How many amps can this panel handle?

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by yellowdog5, May 5, 2009.

  1. yellowdog5

    yellowdog5 New Member

    Messages:
    4
    The panel pictured below is in my barn. It is fed with #2 aluminum wire. It currently has a double pole 60 amp breaker. I have been told I can add a double pole 30 amp breaker for a total of 90 amps. I just want to double check and make sure this is OK. I am aware of the issues with Zinsco panels.
    [​IMG]
    By at 2009-05-04
    [​IMG]
    By at 2009-05-04
    Last edited by a moderator: May 14, 2009
  2. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

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    30 amp

    Where would you add it? There are no lugs for any additional breaker of any type.
  3. yellowdog5

    yellowdog5 New Member

    Messages:
    4
    I was going to switch to the narrow style of breakers, this way there is room for two.
  4. Speedy Petey

    Speedy Petey Licensed Electrical Contractor

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    Location:
    NY State, USA
    That panel may not accept narrow breakers.

    Also, much as it goes against conventional wisdom, adding a 30 to that 60 DOES NOT "equal" 90.

    That is actually a "panel". It is a service (or main) disconnect. See the bonded neutral and grounding electrode conductor.
    What is it feeding? Is it a farm outbuilding?
  5. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

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    Location:
    San Diego
    You would have to read the label as to max amps, and measure the wire gauge of the supply, which I can't tell for sure in the pic.

    For what a thin 60 and another thin 30 Zinsco will cost you, why not just replace the panel?
  6. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

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    26,285
    Location:
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    panel

    You can put two 100 amp two pole breakers, ( in fact you can put in as many as you can fit), in the box, but you will still be limited to whatever the capacity is on the breaker feeding it.
  7. yellowdog5

    yellowdog5 New Member

    Messages:
    4
    It is feeding a barn, and yes, it is a service disconnect, and it will accept narrow breakers. The wire is #2 aluminum.
  8. tjbaudio

    tjbaudio Sound and Light Suppervisor for a School District

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    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Since it is a service disconnect, what is feeding it? A breaker panel out on a pole? That is very common around here. If so you have more options but I would still replace the whole thing.

    If it is a direct feed from the power meter then you have to replace the panel with a unit that has a proper main breaker and then slots for your small circuits.
  9. Speedy Petey

    Speedy Petey Licensed Electrical Contractor

    Messages:
    988
    Location:
    NY State, USA
    Come on now. Please don't start sh*t like this. This is stupid/dangerous advice!

    Pulling the meter is NOT within the scope of DIY work, and even some electricians who are not allowed to.
  10. Alectrician

    Alectrician DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    689
    That's your opinion and I would respect it enough not to censor it and present only my own opinion.

    I'm not allowed to pull meters but I do it because A) it's not rocket science and B) it is a waste of resources (time and money) to schedule outages.

    Unpluging a meter is like unpluging a big extension cord. If you are an adult, you can weigh the risks and make your own decisions.

    You are not going to find a 30/60 quad breaker so you will have to have the meter pulled by a highly trained, qualified specialist and change the panel.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 19, 2009
  11. Speedy Petey

    Speedy Petey Licensed Electrical Contractor

    Messages:
    988
    Location:
    NY State, USA
    True, it is my own opinion. It is also the opinion of most every POCO and AHJ out there.
    It is also illegal in MOST areas, and is NOT smart for someone untrained to do and without PPE. It is even dumber to suggest to someone untrained to do it. That is like saying "Go ahead. Run across that busy expressway. You look quick and nimble. I'm sure you'll make it."
  12. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego

    This debate has gotten a little testy, but felt I needed to add my 2 cents worth.
  13. Alectrician

    Alectrician DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    689
    This is testy? Heh heh....this isn't even close to testy.


    Hmmmm.....Is testy derived from testosterone? I never thought of it that way but, when guys like Petey and I get into it, there may be some testosterone involved.
  14. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,285
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    meter

    Here, you could pull the meter yourself, but then APS would subject you to a $25,000.00 fine for tampering, and possibly charge you will "stealing" electricity because they would not know WHEN you did it, or whether you were installing jumpers to bypass the meter socket. And, since they "pull" on the seals when they read the meter, they would know that you had cut it off. I once installed an additional service to a suite and back fed it from an existing panel. The power company initially thought I had tapped in ahead of the meter and was getting ready to write up the paperwork when they realized I was not "stealing" the power.
    Last edited: May 21, 2009
  15. yellowdog5

    yellowdog5 New Member

    Messages:
    4
    We have fiber optic meter reading. Wouldn't that be a sure catch for an illegally pulled meter? Don't worry, I wouldn't dream of it anyway.
  16. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,285
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    meter

    Yes, they could send the enforcement officers immediately to issue the citation.
  17. Alectrician

    Alectrician DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    689
    I just realized that the Zinsco bus will accept thin 2 pole breakers.


    This is a thin two pole 30 that would fit in your panel. The two pole thin 50 would be the same size. You can do what you want because of the Zinsco style bus.

    [​IMG]


    It's still not real safe to pull out old breakers in this style of panel. They do get stuck and often have to be coaxed out.
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