#12 Conductor on a 50 amp Breaker

Good Evening Gentlemen
Did an inspection today on a condo. FPE Sub/Distribution Panel had a #12 Conductor on a 50 Amp Breaker. It is servicing a Tank less Water Heater that is having trouble maintaining a constant temp to a 2/2 unit. The breaker is an off brand , but the label states that it is rated for #14-10 thru 6. I have always been taught…Large Breaker, Large Conductor.
I would love some insight on this config
Thanks in advance

What did the label on the Tank less Water Heater say, Matt?

12 gauge on a 50 amp breaker seems wrong, let alone it is an off brand.

#6 Wiring required…
I guess what I was wondering, is this 50 amp Breaker that is capable of servicing a #14 conductor a safe and standard product, first I have seen
Thanks as always Larry for your tutelage

Pretty sure No. 6 or No. 8 THWN cu for 50 amp as a general rule.
Looks like a “manufactured” Stab-Lok replacement breaker.
Also, is that paint contamination on the bus & a few terminals? :cowboy_hat_face:

You answered your own question. It is wrong on at least 3 counts; #6 wire required wrong breaker and a 60 amp breaker required.

I’d refer it out to a Qualified electrician.

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Thank you Larry and Marc…always good to get a CMI view, sometimes just to help me see what I saw :muscle:

This is a safety and fire hazard. Please write it up as such.

The entire setup is wrong and it does represent a potential fire hazard. It needs a 60 amp circuit and breaker.

That gray colored breaker is a listed replacement breaker for FPE. I’m curious, however, why are all the breakers in the off position?

They’re in the “on” position for FPE

I agree with Larry. Definitely a hazard.

Could be that the heater is not heating up due a large voltage drop on the small conductors. This would lower the output of the heater and lower the current on the branch circuit conductors. Could be one reason why the conductors haven’t burnt up.

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Yeah, you’re right. I’ve inspected thousands of FPE panels, but for some reason these pictures turned me upside down. Maybe it’s the two-pole breakers with alternated numbers… :yum:

thanks all