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Thread: I'm assuming this isn't up to code?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2021
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    I'm assuming this isn't up to code?

    So I just bought a 20yo house and had the Federal Pacific Main breaker panel replaced since they're fire hazards.

    Turns out I have another smaller federal pacific panel next to my HVAC system.
    I've been told two different things from different electricians, I just want to understand what's needed so I don't pay for it to be done incorrectly.

    I have two 8/2 wires running from the main breaker panel to the FP panel.
    They come from the main panel each on their own 60amp breaker.
    They landed into the FP breaker panel doubled up on the poles.
    There are 2 60amp breakers in the FP panel.
    1: goes to L1/L2 heater 8/2
    2: goes to L3/L4 heater 8/2 and the condenser unit 8/2

    Do I actually need a new line ran for just the condenser or is replacing the FP breaker panel and dividing the power there acceptable?

    From what I can tell the
    condenser need to be on a 40amp breaker
    L1/L2 a 60amp breaker
    L3/L4 a 50amp breaker

    Currently, the whole system is running off of one 60amp breaker at the main panel as only one was ever on when I moved in and it was left off after the panel swap.

    Any clarification would be appreciated.


    JR

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
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    in a house, Appomattox, Va.
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    nope, cant stack wires to parallel a feeder in this case. can only do that for main power into larger installations.

    the out door unit and elec heater should also have their own breakers.
    Col 3:23


    questions asked, answers received, ignorance abated

  3. #3
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    May 2021
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    Thread Starter
    So the correct method will be to run a whole new line for the condenser unit on a 40 amp breaker and then use the existing two 8/2 lines to feed the two heater element correct?

    And that is because a sub breaker panel isn't up to code and a single 8/2 wire isn't enough to supply both heating elements correct.

  4. #4
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    Sep 2002
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    are we talking about your Indoor Unit .... or Outdoor unit

    It sounds like your indoor unit ...

  5. #5
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    May 2021
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    Thread Starter
    Yes it an indoor unit with condenser outside.
    Condenser is model: 116bna060-a
    Fan/heater unit is model: 81-0465-01

  6. #6
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    May 2021
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    Thread Starter
    I'd just post the pictures but I can't do links till 7 posts

  7. #7
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    Thread Starter
    Like I was saying I'm my first post the heater/fan unit has two 8/2 lines going into it. So from what I understood I need 3 dedicated lines total to the main panel to run everything correctly. 2 lines to the controller and 1 line to the condenser

  8. #8
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    Sep 2002
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    Virginia
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    Well it depends

    Sometimes you dont need all of that electric heat , so they will leave some disconnected

  9. #9
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    Jun 2012
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    If the power comes into a separate sub panel that has multiple breakers in it, that should suffice. If the power goes directly to the air handler and it has several breakers in it, that is also acceptable per the mfg (generally) as long as the conductors are rated for the amp draw. Typically the air handler will have minimum and maximum breaker size listed on the data plate.
    A dying culture invariably exhibits personal rudeness. Bad manners. Lack of consideration for others in minor matters. A loss of politeness, of gentle manners, is more significant than is a riot.
    ― Robert A. Heinlein

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2019
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    What I have done for these situations is if you have all the branch circuits in the little panel and they are the correct size, and if you have room in your new panel for the required breakers, I use the old panel as a junction box.
    I remove the guts and blank off the cover openings with sheet metal, label the box as "Junction Box Only, No circuit breakers or fuses inside".
    If a hinged door simply secure it with sheet metal screws.

    A single conduit can carry 3 of the 240 volt circuits.....6 current carrying conductors in the pipe. Add a pipe if needed for more.

    I use compression connectors for splicing and tape wrapped.
    You must have one ground wire sized to the largest breaker and also ground the J-box.

    This would put all your breakers in the new box and they would be the correct size.

  11. #11
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    May 2021
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    Thread Starter
    The power comes into a sub panel, but is double poled with two 8/2 wire. And I'm assuming if they use one of those for just the condenser that the other 8/2 can't run both heaters and fan as one leg one 60amp and the other 50amp, if I'm reading the stickers correctly.

  12. #12
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    May 2021
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    Thread Starter
    Right, the issue though is one electrition is saying to run the third line and one is saying the load is fine and just wants to swap out the sub panel.

  13. #13
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    May 2021
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    Thread Starter
    One more post and maybe it will finally let me post photos

  14. #14
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    May 2021
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    Thread Starter
    Here's photo's what I'm working with

    https://drive.google.com/folderview?...cD0_4iCX-EAqCf

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
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    That is ugly. It needs to be done correctly. You need a properly sized feed with a neutral wire. You are currently using the ground as a neutral which is illegal. You need a new sub panel because FP breakers are a fire hazard. Using them on electric heaters is worse. All equipment needs to have its own circuit run from the sub panel. Any electrician that doesn't want to bring it up to code should be avoided.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    You should swap out that whole panel and pull just one feeder with two hots a neutral and a ground. And no doubling up wires under one lug or on a breaker. That should have never passed a home inspection.
    If you can't fix it with JB Weld, Duct Tape, and Ty Wire it has to be replaced.
    No good deed goes unpunished.
    If you want to take off friday to go fishing then make sure you train your helper right.

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