Problem


Quote:
Originally Posted by md2lgyk View Post
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
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Old 06-30-2009, 12:01 PM   #9
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Urgent Breaker Replacement Problem


Thanks for the quick answer. I've only ever worked with QO and Homeline panels.
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Old 06-30-2009, 04:13 PM   #10
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Urgent Breaker Replacement Problem


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.
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Old 06-30-2009, 04:41 PM   #11
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Urgent Breaker Replacement Problem


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.
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Old 06-30-2009, 07:54 PM   #12
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Urgent Breaker Replacement Problem


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

Mark
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Old 06-30-2009, 08:11 PM   #13
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Urgent Breaker Replacement Problem


Quote:
Originally Posted by remodel-virgin View Post
[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!Couldn't bring up the "Drinking" icon. Anyway. Don't Drink and Drive!!!
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Old 06-30-2009, 09:13 PM   #14
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Urgent Breaker Replacement Problem


Unless spec'd otherwise, I only install Square D. Costs a bit more but worth it, IMHO
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Old 06-30-2009, 09:33 PM   #15
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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.


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