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Old 10-06-2013, 09:28 AM
HILL BOY HILL BOY is offline
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Default Breaker panel

Does anyone know if you can switch out the 20 20 main breaker with a 30 20 breaker I did this because every time I use Mico and small elect heater when TV is on it will trip the 20 amp breaker. Wire and Breaker are not getting hot and every seems to be working OK This is a Big Sky Montana unit with a 50 Amp main service.

Thanks for any help
Hill Boy
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Old 10-06-2013, 10:30 AM
Bob Landry Bob Landry is offline
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You can not simply upsize a breaker to get more power capabilities. Even though the breaker and wire may feel fine, Upsizing the breaker would give you the possibility of drawing current that the wire would not handle. Your post is also a little confusing as you should not have a dual 20A main breaker on a 50A service. If all is correctly wired, you would have a double pole 50A breaker with smaller breakers for branch circuits. I can not see any reason why you would overload on a properly set up 50A service. If this is a sub panel, then it is probably wired with 12g a wire which is only rated for 20A.
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Old 10-06-2013, 10:36 AM
diugo diugo is offline
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It is very odd that you would have a 20A main breaker with 50A service. Are you sure it's not just a 20A branch circuit?

If it's just a branch, simply plugging the heater into an outlet on a different circuit should solve the problem.

If it really is the main, carefully check the gauge of the wire going to the breaker. If it is #10AWG or larger (meaning #8 or #6, not #12), only then can it be safely replaced with a 30A breaker, per the National Electrical Code.
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Old 10-06-2013, 11:02 AM
Bob Landry Bob Landry is offline
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If it is in fact a sub panel, the OP is limited to 20A total draw. The dual 20A breaker would e for the hot & neutral input. I always get a little uncomfortable she someone who asks about putting in larger wire for something doesn't understand electrical wiring and current capabilities.
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Old 10-06-2013, 12:51 PM
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Post a pic of the panel, indicating which breaker you're having trouble with.
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Old 10-06-2013, 01:32 PM
HILL BOY HILL BOY is offline
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Default Breakers

Thanks for your response let me try to explain this a little better please. Inside the unit it has a 30 amp load center which has three breakers one 30 amp breaker as the main breaker one 20 amp for dryer and one 20 amp for roof Air, next to that in a separate compartment which contains one 20 20 amp breaker one says main the other says living area AC. Then it has two each 15 amp double breakers one that controls microwave next to that living room light and GFI Rec next one controls TV and the rest of the interior Rec the next one 15 amp I think may control the hot water heater. So with that being said did this information change anything, I do understand where your concerns come from so thanks again in advance.

Thanks Hill Boy
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Old 10-06-2013, 02:05 PM
diugo diugo is offline
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That would seem to suggest that the 50A umbilical is split into two 120V panels, one 30A and the other 20A. Definitely an odd way to do it, as 50A service is normally split-phase, so each panel should be able to handle the full 50A---unless a 30A-50A dogbone is used. Maybe that's why they did it?

Again, thoroughly check the wiring to the 20A main breaker. If it's all 10AWG or larger from umbilical to breaker, it should be able to handle a 30A breaker.

If it's only 12AWG as suggested, one solution would be to move the 15A circuit the heater is using, to the 30A panel. It is unlikely you'd use both the heater and air conditioner simultaneously.
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Old 10-06-2013, 02:19 PM
Bob Landry Bob Landry is offline
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A 50A input is going to be split into two 120V/50A legs. To do it any other way would defeat the purpose of having 50A service which is actually 100A total. From what he is describing, it's a 20A sub panel, but who knows where it would be fed from. If that's the case, the 20A dual breaker would be the input breaker and then the input breakers would be ganged together, either externally by the toggles, or they would be connected internally. At any rate, if there were to be an issue, both breakers should trip at the same time since they would be carrying the hot & neutral input to the panel. I'm also making an assumption, perhaps erroneously, that these are panels with the toggles accessible for the breakers and not a panel of the household variety. A photo of both panels will help sort it out.
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Old 10-06-2013, 02:43 PM
diugo diugo is offline
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I got the impression that no breaker is ganged, so both panels are strictly 120V. When he refers to double breakers or "20 20", I think he means type BRD---two half-height breakers in a full-height slot.

Another possibility is that one of the two hots in the 50A plug/umbilical is simply unused. Again, determination of the wire gauge to the main breakers of both panels would be helpful.

Last edited by diugo; 10-06-2013 at 03:08 PM.
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Old 10-06-2013, 02:59 PM
Bob Landry Bob Landry is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diugo View Post
I got the impression that no breaker is ganged, so both panels are strictly 120V. When he refers to double breakers or "20 20", I think he means type BRD---two half-height breakers in a full-height slot.
Ganged circuit breakers are fairly common. They are used for inputs to power panels. In the event of a problem in a 50A setup, you would want both hots to trip at the same time. In a 30A setup, you still want them ganged so that both hot and neutral open, since neutral is also a current carrying leg. I'm not completely familiar with the 50A panels used in RVs, but in marine 50A panels, we actually use a three pole ganged curcuit breaker so all three legs trip, two hots and a neutral. In the household type panels I've seen, the neutral is not switched, only the hots, and all the neutrals go to a common buss bar for each leg.

That's why I was confused, and still am, when the OP called them main breakers and wanted to replace one of them.
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Last edited by Bob Landry; 10-06-2013 at 03:02 PM.
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