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Can I put a 125 amp breaker in a 100 amp panel box that is

Customer Question
outside on a pole....
Can I put a 125 amp breaker in a 100 amp panel box that is outside on a pole.
Submitted: 5 years ago.Category: Electrical
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Answered in 5 minutes by:
6/3/2012
Electrician: Jason, Service Technician replied 5 years ago
Jason
Jason, Service Technician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 4,289
Experience: Over 20 years of experience in all types of installations, troubleshooting, and repairs.
Verified

Jason :

Hello. Welcome to Just Answer.

Jason :

Is there a 100 amp rating stamped inside the panel?

Jason :

Are you trying to replace an existing 100 amp main breaker in the outdoor panel?

Customer:

are you there?

Jason :

I'm here. Can you see this text?

Customer:

Yes, I believe I will be fine with staying with the 100 amp breaker but if I can go to the 125 amp breaker, I know I will be.

Jason :

The only problem with upgrading the breaker is that it would be a Code violation if the panel's bussbars are only rated at 100 amps. If there is a 100 amp rating stamped somewhere inside the panel, I would not put the larger breaker in.

Customer:

I guess what I am saying is I doubt I will even draw 100 amps on this line, I just wanted a little more so it would not trip the 100 if it went over a little.

Jason :

I understand. What all will you be feeding with the panel?

Customer:

Electric stove, dishwasher, fridge, washer, dryer, split system air conditioner which I was told would only draw about 27 amps, I was told to install 10-2 wire for the AC with a double pole 30 amp breaker.-- there are about 10 lights and two ceiling fans, tv, and misc small appliances

Customer:

oh and a microwave

Jason :

It sounds like a lot of load, but most of it won't be on concurrently. I suspect you

Jason :

will be fine with the 100 amp main.

Customer:

and hot water heater and well pump

Jason :

Technically, to go up to the 125, you would need to upsize the wire coming into the house. You must have branch circuit protection inside the house, correct? Is the breaker that's out on the pole in a box by itself? If so, is the branch circuit panel in the house, with only main lugs, and no main breaker?

Customer:

do you think this load if I install the 125 amp breaker would cause it to get hot enough to melt?

Jason :

No, that's not likely.

Customer:

no main breaker inside

Customer:

power will be supplied by breaker on outside of box on pole

Jason :

OK, in that case, the wire from the outside main breaker to the interior main lugs needs to be rated for 125 amps, in order to legally upsize the breaker. The box on the pole would also need to meet or exceed the rating of the breaker it contains.

Customer:

Will it work ?

Jason :

I would plan on using the existing 100 amp breaker. If it trips, which I doubt it will, you will need to upgrade more than just the breaker itself. In order to comply with Code, the breaker enclosure, and possibly the wire from the pole breaker to the house panel will need to be upsized.

Customer:

so you think I will be fine staying with the 100amp breaker. But if I did change to a 125 amp breaker, do you think it would cause a fire or cause something to melt. I know I am putting you a in bad place and ultimately I make the decision . my choice my responsibility. I release you from any liability.

Customer:

David S Sullivan

Jason :

I think the breaker would most likely trip on overload, but it's really difficult to know for sure.

Customer:

Thank you. I understand.

Jason :

You are most welcome. Is there anything else I can do for you?

Customer:

thanks.

Jason
Jason, Service Technician
Category: Electrical
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Experience: Over 20 years of experience in all types of installations, troubleshooting, and repairs.
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