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Discussion Starter #1
I replaced existing regular breakers in pannel with thin in order to make room for new microwave circuit.
At begining I wasnt expecting to be complicated, but it appears that when I turned power back on I dont get how water and my dryer doesnt have heat at all (only spins) dryer and water heater are separate circuits. When I used tester to see if there is power at all, both hot water are indicating that there is, but when I measure voltage accorss two how wires I was getting various numbers, from 0 to 30V.
This is urgent since I have to move in tomorrow and there is a major problem with electircal.
I will end up calling somebody in morning to fix my mess but I would like to know now what is the problem since I am so stressed that cant sleep.

Thank you.
 

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Maybe one side of the main breaker didn't turn back on.

Are there any other lights or outlets that don't work right now?

Have you tried turning the main off and back on again?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I did try. 2pole breakers that I havent touched are working fine, when I measured voltage across two hot wires they were giving 220V.
Problem is only with new ones.
I am wondering if there are any jumpers or somethign similar that I didnt do when I replaced regular with thin ones.
 

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Hmmm. You mentioned thin breakers. I don't know exactly how those panels (GE?) work, but are you sure you got the double pole breakers to connect to both hot busses instead of just one? Maybe try moving the double pole breakers up or down one "full" space.
 

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You haven't destroyed anything, you just got both hot wires for the dryer and water heater on the same phase. They need to be on opposite phases but still on a 2-POLE BREAKER. The phases on a 1/2 inch GE panel are as follows:

A
A
B
B
A
A
B
B

You need to get the 240V loads on one A stab and one B stab, but you really should get a licensed electrician to do this as there are other issues involved.

Mark
 

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You haven't destroyed anything, you just got both hot wires for the dryer and water heater on the same phase. They need to be on opposite phases but still on a 2-POLE BREAKER. The phases on a 1/2 inch GE panel are as follows:

A
A
B
B
A
A
B
B


Mark
Is that a typical stab setup? I'd think A B A B A B etc. would be the way to arrange them. Then there'd be no way to incorrectly install a double-pole breaker.
 

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Is that a typical stab setup? I'd think A B A B A B etc. would be the way to arrange them. Then there'd be no way to incorrectly install a double-pole breaker.
It's hard to describe without seeing it, but the GE bus stab looks like a small cross versus a horizontal line (like on other loadcenters). That means each bus stab can take 2 half inch GE breakers. Think of it as a regular tandem breaker sawed in half. The advantage is that a GE panel can have a 2-pole circuit using tandem size breakers. I still don't install GE stuff because it's not the best, but it does have this one advantage.

Mark
 

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Put things back how they were and get some sleep tonight.

You have to have a little more electrical knowledge before you go moving breakers around.

If you must twin things up, do it on low useage 15 amp lighting circuits and make sure they are 2 wire home runs (no red wires). Leave you high draw stuff on full sized breakers.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Electrician checked panel and said that I will need new panel since old one doesn’t support 2 pole thin breakers and there is no room for adding new one.
I am wondering now if any brand of panel is better than other one (Square D, Siemens, GE etc…)


Thank you all for help.
 

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I'm a big fan of Sq. D QO series with Cutler-Hammer CH a close second.

Mark
 

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[Possible] reason for 220v. eq. not working

[i believe that my panel doesnt support thin breaker.] I will call electrician today and post update later.
Your panel (probably, a low-end residential 8/16 or 12/24 from GE) DOES support thin breakers. Otherwise, the breaker wouldn't fit in the panel. Most likely, you positioned the breakers on the same leg. As a result you will have 120v. to ground and Zero volts across both breakers. As Busman pointed out, shifting/repositioning breakers in a panel is best left to a qualified Electrician!:yes::no:Couldn't bring up the "Drinking" icon. Anyway. Don't Drink and Drive!!!
 

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BTW. Just cause an electrician in slow times is telling you to install a new panel. That MAY not be the only option. It all depends on what you have right now. If you have a modern loadcenter with a main CB, and you're just out of slots for breakers, you MIGHT be just as well off with a sub-panel fed from the existing loadcenter. There are too many variables for me to assess online, but I'd get a few opinions from LICENSED electrical contractors before proceeding. That's good advice no matter what the circumstances.


Mark
 

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It might be completely full but there is usually room for one more.

Post a pic for a secons opinion.

We use Siemans panels but residential grade panels are pretty much the same.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Old panel is Federal Pacific which I believe was installed when building was built in 1965. Place is going through extensive remodel and changing panel I believe is right way to do.

See attached photos for existing panel.
 

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I'm afraid you have one of the worst (probably the WORST) panels ever made. Stab-lok breakers are notorious for not tripping when they should (among other problems) and the "buss-stab" design made lousy contact. I hate to say it, but get that old POS replaced.

Mark
 

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question if replacement panel is needed!

[BTW. Just cause an electrician in slow times is telling you to install a new panel. That MAY not be the only option.] It all depends on what you have right now. If you have a modern loadcenter with a main CB, and you're just out of slots for breakers, you MIGHT be just as well off with a sub-panel fed from the existing loadcenter. There are too many variables for me to assess online, but I'd get a few opinions from LICENSED electrical contractors before proceeding. That's good advice no matter what the circumstances.


Mark
IMHO the newly installed [thin] breakers are not inserted in the right slots (to supply 240v.) but the panel is designed to accept thin breakers, due to the fact that they fit into the panel instead of the orig. "thick" breaker. In the industrial panels (by GE, etc.) it's not possible to insert "thin" breakers!:no::yes::drink:Don't Drink and Drive!!!
 
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