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SCharter 11-07-2012 11:07 PM

What Do You Make of This?
1 Attachment(s)
Just got done mapping my circuits and I'm curious of a couple things I see in my main panel. The top is a 50A breaker which I assume is the main shutoff for the rest of everything else. Then there are two 30A breakers, the top which seems to not control anything, the next controlling the sub-panel fuse box inside the house. Then there are 4 20A breakers, 2 that control some circuits in the house, and 2 that seem to do nothing. The only electrical I've eliminated is an electric wall heater in a bathroom, so I'm wondering if that was on a dedicated circuit controlled by one of those other two 20A circuits. The other, I have no clue. There are two 240V outlets for an old electric range and on the garage not used, would those be from the 30A circuits? I'm just trying to get an idea of what I'm dealing with so I have an accurate idea what I can and should do in the future. Thanks for any input!

Attachment 60198

k_buz 11-07-2012 11:22 PM

This is a main lug panel. There is no main breaker for this panel. That 50A is most likely your old range recept. The 30A breakers are possibly for an old electric water heater, AC, or dryer recept. I am just guess on those as those would be some of the common appliances that are 240V 30A.

Now, I can't tell by the picture, but are the neutrals and grounds going to the same bar in the panel? I am assuming that there is a main breaker before this panel. If that is the case, this is technically a sub panel and grounds/neutrals must not be bonded in this panel. If this isn't the case, depending on what those 4 20A handles (red) are, you could be over the limit for disconnects.

Some are going to tell you that this is a Zinsco panel (which it is) and it should be replaced. You probably should replace this panel, but nothing mandates it.

SCharter 11-07-2012 11:35 PM

Interesting info. The house has this panel outside and a fuse box inside. The hot leads going to the main lugs are coming directly from the meter above it, which I didn't capture in the pic. So from what I understand is I have a main panel that had no main disconnect? The neutral/ground bar IS bonded, bit if this is the main, that's okay. The info about the 30A circuits makes sense; I had forgotten about the dryer, so that must be the one that didn't seem to control anything. And when we had the home inspected, the contractor was an electrician by trade and mentioned that the panel should be replaced as an older Zinsco model, but at a cost of $2500, that project has taken a back seat. Maybe I can tackle that at the same time I deal with the dishwasher and garbage disposal not being on dedicated circuits. :o/ Thanks for the info!

SCharter 11-12-2012 10:56 PM

Another question about this set up. The 50A and two 30A breakers are all 2 "slots" wide. Would that make those circuits 100A and 60A each? The fuse box inside has a 60A capacity, and one set of those 30A breakers connects to that, so unless something is seriously wrong with that set up, the 2 slot 30A set would need to be 60A total, right?

joecaption 11-12-2012 11:05 PM

No that's wrong.
A double 30 is still 30 amp..

SCharter 11-12-2012 11:12 PM

Hmmm, so if I've got the original fuse box inside the house with 4 15A circuits, shouldn't there be a 60A circuit from the main panel for that sub panel? Does that mean I've got only half the capacity I should for that sub from the main?

bobelectric 11-13-2012 06:16 AM

Your size breakers appear to be wired with both wires of a 3 wire circuit on the same leg,overloading the neutral.

SCharter 11-13-2012 08:33 AM


Originally Posted by bobelectric
Your size breakers appear to be wired with both wires of a 3 wire circuit on the same leg,overloading the neutral.

Thank you, that's another thing I was wondering. I noticed that and thought it strange that each circuit didn't have it's own neutral. Guess it looks like I'm gonna have to call in a professional for some consultation.

oleguy74 11-13-2012 10:19 AM


Originally Posted by bobelectric (Post 1051071)
Your size breakers appear to be wired with both wires of a 3 wire circuit on the same leg,overloading the neutral.

not so with zinsco breakers.each of those breakers use both polls.also the breakers are all the same size with zinsco.the 50 amp uses two 3/4"breakers riveted together.the single pole breakers are 3/4" and tandems are 3/4".

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