Circuit replacement [15A to 20A]

Help Support House Repair Talk:

Quatrix

Active Member
Good Day,

Looking at my circuit breaker panel (attached) I have 180A capacity on left leg and 170A on the right leg. If I decide to hire an electrician to replace my entire circuit #2 with a 20A capacity circuit, is that something that is feasible considering the already uneven currents on both legs? In other words, presently, without doing any work I have a difference of 10A between the right and left legs; later if I decide to replace my 15A circuit (circuit breaker #2) with a 20A breaker and 12/2 AWG, is that something that is acceptable? Let me know please.

Attachments

• 65.7 KB Views: 12

YES.

nealtw

Contractor retired
You are adding up breakers? I think to balance they look at actual loads.

JoeD

Well-Known Member
Adding up breakers means nothing. Your panel is not using the full value of the breakers. Also your panel is not divided down the right and left side. It alternates down each side.

Quatrix

Active Member
JoeD,

Ok, I agree with you on adding up breakers. However, all of my breakers on the right are even numbered and all of them on the left are odd. I believe that means one side corresponds to Phase A and the other side to Phase B. Anyone correct me if I am wrong.

nealtw

Contractor retired
JoeD,

Ok, I agree with you on adding up breakers. However, all of my breakers on the right are even numbered and all of them on the left are odd. I believe that means one side corresponds to Phase A and the other side to Phase B. Anyone correct me if I am wrong.
Do you have any 240 breakers on one side?

Quatrix

Active Member
nealtw,

Yes, the Range, Dryer, and A/C are all 240V, double pole breakers on one Phase.
Range = BKR (SLOTS 1 & 3)
A/C = BKR (SLOTS 9 & 11)
Dryer = BRK (SLOTS 5 & 7)

nealtw

Contractor retired
nealtw,

Yes, the Range, Dryer, and A/C are all 240V, double pole breakers on one Phase.
Range = BKR (SLOTS 1 & 3)
A/C = BKR (SLOTS 9 & 11)
Dryer = BRK (SLOTS 5 & 7)
You are talking about legs, not phases. each leg is 120 volts, so to get 240 you are connected to both legs. So every other breaker is leg one
and the ones between them are leg two.

Quatrix

Active Member
nealtw,

Ok, so my range which uses 240V, connected to double pole breaker (slots 1 & 3) uses both legs (phases) for power. Slot 1 would be Phase A and slot 3 would be Phase B. Please confirm. What is the difference between a leg and a phase?

nealtw

Contractor retired
nealtw,

Ok, so my range which uses 240V, connected to double pole breaker (slots 1 & 3) uses both legs (phases) for power. Slot 1 would be Phase A and slot 3 would be Phase B. Please confirm. What is the difference between a leg and a phase?
That would be way above my pay grade to teach that. but most house deal with one phase.

WyrTwister

Well-Known Member
If you actually want to know how close the loadcenter is to being balanced , use a clamp on amp meter . On the 2 incoming hots .

If you are OK with working on a hot loadcenter . Can not check amperage if you kill the power .

If you are not OK with a hot loadcenter , leave it alone or hire an electrician .

God bless
Wyr

Quatrix

Active Member
nealtw,

I understood you. We take our single phase and divide it into two legs. The range uses both of those legs but it is only one, single phase. If the double pole breaker, to which my range is connected, takes up slots 1 & 3 that means it is connected to both legs where the voltage between them is 240V. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

nealtw

Contractor retired
nealtw,

I understood you. We take our single phase and divide it into two legs. The range uses both of those legs but it is only one, single phase. If the double pole breaker, to which my range is connected, takes up slots 1 & 3 that means it is connected to both legs where the voltage between them is 240V. Please correct me if I'm wrong.
That is the way I understand it so all your 240 breakers are balanced already as they take mostly balanced from both legs.

Snoonyb

Well-Known Member
A "phase" is described in the following example; sinusoidal sine wave

The peaks of each wave equal 120V in a single phase service supply and are 180 degrees out. In 3 phase they are 120 degrees out. All equal 360.

Your breakers are odd numbered on one side and even on the other and a 240V supply is connected to both sides of the supplied service.

The primary buss bars in your service alternate side to side.