I bought and installed (into the wall) a breaker panel box (screenshots below). As shown in one of the screenshots (#5), the circuit of the panel box appears to be "series". I installed a 60-amp breaker as shown in one of the screenshots. Does this mean that since the panel circuit is series I can connect the source hot wire to the 60-amp breaker and all other breakers will automatically be connected to the 60-amp breaker? For example, if my assumption is correct, then I can connect the 20-amp breaker to a washing machine outlet for example then the 60-amp breaker will act as the main switch/breaker?

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Thanks for any help!

3 Answers 3


Does this mean that since the panel circuit is series I can connect the source hot wire to the 60-amp breaker and all other breakers will automatically be connected to the 60-amp breaker?

The panel bus bars are two separate circuits that can be fed with a two pole breaker. The bus bars are not in series with each other. As you have proposed, a 60 amp two-pole breaker inserted into the panel can be used as the main breaker if it is fed from your main panel. The other two-pole breakers will draw power through the 60 amp breaker.

I notice there is no neutral or ground bars in this panel. If you are in Europe this may be OK but in the USA these need to be added to the panel and the neutral bar needs to be insulated from the panel.

Good luck!

  • Thanks @ArchonOSX for your answer. I live in an area in the Philippines where there's only one hot wire and it is 230-240 volts. There's a neutral wire from the power line (in addition to the hot wire) but there is no ground wire. Yes, the panel has no neutral or ground bars and it looks like the panel was not built to have those bars. So what I did was that I connected the hot wire and the neutral wire directly to the 60-amp breaker's legs. Everything works well right now (lights and outlets). However, may I know if you think this is allowed (to connect the wires directly to the breaker)? Commented Aug 18, 2017 at 13:19
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    Most panels have lugs for the wires that are attached directly to the bus bars. The feeder wires are protected by a breaker in the main panel. Your panel however doesn't have those lugs so connecting directly to the 60 amp breaker would be the thing to do. That breaker now protects the panel and all the circuits there and acts as a disconnect for all those circuits. I don't know if your local electrical inspector would approve but electrically it works.
    – ArchonOSX
    Commented Aug 18, 2017 at 15:36

Ah! You're in the Philippines. Half your country is 120/240 split phase like North America, and the rest is Euro style 230. This results in some odd "idioms" and you're looking at one. But a very good one -- Europe and the rest of Asia should do this!

Nobody puts fuses on neutrals, not even UK. This is to save money, the logic is a neutral can't carry more current than its partner hot. That only works if they're monogamous. A wiring mistake can overload a neutral, and then your house burns down.

The Philippine hybrid

This is a common USA-style 240V panel. It is meant to have two "hot" rails each 120V from neutral (missing here). Most circuits would use a 1-space breaker which clips onto one lug, and neutral would not be fused. 240V breakers are double-width, both hots are fused, and neutral (if used) is not fused.

Here you have a unique-to-Philippines hybrid: a USA-style panel where the two "hot" buses are being used as hot and neutral. That is great. It means neutral is fused. Less great is that every circuit takes a 2-pole breaker, so you run out of space really fast. In the USA this is a 14-space panel; for you only seven - alarmingly small. Get a much bigger panel if there's any conceivable way to do so.

Backfeeding the panel

Why did I say 14/7 when there are obviously 16/8? Because this panel has no main breaker - but what's more, it has no lugs. The only way to feed power into this panel is fit a "main breaker" (typically in the upper left) in 2 spaces as if it were a normal breaker -- and backfeed it. This means power flows backwards from the wires, through the breaker, to light up the panel. There's no choice, a main breaker is the only way to energize this panel.

It's fine to backfeed normal breakers. You cannot backfeed a GFCI/RCD breaker.

Then, all the other breakers fit and work in the normal fashion.

  • Thanks @Harper for this interesting and detailed information! Just to clarify on backfeeding, The 60-amp breaker now takes power from the electrical company. The other breakers take power from the 60-amp breaker (so in reverse order), may I know if this taking of power from the 60-amp breaker is called backfeeding? Commented Aug 19, 2017 at 22:53
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    What makes it backfeeding is that you are using it so the LINE side of the breakers is the screw terminals, which are normally that is the LOAD side. Commented Aug 19, 2017 at 23:53
  • Thanks @Harper. I am still confused though (but I think I almost get what you mean. The source power (from the electrical company) is connected directly to the screws of the 60-amp breaker. So, may I know if the 60-amp breaker in this case is backfeeding or not? The other breakers' screws are connected to the lights and outlets. May I know if by load you're referring to the lights and other electrical things? Commented Aug 20, 2017 at 13:03
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    @user1764381 yes, the 60A is backfeeding, you have all that correct. The trick with backfeeding is you must always pause and ask "is this OK to do in this situation?" But it is specifically ok for regular breakers, and they will probably be labeled to say that. Commented Aug 20, 2017 at 15:12
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    Exactly correct. You got it. Commented Aug 21, 2017 at 14:53

Just wanted to add the fact that doing it in this way you cannot exceed 60 amps when adding all the other breakers being fed in this box. For example, you could use 4 different 15 amp breakers or 3 different 20 amp breakers which each equal 60 amps total. I see you have a 50 amp breaker, a 20 amp breaker, & a 15 amp breaker which would add up to 85 amps in total, consequently overloading the 60 amp breaker feeding them causing it to constantly trip or possibly even starting a fire if the breaker failed when using all possible loads together at one time. Although, this could possibly be fine as long as you didn't use all the loads at the same time, for example switching off whatever the 50 amp breaker is providing power to while using the lights, receptacles/plugs, etc. connected to the 20 amp & 15 amp breakers. As well as, vice versa in switching off the items on the 20 amp & 15 amp breakers while using the appliance connected to the 50 amp breaker by itself in which case it would work just fine. You could even probably use the appliance on the 50 amp & a light or something on the 15 amp together at the same time just as long as you do not exceed the 60 amps you have feeding (in your case backfeeding) the rest of the box all at one time. Just wanted to clarify this in case there is anybody reading this that may not acknowledge this when planning to do such on their own.

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    Panels are quite commonly (and permitted to be) oversubscribed in the way that you describe as a no-no -- you're forgetting that circuits are not all loaded up to their full load at once in most buildings except in quite extraordinary circumstances Commented Aug 8, 2021 at 5:14
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    Try running a NEC Article 220 load calculation sometime, and comparing it to the sum of the breaker handles on a panel -- you'll be quite surprised! Commented Aug 8, 2021 at 5:17
  • Huh... Yeah I guess I hadn't really thought about it like that.. Even on a smaller sub panel like in this situation? Commented Aug 8, 2021 at 7:01
  • Yes, even on a smaller subpanel like this Commented Aug 8, 2021 at 13:38

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