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I have a Federal Pioneer panel (100 amp) and was wondering if it matters where new breakers are placed?...Also is it necessary to place larger breakers(30 and 40 amp) at the top of the panel or can they be placed anywhere? The electrician who installed this panel 8 years ago placed a 15 amp breaker at the top on both the right and left sides, followed by 2 30's on the right, 1 40 on the left...the right side continues after the initial placement of the 15 and two 30's with a series of 8 15 amp breakers which are then followed by two 40s( to be clear, right side = 15,30, 15,15 15,15,15,15,15,15,40,40. left side = 15,40) ...I was just wondering if there is any methodology to all of this placement.
 

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In FP panels it is possible to install a double pole breaker so that both poles are on the same leg. That is the only thing that matters regarding breaker placement.
 

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single breakers can be placed anywhere,

doubles need to go in specific places, as they need to be fed from both legs, not the same leg
 

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Discussion Starter #5
So I'm assuming that the original electrician placed single pole 15 amp breakers at the top of the panel on both the left and right sides to accommodate for this specific leg placement of double pole breakers as they occur throughout the remaining available spaces on the panel...
 

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I will arrange double breakers on one side and single breakers on the other sometimes if there are a lot of double breakers. And that is just for the "wrestle factor" - Wrestling with larger higher amperage wires is easier if they are all on one side.
 

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So I'm assuming that the original electrician placed single pole 15 amp breakers at the top of the panel on both the left and right sides to accommodate for this specific leg placement of double pole breakers as they occur throughout the remaining available spaces on the panel...
Yes that is the reason. If you put a double at the top you would not get 240V on the breaker as both sides of the breaker are sitting on the same phase.
 

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I will arrange double breakers on one side and single breakers on the other sometimes if there are a lot of double breakers. And that is just for the "wrestle factor" - Wrestling with larger higher amperage wires is easier if they are all on one side.
Hmm, I didn't know double-pole breakers equated to larger wire.
 

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Well I have experience installing subpanels, electric ranges, etc. Perhaps you have never done that?

Here is some reading material so you can learn about these things...

https://www.maytag.com/digitalassets/MET8720DS/Installation Instruction_EN.pdf

http://www.mikeholt.com/forum/Forum1/HTML/000545.html
Thank you. I learned a lot from that. Now I know that two-pole breakers are only used for large appliances and sub-panels. Not for a well, air con, small motors, electric heat, water heaters, dryers, or anything else under 50A. I'll be sure to let me peers know about this. They'll be fascinated.
 

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Any consideration to balancing the phases? ie 2 window air conditioners each on own breaker, one on each phase assuming the ac's will be used at same time?
Then maybe a microwave oven on one phase and a refrigerator on the other?
 

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Well I have experience installing subpanels, electric ranges, etc. Perhaps you have never done that?

Here is some reading material so you can learn about these things...

https://www.maytag.com/digitalassets/MET8720DS/Installation Instruction_EN.pdf

http://www.mikeholt.com/forum/Forum1/HTML/000545.html
Yes the person with a title of Licensed Electrical Contractor has only installed plugs and switches. He has most likely installed wire sizes you have never heard of, wires you can't bend by hand.
 

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Any consideration to balancing the phases? ie 2 window air conditioners each on own breaker, one on each phase assuming the ac's will be used at same time?
Then maybe a microwave oven on one phase and a refrigerator on the other?
IMO you'd have to go out of your way to imbalance a load in a residential panel. With the transient nature, and typical short usage, of residential loads just putting the breakers in the panel will be FINE.
 
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