Question about this electrical breaker

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Jmaclicious
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Question about this electrical breaker

Post by Jmaclicious » Sun Dec 03, 2017 10:40 pm

Hey, so I was looking to make some room into this panel in order to add a circuit for the basement reno im doing.. I noticed that for this one section "Range" it has a double pole 40 amp breaker with a pole in the middle (taking up 4) slots in it.. for my Whirlpool Electric Stove, I was looking to replace this with a normal 40amp double pole stab-lok breaker... Im just curious as to why this was done this way? ** Notice slot 5,6, 7, 8 **
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Aaron
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Re: Question about this electrical breaker

Post by Aaron » Mon Dec 04, 2017 3:13 am

Without seeing the backplane of the panel or a circuit diagram, I’m guessing that the panel may accomodate tandem breakers anywhere. So the manufacturer labeled each slot with a pair of contiguous numbers, as shown: 1, 2; 3, 4; ...; 23, 24.

A non-tandem single-pole breaker takes the full slot, so it is assigned two numbers. I see two of those taking slots numbered 13, 14 and 15, 16.

So, a double-pole breaker occupies two full slots, as essentially they are two single-pole breakers that are bridged. That is why there are handle ties.

The numbering in that panel is pretty confusing; it’s not how the numbering is done on modern panels. Modern panels are numberd by full slots. Tandem breakers are not really used much anymore modern panels are quite large and typically have 30-40 full slots. If you did install a tandem breaker, say in slot 7, you might choose to label them 7A and 7B.

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Re: Question about this electrical breaker

Post by Jmaclicious » Mon Dec 04, 2017 2:04 pm

Aaron wrote:
Mon Dec 04, 2017 3:13 am
Without seeing the backplane of the panel or a circuit diagram, I’m guessing that the panel may accomodate tandem breakers anywhere. So the manufacturer labeled each slot with a pair of contiguous numbers, as shown: 1, 2; 3, 4; ...; 23, 24.

A non-tandem single-pole breaker takes the full slot, so it is assigned two numbers. I see two of those taking slots numbered 13, 14 and 15, 16.

So, a double-pole breaker occupies two full slots, as essentially they are two single-pole breakers that are bridged. That is why there are handle ties.

The numbering in that panel is pretty confusing; it’s not how the numbering is done on modern panels. Modern panels are numberd by full slots. Tandem breakers are not really used much anymore modern panels are quite large and typically have 30-40 full slots. If you did install a tandem breaker, say in slot 7, you might choose to label them 7A and 7B.
Thanks for the reply, I took some pictures of the inside. This was the breaker I was looking at replacing it with. https://www.rona.ca/en/breaker---double ... 1614007--1
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emtnut
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Re: Question about this electrical breaker

Post by emtnut » Mon Dec 04, 2017 6:40 pm

We would really need the panel circuit diagram to tell you for sure.

If you put in a tandem, you have to make sure that you have one pole on each phase.

Looks like in the second pictures, someone replace the 30A dryer double pole with a tandem, but it is shifted one space so it's picking up opposite phases. Looks like you have a single space above that now.

The circuit diagram will tell us how many slots can be used as tandems ... most panels are limited.
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Re: Question about this electrical breaker

Post by emtnut » Mon Dec 04, 2017 6:42 pm

I will look similar to this.
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Re: Question about this electrical breaker

Post by Jmaclicious » Mon Dec 04, 2017 7:19 pm

emtnut wrote:
Mon Dec 04, 2017 6:40 pm
We would really need the panel circuit diagram to tell you for sure.

If you put in a tandem, you have to make sure that you have one pole on each phase.

Looks like in the second pictures, someone replace the 30A dryer double pole with a tandem, but it is shifted one space so it's picking up opposite phases
. Looks like you have a single space above that now.

The circuit diagram will tell us how many slots can be used as tandems ... most panels are limited.
Thanks for noticing the dryer one, I just went and moved it over so it doesn't cause problems, I couldn't find that diagram anywhere :( This panel was poorly labelled.

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Re: Question about this electrical breaker

Post by emtnut » Mon Dec 04, 2017 7:35 pm

Jmaclicious wrote:
Mon Dec 04, 2017 7:19 pm

Thanks for noticing the dryer one, I just went and moved it over so it doesn't cause problems, I couldn't find that diagram anywhere :( This panel was poorly labelled.
Good thing you did, or you would of had a phase to phase short ! :o

Now that you have a spot above it, you can put a new tandem there (single circuit)

Given the age of that panel, I'd start to think of upgrading if you need to add more circuits.

