In phase breakers

I am building a dedicated music room. I had to get a new sub-panel placed, and want to set this up right the first time. So how does one make certain the breakers are in phase? Is there a test or trick to determine the phase orientation?

I have some very nice aftermarket audiophile fuse cartridges, but they are DIN and don’t fit my breaker bar. Is there a way I can use these with my breaker panel without having to do anything crazy?

Thank you,

This is as good a drawing as I could find fast. The idea is that you can use 1-3 to make a 240V circuit. You would plug in a 2P circuit breaker. With both legs 180 degrees out of phase, you get 240V (assuming residential US). Circuits 1 & 2 would be in phase. You need a dedicated neutral for each 1P circuit.

Man, I’m confused on the double pole phase…Ok, so I’m using three 2 pole breakers for three lines I want to use. So starting at the top and going straight down, the first breaker would take up slots 1 and 3, the second 5 and 7, and the third 9 and 11. Are those in phase?

Also, would I be better using single pole 20 amp breakers for my outlets (I have three PS audio soloists)? That way (if I’m reading the diagram correctly) slots 1, 2, and 5 are in phase, right? It’s those double pole breakers that I don’t understand…

Thanks very much for this good info!

You’d be using single pole breakers. 1 & 2 are on the same phase. 1 & 3 are on opposite phases. The 2P breaker example is why the phases alternate so you can use multi-pole breakers to get higher voltages: think condensing unit or electric range. Couldn’t sleep and am making things worse by looking at my phone.

Ahhh, I get that now. Great to know, as I will be doing the wiring this weekend! I couldn’t sleep either…my darn alarm just woke me up for work : O

Thanks again!

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They also have polarity testers you can simply plug in. Home Depot would have them.

@breathingvinyl, is this work being done for you by an electrician? If so, I was wondering why he/she wouldn’t be doing this per your request?

As an aside, I will soon be doing the same thing in my home. My existing panel is fully utilized so I will (and I would anyway for a dedicated sound room) have a new sub panel installed. I had an electrician at my home for some other work, and while there we were discussing the new sub panel. I brought up having everything on the same phase. He said that is possible, but they normally don’t do that. He was saying they try to balance out the phase utilization across all the circuits in a house so that each phase sees approximately the same load.

Load balancing by swapping circuit locations around in the panel can also lower the electric bill.

Nice to know, I will pick up a polarity tester next time I’m at HD…

The electrician who installed my sub panel never returned my text when I asked him about it. But we just had a big hurricane, so he’s probably busier than a one-legged man in a butt-kicking contest! It’s no big deal, I don’t mind doing it myself as long as I know what I’m doing lol!

So 1-2, 5-6, 9-10, etc. are on one phase, and the others 3-4, 7-8, 11-12 are different phases. If that’s right, I just need to move my breakers around, and viola.

Thank you guys!

Keep in mind that 1 & 5 are on the same phase too. It alternates (look at the picture I attached closely). Might make it easier and avoid moving breakers around. Also, make sure each 1P circuit has a dedicated neutral. It’s possible to network 2 out of phase circuits and share a neutral on a 120/240V 1-Phase, 3-Wire service.

Gotcha, thanks my friend!

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Came across a hopefully small issue… I accidentally ran my ground wire a little short from my Soloist, and had to extend it. Right now, I have it spliced with a standard wire connector, but is there a better alternative to improve the ground? I’m worried that it won’t be pure copper, but maybe a copper crimp? I’m upset that I did this. I was trying to be frugal, as the wire was imported from the Netherlands, and wasn’t cheap. Now with extending the ground, I’m worried that my tube equipment will be more noisy.

I bought these heavy duty wire connectors, and didn’t realize they were filled with a dielectric fluid. That stuff is all over the wires now. Does anyone think this stuff might degrade sound quality?

Solder and heat shrink tube are probably the best connection if it’s possible in your situation.

I was thinking that too, but I’ve never welded and would be worried about screwing it up. Guess I might have to take a chance.

Decided I will solder the wires. Since I have to break out the soldering iron anyway, would there be any benefit to soldering all of the wires for my Soloist outlets vs. just having them twisted and capped? I certainly don’t mind doing it for an audio Improvement, but I don’t really care for the idea of mixing metal/purities, and I don’t know which solder would be best. I know my wire is 99.9% OFC, and I believe the Soloists are too. Any ideas?

50/50 or 95/5 will work. Just make sure to clean off the flux before you heat shrink.
With clean wire twisted and capped is plenty good but others will probably support solder. There are literally hundreds of millions of twisted and capped connections buried in our walls and junction boxes that have remained in perfect working order for lots of years.

Thanks, I’m going to buy some today!