Full Sub panel, use Single pole, twin Breaker?

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Old 01-05-10, 08:13 AM
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Full Sub panel, use Single pole, twin Breaker?

My sub panel is full (no more slots). I need 1 more slot to put a 20A breaker to run a seperate refridge circuit. What are pros and cons of replacing one of my exisitng single pole 20A breakers with a single pole twin-breaker and use that for the circuit?
 
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Old 01-05-10, 08:15 AM
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If you box is rated for twins no problem. If you post make and model number some one here can tell you if your box will take one.
 
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Old 01-05-10, 08:33 AM
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Originally Posted by ray2047 View Post
If you box is rated for twins no problem. If you post make and model number some one here can tell you if your box will take one.
It is an older Cutler hamer Type-CH sub panel. It is 60 amp, I think and has a main 60 amp breaker and then 4 slots.
 
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Old 01-05-10, 08:36 AM
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Originally Posted by ray2047 View Post
If you box is rated for twins no problem. If you post make and model number some one here can tell you if your box will take one.

BTW- How do you know if a box is rated for twin or not?
 
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Old 01-05-10, 08:50 AM
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One way is to look at the list of supported breakers printed on the panel label and see if any tandem models are listed.

Another is to look at the model number which usually has the slots and circuits encoded. For example, a panel with ***0612*** in the model number means is has six slots, but can support 12 circuits meaning tandems are allowed (2 circuits/slot). It could also be **3040** meaning up to ten tandems are allowed, usually in the bottom slots.

Finally, if the panel label is gone you could try to find any identifying marks and call the manufacturer or check at an electrical supply house. They usually have a lot of technical manuals on file and can look stuff up.
 
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Old 01-05-10, 03:09 PM
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SO if it says "2 Spaces" and "4 Poles" than I assume that means 2 slots that can handle 4 circuits or 2 twins? If it is a "40 Amp" box then that means the main breaker is only 40 amps and that only 40 amps can be drawn at the most by any configuration of the breakers? So putting 2 20amp breakers that truely pull 20 amps could cause the main breaker to blow or will the individual 20A breakers blow before the main?
 
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Old 01-06-10, 05:39 AM
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For those keeping score...Actually it has eight slots, not four and there is no main breaker. (pays to look more closely...) It is the old CH8A which can take twins but they need to be a special type CHNTxxxx vs just any old twin. Space problem solved itself. Ran to big box store got a new 20 A breaker for $4 bucks some cond, metal boxes and connectors and fridge should be running tommorow ...Thanks again for everyones help.

I have to put in a ground bar to update the box as nuetral and ground are on single bar now. What side should I put the ground bar and where is the grounding strap on the current nuetral bar?
 
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Old 01-06-10, 06:10 AM
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Most likely a small panel like that does not have a bond to even install. They are not made for service equipment. As far as routing I would install the auxillary bar wherere you have the most space. There may be pre-drilled holes or you may need to drill your own. IIRC the CH calls for a numerical size drillbit for the hole.
 
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Old 01-06-10, 08:47 AM
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they sell a ground bar kit for it that has self tapping screws. There is plenty of space to the right of the bussbar as the neutral is already on the left. It looks like the neutral is insulated from the box so there must be some sort of ground strap, just need to turn of juice and look closer.

Saw a switch leg in the box too, A white wire pitailed into a black comming off a breaker, I wrapped black electrical tape around it and the wire at the switch to save the next soul who may not know better from being on this site...
 
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