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  • Too many breakers??

    I just found this forum and joined, and I have been in the process of wiring my shop for the past few months and I am fairly good with electrical concepts. If I dont know how to do something or I am unsure I get online and learn before I attempt it.
    I have a 200 amp service comming into the shop (200amp breaker in main outside box, breaker one) and that 200 amp service feeds my main inside panel. In the primary panel I have a 50 amp breaker that feeds a second inside panel on the other side of the shop (2nd breaker) and In the second sub panel I have a 30amp breaker that feeds the paint booth (third breaker). The paint booth has its own panel with two breakers, one for the lights and one for the blower motors. That means that before the power gets to the lights or blower in the booth there are 4 breakers on each. I know a "smart" electrician could have minimized the number of breakers, but thats not how it was done.

    Are there any adverse effects from having 4 breakers between the incomming service and a device?

  • #2
    Re: Too many breakers??

    Look at any large commercial installation. Or, as I am familiar with, look at a Navy nuclear submarine......it would be quite normal for any particular load to be served by an individual breaker and several other breakers upstream.

    One of the concepts involved is load shedding design. You would not want a fault in one motor somewhere to take out breaker feeding lights and other vital equipment. So from the main breaker off a turbine generator, which may be a 2 MW load, that load is repeatedly subdivided in distribution panels and load panels.

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    • #3
      Re: Too many breakers??

      Let's think about what could happen if things went a bit wrong. Other than to trip the 200 Amp main breaker, would the tripping of any breaker downstream from it cause lighting circuits to go out? Please think about the 50 Amp and 30 Amp breakers which I assume are both 2 pole breakers? Let's say that if either were to trip, what would happen regarding lighting? If there could be a serious safety issue, then you should install battery powered emergency lights in any critical area where safety is involved. Actually emergency lighting should be installed anywhere safety of people is involved. It's very cheap life-safety insurance.

      Do place labels on the doors of all sub-panels stating location and number(s) of feed breakers. And, try to label all breakers in a panel so you know what each one serves.
      Last edited by Woussko; 12-14-2008, 09:25 PM. Reason: spelling errors

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      • #4
        Re: Too many breakers??

        Originally posted by Woussko View Post
        Let's think about what could happen if things when a bit wrong. Other than to trip the 200 Amp main breaker, would the tripping of any breaker downstream from it cause lighting circuits to go out? Please think about the 50 Amp and 30 Amp breakers which I assume are both 2 pole breakers? Let's say that if either were to trip, what would happen regarding lighting? If there could be a serious safety issue, then you should install battery powered emergency lights in any critical area where safety is involved. Actually emergency lighting should be installed anywhere safety of people is involved. It's very cheap life-safety insurance.

        Do place labels on the doors of all sub-panels stating location and number(s) of feed breakers. And, try to label all breakers in a panel so you know what each one serves.
        All good advice. Actually my main lights are on their own breaker in the main box out side. I did this so that I can kill the 200 amp breaker and still have lights to work on the inside electrical system. Also, I don't think emergency lights are a big concern as I will be the only one using the building and its only 1500 square feet. Its more of a personal use shop at my house than anything else. And of course the 30 and 50 are two pole.
        Last edited by futuresweets10; 12-13-2008, 11:21 PM.

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