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Old 01-25-2012, 02:40 PM   #1
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Default Main lug only panel

Hi all,

In a moment of stupidity I grabbed a 125A panel and had it mounted, piped in, and was in the middle of pulling wire before I realized it was main lug only. It's being fed exclusively by a 17kW generator. Since it will only be providing power when the generator is running, do I really need to have a main breaker in there? I'm sure there is a conversion kit I can pick up but I started to wonder if it was really necessary. The generator is manually turned on and off daily.

Interested to hear your opinions! Thanks in advance!

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Old 01-25-2012, 02:42 PM   #2
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Will there be only six breakers or less in it?

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Old 01-25-2012, 02:48 PM   #3
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No, we're looking at 10-12 once all is said and done.
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Old 01-25-2012, 02:50 PM   #4
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If there isn't 6 or less. Make it 6 and just put a sub panel off it for other stuff
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Old 01-25-2012, 02:51 PM   #5
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What brand / model of panel? Perhaps there's a main breaker kit you can put in.

Or, possibly buy a main breaker panel and swapping the guts.
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Old 01-25-2012, 02:57 PM   #6
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Put a disco in front of it or check into the ability to add the main like 480 said.
I know. The disco will cost more than a main breaker panel. I feel your pain.
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Old 01-25-2012, 03:18 PM   #7
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Not all panels can be converted into main breaker but if the panel is service rated then you could add a dp breaker with a lock down-- bolts the breaker in place.
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Old 01-25-2012, 05:25 PM   #8
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You could always buy a main breaker panel, take the MLO guts out of the first panel, drop it in the tub of the 2nd panel, and package it in the MLO box and return it. Usually the tubs are the same size no matter whether it is MLO or MB.
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Old 01-25-2012, 05:28 PM   #9
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Just buy the retaining hold down kit for a double breaker like Dennis said. Less then $30 bucks.

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Old 01-25-2012, 07:18 PM   #10
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If your generator has a breaker in it and you are within line of site you don't need a m.b. Correct me if I'm wrong.
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Old 01-25-2012, 09:12 PM   #11
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The panel is considered a separate structure. So a main is required And you need a 4 wire feeder with ground rods. The panel needs to have the neutral issolated with the GEC connecting to the growing bar.
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Old 01-25-2012, 09:45 PM   #12
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Thanks for all the help, guys.

The panel is Square D QO 125A. It is not within sight, unfortunately, of the generator, but I hear you guys about the conversion kit and will check and see if I can find one.

I like the idea of swapping out the guts... I can always use an MLO panel later for something else, I suppose. I hadn't thought of that. I was trying to avoid buying a disconnect, mostly just for financial and aesthetic reasons.

Where does the 6 circuits come from? The only thing I could find in the NEC pertaining to the situation was 445.18, and I was hoping that would be enough to get away with no disconnect or main breaker...

...but I'm planning on picking up the conversion kit or swapping out the guts. Thanks a lot, guys.
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Old 01-25-2012, 09:48 PM   #13
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Most QO panels of that size are field convertible.

What is the whole catalog number??
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Old 01-25-2012, 10:52 PM   #14
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Default hold down kit

Get a hold down kit
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Old 01-26-2012, 01:04 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by green light View Post
Get a hold down kit
That's what I would too. 2-pole 80 amp circuit breaker with the tie down kit.

Quote:
408.36 (D) Back-Fed Devices. Plug-in-type overcurrent protection
devices or plug-in type main lug assemblies that are
backfed and used to terminate field-installed ungrounded
supply conductors shall be secured in place by an additional
fastener that requires other than a pull to release the
device from the mounting means on the panel.
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Old 01-26-2012, 02:15 AM   #16
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I wouldn't want to see the rest of the installation if you didn't see the main panel was wrong.
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Old 01-26-2012, 07:09 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maryland View Post
...

Where does the 6 circuits come from? The only thing I could find in the NEC pertaining to the situation was 445.18, and I was hoping that would be enough to get away with no disconnect or main breaker...

...but I'm planning on picking up the conversion kit or swapping out the guts. Thanks a lot, guys.
The rule would be in 225.33(B), that is assuming that the generator is not in the building that has the panel. If the generator is in the building and has a OCPD at the generator a MLO panel would be fine.

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