Also, if the labeling is correct, the AC is on 2 separate breakers .. that's a code violation :?
Either way, I don't see a double pole anywhere for the AC !
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Re: Question about this electrical breaker

Post by Jmaclicious » Mon Dec 04, 2017 8:03 pm

emtnut wrote:
Mon Dec 04, 2017 7:35 pm
Jmaclicious wrote:
Mon Dec 04, 2017 7:19 pm

Thanks for noticing the dryer one, I just went and moved it over so it doesn't cause problems, I couldn't find that diagram anywhere :( This panel was poorly labelled.
Good thing you did, or you would of had a phase to phase short ! :o

Now that you have a spot above it, you can put a new tandem there (single circuit)

Given the age of that panel, I'd start to think of upgrading if you need to add more circuits.

Also, if the labeling is correct, the AC is on 2 separate breakers .. that's a code violation :?
Either way, I don't see a double pole anywhere for the AC !
I did definitely look into replacing the panel, however a few quotes I got were readily forcing me to go 200a service.. which was a little bit more expensive than Id like, also.. had a lot of confusion with my last quote the guy said the panel was in a stupid spot, and if i replaced it to a bigger 100 amp panel the inspector would make me change the location of the panel bc the current one is "too high", and made id sound like it was going to be a gong show of work. :\

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Re: Question about this electrical breaker

Post by emtnut » Mon Dec 04, 2017 8:41 pm

Jmaclicious wrote:
Mon Dec 04, 2017 8:03 pm

I did definitely look into replacing the panel, however a few quotes I got were readily forcing me to go 200a service.. which was a little bit more expensive than Id like, also.. had a lot of confusion with my last quote the guy said the panel was in a stupid spot, and if i replaced it to a bigger 100 amp panel the inspector would make me change the location of the panel bc the current one is "too high", and made id sound like it was going to be a gong show of work. :\
The last guy could be right ... there are provisions in code for access and min/max heights. It depends on where the panel is right now.

They shouldn't push a 200A panel if you don't need it. I have a 100A service, and unless I was going with electric heat, or large sauna, electric car etc ... It's not often required.

An option, if you have room beside your panel, is to install a sub-panel.
That would give you a few spare spots, and just leave your existing panel.
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Aaron
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Re: Question about this electrical breaker

Post by Aaron » Tue Dec 05, 2017 1:46 am

Agreed, if you have 100A service now, you should be able to just replace the panel, or add a subpanel to extend it.

With 200A you’ll likely need new a new service line from the utility’s transformer, as well as a new meter socket, weather head (if aerial), and a new service entrance cable. Not to mention the new 200A panel.

It’s not a cheap upgrade.

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Re: Question about this electrical breaker

Post by emtnut » Tue Dec 05, 2017 10:10 am

Jmaclicious wrote:
Mon Dec 04, 2017 7:19 pm
emtnut wrote:
Mon Dec 04, 2017 6:40 pm
We would really need the panel circuit diagram to tell you for sure.

If you put in a tandem, you have to make sure that you have one pole on each phase.

Looks like in the second pictures, someone replace the 30A dryer double pole with a tandem, but it is shifted one space so it's picking up opposite phases
. Looks like you have a single space above that now.

The circuit diagram will tell us how many slots can be used as tandems ... most panels are limited.
Thanks for noticing the dryer one, I just went and moved it over so it doesn't cause problems, I couldn't find that diagram anywhere :( This panel was poorly labelled.
Hey JMac,
Re-reading this, I think we misunderstood each other.
The dryer breaker is in the correct spot in the picture you posted ... it's on opposite phases as it should be.
Did you move it ? If so, put it back !!
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Re: Question about this electrical breaker

Post by Jmaclicious » Tue Dec 05, 2017 4:49 pm

emtnut wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 10:10 am
Jmaclicious wrote:
Mon Dec 04, 2017 7:19 pm


Thanks for noticing the dryer one, I just went and moved it over so it doesn't cause problems, I couldn't find that diagram anywhere :( This panel was poorly labelled.
Hey JMac,
Re-reading this, I think we misunderstood each other.
The dryer breaker is in the correct spot in the picture you posted ... it's on opposite phases as it should be.
Did you move it ? If so, put it back !!

Oops, yes I did move it, I will go move it back right now =] Thanks Emtnut!!

