4 Breakers all tied together for 120/240 single phase?

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Maybe I don't get out enough, but today I ran across this panel for the first time:



If you look close, you can see that there is a stack of four breakers all handle tied together used as the main.

I have some better pics if anyone hasn't seen this before. If this is common and I am just missing the boat I won't bother to upload the pics I took.

These are being sold at Lowe's.

The configuration is that there are two breakers in parallel for each leg making a total of four. There is a long handle tie bar connecting all four breakers.

Breakers in parallel?

Am I being too anal or does this set up make others here a bit queasy?
 

Dennis Alwon

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Location
Chapel Hill, NC
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Electrical Contractor
I really can't see it well but what you have is a 200 (my guess Siemens) panel. Often the main breakers consisted of 4 breakers tied together just like you described.
 

cadpoint

Senior Member
Location
Durham, NC
I realize I'm a young pup to some of the experience here but the orginal post by Dennis, this would not work with modern panels ?

His picture shows a "A-A" and "B-B" situation and as I know it; is a Code violation.

I couldn't see the wire's in the orginal post either, all I could think of was that it was a custom order MWBC 4 + 1n +1g.
 

Dennis Alwon

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Staff member
Location
Chapel Hill, NC
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
I realize I'm a young pup to some of the experience here but the orginal post by Dennis, this would not work with modern panels ?

His picture shows a "A-A" and "B-B" situation and as I know it; is a Code violation.

I couldn't see the wire's in the orginal post either, all I could think of was that it was a custom order MWBC 4 + 1n +1g.
Jude these are only designed as a main breaker kit or comes with a main breaker panel. It will work in today's panels but only in those that are designed for this configuration. These do not snap onto the buss-- at least the ones I have seen don't.
 

cadpoint

Senior Member
Location
Durham, NC
Point Made!

I understand your statement, I'm the just saying the panel looks like a MLO not a MCB. I can't see it! If I could I wouldn't have posted.

:)
 
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I realize I'm a young pup to some of the experience here but the orginal post by Dennis, this would not work with modern panels ?

His picture shows a "A-A" and "B-B" situation and as I know it; is a Code violation.

I couldn't see the wire's in the orginal post either, all I could think of was that it was a custom order MWBC 4 + 1n +1g.
Do you have the code that states you can't have two ocp of the same phase side by side, I can't think of one or why it wouldn't be allowed. GE THQL panels are specificly designed so that the entire panel is set up this way. And if this were so it would be illegal to put a "mini" breaker in say a 6/12 panel which is specificly listed for that use.
Either way by the look of the picture the MOCP isn't located in the branch ckt ocp area looks like it has it's own special space and is probably intended for a parallel run into the panel. So it's an A/B setup anyway. Like mentioned seem very specific use, not sure why Lowes would stock them.
 
Huh, can't tell if that's a MLO or MCB panel, doesn't look like there's any terminations on the actual breaker from the pic so Id still guess that's a MCB breaker. I'm guessing the mfg found a way to make a 200 amp breaker with a smaller frame by relocating the lugs... Hard to tell by just a picture.
 

Smart $

Esteemed Member
Location
Ohio
...probably intended for a parallel run into the panel. ...
But that would technically not be a parallel run.

Otherwise...
240.8 Fuses or Circuit Breakers in Parallel. Fuses and
circuit breakers shall be permitted to be connected in parallel
where they are factory assembled in parallel and listed
as a unit. Individual fuses, circuit breakers, or combinations
thereof shall not otherwise be connected in parallel.

PS: Because the run is technically not parallel, it permits making two runs of less than 1 AWG. For example, 2 #3 @ 100A each for a 200A "feeder"
 
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cadpoint

Senior Member
Location
Durham, NC
But that would technically not be a parallel run.

Otherwise...

Quote:
240.8 Fuses or Circuit Breakers in Parallel. Fuses and
circuit breakers shall be permitted to be connected in parallel
where they are factory assembled in parallel and listed
as a unit. Individual fuses, circuit breakers, or combinations
thereof shall not otherwise be connected in parallel.
Frankly that what I was thinking! It was even the basis of my orginal post!
 
Here is a link to the product:

http://www.geindustrial.com/cwc/Dispatcher?REQUEST=PRODUCTS&pnlid=3&famid=19&catid=147&id=lc-pmg1p

The line connects to lugs at the top. The lugs are bussed to the breakers and the terminal side of the breakers are connected to the buss the rest of the breakers are fed from.

The sell point is ease of installation. I can see that as lugs are easier to wrassle wire into than breakers.

But why the breakers in parallel? I don't see the advantage, but applying Occam's Razor I see a disadvantage.

I am waiting for some NEC concerns. If two in parallel is OK, what about three? Or four?

How are they rated? Do the ASSume that the current will split perfectly as engineered between the breakers? What if one of the four fails?

Meh, I don't like it.

This is one area where the NEC, if not addressing this issue, is justifying it's reputation as the BARE MINIMUM.

Personally, I won't install such a system.
 

Mgraw

Senior Member
Those GE panels can be bought both ways, MLO or MCB. They sell the breaker seperate or you can buy the panel with it already installed. The breaker kit has one set of lugs for the feed.
 
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