GE Load Center and GE THQP half size breakers

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Old 07-06-10, 05:05 PM
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GE Load Center and GE THQP half size breakers

I have a 200 amp, 120-240 VAC, 3 wire main, 40 poles max panel (at my house) that is full but I only need a few available breaker slots. If replacing some of the regular sized 15 amp breakers with some 15 amp THQP breakers is possible I would prefer that over having a sub-panel installed.

I've have two pdfs to attach that show what my panel looks like (But for some reason DIY says I "may not post attchments"). One is how many breakers, amperage and what they for. The other is the electrical circuit diagram taken from inside the panel door.

Taking a look at my pictures would this be possible? What would be the limit of the half-sized breakers?

Even though the panel states that it can use THQP breakers does that necessarily mean they can be used (according to lets say West Virginia code)? Does anyone know if the West Virginia code can be accessed online if not where could I find this info out?

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.
 

Last edited by weezer; 07-06-10 at 05:16 PM. Reason: Did not post attachments
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Old 07-06-10, 05:08 PM
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I don't see any pdf files or pictures. If the panel states you can use THQP breakers, I don't see any reason or know of any codes to prevent it unless the panel is full. You said your panel has 40 maximum poles, how many poles are currently installed in it?
 
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Old 07-06-10, 05:13 PM
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pdf attachments

Sorry, I did not know that I wouldn't be able to post attachments. I'm inquiring and hope to have them out there.
 
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Old 07-06-10, 05:23 PM
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Excuse my ignorance, I'm not an electrician so I'm not sure. My question would be what counts as a pole?

The single 1 inch breakers are single pole (take up one slot)? and the larger sized breakers that take up two slots are 2 pole?

I have 24 breakers, 11 of those are 15 amp (1 slot), 4 are 20 amp (1 slot). 7 of them are the double sized breakers that take up 2 slots (20-100 amp range). And 2, 15 amp THQP half-size breakers. (This house was built in the 70's and I noticed a few months ago that one single 15 amp breaker had two separate circuits connected to it so I separated them via the half sized breakers).
 
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Old 07-06-10, 05:31 PM
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I count 31 poles, or slots as you call them. You probably have a 30-40 panel which means you can get 40 poles by using THQP breakers in those spaces at the bottom of the panel that are designed for them. The drawing on the label inside the panel should show you where you can use the thin THQP breakers.
 
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Old 07-06-10, 05:47 PM
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I wish you could see the diagram but anyway the circuit diagram shows up to 40 poles. 1 through 20 ( I'm not sure what the term is but are separate).
1 is on the left side, 2 is on the right side
3 is on the left, 4 is on the right and so on up to 20.

the lower portion has
21 and 23 are on the left side (together in parallel?) 22 and 24 are on the right side and so on up to 40.

Does it matter where the double breakers are in the panel?
Some are located in the upper and lower portion of the panel. If the half-sized breakers should go on the lower portion is it OK to relocate the larger double breakers to the upper portion?

Thanks.
 

Last edited by weezer; 07-06-10 at 05:51 PM. Reason: Wanted to add something
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Old 07-06-10, 06:06 PM
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Perhaps if you could share some pictures or provide a catalog numer from the panel it would be easier to understand what you have.
 
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Old 07-06-10, 07:22 PM
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Typically the tandems can go in the end of the panel away form the main breaker.
 
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Old 07-07-10, 02:14 PM
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GE Load Center

CasualJoe - I don't know why I cannot post attachments, I'm working that. The catalog # is Surface Type = TM3020S, Flush Type = TM3020F.



pboss - Yes I'll check the local codes.

Does it matter where the double breakers are in the panel?
Some are located in the upper and lower portion of the panel.

If the half-sized breakers should go on the lower portion is it OK to relocate the larger double breakers to the upper portion?
 
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Old 07-07-10, 02:26 PM
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This forum does not take attachments, but you can upload photos to a free sharing site like Flickr, photobucket, imageshack, etc and post a URL here.
 
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Old 07-07-10, 08:20 PM
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Originally Posted by weezer View Post
CasualJoe - I don't know why I cannot post attachments, I'm working that. The catalog # is Surface Type = TM3020S, Flush Type = TM3020F.



pboss - Yes I'll check the local codes.

Does it matter where the double breakers are in the panel?
Some are located in the upper and lower portion of the panel.

