My circuit box door says that Dryer and outside outlets are connected on breaker 13 and 14, uppon opening the box and retracing wires I found that Dryer wires are just dangling inside the box not connected. I would connect them to the breaker where it says it's supposed to be, but the wire for outside outlets is just so thick that I don't believe it's for those outlets (7 outlets and wire is 8 or 6 gauge, while dryer is 10 or 12). The two breakers are 50amp (red on one, black on other). Would I be safe connecting Dryer wire to those breakers also? Or am I better off replacing the two NA 20 amp breakers (they are for laundry plug and furnace black wire each) with two 50 amp breakers and connecting red wire for dryer on one and black on other?

Or should I replace those NA 20amp breakers with one 20amp tandem and one 30amp tandem?

  • Have you tried testing to see if turning off 13/14 actually turns off the outside outlets? If the goal is to connect the dryer, seems like the first step would be to figure out what is actually connected where.
    – longneck
    Commented Feb 5, 2015 at 1:24
  • 4
    That is a Federal Pacific breaker box, you would be doing good to replace it. I know it does not pertain to the question, but it warrants research on why I write this
    – Jack
    Commented Feb 5, 2015 at 1:24
  • Longneck, yes those are for outside outlets but I'm not sure if anything else is hooked onto it. Jack I know that the box is Federal Pacific but I really don't have funds at the moment to replace it. I was looking in just replacing the breakers right now with different brand, but having trouble finding anything. I don't like Cincinati Electric as that seems like it's made in China crap
    – user32427
    Commented Feb 5, 2015 at 1:40
  • You will likely find that it's either junk off-brand or expensive 1:1 replacement (i.e.; replacing old with old). If I were you, I'd put those things on ebay or craigslist and sell them for $30-60 ea. There's tons of people who have the same mind-set as you when it comes to replacing the panel; you can capitalize on them and use the funds to change your's out. Those breakers suck. Commented Feb 5, 2015 at 7:02
  • What are the physical dimensions of this panelboard? (Measure it with the deadfront on, of course.) Commented Feb 28, 2015 at 6:52

1 Answer 1


If you haven't burned to a crisp yet...BURNINATE THIS PANEL

This box is very definitely a FPE Stab-Lok, and thus needs to be burninated with extreme predjudice before it burns your house down!

I'd simply replace it outright; ordinarily, an Eaton retrofit interior would be an option, but your panel is stuffed to the gills with tandems, and since tandem GFCI/AFCI breakers are not a thing, you will need far more spaces on your new panel than will fit in a cabinet that size (a 24 circuit CH main breaker retrofit interior requires 29" of height, and you only appear to have about 24"). I would get the largest panel I can, however, to avoid having "overstuffed electrical panel" syndrome again in the future.

As a result, a bare minimum replacement for this application would be a 30 space, 100A, main breaker unit; however, I would splash out and get a 42 or 54 space, 200/225A unit and downbreaker it to 100A (either through swapping to a lower amp main or using a backfed 100A branch breaker with a hold-down as the main as not all 200A panels can accept a 100A breaker in the main breaker position).

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