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Old 06-23-2010, 11:02 PM   #1
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Circut Breakers Directional?

A little back story:
I have been fighting with a sub pannel instalation for awhile now. The bigest headache has been to transition the 1/0 Al wire to #6 Cu for the last couple of feet back to the source.

I had a knife type fused disconect in there, but just as I Finally got it hooked up, I realized it was broken .

That was the only one of those in the store, and Time is of the essence.

so I ended up getting an airconditioner disconect. It has a [D] cuircut breaker in it that has been gutted from the factory to just act like a switch (way to save those pennys ). I would like to put a 60 amp breaker in there and direct connect it to the main, so I am not pushing the the 100 amp main pannel's limit. the house has a 200 amp service, but 2 x 100 amp pannels, thanks to an electrician who inherited his Dad's biz, but was over his head, so he was getting out of the biz and using up as much old inventory as possible.

Because of the wire sizes, I'd have to hook it up "backwards" in that the terminals would always be live and the bars underneith would be switched, like a main breaker.

Will the 60 amp breaker still work properly? I know the A in AC stands for alternating, so that isn't an issue, but I'd like to know that having one end of the switch always live vs. the other wont make a difference.

Basically I am asking if there is a difference between a 60 amp regular 240 volt breaker and a main breaker.
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Old 06-24-2010, 07:24 AM   #2
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It is possible to backfeed a breaker into the buss and lugs. Breaker hold down clips must be used to prevent the possibility of the breaker coming off the buss.
Answers based on the National Electrical Code. Local amendments may apply. Check with your local building officials.
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Old 06-24-2010, 07:27 AM   #3
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Circuit breakers are not directional with either AC or DC. It is not unusual to "backfeed" a subpanel using a pair of breakers on adjacent branch circuit slots on one side to provide a master disconnect for that panel with no main breaker up top.

Check your local code to see if that is not permitted.

Note: GFCI and AFCI units are directional; they may not be used as backfeeds or otherwise connected backwards.
Stick to your lawn watering schedule until it really starts to pour. After the storm you have only the same number of rest days you always had and then you need to start watering again.

Last edited by AllanJ; 06-24-2010 at 07:30 AM.
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