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All I'm finding locally are 225-Amp panels. We have 200-amp service and the main breaker for each residence is outside with unit # labels. I don't have a need for add'l circuits etc at this time, but the new panel is a value pak and comes with 5 breakers all for $100. It supports Plug on Neutrals which I'll probably use for 6-7 AFCI breakers. Any consideration to consider bc it's a 225-Amp vs 200-amp panel? I'm not planning any new circuits but I get 10 extra spaces in the new box and eliminate the tandems and put in all new breakers. The service conductors come thru a metal conduit. Is that functioning as the ground back to the main in my case? Here's the panel I plan to use. https://www.lowes.com/pd/Square-D-225-Amp-30-Spaces-60-Circuit-Convertible-Main-Breaker-Panel-Plug-On-Neutral-Load-Center-Value-Pack/50311151 enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here

I am eliminating the tandems on the new panel.enter image description here

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    Can you post photos of the existing panel please, including any labeling on the inside of the door? Dec 27, 2021 at 1:06
  • 1
    See also "My car came with tires rated 112 mph. Is it safe to put 130 mph tires on it?" Dec 27, 2021 at 1:08
  • Would someone please shoot the painter that spray painted over the uncovered box, obscuring wire colors and completely covering all the labeling on those tandems and quads at the bottom! That should be grounds for criminal negligence!
    – FreeMan
    Feb 9, 2022 at 15:47
  • Done. I can post the death certificate if needed.
    – Mikey D
    Feb 9, 2022 at 17:21

3 Answers 3

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225A is an absolute maximum not to exceed. 200 is less than 225, so you are fine. If you ever get solar, the extra bus rating is beneficial.

The thing you really want is breaker spaces.

We get lots of people posting here saying "Help, my panel is out of spaces and I need to add a circuit, what can I do?" The answer is often byzantine and expensive. No one has ever asked "Help, my panel has plenty of extra spaces, what now?"

You are looking at a 30-space panel there. It says "60 circuit" but that is not realistic these days. Count on 30 circuits, with 240V circuits taking 2 each. I can also see by the item and being Homeline, that you are really good at shopping for value. Panels are the last place you want to chintz out. Spaces are cheap when you are buying the panel. So get a 40-space panel. You will thank me later.

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You can always use a larger panel, and more spaces is also a good thing in case you ever need any additional circuits.

The only issue is the main breaker itself. With 200A service, that should, logically, be a 200A breaker. The panel you linked is a main lug panel. It does not include a main breaker, so 225A tells you the maximum capacity but has nothing to do with protection of the incoming wire or preventing overload of the incoming service. However, it is convertible, so if you do need a main breaker, of any size up to 225A, that can be added later.

Assuming that main breakers are all together outside with unit # labels means:

  • Every unit has a main breaker outside between the meter and the feed to my panel inside (the panel I am replacing)

then you should be fine as you don't actually need a main breaker in this panel.

If, however, you are actually indicating:

  • Every unit has a main panel with main breaker outside, then you need a panel with the main breaker included, and it would have to be 200A. But I don't think that's what you mean.
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There is nothing wrong with having a downstream panel with GREATER capacity than the circuit feeding it, provided there is over-current protection in the feed. From what I understand you said, there is an upstream breaker, which technically makes this a sub-panel, meaning you need separate grounding from the neutral (commonly called isolating the neutral from the ground).

Next, I'd go with Square D QO rather than Homeline (which is the cheaper, less well built panel). Either that or Cutler-Hammer.

manassehkat...... made great points and I'm giving a big fat + for them.

Lastly, the new panels that support Plug on Neutrals are great, but you slightly misstated the term and I'll edit it for you, take care.

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