Panel Question

Panel had a 60 amp main breaker, two outlet and switch breakers and one 50 Amp AC breaker.

Question: Would you find this supply and the amount of breakers sufficient for a 1500 sq ft home?

not to today’s standards

60a may be plenty for the general lighting and other 120v loads in a 1500 sq/ft house. 4500va for the GL, 4500 for the kitchen and laundry, 37.5a.
The 50a breaker indicates this is probably a split bus panel.
Are the other utilities gas or oil (hot water, furnace stove).

I agree with Greg.
The original question is pretty vague, and the first rely is very vague.
There is much that is not known here.

Personally…I say while it is Vague…I say a 60a panel is not going to properly ( it will TECHNICALLY…but ) a 1,500 sq ft dwelling because in doing so it tells me the plugs will be loaded with Extention Cords and Adapters and no room for expansion. and as greg stated it has more to do with other issues…

We are not speaking to electricians here…so your duty is to make sure the client is AWARE of future expenses…not if the current panel will serve the 1,500 Sq Ft Dwelling…as it obviously does…right now and will continue to until which point additions are made and that is the statement you would need to make them aware of and let them know the facts.

1.) 4,500VA GL
2.) 4,500VA Kitchen/Laundry ( at minimum )
3.) 8,000 VA Range ( Since we just dont know…which they have )

**Minimum Size Feeder Required **

[see 220.10]

General Lighting 4500 VA
Small Appliance 3000 VA*
Laundry 1500 VA*
Total 9000 VA
3000 VA at 100% 3000 VA
9000 VA

– 3000 VA = 6000 VA at 35% 2100 VA
Net Load 5100 VA
Range *(see Table 220.19) *8000 VA

Net Computed Load 13,100 VA

13,100 (divided by ) 240 = 54.58 AMPS

  • This is just so you know what it would be IF you had a Kitchen and Laundry to consider…which you do not in your question

Now while MY response may also be vague…you can see the basics of the setup…here is your question…

Now on the GL Receptacle thing…as Greg stated if the house has only (2) breakers they would for one need to be 20A breakers…otherwise based on that size (3) 15A would be required. See below…

**General Lighting Load: 4500 VA **

÷ 120 V = 37.5 A

This requires three 15-A, 2-wire or two 20-A, 2-wire circuits.

Hope this helps…but as a HI you need to make the buyer aware of the most important thing and it has nothing to do with us electricians telling you if it will run a 1,500 dwelling…it is YOUR job as a HI to inform them that while it may have been fine at one point and it MAY handle the demands placed on it right now…do you plan on expanding, adding anything, using any computers, how about AC units or upgrades in the future…

You must make them aware of what they are buying and that is has limitations to future expansion.

Plus that accounts for your (2) breakers…meaning chances are the kitchen may be upgraded at some point…a person buying the home will want to know WHAT they will expect in the future.

This is where your job is important…to make them aware of the known capacity and what will be needed in the future to meet upgrades or desires…thats why you do not have to calculate panel sizes…your job is clear…if at ANY point they choose to upgrade they need to know about their possible future expenses associated with this purchase…NOT is the service large enough for NOW…might be…and is based on the INFO you gave…but not to todays standards or practicle standards if they plan on buying it and adding anything later.

Today’s requirements would call for a 100 ampere service.

**One-Family Dwelling. **For a one-family dwelling, the service disconnecting means shall have a rating of not less than 100 amperes, 3-wire.

while todays WOULD…the question is on a house that obviously does not meet that 100A TODAYS requirement. I am sure at the time the house was built the 60A was allowed and this done.

Read my statement tim…it will explain what you should say to the client and how you should say it…as a HI…not a Electrician.

P.S…what I was saying is…it is a diplomatic way of saying the following:

“Hey Dude…while this panel may run the house now…are you going to STAY in the stone ages or plan on coming into the 21st century while in this house.”

Ahh…but without kinda saying it like that…

The 60 ampere service may be just fine, and if the following was considered the “dude and dudess or dude” would be happy:

Insert picture of Jolly Fat dude Here!

**220.87 Determining Existing Loads. **The calculation of a feeder or service load for existing installations shall be permitted to use actual maximum demand to determine the existing load under all of the following conditions:

(1) The maximum demand data is available for a 1-year period.

Exception: If the maximum demand data for a 1-year period is not available, the calculated load shall be permitted to be based on the maximum demand (measure of average power demand over a 15-minute period) continuously recorded over a minimum 30-day period using a recording ammeter or power meter connected to the highest loaded phase of the feeder or service, based on the initial loading at the start of the recording. The recording shall reflect the maximum demand of the feeder or service by being taken when the building or space is occupied and shall include by measurement or calculation the larger of the heating or cooling equipment load, and other loads that may be periodic in nature due to seasonal or similar conditions.

Someone insert a PIC of me …I will play the Jolly Fat Dude tonight !

Yeah…I can see the homeowner doing this…lol…NOT!..

The 60a “main” and the 50a “A/C” breaker had me thinking “Split Bus” and that it was probably 100a.
I guess it is better to ask more questions than to assume … sorry for the confusion.

No greg…you did not assume…you were being a GREAT electrician…

As you probably agree it would be rare to see a circuit breaker panel with a 60A main breaker…yet still have (2) other breakers and a (1) 50A breaker…so I can see totally where you are going on that.

Just dont think a split buss design would be in that type of format layout the way they describe it…but you are 100% right in that if they could show a picture or even give the SEC conductor size it would HELP…:slight_smile:

If a house really pulled 60a 24/7 they would have a $1000 electric bill so we really have to assume some diversity.

We can assume that…but the question is should the HI inform them of the obvious…since their job is to inform them of upcoming expenses when buying a home…and my opinion would be if they are buying for the future…be aware of upgrade and additional circuit needs…

Unless they plan on doing NOTHING and living in the stone ages for the next who knows how many years.

:look-up: True, the recording process would not be done by a homeowner, but if that information was available, where that report was prepared by a qualified person or even the electric utility company it would show the existing loads.


Your link opens a new window and displays html gobbledegook!:wink:

I hope this was the workshop and not the house…

I hear ya brother…but we know how long it is just to get a service change work order from the local POCO…let alone get them to do ANYTHING for the homeowner…and never at the purchase point when the buyer WANTS and NEEDS all the information up front for a wise investment.

Better to ER on the side of…well it is 60 Amps…you are FINE if you want to live like a HOBBIT forever…you MAY want to bring it from the stone age at some point…just make the BUYERS aware of that FACT…lol