Main panel breakers

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by M3, Oct 16, 2007.

  1. M3

    M3 Member

    Apr 21, 2007
    Saint Paul, Minnesota
    Hi, I've got a 3 stage question that I hope someone can help with.

    I'm installing a small subpanel in my basement and need to purchase a double pole 40amp breaker for my old (1973) GE panel Model TM1615 (the Homeline subpanel has main lugs)... My first question is that I'm not able to find the type that is specified for the panel (TQP, TQL, TQL-AC, TQAL-AC, THQL-AC, THQAL-AC, and TXQL). I've searched for info on the designations (TQP, AL, AC etc.) but even GE doesn't post them... I can redily find THQP but want to know it will work before buying. Will they work?

    My second concern is that I also noticed that in the main panel it has Aluminum Branch Wiring with CU-AL "TQP" Breakers, not CO/ALR... I assume it is original, but is it a fire hazard? I am pulling new copper #8 (3+G) for the subpanel.

    Third item is; The house has flex conduit throughout - if I pull new copper branch wiring, would it be recommended to pull a ground also, or just continue to use the conduit at the ground conductor?

    thanks for you help.
  2. Bob NH

    Bob NH In the Trades

    Oct 20, 2005
    New Hampshire
    The link below contains a table that includes your panel. A footnote to the table says that you can use the THQP 1/2" breakers.

    NOTE: Actual number of circuits may be increased to maximum UL allowance by utilizing GE’s exclusive 1/2†THQP circuit breakers. See carton labels or Residential Product Catalog (DET-222) for details.

    Is the flex conduit the full size conduit, or is it armored cable (Type AC)? They look similar except for size. You can't pull new wires if it is armored cable rather than flexible metal conduit.

    NEC 250.118(5)(c.) permits the flexible metal conduit to be used for the ground only up to 6 ft in length. Armored cable can be used for the ground if it is properly terminated in metal boxes.
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  4. M3

    M3 Member

    Apr 21, 2007
    Saint Paul, Minnesota
    Thanks Bob! I appreciate your help.

    Not being an electrician, I'm relatively certain it is FMC. The house has both 1/2" and 3/4" inside diameter, and there is not a ground wire running with the branch wires. I've seen the AC which is only about 3/8" and has the conductors installed already... Was the allowance of 6' maximum length possibly a newer NEC code (post 1973)? If so, I take that I must pull a grounding wire...

    Any thoughts on the CU-AL breakers with aluminum wiring???
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