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Re: Question about this electrical breaker

Post by emtnut » Tue Dec 05, 2017 6:34 pm

Jmaclicious wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 4:49 pm
Oops, yes I did move it, I will go move it back right now =] Thanks Emtnut!!
OK, good ! I wouldn't want you to have to wear wet clothes :mrgreen:
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Re: Question about this electrical breaker

Post by Jmaclicious » Tue Dec 05, 2017 9:44 pm

emtnut wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 6:34 pm
Jmaclicious wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 4:49 pm
Oops, yes I did move it, I will go move it back right now =] Thanks Emtnut!!
OK, good ! I wouldn't want you to have to wear wet clothes :mrgreen:

Ahaha thank you, def not the time for wet clothes in this weather! Also I got a msg back from the last electrical guy i asked that mentioned about the panel needing to be moved if i get a bigger one.. however he said by looking at the pictures he said I can add 5 circuits to that panel.. Is this correct, dangerous, or just crazy? lol. I really probably only need maybe 4 at most.. (Sump Pit GFCI, Bathroom, Storage Room freezer for sure, and then 1 more for more receptacles perhaps.

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Re: Question about this electrical breaker

Post by Aaron » Tue Dec 05, 2017 11:13 pm

Maybe he's prosing you change some single-pole breakers to tandems, and perhaps consolidating some circuits.

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Re: Question about this electrical breaker

Post by emtnut » Wed Dec 06, 2017 7:26 pm

Jmaclicious wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 9:44 pm
emtnut wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 6:34 pm


OK, good ! I wouldn't want you to have to wear wet clothes :mrgreen:

Ahaha thank you, def not the time for wet clothes in this weather! Also I got a msg back from the last electrical guy i asked that mentioned about the panel needing to be moved if i get a bigger one.. however he said by looking at the pictures he said I can add 5 circuits to that panel.. Is this correct, dangerous, or just crazy? lol. I really probably only need maybe 4 at most.. (Sump Pit GFCI, Bathroom, Storage Room freezer for sure, and then 1 more for more receptacles perhaps.
I'd need the circuit diagram for that panel to tell you for sure.
Either way, if your adding new circuits they would need GFCI for the sump pump, and AFCI for the other circuits. You won't be able to get those breakers for that panel.
I think the small sub panel is your best bet for any expansion
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Re: Question about this electrical breaker

Post by Jmaclicious » Wed Dec 06, 2017 7:30 pm

Aaron wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 11:13 pm
Maybe he's prosing you change some single-pole breakers to tandems, and perhaps consolidating some circuits.
Hmm, yeah this guy seems busy or lazy, because he suggests I just keep my current panel and make room, and that the use of the thinner breakers and this brand of panel has been around Winnipeg in both old and new builds and that there is no risk with it, So that being said I bought that Electrical Code Simplified - 23rd Edition, e-book I found in that electrical section and started looking at the pictures I took of my panel with the updated Dryer Breaker. That current 40 amp Breaker thats tied together is for the 240V Oven.. In this book I read to use a 50amp breaker, now if I bought one from Rona (Similar to the 2Pole dryer one it looks like), I would put it in the same way so that it's using opposite phases for the 240V in the slots #6 & #7 which would open up two 120v slots #5 and #8, one on the left, and one on the right side of it that I can use for lighting or receptacles ? Also I could free up the top spots (13,14, 15,16) by reducing those to the half size 15amp breakers which would use each 120v - Currently #13 & #14 is a 15 amp breaker that goes to the garage, and #15 & #16 is for a section of the basement and upstairs lights/plugs

Also that 15 AMP 2 POLE Breaker which is for the A/C is on the opposite phases #22 & #23.

I probably don't need to add too many more circuits, I just want the basement ones isolated from the old loomex without ground wiring so there's no issues. Also in that book it's suggested to keep 8-9 outlets on the circuit instead of a full 12... what's your thoughts on this? I am using 12-2 wire for the basement outlets and 14-2/14-3 for the lighting. I will be doing the lighting with all LOTUS SLIM LED or LITELINE SLIM LED pot lights also.. just unsure if it's smart to wire the lighting and outlets together, or try and keep all outlets on one circuit, and all lights on another.

And last but not least :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: I was reading mix info on bathrooms requiring their own circuit, according to this book and from what I found in winnipeg is that the bathroom can be on another circuit as long as the receptacle is GFCI.. but that would not cause issues with AFCI?

