using 1/2" breaker in box


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Old 04-06-04, 06:00 PM
D
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using 1/2" breaker in box

We have a subpanel in our basement that is powered by a generator when our power goes out (luckily not very frequently).
It looks like a standard breaker box and is then wired through a large switch box to our generator connection.
it was all installed in 2001 by a licensed electrician, so I know everything is up to code.
I need to add a double pole breaker for another air handler that we are installing.
The problem is that there is only one 1" space left in the box (out of about 20).
Would I be better served to put in a 1" double pole 20 amp breaker, or replace 2 existing 1" single pole breakers with a 1" "tandem" breaker (looks like a double pole but each circuit acts independently).
I don't want to add another subpanel to this one, and whenever we have used the generator, we turn off any extraneous circuits. The brand is GE
 
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Old 04-06-04, 06:10 PM
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First you need to figure out whether the panel, and that spot in that panel, will even accept a tandem breaker.

If the air handler is 240 volts, it won't even run off a double-pole breaker than only occupies one panel space. (A few GE panels can get 240 volts out of a 1" space, but only if that 1" stradles two openings.

Give us more details.
 
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Old 04-06-04, 07:40 PM
D
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i'll have to open the breaker panel (take off the cover tomorrow and get a look at it to see what we have).
My main concern also is if we have enough capacity for everything we'll be running on a day to day basis.
The subpanel comes off a 100 amp double pole breaker from one of our 2 main 200 amp panels.
The major things in this 100 amp subpanel are 3 air handler (240 v). 2 of them are 20 amp, and 1 is 15.
Also,our boiler, which is a 15 amp single pole.
How much capacity should we allow for in thsi panel besides these air handlers? Obcviously, not everything runs at the same time
 
  #4  
Old 04-07-04, 12:53 PM
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The size of the breaker has very to do with the capacity. It depends on what the units actually draw. It will also depend on the size of your genset. You may need to switch thenigs on/off to maintain a low enough draw on the genset.
 
 

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