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Thread: Circuit panel breaker easy questions (2)

  1. #1
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    Circuit panel breaker easy questions (2)

    On my home panel Example 15 15 on one breaker does that mean its 30 amp total so 15 on each outlet plug on a two plug outlet?
    So If i was figutring how many amp panel I have I would count that as 30?

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    None of mine have a marking like that. Is it 2 breakers with a bar tying the switches together? If so, sounds like 2-110 volt breakers being used for a 220 circuit. If it is a single breaker that is not double width, I have no idea. What brand panel is it? What about a picture to help us? Jim
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim O'Dell View Post
    None of mine have a marking like that. Is it 2 breakers with a bar tying the switches together? If so, sounds like 2-110 volt breakers being used for a 220 circuit. If it is a single breaker that is not double width, I have no idea. What brand panel is it? What about a picture to help us? Jim
    Ill add picture. Yes there double bars on one breaker, both say 15 amp or both say 20 amp etc.

  4. #4
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    To figure out what amp of panel you have, look on the toggle of the main breaker or the label on the inside of the door or possibly inside the box if it is a subpanel (main lugs only).
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  5. #5
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    Breaker

    Its only a 15 amp breaker.That means that each leg of 220 is good for 15 amps not a total to equal 30 amps.Some breakers are made by putting them togeather side by side with rivets and a bar that trips both if one should overload, and others are made as one solid breaker.

  6. #6
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    The rating for a panel is not the sum of all of the breakers in it. It should be (as mentioned above) on the main breaker or written somewhere in the panel cabinet. The feeder wire size can be used to determine the rating as well, in some cases.
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  7. #7
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    Yes the large main one says 200 on it.So even though it says 200 there can be more amps added to it? Without upgrading your service? I added 2 20 amp circuits to it, the electrician on the phone asked if there were any spots on the panel to put the breakers in.He also asked who was manufacturer.He came over for 30 minutes and asked for $175
    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Grunow View Post
    The rating for a panel is not the sum of all of the breakers in it. It should be (as mentioned above) on the main breaker or written somewhere in the panel cabinet. The feeder wire size can be used to determine the rating as well, in some cases.

  8. #8
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    A 200 amp panel means that it, and the wiring to it, are rated for 200 amps maximum. Any more than that being drawn, and the breaker (should) will trip. In theory, you could have circuits totalling 2,000 amps in that panel, but you couldn't be drawing that all at once. It's kind of like a bank--they have a certain amount of cash reserves on hand, but it's only a small percentage of the total on deposit. They're fine as long as not everyone takes everything out of their accounts all at once in cash. Each circuit breaker is like an account--it could be drawn on up to it's max rating, but not all of them could be at the same time. You could run 10 20-amp circuits at near full capacity at once, but if you start up the 11th, you'd trip the main. Or you could run 20 20-amp circuits at half capacity, but as soon as you pull anything on the 21st, you'd trip the main.

    Nowadays, homes are getting so large that many people are putting in dual (or more) 200-amp services, if nothing else, just for the number of circuits. Kitchens take a minimum of about 5-6, 2 per bedroom (x 4 to 6), 2 per bath, 2-4 in the living room, 2 for the furnace, 2 for the A/C, 2 for the dryer, a couple in the garage, you get the picture, they start to add up quick. I just painted a house where they had a 200-amp circuit just for the backup heat coil in their geothermal system.
    Jason

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  9. #9
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    Thanks Jason, I understand better now.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Roehl View Post
    A 200 amp panel means that it, and the wiring to it, are rated for 200 amps maximum. Any more than that being drawn, and the breaker (should) will trip. In theory, you could have circuits totalling 2,000 amps in that panel, but you couldn't be drawing that all at once. It's kind of like a bank--they have a certain amount of cash reserves on hand, but it's only a small percentage of the total on deposit. They're fine as long as not everyone takes everything out of their accounts all at once in cash. Each circuit breaker is like an account--it could be drawn on up to it's max rating, but not all of them could be at the same time. You could run 10 20-amp circuits at near full capacity at once, but if you start up the 11th, you'd trip the main. Or you could run 20 20-amp circuits at half capacity, but as soon as you pull anything on the 21st, you'd trip the main.

    Nowadays, homes are getting so large that many people are putting in dual (or more) 200-amp services, if nothing else, just for the number of circuits. Kitchens take a minimum of about 5-6, 2 per bedroom (x 4 to 6), 2 per bath, 2-4 in the living room, 2 for the furnace, 2 for the A/C, 2 for the dryer, a couple in the garage, you get the picture, they start to add up quick. I just painted a house where they had a 200-amp circuit just for the backup heat coil in their geothermal system.

  10. #10
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    You have what is called a "piggyback" or "tandem" breaker. They are used to gain additional spaces in your panel without upgrading to a box with more space.

    They don't additional amp capacity to your panel. You do however get a full 15 amp circuit on each half of the breaker. They are not for 240V circuits because both circuits come off of the same phase. So you will only have 120V. Your panel can only have 20% of the total spaces filled with these type breakers.

    A SQD Homeline tandem breaker will cost about $22 and the QO series will cost about $29. They are quite expensive, but they offset the cost of an upgrade.

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