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taybrynn

Looking for a Square D twin breaker like this

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DSC00384.jpg

Do they exist?

The only ones at Lowes or Home Depot had either with a clip (claw) connector or a shallow clip (instead of the deep clip) and don't fit on all the way [ only go half way down ].

I'm looking for a deeper-clip tandem/twin breaker with the same connect as shown in the top (from a double pole breaker in my panel). Do they exist that you know of?

My panel doesn't seem to have any tandem connections in it ... and yes, I'm trying to add at the bottom of the panel where others have reported the twin breaker slots usually reside.

Its a Square-D main panel.

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I'd suggest going to your nearest electrical supply house with the breaker. I bet they will be able to hook you up.

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Looks like a standard Square-D Homeline breaker. Our Lowes/HD has tons of them.

On your breaker panel you can usually tell if the position you want to use is made for a tandem breaker by the label having a dashed-line that splits that position into two.

-Jeff

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Yeah, I've look at the entire homeline series ... it appears my main panel

can't have them.

Do you know anything about these 'quad breakers' where you replace a double pole 30A (say) with a quad breaker container both a 240v 30A double and two single pole 15a(s) [ or 20a(s) ].

I was only thinking that since I only use my A/C for maybe 1-2 months per year and certainly never in December ... I could replace my two A/C breakers (a 30A double and 40a double) with a couple quads, gaining me 4 breakers that effectively replace the A/C for winter-user only.

Then I'd use the available 4 slots for single-pole 20's ... giving me the 8 I originally wanted to wire up (and have boxes and outlets for).

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Hmm ... well same problem with those quad breakers ... they also are only short sockets (like the tandems breakers) and won't fit into my main panel.

So I think I need to find a plan that works for me using regular single-pole 20A breakers instead, since I don't want to add a subpanel outside.

My new plan is to install (4) 20A single-pole breakers into the main panel slots. Then run (2) of them to a nearby box containing (2) 20A GFCI outlets.

Then run (2) of them via. some conduit to (2) 20A GFCI outlets on the other side of the house. This also allows me to convert my conduit for the nearby box down from 1" to 3/4 to more easily match the knock-outs available on my main panel.

Then the long-term plan would be to remove two of the 20A breakers, and the lines connecting to the other side of the house, install a basement subpanel, feed it with a 125A breaker, then re-connect the 20A breakers in the basement.

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They exist, and I have used them. Expect to pay THROUGH THE NOSE.

Split Square D's at the home-center are around $4-$5 - but they have the metal saddle in them. The local electrical supply house has the ones without the saddle, and they are $19 each. :eek:

BDs are the ones with the saddle (IE, BD2020). The BR series are the ones without (IE, BR2020). As suggested, bring the breaker with you and ask the folks behind the counter.

FYI: According to the diagram on my load-center, split breakers go in the MIDDLE, not on the bottom. Check your diagram as Jeffrey suggests.

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Hmmm... I swear they look like Homeline breakers. I have a single pole breaker sitting here and I'm putting it up to the screen and everything matches.

I'll swing by our Lowes tomorrow with my breaker in hand and see what the difference is with the tandems. I have tandems in my subpanel here but I'm too lazy to take it apart to check them right now. ;) (too many lights to put up and not enough hours in the day!!!)

-Jeff

[edit]

Just remembered this from when I first used my tandems. Are you pushing hard enough? I know it sounds silly but I remember it taking a little extra "umph" to get them to go. Don't break anything please though and say I told you to hammer them in. :) (I know you wouldn't just from your posts, but you never know what someone else might do...)

Edited by Jeffrey

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I tried the tandems in a homeline square D (outdoor, 6 slot) subpanel today ... and they went in, with some force, but they went in ok.

Now the different on the tandems (and the quads) is that they have a shorter clip depth ... and that seems to keep you from being able to plug them into certain circuit slots.

