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· Idiot Emeritus
1,910 Posts
I agree with Petey as well; do it right the first time.

If you use two of the phases of a 3 phase panel, sooner or later someone is going to install a breaker into one of the dead slots. Their solution will almost certainly be to jumper the dead phase to one of the hot ones. The net result will be;

A) An overloaded neutral on a multi-wire branch circuit. The chances of this causing a burn-up or even worse, a fire, is actually pretty good. Not worth the risk.

B) A lot of current on the service neutral. If the service is underground, the POCO neutral is likely two sizes smaller than the hots. It isn't designed to carry lots of current for extended periods of time. If it burns up, roughly 1/2 of the equipment in the building will be destroyed. If the POCO finds out you have a 3 phase panel connected to a single phase service (they will, believe me!), they will refuse to pay for any damage.

Can you get just the interior for your panel? Most panels have the same mounting for both single and 3 phase interiors.

If not, I'd get the single phase panel, even though it would be an extra cost.

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