Sorry for the millions of questions and confusion, trying to learn and understand it all :)


This picture is the CURRENT PIC of the panel and breaker locations. :)
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Re: Question about this electrical breaker

Post by emtnut » Wed Dec 06, 2017 8:38 pm

Jmaclicious wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 7:30 pm

Hmm, yeah this guy seems busy or lazy, because he suggests I just keep my current panel and make room, and that the use of the thinner breakers and this brand of panel has been around Winnipeg in both old and new builds and that there is no risk with it.
That's true to an extent ... many panels limit the number of tandems. Take a look at the sample diagram I posted. Only the bottom 8 breakers can be a tandem in that panel

So that being said I bought that Electrical Code Simplified - 23rd Edition, e-book I found in that electrical section and started looking at the pictures I took of my panel with the updated Dryer Breaker. That current 40 amp Breaker thats tied together is for the 240V Oven.. In this book I read to use a 50amp breaker
I think you misunderstood something there. Range is on 40A cct with #8AWG wire. If you do replace what you have, replace it with a 40A breaker


now if I bought one from Rona (Similar to the 2Pole dryer one it looks like), I would put it in the same way so that it's using opposite phases for the 240V in the slots #6 & #7 which would open up two 120v slots #5 and #8, one on the left, and one on the right side of it that I can use for lighting or receptacles ? Also I could free up the top spots (13,14, 15,16) by reducing those to the half size 15amp breakers which would use each 120v - Currently #13 & #14 is a 15 amp breaker that goes to the garage, and #15 & #16 is for a section of the basement and upstairs lights/plugs

In principle what you said is correct. I just can't say if all spaces in your panel are OK with tandems. It may very well be so, I just haven't worked on one, so I cant confirm without seeing the panel circuit diagram

Also that 15 AMP 2 POLE Breaker which is for the A/C is on the opposite phases #22 & #23.
That's good ... In the first pic, I thought it was 2 separate breakers in different locations !

I probably don't need to add too many more circuits, I just want the basement ones isolated from the old loomex without ground wiring so there's no issues. Also in that book it's suggested to keep 8-9 outlets on the circuit instead of a full 12... what's your thoughts on this? I am using 12-2 wire for the basement outlets and 14-2/14-3 for the lighting. I will be doing the lighting with all LOTUS SLIM LED or LITELINE SLIM LED pot lights also.. just unsure if it's smart to wire the lighting and outlets together, or try and keep all outlets on one circuit, and all lights on another.

And last but not least :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: I was reading mix info on bathrooms requiring their own circuit, according to this book and from what I found in winnipeg is that the bathroom can be on another circuit as long as the receptacle is GFCI.. but that would not cause issues with AFCI?

Sorry for the millions of questions and confusion, trying to learn and understand it all :)


This picture is the CURRENT PIC of the panel and breaker locations. :)
Depending on what is on your outlets, 8-9 recepts is a good idea. If they are general purpose feeding LED lamps and Cell phone chargers, I'd go with the full 12.

Bathrooms do not 'require' their own circuit. But it is best to keep them separate, and keep the lighting separate too (to avoid the AFCI on GFCI)

You will have to run armoured cable from your panel to the first outlet, and AFCI from there, because you won't be able to get AFCI or GFCI breakers for that panel.
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Re: Question about this electrical breaker

Post by Jmaclicious » Thu Dec 07, 2017 12:59 am

emtnut wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 8:38 pm
Jmaclicious wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 7:30 pm

Hmm, yeah this guy seems busy or lazy, because he suggests I just keep my current panel and make room, and that the use of the thinner breakers and this brand of panel has been around Winnipeg in both old and new builds and that there is no risk with it.
That's true to an extent ... many panels limit the number of tandems. Take a look at the sample diagram I posted. Only the bottom 8 breakers can be a tandem in that panel

So that being said I bought that Electrical Code Simplified - 23rd Edition, e-book I found in that electrical section and started looking at the pictures I took of my panel with the updated Dryer Breaker. That current 40 amp Breaker thats tied together is for the 240V Oven.. In this book I read to use a 50amp breaker
I think you misunderstood something there. Range is on 40A cct with #8AWG wire. If you do replace what you have, replace it with a 40A breaker


now if I bought one from Rona (Similar to the 2Pole dryer one it looks like), I would put it in the same way so that it's using opposite phases for the 240V in the slots #6 & #7 which would open up two 120v slots #5 and #8, one on the left, and one on the right side of it that I can use for lighting or receptacles ? Also I could free up the top spots (13,14, 15,16) by reducing those to the half size 15amp breakers which would use each 120v - Currently #13 & #14 is a 15 amp breaker that goes to the garage, and #15 & #16 is for a section of the basement and upstairs lights/plugs

In principle what you said is correct. I just can't say if all spaces in your panel are OK with tandems. It may very well be so, I just haven't worked on one, so I cant confirm without seeing the panel circuit diagram

Also that 15 AMP 2 POLE Breaker which is for the A/C is on the opposite phases #22 & #23.
That's good ... In the first pic, I thought it was 2 separate breakers in different locations !

