Guidance with our panel

Hello,

I was hoping to get some help with our installation. I called an electrician to help install the unit but he was not very helpful and did not really seem to know what to do next. I am looking for another one, but he did bring up that our panel box is different than the one detailed in the instructions.

I have attached a picture. It looks like there are two buss bars. The first set which there is no room to access goes from the meter to the main cutoff breakers. It looks like there is a second buss bar that then feeds the panel.

I read in other forum threads that I can purchase CTs for buss bars? My questions are:

  1. Is my assessment correct and that I could be able to use the buss bar between the main circuit breakers and the panel?
  2. If so, which CTs should I buy and where do I find them?

Thanks for the help!

Cheers,
Bryan

Hello Bryan,

Your electrician was right. This is a unique situation.

It doesn’t look as if there is enough room to put any kind of CTs around the bussbars, even if I had bussbar CTs. So the alternatives are:

  1. Find a way to get access to the incoming mains cables before the meter. It looks like the meter is just above the breaker area. It probably has a seal, but depending on the local codes and your power company, they may allow an electrician to pull the meter, open the meter panel and install the CTs in there. The CTs are UL approved so there should be no issue with safety.

  2. Another approach, which I posted to another user earlier today, would be to forgo measuring the mains, and measure all of the individual circuits. A user recently posted his experience with comparing the sum of all of his individual circuits and his mains which he was able to put CTs on. The difference was less than 1%.


You have more than 14 circuits, but there are ways to combine the smaller loads into a few CTs. You have some large loads, and depending on whether they have a neutral wire, will need two CTs or passing both conductors through one CT, reversing one. It looks to me as if there is room in your panel to do some of that, but I’m not recommending it if you have no experience working in a panel.

The best solution in #1 where your electrician installs the CTs on the incoming cables in the meter box.

Thanks for the really quick reply! I will try to locate a better electrician and go with #1.

Cheers,
Bryan