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Old 07-22-2008, 02:34 AM   #16
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What should I be looking for in receptacles and at wall panel?


The main breaker is a thqmv200D v= vertical mount. Its a 2 pole 200 amp single phase common trip main breaker. Its a conversion of ge's 4 pole breaker they use for resistance grounded wye 3 phase systems where the neutral is switched. Each breaker is indeed 200 amps but two are connected to each bus and are common trip.

Here is a closer view of it.......


Last edited by Stubbie; 07-22-2008 at 02:40 AM.
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Old 07-22-2008, 03:08 AM   #17
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What should I be looking for in receptacles and at wall panel?


Obviously the panel has new and old wiring, I believe the to 20 amp (yellow) cables go up into the joist cavity then bend and come back to that JB. That isn't a problem in itself but lends one to ask...why? I think the one thing to check is if the ground wires present in the metal boxes are indeed continuous back to the panel. this can be done very simply with a voltmeter. One of the things I see a lot in older homes is grounded wiring connected to ungrounded wiring due to replacements by previous owners. That is not unsafe other than you need to know that you do not have a continuous unbroken ground back to the main panel. What gets tricky is that any receptacles on that same branch circuit will test good if connected to the new grounded wiring but those on the ungrounded wiring will not have equipment ground.

As for 2 prong outlets I have never really understood the red flag so many homebuyers throw up when they see ungrounded wiring and 2 prong outlets. If I need a 3 prong outlet I would just install them where needed using gfci's. Or if for a computer or surge protector I'd just run a grounded circuit to that point. 90% of what we plug in these days is double insulated and only needs the two prong outlets.

As for the panel I agree with Chris and KC it is typical....I see no safety issues whatsoever. I'm not dancing in the streets over it but I would certainly be able to sleep at night.
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Old 07-22-2008, 06:35 AM   #18
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What should I be looking for in receptacles and at wall panel?


"The main breaker is a thqmv200D v= vertical mount. Its a 2 pole 200 amp single phase common trip main breaker. Its a conversion of ge's 4 pole breaker they use for resistance grounded wye 3 phase systems where the neutral is switched. Each breaker is indeed 200 amps but two are connected to each bus and are common trip..." Stubbie

Gotta love electricians! I really have the utmost respect for pros in this field...it's like they have their own language! Thank you Stubbie.

But a point was again brought up - a point I commented on in another thread, pertaining to what is "safe" and what is "code". Here, we see it is "safe", perhaps not up to current code, but there are no obvious safety concerns. Had there been, I would have expected any electrician seeing or working on that panel to correct the safety concerns bringing them up to current codes; but not, for example, changing the whole panel because it is not "up to code".

Sometimes people (me included) equate "safe" and "up to code" as the same thing. . I'm still learning...!
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Old 07-22-2008, 07:02 AM   #19
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What should I be looking for in receptacles and at wall panel?


Ok, i'm feeling that a majority of you think the panel is ok and the receptacles can easily be converted to the 3 prongs. Do you think I should still have a qualified electrician come in and take a look the system?
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Old 07-22-2008, 08:08 AM   #20
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What should I be looking for in receptacles and at wall panel?


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Ok, i'm feeling that a majority of you think the panel is ok and the receptacles can easily be converted to the 3 prongs. Do you think I should still have a qualified electrician come in and take a look the system?
Not a bad idea. Whats inside the panel is the critical stuff. Someone needs to make sure that it is wired safely. Take detailed pics and we can give you an idea, but some things are impossible to determine from pictures.
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Old 07-22-2008, 08:22 AM   #21
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What should I be looking for in receptacles and at wall panel?


Also Jay. Just because the panel has a 200 amp breaker, it does not mean that the service was upgraded to 200 amp. An electrician can determine that when he opens up the panel.
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Old 07-22-2008, 08:51 AM   #22
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What should I be looking for in receptacles and at wall panel?


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Ok, i'm feeling that a majority of you think the panel is ok and the receptacles can easily be converted to the 3 prongs.
Easily converted ONLY if there is a good ground (all the way back to the main panel) present in the box. Once that is determined it is just a matter of having the box and 3 prong receptacle wired to that ground.
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Old 07-22-2008, 11:00 AM   #23
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What should I be looking for in receptacles and at wall panel?


An inspection is always a good idea but 'll bet you will be fine. I would pay an inspector (electrician or a home inspector that knows his electrical) to take a peek in the panel. I would also want the inspector to look up in the attic and or crawl space for any splices outside of boxes proper cable fastening in those places etc.... If your happy with the house you can, with a little schooling, fix most anything with the electrical from the panel inside on into the dwelling. I wouldn't let any of that stop the purchase. Aside form aluminum wiring. What you really need the inspector for is termite damage, foundation problems, water intrusion, possible old fire damage, .....structural issues. These can be quite costly to repair if severe enough.

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Old 07-22-2008, 11:09 AM   #24
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What should I be looking for in receptacles and at wall panel?


Strange panel. Where are the branch circuit breakers? There must be another panel, or more in that panel which the photo does not show.

Where is this house located?

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Old 07-22-2008, 11:15 AM   #25
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What should I be looking for in receptacles and at wall panel?


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Strange panel. Where are the branch circuit breakers? There must be another panel, or more in that panel which the photo does not show.


The photos the op posted should answer your questions..... Actually that is a common residential panel not really anything strange about it.

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Old 07-22-2008, 04:02 PM   #26
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What should I be looking for in receptacles and at wall panel?


The house is located in MA. Here is an additional pic of the panel.
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Old 07-22-2008, 04:20 PM   #27
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What should I be looking for in receptacles and at wall panel?


Jay-Nel,

I would strongly recommend that you have a trusted electrician out to look it over. With all due respect, you don't know enough to spot the many possible problems and none of us can see it from where we sit. Clearly, there are at least three different levels of rewiring done at this location and even from the pictures, we can't see if the grounding is completely there.

So I suggest, strongly, having a real electrician look at it and advise you from there. I would have him check the rating of the panel and then the placement of wires in the panel and then the breakers. Then have him follow a few of the circuits. You want a guy who will tell you straight and not just jack you around for some more work. And he has to really know his stuff so he is not sidetracked by some of the "good" work here.

If he finds that the panel is OK and there is a good ground, then you can always add a few new circuits for those specialty needs, like computers and home theaters.

If there is a lot of substandard or incorrect wiring then that you can take back to the seller.
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Old 07-22-2008, 07:59 PM   #28
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What should I be looking for in receptacles and at wall panel?


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Is it possible to upgrade these receptacles to 3 prong and tie in the copper wire that was attached to the box to the green screw on the new outlet to ensure grounding? Assuming this were the case and I tied in black to brass and white to silver and copper to green what would I do with the 2 remaining, black and white wires that wouldn't be attached? I'm new to all of this and I'm looking to see how much I can do on my own. Thanks for your help.
Jay,

The 2 pair of wires in the receptacleboxes are power in and power out to downstream receptacles. If you only connect 1 pair of wires you will lose the function of all or part of the circuit.

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