Which brand of electrical panel?

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by FrankPlumber, Jan 6, 2008.

  1. FrankPlumber

    FrankPlumber New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    Canada
    I'm building a new home and I'm wondering about the brand of electrical panel ( Siemens, GE, etc ).

    Any suggestions?

    Thanks
  2. Chris75

    Chris75 Electrician

    Messages:
    608
    Location:
    Litchfield, CT
    That question will only get you opinions.... My favorite happens to be GE, but really means nothing... so buy what ever you feel is in your price range... I would probably check the price difference between GFI and AFCI breakers and make my choice that way.
  3. BrianJohn

    BrianJohn DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    151
    Location:
    VA
    Square D over GE anyday
  4. leejosepho

    leejosepho DIY scratch-pad engineer

    Square D QO, to be specific!
  5. Alectrician

    Alectrician DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    689
    Seimans, SquareD Homeline and Cutler Hammer are all standard here and about the same quality/style/price. About 120 bucks

    We use 200 amp, 40 space, all in one panels in AZ.
  6. FrankPlumber

    FrankPlumber New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    Canada
    40 spaces?

    When you say 40 spaces, is it 40 breakers double pole which would means 80 breakers single pole or it's 40 breakers single pole?

    Thanks a lot
  7. Chris75

    Chris75 Electrician

    Messages:
    608
    Location:
    Litchfield, CT
    Square D is way overpriced IMO, but to each his own. And I also dislike the panel layout, but you could easily say the same with GE.
  8. construct30

    construct30 New Member

    Messages:
    590
    Location:
    NorthWest PA
    Many breakers tend to be interchangable with other panels, square D doesn't work in a lot of panels and the other breakers don't work in theirs. I would check for what is available and for what price in your area.

    200 amps 40 single breakers 110. 220's counts as two.
  9. Alectrician

    Alectrician DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    689

    40 full spaces.

    I avoid twin breakers and would only install them in a pinch.

    This was a 20/40 chock FULL of twins. Burned buss behind the A/C breaker lead to the change.

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2008
  10. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

    Messages:
    2,714
    Location:
    Central Florida
    What were those sense coils around the service entrance cables used for? Some kind of remote billing, maybe?
  11. Nate R

    Nate R New Member

    Messages:
    472
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    RFI Noise reduction?
  12. BrianJohn

    BrianJohn DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    151
    Location:
    VA
    Look at it differently, my firm does infrared inspections and Sq D QO panels seem to have less thermal issues, not a scientific study just an observation from 27 years of IR scanning. Now most panels we inspect are commercial grade (bolt in CBs) but of the ones we have scanned....


    The "sense coils" are CT's current transformers for remote monitoring of current, possible KW also depending on PTs (Potential or voltage) connections
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2008
  13. Bill Arden

    Bill Arden Computer Programmer

    Messages:
    584
    Location:
    MN, USA
    Don't forget to check auctions and surplus.

    I got a bunch of the style QO style Square D breakers and panels from a building that was going to be torn down. :)

    I don't like the new AL buss HomeLine panels as I think it's a cheep way to make stuff.
  14. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

    Messages:
    2,714
    Location:
    Central Florida
    That's what I suspected. They were connected to the box above the old panel (now gone), and with a little imagination you could see a connection to an antenna of some kind on the right, maybe. I was wondering if the OP's area had a drive-by meter-reading program of some kind. Probably not, since it's been removed, but the service hasn't been hooked up yet, so maybe it'll all be replaced.
  15. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

    Messages:
    2,714
    Location:
    Central Florida
    Q0

    You get what you pay for.

    Does anybody know how I could have convinced the #$%! text editor that I wanted the Title to be "QO", and not "Qo"? The best I could do was the Q0.
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2008
  16. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

    Messages:
    2,714
    Location:
    Central Florida
    Brand of panel aside, if you think you might ever want a whole-house (or part-house) backup generator, now is the time to install the wiring for it. Typically the transfer switch switches to a subset of circuits to keep live (unless you do in fact install a true whole-house unit). Wiring those circuits on a separate subpanel now will make the eventual installation much easier.

    I've recommended this to several people, both in blizzard country and in hurricane country, and those who took my advice have thanked me for it.
  17. Alectrician

    Alectrician DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    689
    Load controller. The POCO's here offer a reduced KWH rate if you keep your usage under a certain point during PEAK hours. If you go over, they stick it to you.

    If you go over, it starts shutting stuff off....A/C, W/H etc. They were all the rage in the 80's and I remove them all the time. I can't remember the number of service calls I've gone to where the customer didn't even know they had a load controller.
  18. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

    Messages:
    2,714
    Location:
    Central Florida
    Thanks; I guess if they didn't know they had one, it wasn't enough of a nuisance to worry about. How much money did they save?
  19. Bob NH

    Bob NH In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,317
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    I installed and like very much a UL Approved interlock system that lets you back-feed a breaker on the main panel so any circuit may be powered by the generator. You will typically want to turn off the breakers to any large circuits; especially those that are automatically controlled like A/C, electric heat, and water heaters.

    You can get the kit for about $80 including shipping and they are available for both the QO and Homeline Square D panels. Square D Generator Interlock Kit QOCGK2C Inter-Lock[​IMG]</IMG> [Click the link and then substitute e b a y without the spaces for the **** in the address line of your browser]

    They are available for other panels but none that I have found in that price range.

    The interlock requires shutting off the main before the generator breaker can be turned on. It allows powering any circuit in the house from the generator but you must manage the load to within the capacity of the generator.

    The kit contains a device to lock the breaker in place and a template for mounting the interlock. You can use any size 2-pole breaker that is appropriate for your generator and wiring. The 2-pole breaker must be mounted at the top of the right column in the load center.
  20. BrianJohn

    BrianJohn DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    151
    Location:
    VA
    I have always felt if you can afford an generator spend the big bucks do it right and get an automatic transfer switch (ATS). But then I use to sell and service ATS's so I am a bit bias.
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