I probably don't need to add too many more circuits, I just want the basement ones isolated from the old loomex without ground wiring so there's no issues. Also in that book it's suggested to keep 8-9 outlets on the circuit instead of a full 12... what's your thoughts on this? I am using 12-2 wire for the basement outlets and 14-2/14-3 for the lighting. I will be doing the lighting with all LOTUS SLIM LED or LITELINE SLIM LED pot lights also.. just unsure if it's smart to wire the lighting and outlets together, or try and keep all outlets on one circuit, and all lights on another.

And last but not least :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: I was reading mix info on bathrooms requiring their own circuit, according to this book and from what I found in winnipeg is that the bathroom can be on another circuit as long as the receptacle is GFCI.. but that would not cause issues with AFCI?

Sorry for the millions of questions and confusion, trying to learn and understand it all :)


This picture is the CURRENT PIC of the panel and breaker locations. :)
Depending on what is on your outlets, 8-9 recepts is a good idea. If they are general purpose feeding LED lamps and Cell phone chargers, I'd go with the full 12.

Bathrooms do not 'require' their own circuit. But it is best to keep them separate, and keep the lighting separate too (to avoid the AFCI on GFCI)

You will have to run armoured cable from your panel to the first outlet, and AFCI from there, because you won't be able to get AFCI or GFCI breakers for that panel.

Awesome thank you!! And yes its actually so stressful and annoying, been trying to look everywhere online for a circuit diagram for this panel and can't find anything, anywhere ! :evil:

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Re: Question about this electrical breaker

Post by emtnut » Thu Dec 07, 2017 6:56 am

I was talking to a buddy of mine this morning. He did residential years ago.

He said that your panel can have a total of 24 circuits on it.

You currently have 19, so you can replace the 2 'larger' breakers with tandems, and you will have 5 spots available.

He installed hundreds of those panels 'back in the day' , so he knows it well ;)

Keep in mind, for any tandem 'double pole' breakers ... They NEED to be installed on opposing phases (like the dryer breaker)
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Re: Question about this electrical breaker

Post by Jmaclicious » Thu Dec 07, 2017 10:13 pm

emtnut wrote:
Thu Dec 07, 2017 6:56 am
I was talking to a buddy of mine this morning. He did residential years ago.

He said that your panel can have a total of 24 circuits on it.

You currently have 19, so you can replace the 2 'larger' breakers with tandems, and you will have 5 spots available.

He installed hundreds of those panels 'back in the day' , so he knows it well ;)

Keep in mind, for any tandem 'double pole' breakers ... They NEED to be installed on opposing phases (like the dryer breaker)
Wow! Awesome thanks for going out of your way to figure that out for me! Greatly appreciated. Also as I was downstairs trying to map out my circuits and see where everything is I came across some more questions lol.

I had my water meter relocated previously from the front of my house to the underneath of the stairs... and the piping is done with polypropylene, The person put a ground clamp at the beginning of the water pipe where it comes into the house and then had it put like this, but when my waterproofing guys came and did the weeping tile/sump pit they concreted the wire in like so.. it looks messy and I dont think an inspector would think this is good.

Also the next issue is my house of course still has older cloth type loomex in the upstairs, and I see that some things are grounded to copper piping here as shown in the picture, however I want to replace the copper with PEX piping as I need to relocate all my waterlines since I will be moving the hot water tank. What are my options to making sure things are bonded and proper?

Thanks again I do appreciate the help. - excuse the mess :D
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Re: Question about this electrical breaker

Post by emtnut » Fri Dec 08, 2017 8:51 am

Jmaclicious wrote:
Thu Dec 07, 2017 10:13 pm
I had my water meter relocated previously from the front of my house to the underneath of the stairs... and the piping is done with polypropylene, The person put a ground clamp at the beginning of the water pipe where it comes into the house and then had it put like this, but when my waterproofing guys came and did the weeping tile/sump pit they concreted the wire in like so.. it looks messy and I dont think an inspector would think this is good.

Also the next issue is my house of course still has older cloth type loomex in the upstairs, and I see that some things are grounded to copper piping here as shown in the picture, however I want to replace the copper with PEX piping as I need to relocate all my waterlines since I will be moving the hot water tank. What are my options to making sure things are bonded and proper?

