Which phase is my electrik socket on?



OK, I made a couple of pics of the breaker panel and I hope you can view them on the following links.
These are the breakers:
<http://docs.google.com/Doc?docid R41cGCzYT76ZGZnaDk2NjJfMmR4ZjVqNWo2&hl=en>
The circuit breakers I am interested in are the blue ones on the left and the one immediately above them, labelled "Foyer, etc." For some reason it's 30A, while the blue ones below are 15A. I'd like to be sure that the "Foyer" breaker is on the same phase as the 2nd from the bottom, labelled "Kitch/Fam Rm Lights." I'd rather not call en expensive electrician to install a bridge capacitor or whatever.
The following link shows some info about the breaker panel and it's pasted inside of the panel door:
<http://docs.google.com/Doc?docid R41cGCzYT76ZGZnaDk2NjJfMGN3N3Rrcmcz&hl=en>
I hope it can help you experts to answer my original question so I don't end up with a useless HomePlug kit.
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They are not on the same phases. The "Foyer" breaker is on the "A" phase while the "Kitch/Fam Rm Lights" breaker is on the "B" phase. What might be confusing you is those blue breakers are mini breakers. They are nothing more than two 1/2" tall breakers bound together to fit into one 1" tall breaker slot. Each 1" tall breaker slot is on a phase. The first left/right pair starting at the top is on the "A" side, the second left/right pair is on the "B" side, the third left/right pair is on the "A" side, the forth left/right pair is on the "B" side, etc.
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Um sorry I make a mistake in identifying the "A" and "B" phases. Everything I wrote is correct except that you'll need to swap every "A" with a "B" and vice-versa.
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Oh, shoot! There goes my HomePlug idea unless I really want to call an electrician. But that in itself would probably cost more than a good HomePlug kit. Anyway, thanks for the reply.
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Cameo wrote:

Nice pics - "a picture is worth a thousand words" certainly applies.
I agree with Rich.
An electrician (or other competent person) could swap a couple breaker connections so "kitchen/..." is on the same leg as "foyer". [I would not use "phase" for buses in a single phase panel.]
I would add that "Foyer" in all probability should be a 15A (or small possibility a 20A) breaker. If it supplies 'ordinary' outlets you should really change it - 30A is a fire hazard.
What you have is a "split bus" panel which is relatively unusual. It is OK but a new service panel would have a single service disconnect at the top. You have 3, and could have up to 6.
The breaker "color" tells you which breakers are 15A and which are 20A - another miss for AlwaysWrong.
--
bud--

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Thanks, I try ...

I'm sure you're right about that. By the way, my PC is in a study just off the foyer, so that's why it's on the same circuit. I'm going to find out what else might be on it that justified the 30A breaker. What I still don't get is why all my X-10 controls work in the house. They are all on different circuits and phases.
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Cameo wrote:

Well they are *supposed* to work that way afterall, it's just common to have issues, especially in modern homes with so many sources of electrical noise as well as filters in power supplies that can attenuate the signal. The two sides are coupled by the distribution transformer afterall which in many cases is only a few tens of feet from the house.
When I was a teenager my friend and I discovered that my X10 remote would operate some of the lights on and in his neighbor's house. We just clicked the dial through each frequency pressing the all lights on button until something came on. Poor neighbors finally disconnected it.
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Browsing through the internet I discovered something that indicates that I don't even need to worry about cross-phase functionality of HomePlug devices if they are the newer AV 200 Mbps variety. There is this FAQ item on in the following link:
Question:In my house are three separate phases. Can HomePlug AV 200Mbps EthernetAdapter connect one phase to another?Answer:Yes, it can. Phase coupling operates without an installation of a phase coupler whileusing the HomePlug AV 200Mbps Ethernet Adapter. You also can establish yournetwork connections via two or three phasesQuestion:In my house are three separate phases. Can HomePlug AV 200Mbps EthernetAdapter connect one phase to another?Answer:Yes, it can. Phase coupling operates without an installation of a phase coupler whileusing the HomePlug AV 200Mbps Ethernet Adapter. You also can establish yournetwork connections via two or three phasesQuestion: In my house there are three separate phases. Can HomePlug AV 200Mbps Ethernet Adapter connect one phase to another?
Answer: Yes, it can. Phase coupling operates without an installation of a phase coupler while using the HomePlug AV 200Mbps Ethernet Adapter. You also can establish your network connections via two or three phases.
<ftp://ftp.aztech.com/support/Singapore/HomePlug/HL108E%20HomeplugAV%20Frequently%20Asked%20Questions.pdf
The following white paper explains the reason:
<http://www.atheros.com/pt/plc/downloads/whitepaper_PLCCrossphase.pdf
What do you think?

Yes, but X-10 remote controls are radio transmitters, so with the chance of using the same house code by neighbors, it's relatively easy to control their lights. X-10 does not use signal encryption.
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Bud, I checked again what else is on the 30A Foyer circuit and it looks like there are some outside GFP sockets also on the same circuit. As those sockets are used to power such things as electric lawn mower and various power tools, perhaps that justified the higher breaker rating. I assume the wires are also heavier gage there.
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Cameo wrote:

Ordinary devices, like receptacles, are only allowed on a 20A circuit max. The equipment you plug-in, like your lawn mower, is only intended to be plugged into a 20A circuit max. High probability the wire is 15A (#14), small probability it is 20A (#20), about zero probabilty it is 30A (#10). Even if it is 30A wire, the limitations above apply.
The 30A breaker is a fire hazard.
--
bud--

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Cameo wrote:

The legs/phases/buses in the panel are interleaved, so the first slot is leg A, the next one down is leg B, the one below that is leg A, and below that B, and so on. The blue breakers are doubles, so each pair of those is a slot. In your case the garage light is on the same phase as the kitchen lights
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The presence of that thirty ampere single pole breaker in your panel is a real concern. It is a pretty strong clue that the circuit it serves is not properly protected. If that circuit serves regular lighting and receptacle outlets then that breaker is the wrong ampacity and needs to be changed out to match the gauge of wire used in the circuit. -- Tom Horne
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Cameo wrote:

Take the cover off the board and you should be able to physically see which phase goes to which fuses and track it from there
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Multiple circuits are usually on the same phase. What you want to do is get a circuit tester and string it from the hot line of one to the hot line of the other. If there's enough differential voltage to light the tester, they're on different phases. If there's not, they're on the same phase, but perhaps not the same circuit.
Or you could use a voltmeter. The voltage between different phases in a house is 240 volts or so. The voltage between different outlets on the same phase is a lot less than 120V. In a building with 3-phase power, you will see either about 240 or 208 between phases. Again, if it's a lot less, it's the same phase.
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