Electricians–can you tell me if this breaker box is safe? Do I need to move anything around?

By , January 3, 2013

Configuration:
Two connected switches that each say “30″ go for an outlet for the computer, the total master bedroom, and the central A/C.

The same–2 connected 30′s seem to be for nothing.

The same–2 connected 30′s for the 220 dryer.

One “20″ (not the skinny one, but the next size) for the lights in 5 rooms plus a few outlets.

One of the same “20″ not skinny for an outlet that does nothing.

Several skinny “20″ breakers:
1. 2 outlets
2. outlet to washing machine
3. outlet by the sink
4. six more that seem to go to nothing
justcurious–it sounds like you are not familiar also, because you are telling me to spend money when you don’t even know if there is a problem. I will not pay an electrician unless it looks like there is a problem. Please just answer questions you know about.
OK I HAVE ENOUGH INFO NOW:
The A/C is actually on the double pole 30 amp breaker that I thought was empty. It was the A/C blower (plugged into a 110 outlet) that was on the other 30 amp double pole breaker along with the master bedroom and the computer. Some of the 20′s are capped off and going to nothing. One probably used to be to the attic fan which is now disconnected. I accounted for everything but three 20′s, and every outlet and light is accounted for. Since the bedroom/computer should be on a 20 according to what you guys are saying and not the double pole 30A breaker, I will move it to one of the unused 20A breakers.

As for the multiple bedrooms on the one 20A breaker, I will go in the attic, find where there is a splice going to the different rooms, undo the splice, and send a couple of rooms to the unused 20A breakers. The electricians at Lowe’s will make sure I am using the correct wires.

Thanks all.


5 Responses to “Electricians–can you tell me if this breaker box is safe? Do I need to move anything around?”

  1. justcurious says:

    There should be a door on the front of your breaker panel, … Close it and call someone for HELP. Not that there is necessarily a problem but it sounds like you are quite unfamiliar with electrical circuits, so you shouldn’t mess with it.

  2. scotty2hotty says:

    Call an electrician immediately. 1st of all your A/C should be on it’s own breaker. you will fry your computer. All of your others depend on what you have connected to it if it’s lights, frig, stove, dryer, washer, etc. Call an electrician.

  3. Darren says:

    First of the 20 and 30 represent the amps of the breaker. When they are connected together like your describing, that would be called a double pole in the industry. So you would have a 2 pole 30A breaker.

    If I am reading this correct your 2 pole 30A is connected to plugs, lights, your AC and your dryer.

    If this is correct I would get an electrician in right away because that is not safe. It will work yes but if you have something plugged in and it starts to draw 25A the breaker will not trip and could be a hazard. Your plugs and lights should be on 15A or 20A breaker. SInce I don’t know the size of your AC i can’t tell you what size breaker it needs.

    I would double and triple check this to make sure all those are on the 30A breaker, any electrician would not do that.

    Not saying it could because when I moved into my house the dishwasher and fridge were tied in with my dryer.

  4. Capt says:

    skinny and fat have nothing to do with it except to allow more breakers.
    “connected” means 240 v
    std household are 20amp 30 amp is a large load. Just judgeing by what you are saying you haven’t a clue to what you have….
    a computer runs on 120 while a central air runs on 240v…if your computer is really on one leg of the 240 its not protected and neither is the master bedroom.
    I am sorry but your apparent lack of knowledge and what by what you are trying to explain you need help.
    The first connected by your explantion is serving both 240 and 120 and that isn’t safe.
    The five rooms on one breakers isn’t safe.
    Yet you have a lot of “empty breakers” .
    Someone, such as yourself who knows too little about electricity has wired the box very poorly. You dont need to buy anything just reduce the number of things tapped into each breaker.
    Anything near water (bath and kitchen) needs ground fault installation.
    dryer elect stove and a/c take 240v all to themselves either 20 or 30amp

    Each room or two should be on its own circuit with no more than 5-6 outlets or switches each.

    Don’t want to spend money needlessly go the the library and read up or buy a book at a home center and educate yourself.

  5. Helmut says:

    The 30A/2P breaker should be dedicated to the A/C and have only two (relatively) large wires running from it. Any smaller wires connected to this breaker should be moved to the spare 20A/1P breakers. You are not protected from fire if the A/C is not running and you get a load on these wires less than 30A but greater than their rated ampacity.

    There should be only one wire connected to one screw of any breaker in your panel.

    The second 30A/2P is probably for the possibility of an electric range.

    Just a note, I’m used to seeing 15A/1P circuits for household lighting and outlets. 20A sounds “oversize” to me. You should make sure that the wires have the same rating as the breakers. 20AWG (min) for 20A, 10AWG (min) for 30A.

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