Thanks again I do appreciate the help. - excuse the mess :D
Well, I'll start with the good news.
For your receptacles, you can either run new loomex to them. Or you can run that green wire back to the panel. Lest preferred would be to GFCI the first outlet, and feed the remaining off of the load side (This is 'safe' but not best ... also, can be problems in old house wiring if there are shared neutrals )

For your grounding clamp, it's required to be accessible. Also the #6 ground wire needs protection where it's exposed to damage (along the wall is fine, just where it's out in the open before the sump pit)
Short of digging up the concrete :o ... does the copper water line come up through the floor anywhere before the transition to pex ? If so, run your ground wire there.
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Re: Question about this electrical breaker

Post by Jmaclicious » Fri Dec 08, 2017 5:15 pm

emtnut wrote:
Fri Dec 08, 2017 8:51 am
Jmaclicious wrote:
Thu Dec 07, 2017 10:13 pm
I had my water meter relocated previously from the front of my house to the underneath of the stairs... and the piping is done with polypropylene, The person put a ground clamp at the beginning of the water pipe where it comes into the house and then had it put like this, but when my waterproofing guys came and did the weeping tile/sump pit they concreted the wire in like so.. it looks messy and I dont think an inspector would think this is good.

Also the next issue is my house of course still has older cloth type loomex in the upstairs, and I see that some things are grounded to copper piping here as shown in the picture, however I want to replace the copper with PEX piping as I need to relocate all my waterlines since I will be moving the hot water tank. What are my options to making sure things are bonded and proper?

Thanks again I do appreciate the help. - excuse the mess :D
Well, I'll start with the good news.
For your receptacles, you can either run new loomex to them. Or you can run that green wire back to the panel. Lest preferred would be to GFCI the first outlet, and feed the remaining off of the load side (This is 'safe' but not best ... also, can be problems in old house wiring if there are shared neutrals )

For your grounding clamp, it's required to be accessible. Also the #6 ground wire needs protection where it's exposed to damage (along the wall is fine, just where it's out in the open before the sump pit)
Short of digging up the concrete :o ... does the copper water line come up through the floor anywhere before the transition to pex ? If so, run your ground wire there.
Crap, yeah the grounding clamp totally is not accessible anymore as its buried about 2 ft below the concrete way across the other side of the basement where the pipe first entered the house before it was changed to that polypropylene piping that comes out of the ground to the water meter. I was reading around and I came across something that said the ground clamp must be accessible "if practical" , and mine is in a "wet" location under the ground where we have a higher water table, so it would require a lot to keep something like that accessible in the location its in hmm.
The copper wire is buried near this cleanout about 2ft down.(its an old pic before the concrete and framing went up)
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Aaron
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Re: Question about this electrical breaker

Post by Aaron » Fri Dec 08, 2017 7:54 pm

I dunno about Canada, but here in the US (under NEC), water pipes entering the house are no longer considered the primary source of ground, but rather a supplementary source. Another supplementary source could be gas lines (modern natural gas lines are PE underground as well--they too are an unreliable primary source). So the primary source are ground rods.

So in your scenario, since you have a PE supply to your meter from the street, instead of copper, it cannot be a ground source at all. However, all your metallic water pipes in the house should still be grounded anyway, along with the meter (you run a jumper from one side of the meter to the other).

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emtnut
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Re: Question about this electrical breaker

Post by emtnut » Sat Dec 09, 2017 11:25 am

Jmaclicious wrote:
Fri Dec 08, 2017 5:15 pm

Crap, yeah the grounding clamp totally is not accessible anymore as its buried about 2 ft below the concrete way across the other side of the basement where the pipe first entered the house before it was changed to that polypropylene piping that comes out of the ground to the water meter. I was reading around and I came across something that said the ground clamp must be accessible "if practical" , and mine is in a "wet" location under the ground where we have a higher water table, so it would require a lot to keep something like that accessible in the location its in hmm.
The copper wire is buried near this cleanout about 2ft down.(its an old pic before the concrete and framing went up)
This is a tough one :? Code requires you to ground to the waterpipe if it is copper. Technically yours IS copper (ie, not PE to the outside) I'm not sure how an Inspector would handle that.

The clamp for the ground wire probably isn't listed for underground use, and even if it was, it's something the inspector needs to approve before you fill it in. (This setup is used often in UFER grounding systems). I would install an 8' ground rod or ground plate outside, just to be on the safe side.

What Aaron said about a ground rod is true ... If you don't have one, it would be good to have one installed. You could remove the ground wire from the floor, and it would still be a safe installation. Again, I'm not sure if an Inspector would approve though if he knew that the copper was under the floor ???
The fact that it's PE sticking out, may cover you ... I'd be guessing thou !
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Aaron
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Re: Question about this electrical breaker

Post by Aaron » Sat Dec 09, 2017 12:35 pm

You may already have ground rods... The wire for burial is usually solid #6 or #4. The rods are usually buried close to the electric meter, because that is presumably where the panel is on the inside of the house.

