Double Lugged Breakers

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  #1  
Old 07-03-07, 08:23 PM
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Double Lugged Breakers

Keeping short and sweet. I bought a house that was remodeled in the mid 80s. My main panel is a 20 space QO load center. All 20 spots are filled. The garage and dryer are "Double lugged" onto a 40 amp two pole breaker. The panel has no provisions for "QOT" tandem "Minis" with the mounting feet.

Question #1-- "Double lugging" is a "BAD" thing , but the breaker has wiring gauge requirements for BOTH slots on either side of the pole screw----"What Gives"

Question #2--The Non CTL tandem QO breakers would solve my space problem, But they arent approved for use in my panel. Can I use them as long as I fall under the NEC "42 CKT" rule or are they outright prohibited?

I want to do this right, but replacing the load center would get me in just as much trouble with the inspectors as the "Illegal " breakers.
 
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Old 07-03-07, 09:37 PM
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1. Some breakers are designed to accomidate two wires...if so, you can have two wires. What concerns me is that the "garage" and "dryer" are sharing a double pole, 40A breaker. Exactly *what* in the garage is fed from that? General purpose recepticals in garage must be on 15A or 20A circuits. Also, the dryer circuit for an electric dryer is normally 30A, so unless you have a very unusual dryer, that's just all wrong.


2. The Non-CTL breakers are NOT OK for your panel unless your panel specifies that it can have more than 20 breakers and will not accomodate standard tandems because it is too old to have been designed for the newer tandems). Since you say they are not approved for your panel, it sounds like you already know the answer to your question.


Consider removing the 40A breaker, replacing with a 60A breaker, and using it to feed a small sub-panel adjacent to the main panel. You could move the dryer and garage circuits over there, separate them, and have room for a few more circuits. If you decide to do that, start a new thread for that discussion. Search this forum and you will find MANY threads on how to do a sub-panel correctly.
 
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Old 07-03-07, 09:53 PM
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The garage is completely powered by that breaker. the dryer doesnt exist yet, but future usage dictates I have an issue.

If the 60 amp breaker accepts two wires per pole, would I be asking for trouble , leaving my current configuration, and simply "UPGRADING" the breaker?
 
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Old 07-03-07, 10:39 PM
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the double luggged on double pole breaker is a no no

you can use the non ctl on older Sqd boxes which it manufacted before 1968 but the 20 space box is kinda pretty small by today standard the two options you can do is get bigger box like 30 space breaker box they do have that in 30 space in 100 amp main verison or go with 200 amp and get 40 or 42 space breaker box or go with subfeed box

the subfeed box is most common choice to add more load to the breaker box

there is few ways you can do with this but is the garage is attched to the house or the garage is detached because it make the diffrence there

Merci , Marc
 
  #5  
Old 07-04-07, 07:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Unclediezel View Post
The garage is completely powered by that breaker. the dryer doesnt exist yet, but future usage dictates I have an issue.

If the 60 amp breaker accepts two wires per pole, would I be asking for trouble , leaving my current configuration, and simply "UPGRADING" the breaker?
I'm not suggesting just upgrading the breaker. I am suggesting adding a SECOND breaker panel, ie, a sub-panel, adjacent to the current breaker panel, and using the 60A breaker that replaced the 40A breaker to supply power from the main panel to the sub panel. You would then move the wires going to the garage into the sub panel, where it would attach to a 15A or 20A breaker (depending on if the wires are 14 guage or 12 guage respectively). You would similarly move the dryer feed to the sub panel, and attach to a 30A double pole breaker (assuming the dryer feed is 10-3wg...if it is less than 10 guage, or, if it does not have a separate ground, you will need to abandon the dryer circuit and replace with a new 10-3wg cable).

Please also clarify what you mean by "the garage is completely powered by that breaker". Is there a sub panel IN the garage? Is the garage attached or detached?
 
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Old 07-04-07, 08:14 AM
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Please also clarify what you mean by "the garage is completely powered by that breaker". Is there a sub panel IN the garage? Is the garage attached or detached?