The metal daggers you plug the breakers into seem to be more of staggered (two step) plug in on the homeline subpanels that accept tandems, while the panel I have (and other homeline main panels I saw at home depot) only had tall, non-staggered (single step) metal daggers to plug into ... and this seem to be the limiter for the tandem breakers. SInce they are shallow, they will only plug in all the way on the staggered daggers and won't push on more than half way for the non-staggered daggers.

Sorry if my terminology is very bad.

Scott

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The cutler hammer BR, Murray, GE, ITE, Square D Homeline all look the same on the back side. The inside of the panel cover will tell you which breaker combination will work in your panel.

Cutler Hammer BR makes a classified breaker which is listed to work in most other manufactures panels. They are available at your local electrical supply house.

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check the bottom 6 breakers some only will allow the last breakers to use double breakers in one slot the top will not allow doubles

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Just remembered this from when I first used my tandems. Are you pushing hard enough? I know it sounds silly but I remember it taking a little extra "umph" to get them to go. Don't break anything please though and say I told you to hammer them in. :) (I know you wouldn't just from your posts, but you never know what someone else might do...)

The difference isn't really with the breaker, it's with the buss bar. Some positions in the Cuttler Hammer/Bryant/GE load centers have a longer buss bar stab than others. Depending on the slot, you need either BRs or BDs. The BD's go into slots with the shorter stabs, the BR's go in the slots with the longer stabs.

The only reason I know this is that it happened to me. I went to put in 4 new circuits last year, and purchased 2 BD2020 breakers. I got everything wired and went to put the breaker into the pannel and one didn't fit. A trip to my electric supply house set me straight, and back almost $20!

------

FYI: I may be confusing Square D and Cuttler again (I do it all the time!), so be sure to talk to the nice people behind the counter ;). They may not be called BD/BR in Square D.

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I did buy some of those Cutler Hammer tandems at Lowes ... and they had the proper clip depth (same as SD Homeline) ... but they lacked a small notch in the plastic that the square D breakers have ... just enough to prevent it from going in all the way. Looked like you could make it identical to the Square D with about 10 seconds with a dremel ... but I didn't want to hack a breaker like that. It was just a slight difference in how the plastic was formed. I will keep looking to see if I can find something that fits. So far the Cutler Hammer tandem was the closest. I think the short clip is a safety feature and it seems that some folks told me I could find tandams that fit, but you need to go to a professional supply house to find them ... and then they are around $19 each. That is what I was told.

Edited by taybrynn

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I ran into this with a recent update to my panel. Tandem breakers on the Homeline series are only alowed go in certain slots see page 3 & 4 of this PDF file. Figure 7 on page 4 shows the buss bar notched to accept the tandem breaker.

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On another board, I had a couple different electricians tell me that if its a 40 slot panel (like mine is), then it will NOT accept tandems, because they don't want any more than 40 circuits in any given panel. This means that most panels under 40 slots do have a number of slots that accept tandems because you would still stay under 40 if you filled them with tandems.

So then those panels say "6 slots" "12 circuits" ... so you could put tandems in all 6 slots, and still have only 12 circuits ... fine, because its under 40.

It sounds like square D put a safety mechanism on their homeline panels so you could not insert tandems into a main panel with 40 slots ... enforced by the notching (or lack thereof) or on smaller panels, limited by only providing a certain number of slots that can accept tandem breakers. So say on a 32 slow panel, they may provide 8 slots that accept tandems, so if you used them all ... you'd have 40 circuits in the panel. If they had provided more slots that accept tandems, then you could exceed 40 circuits in the panel, so the limit the # of slots that accept them. Clever. The strange thing is that tandems end up having LESS contact with the bus bar ... and you would have expected more contact (being ideal) since your server two circuits instead of one.

Here is a picture showing the bus bar fin different between slots that accept tandems (top, notched fins) versus those in my panel (bottom, no notches in fins).

My drawing is a rendering based on member ... the bottom version might not look exatly this way ... but would have a larger flat top than a slot that accepts tandems. The Tandem slots look more shark-fin like to me. Then normal slots, more anvil like.

homelinetandemvsnotandembusbarfins.jpg

Edited by taybrynn

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