If you don't have rods, consider it a project you can do next summer. It's a workout getting those rods into the ground, and it's MUCH harder when the ground is frozen.

If you do already have ground rods, then you can cut that ground wire going into the concrete. Use a hacksaw and cut it close to the floor, then you could use a grinder to grind it down to the floor level.

Keeping the wire as long as possible. I would make the next cut closest to where you could clamp it to the copper pipe that is closest to the panel, yet continuously copper to the meter. Then cut another piece long enough to install two clamps on each side of the meter--you should have a jumper around the meter.

You should also have a jumper from the cold water supply entering you water heater to the hot water supply leaving the water heater.

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Re: Question about this electrical breaker

Post by Jmaclicious » Sat Dec 09, 2017 5:26 pm

So the ground rods/plates would be installed on the outside of my house or is that something on the inside in order to connect it to the panel? If so on the outside, how would that wire run to the inside of my panel? I dont mind doing the digging/hammering, as I already did all the crazy trenching in my basement for all the plumbing/sump pits etc.

Also as I was down there I mapped out my circuit in order to get some input from you guys -- also came across some things I noticed.


So in the panel of the 24 circuits
its listed:

#1 - Empty
#2 , #3 - 30A Dryer
#4 - 20A Washing Machine Outlet (New)
#5, #6, #7, #8 - 40A Oven
#9 - 20A Dishwasher
#10 - 15A Bathroom Fan/Light
#11 - 15A Driveyway Car Outlet
#12 - 15A 1x Storage Room Outlet
#13, #14 - 15A Garage/Gazebo Outlets/Lights
#15, #16 - 3 Bedrooms Upstairs Lights/Outlets (aside from 1 in the master bedroom, which one is connected to another circuit), Hallway Light, Bathroom Vanity Light, Basement Bedroom Light(temp) - as these wires are connnected in a Junction box in the storage room.
#17 - 15A Basement Old Laundry Room Switch, 1x Florescent Light Fixture, 1 Old Basement Outlet, and transformer to the doorbell (Since I got rid of this laundry room, I could probably use this circuit for new basmeent rec-room instead).
#18 -Power goes to basement stair light which goes to the switch bottom and upstairs, along with top stairs light and exterior outside light, while another run from the basement stair light then goes to junction box then goes Upstairs to recroom lights, Front door exterior Light, kitchen lights, hallway by kitchen light, and the master bedroom 1 outlet. - This junction box is located in the basement which I want to remove in order to drywall ceiling.
#19 - Power goes to a junction box then splits - 1 goes to upstairs fridge, the other goes to an old outlet(old basement washer outlet), which then powers the upstairs kitchen counter outlets. (Also in a junction box int he basement which I would like to remove or relocate in order to drywall ceiling.
#20 - 15a Furnace
#21 - 20A sump pump/freezer currently.
#22, #23 - A/C Unit
#24 - Basement Rec Room - LIGHTS.

Also during this wire chase I found my furnace wiring to be discoloured as such... I just had my furnace replaced last year or two ago not sure the reasoning for this:
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Aaron
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Re: Question about this electrical breaker

Post by Aaron » Sat Dec 09, 2017 8:36 pm

Jmaclicious wrote:
Sat Dec 09, 2017 5:26 pm
So the ground rods/plates would be installed on the outside of my house or is that something on the inside in order to connect it to the panel? If so on the outside, how would that wire run to the inside of my panel? I dont mind doing the digging/hammering, as I already did all the crazy trenching in my basement for all the plumbing/sump pits etc.
Well, in my house there is just a bare #4 copper wire leaving out of the house through the same hole my service entrance conduit enters the house from the meter socket. In the panel the wire is connected to the neutral/ground terminal strip. Outside, the wire is visible and just goes right into the ground next to the foundation of the house where the rods are buried.

I think in some installations, this same ground may actually come from the meter socket.

In some new-construction homes, I've seen them clamp the ground to a piece of re-bar encased in concrete but pokes up through in order to clamp to it. This is completely inside the basement--not outside. As far as I know, re-bar is an acceptable ground source if it tests ≤25 Ω with a multimeter.
Jmaclicious wrote:
Sat Dec 09, 2017 5:26 pm
Also as I was down there I mapped out my circuit in order to get some input from you guys -- also came across some things I noticed.