=================

agreed;

if this feeds a subpanel you "may" be okay, but still not sure without the details.

If this does not feed a sub panel, then it is absolutely wrong if your definition of "garage is completely powered by" inculdes the general receps and lighting. You cannot feed 15 or 20 amp recepts or lighting with a 40 amp breaker. PERIOD.
 
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Old 07-04-07, 08:23 AM
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detatched, 30 amp "Shutoff" feeding a 100amp subpanel. -5 outlets , two flourescent overhead lamps,and a motion light . Garage is fed by 8/3 UF, dryer is 10/3--

As Im starting to realize--I should have RAN from the deal, but this is what I have to work with. Id like to "Straighten out as much as I Can without flagging the whole house...
 
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Old 07-04-07, 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Unclediezel View Post
detatched, 30 amp "Shutoff" feeding a 100amp subpanel. -5 outlets , two flourescent overhead lamps,and a motion light . Garage is fed by 8/3 UF, dryer is 10/3--

As Im starting to realize--I should have RAN from the deal, but this is what I have to work with. Id like to "Straighten out as much as I Can without flagging the whole house...

OK, that clears up the picture of the garage. I hope when you say 8/3 UF that you mean three wires plus ground, ie, black, red, white, bare/green. If so, you are probably OK with what's in the garage, assuming the circuits out there are on 15A or 20A breakers in the sub panel.

So, it's a matter of getting the 10/3 for the dryer on its own 30A double pole breaker. The simplest solution may still be the sub panel. Knowing what you just told us, I'd consider installing a subpanel as follows:

1. Find two 15/20 circuits that can easily be moved to the subpanel (ie, their romex has enough slack to move them. Preferably two circuits that are adjacent in the main panel.
2. Remove their breakers (rearrange others if necessary so two adjoining slots are free) and replace with a 60A breaker.
3. Install sub panel (same brand as what your main is if possible), feeding with 6/3wg (or, better, if conduit can be ran use individual conductors).
4. Put old breakers from circuits in #1/#2 into subpanel (or use new breakers appropriate for the new panel if the two panels don't match) and reconnect those circuits there.
5. Install 30A double pole breaker and bring the 10/3 dryer feed into the sub panel to this breaker. [If you can't move the 10/3 feed into the subpanel, move two more 110 circuits from the main to the sub, freeing room for a double pole 30A breaker there.]

You've got plenty to do. BTW: The 60A breaker I keep referring to is just a suggestion. If you anticipate a LOT of additional circuits, you may want more. If this is it, a 40/50 will probably be plenty. Most 30-60A breakers cost the same, so the cost difference is the wire to feed the panel. If the two panels are side by side, the cost is negligible.
 
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Old 07-05-07, 05:46 PM
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wow... You make it sound so simple- Thank you....

Ive been staring at this thing for 3 months, Scared stiff of getting involved in anything that requires a permit.... The rest of it "AINT Much Better"

The "MASTER PLAN" is eventually a Generator, so... Would a "transfer" box or "GEN " panel work instead of just a sub?
 
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Old 07-07-07, 10:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Unclediezel View Post
wow... You make it sound so simple- Thank you....

Ive been staring at this thing for 3 months, Scared stiff of getting involved in anything that requires a permit.... The rest of it "AINT Much Better"

The "MASTER PLAN" is eventually a Generator, so... Would a "transfer" box or "GEN " panel work instead of just a sub?

It's always simple when someone else has to do the work. That's why I like these forums...I get to make plans and someone else has to do the work.

The good thing about getting a permit and inspection is after you get the inspectors blessing, you don't have to be "scared stiff" that the work you did will cause your house to burn down.

If you are considering a generator, this would be the right time to consider which circuits you want powered by the generator. ALL of those circuits would be moved into the new panel that the generator would power, so that would take care of the lack of space in the main panel. I have no experience with generators/transfer switches/etc, but I think you are probably thinking in the right direction. I would encourage you to start a new thread with questions pertaining to that. You could refer people to this thread for background so they'll understand your situation.
 
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