Need to install a 2pole 20 amp gfci breaker in an ite bq panel. what are my options as I don't think they make this breaker in type bq?
Hi Pauline, I'm an electrician and can help you with this problem.
The only breakers that are permitted to be installed in any circuit breaker panel are listed inside the door on the label. Introducing any other type or brand is a fire hazard and a code violation. The national electrical code is very clear on this.
If you need to provide a GFCI protected circuit from this panel, you'll probably need to install a smaller panel from this panel - called "sub-panel" of a brand and type that will accept a GFCI circuit breaker. This is done by purchasing a 2P20A GFCI breaker and a smaller circuit capacity / ampacity panel rated for the same voltage as the main panel. You'll also need a ground terminal strip for this panel, too. A 60A main lug panel with 8 or more circuits type panel might be a good place to start. Purchase a 2P circuit breaker with an ampacity no greater than the sub panel is rated at - in my example - a 2P60A would be right. You may use a smaller breaker (2P40A or 2P50A) if you wish - but none greater. Mount the sub panel in a location near the main panel. Remove and discard the bonding screw or lug (if provided and installed already) that may connect the neutral bar and threaded into the panel enclosure. Install the ground terminal strip you purchased separately into the threaded holes provided for it inside the panel enclosure. Install the Ground symbol sticker next to this bar. Run a 4 conductor cable, pipe & wire, etc. feeder sized for 60A based on the location, temperature, etc. between the main panel and the main lug panel. Terminate the cable the sub panel end as follows: black & red or "hot" wires into the the lugs that are connected to the bus bars, white or "neutral" to the neutral bar and the bare or green "ground" wire into the ground terminal strip you installed previously.
Next terminate the other end of the cable. Power off the main panel completely. Terminate the white neutral and the bare or green cable in the neutral bar in separate terminals. Install only one wire per terminal - do not "double up" wires under a single screw. If there is a separate strip for neutral and separate strip for ground - maintain neutral wires to neutral strip and ground wires to ground strip. Also, do not intermix ground and neutral wires in the others terminal strips! Install the 2P60A breaker in an unused space in the main panel. Connect the two hot wires to the breaker terminals. If using aluminum wires, be sure to clean and apply oxide inhibitor to stripped ends of the wires.
Now, you should have a smaller panel with 8 or more empty spaces for circuit breakers that will become live when the 2P60A breaker is in the main panel is turned on. With it still off, install the 2P20A GFCI breaker in the new sub panel. Run your circuit(s) to this panel. Connect them as usual - but any neutral and ground wires installed must be terminated in their respective terminal strips. As mentioned above, never install them in the others strip.
If installing in a 3 phase environment - you may wish to install a 3 phase sub panel so that 3 phase loads can be connected to it. This will require a 3P60A breaker and 5 wires instead of 4 wires to be run between the two panels. The additional wire would be a hot and blue in color for a 240/208/120 panel.
I hope this helps & good luck!
Apr 26, 2012 |
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