So in the panel of the 24 circuits
its listed:

#1 - Empty
#2 , #3 - 30A Dryer
#4 - 20A Washing Machine Outlet (New)
#5, #6, #7, #8 - 40A Oven
#9 - 20A Dishwasher
#10 - 15A Bathroom Fan/Light
#11 - 15A Driveyway Car Outlet
#12 - 15A 1x Storage Room Outlet
#13, #14 - 15A Garage/Gazebo Outlets/Lights
#15, #16 - 3 Bedrooms Upstairs Lights/Outlets (aside from 1 in the master bedroom, which one is connected to another circuit), Hallway Light, Bathroom Vanity Light, Basement Bedroom Light(temp) - as these wires are connnected in a Junction box in the storage room.
#17 - 15A Basement Old Laundry Room Switch, 1x Florescent Light Fixture, 1 Old Basement Outlet, and transformer to the doorbell (Since I got rid of this laundry room, I could probably use this circuit for new basmeent rec-room instead).
#18 -Power goes to basement stair light which goes to the switch bottom and upstairs, along with top stairs light and exterior outside light, while another run from the basement stair light then goes to junction box then goes Upstairs to recroom lights, Front door exterior Light, kitchen lights, hallway by kitchen light, and the master bedroom 1 outlet. - This junction box is located in the basement which I want to remove in order to drywall ceiling.
#19 - Power goes to a junction box then splits - 1 goes to upstairs fridge, the other goes to an old outlet(old basement washer outlet), which then powers the upstairs kitchen counter outlets. (Also in a junction box int he basement which I would like to remove or relocate in order to drywall ceiling.
#20 - 15a Furnace
#21 - 20A sump pump/freezer currently.
#22, #23 - A/C Unit
#24 - Basement Rec Room - LIGHTS.
If you can keep all the circuits that power lights separate from those that power receptacles throughout the house, that is really ideal. Not sure if your house is wired that way. Also if you drywall your basement, you will need to eliminate all junction boxes, unless you are okay with having box covers.

All junctions ideally happen inside light, switch, or receptacle boxes.
Jmaclicious wrote:
Sat Dec 09, 2017 5:26 pm
Also during this wire chase I found my furnace wiring to be discoloured as such... I just had my furnace replaced last year or two ago not sure the reasoning for this:
Ah, that's happened to me before! That is where the cable rubbed against a dark coating or film that is petroleum based. For me, it was a section of basement floor that previously had old composite vinyl floor tiles that I ripped out. I left behind the black, cured adhesive on the floor... As I stored the bundle of NM cable on the floor, there was a chemical reaction with the sheath of the cable and that old black adhesive on the floor and it stuck to the cable. It also happened to an old garden hose I tossed on that floor, got all full of that black stuff.

For you it could have come from rubbing against those old loom-jacketed electrical lines when the line was being run. Those look like old knob-and-tube circuits. I think the loom back in the day was oil impregnated.

Nothing to worry about. A rag doused in mineral spirits will clean that right off.

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emtnut
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Re: Question about this electrical breaker

Post by emtnut » Tue Dec 12, 2017 12:25 pm

Jmaclicious wrote:
Sat Dec 09, 2017 5:26 pm
So the ground rods/plates would be installed on the outside of my house or is that something on the inside in order to connect it to the panel? If so on the outside, how would that wire run to the inside of my panel? I dont mind doing the digging/hammering, as I already did all the crazy trenching in my basement for all the plumbing/sump pits etc.


#19 - Power goes to a junction box then splits - 1 goes to upstairs fridge, the other goes to an old outlet(old basement washer outlet), which then powers the upstairs kitchen counter outlets. (Also in a junction box int he basement which I would like to remove or relocate in order to drywall ceiling.
As to how that wire runs into your panel, you can follow the existing #6 ground wire ... you'll see where it goes.
Sometimes it's to the panel, but if you have a disconnect ahead of your panel, it likely goes there.

Because you have 'old' wiring, there is a good chance you have neutrals connected to the ground. This can be a very dangerous situation when working on it. Although the ground wire is not 'live' , it still has current running through it, and can give you a hell of a shock !!
Also, do not disconnect your existing ground until you have the ground rods in place.

Lastly, I would use an amprobe to a) see if you have ground current , and most importantly to ensure that that current is flowing back on the neutral via the service wires. There have been cases where the neutral is open, but the copper piping is acting as your neutral back to the hydro transformer.

You may want to get an electrician to check that last part for you. I'd pick the 'lazy' guy you mentioned ... he gave you the most honest answer out of all the guys :mrgreen:



As for your circuits, they look like typical 50s - 60s setup.
#19 has TOO much on it .... surprised that hasn't popped on you a few times !
If you can, try to get the kitchen counter on it's own circuit ( 2 circuits if you have the room, and want to be up to new code)
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