Split-Buss Electrical Panels
Understanding Split-Buss Electrical Panels: Dave explains that a split buss circuit breaker panel allows the upper circuits to remain energized while the bottom section is controlled by a separate circuit breaker.
Understanding Split-Buss Electrical Panels
Electrical Question: Dave, the attached picture is a my breaker box in my home. The top two breakers are 50 amp and are 240 Volt.
- The next one is a 30 amp 110. The other six breakers are 20 amps and they are for lights, outlets, etc.
- When I throw the 30 amp, the whole house is dead except the two 50 amp lines, as the 30 amp is my main breaker (the 50 amp lines have nothing plugged into them). Why is this?
- When you throw the main should it shut off power to everything?
- Also is the 30 amp main big enough for those 6 20 amp breakers?
- I seem to blow the 30 a lot during the summer running two room-air conditioners
This electrical troubleshooting question came from: Larry, a Homeowner from Linwood, MI
See more about Home Wiring for Michigan
PLEASE NOTE: The following information applies to this question only. In normal situations circuit breakers should never be exchanged for a larger size.
Thanks for your electrical troubleshooting question Larry.
Understanding Split-Buss Electrical Panels
- Larry, you have a split buss circuit breaker panel which allows the upper circuits to remain energized while the bottom section is controlled by the 2-pole 30 amp breaker. The wires size linking the 2-pole circuit breaker to the bottom section of the panel will support a larger size circuit breaker, in fact one of the 2-pole 50 circuit breakers could be swapped with the 2-pole 30 amp circuit breaker allowing more amperage to the bottom section of this panel.
- A split buss panel such as this is not common for most homes these days, but for this application at one time it allowed the upper 2-pole circuits to remain on where they may have fed large equipment that was required to remain on while the lower circuit were turned off.
- One common application for a similar set up would be for a 2-pole circuit to remain on for a well pump where in the case of a fire all the electrical circuits can be De-energized but the water supply or pump remains energized.
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