Convert split service to single main breaker?

Zee

Senior Member
Location
CA
I have two jobs where the service is a "split service". (There are two main breakers in parallel.)
Is anybody familiar enough with these specific panels ( attached) to be able to say if I can replace the 2 brkrs with a SINGLE 200A main brkr?
(First two photos are of the same and 2nd two are the same.)
msp3.jpg msp4.jpg msp1 small.jpg msp2 small.jpg
 

Zee

Senior Member
Location
CA
I need to back up the whole house with a battery system.
This cannot be done if there is a split service.

However, this is possible if I have a single circuit feeding house.
I will feed a new sub panel with the new 200A breaker and place the two sub feeder breakers in that new sub panel.
..
 

texie

Senior Member
Location
Fort Collins, Colorado
Occupation
Electrician, Contractor, Inspector
These breakers are not in parallel as they each feed a load center somewhere. Even if you could convert this to a single 200 amp main the conductors and likely the load centers are not rated for 200 amp. You need to redesign the service.
 

Zee

Senior Member
Location
CA
Actually, any help in identifying the manufacturer of the panel in the 3rd and 4th photo (upside down breakers) is greatly appreciated.
Maybe someone here recognizes it?

Maybe the bottom, older breaker is a clue?
(Top breaker is newer. It may or may not be the approved one. FWIW, it looks like a Siemens or Murray.)

I'd like to know that for several reasons - including amp rating.

(Label long gone.)
 

Zee

Senior Member
Location
CA
Texie, thank you.
I mis-used the word parallel. My bad! Thanks.
The breakers in fact feed separate loads, 2 separate sub panels.

I am simply trying to get a single 200A main breaker upstream of both sub feeder breakers.
I will move the two existing sub feeder breakers downstream into a new sub panel.
The two breakers will then continue to feed their individual loads as they do now....on their own individual feeder conductors.

(And no, no single load will be fed by 2 brkrs. Not allowable by Code.)
 
Last edited:

texie

Senior Member
Location
Fort Collins, Colorado
Occupation
Electrician, Contractor, Inspector
Texie, thank you.
I mis-used the word parallel. My bad! Thanks.
The breakers in fact feed separate loads, 2 separate sub panels.

I am simply trying to get a single 200A main breaker ahead of both sub feeder breakers.
I will move those two breakers downstream into a new sub panel.
The two breakers will then continue to feed their individual loads as they do now....on their own individual feeder conductors.

(And no, no single load will be fed by 2 brkrs. Not allowable by Code.)
I think I get it now. I think I see a date of 1985 on a label. I don't think you'll find any way to convert this. You CA guys really love those recessed meter/mains! Look nice but a major job to make modifications to.
 

synchro

Senior Member
Location
Chicago, IL
Occupation
EE
I think it's likely that the bus stabs will not handle a single 200A breaker since they provided spaces for two 2-pole breakers. But as you mention you would need to get that information from the manufacturer if you can find out what you have.

Is there a possiblity you could use two separate battery backup systems, and put one on the output of each existing breaker? Obviously there may be some cost constraints involved.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Zee

jaggedben

Senior Member
Location
Northern California
Occupation
Solar and Energy Storage Installer
The vertically arranged panel would probably physically accept a type BJ breaker but I doubt it's listed for it.

There's also some Siemens 4 pole type breakers that would probably fit in the side by side one. But same problem. I wouldn't show that to an inspector, no way.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Zee

curt swartz

Electrical Contractor - San Jose, CA
Location
San Jose, CA
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
Neither panel is going to be listed for a single 200 amp breaker even if they would physically fit. There are no neutral terminations for "200 amp" wire either. Its time to break stucco!

Also whoever installed those 125 amp breakers needs to stop doing electrical work. 2/3 NMB has an ampacity of 95 amp and needs to be protected at 100 amps or less.
 
Top