If the half-sized breakers should go on the lower portion is it OK to relocate the larger double breakers to the upper portion?
Well, I can't tell from that catalog number exactly what you have (could be the number for the interior or panel & door, not sure), but you already know the panel will accept the thin THQP breakers in at least some spaces. If you remove one and inspect the bus, you'll see the attachment portion of the bus for the THQP breakers is perpendicular to the main stabs that the type THQL breakers attach to. THQP breakers snap around the bus where the full sized THQL breakers fit tightly over the bus. This is obvious if you inspect the breakers and bus carefully. If you remove enough breakers, you'll see the difference in the bus in the areas that the full size THQL breakers MUST be used and won't accept the thin breakers. At this point, you'll have to use your head to determine which spaces will accept the thin breakers. The only other recommendation I could make would be to go to a supply house that stocks GE loadcenters and ask them to explain it to you and show you the difference.
 
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Old 07-08-10, 02:12 PM
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Thanks guys. Sorry about not being able to attach images or files even though the FAQ page says you can.
 
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Old 07-08-10, 03:24 PM
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Old 07-08-10, 07:02 PM
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I will give you a head up.

We the electricians genrally don't bother read the front door cover due that model number that is for cover only to get the real number you have to take the cover off and look for the label on side of the load centre.

Just make sure you keep your hand away from super large conductor that is alive all the time { and unfused of course } from the main breaker area.

The label it will be either right side or left side depending on which way the load centre set up.

Once we get the correct model number we will go from there to see if it can allow twinner or half inch breakers but with two pole verison if you get them in one inch size they are very picky where to land it if your 240 volt device do not work then move the one inch two pole breaker down or up half way due the bussbar arrangement.

This is true on GE load centres I have ran into more than once.

Merci.
Marc
 
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Old 07-12-10, 09:44 AM
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GE Load Center and GE half-sized breakers

I have the cover all I see is stamped label in black along the back wall above the 200 amp breaker. (When you say label I'm imagining a sticky label).

(Stamped)
Box
TM3020
*E425*

There is also a label on the 200 amp breaker itself.

I uploaded pictures,



 

Last edited by weezer; 07-12-10 at 09:47 AM. Reason: changed text
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Old 07-12-10, 04:52 PM
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It appears to me that THQP breakers can only be used for circuits 21 thru 28, a total of 8 single pole thin breakers. Those spaces would be, counting from the top, the 11th and 12th full sized spaces down on each side. All remaining spaces would only accept THQL breakers, full size. That would also work out to a total of 40 poles. The only THQP breakers you are currently using are in the 12th spot down on the left side. It looks like you could pick up about 3 circuits in the panel if breakers were rearranged.

Another thought, you could always remove the 20 amp 2 pole breaker for the well pump to make space for a subfeed breaker and then transfer the well pump circuit to the subpanel. The subpanel would also provide you the single pole breaker space you need.
 
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Old 07-13-10, 09:11 AM
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Do you actually have 100A, 40A and 30A breakers for heat/AC? Also 50A on the hot water?
 
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Old 07-13-10, 09:47 AM
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As a side note, the use of descriptors like "lights" or "lights and plugs" is not decriptive enough to satisfy the intent of the code. Decriptions like "Marys bedroom" would not either. What happens when Mary moves out or the house is sold.

I would take the time and correctly identify your circuits using labels like "hall bath", "small bedrooms" "second floor lighting" etc.
 
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Old 07-13-10, 03:42 PM
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pcboss - the breakers are actually labled more descriptive I just removed all the detail. I recently went through each breaker, had the wife go thoughout the house and check everything as I turned off each breaker. The panel labeling was pretty bad until then.

ibpooks - The 100 amp breaker is for the indoor unit portion of the heat pump system. (We recently had our old hot water system removed and had central air installed). The 40 amp breaker is for the outside heat pump unit. The 20 amp breaker is for a separate Mr. Slim system that was installed on the top floor since there wasn't a way to install duct work up there.
The 50 amp breaker is for the hot water heater and tank. That is the original breaker installed for that unit.

CasualJoe - On the breaker panel drawing 1 - 20 are the same and 21 through 40 are the same I just drew the first few breaker rows. The 11th and 12th pots on the left are THQP breakers. That's what I was trying to verify was that THQP breakers could be used in the 21 thru 40 range.

What I was thinking of doing was moving the 40 amp heat pump breaker on the lower left side up and installing 4 THQP breakers in it's place than moving 4 of the 15 amp full sized circuits in that area over to the THQP breakers. I would also like to move the 20 amp mr slim breaker in the lower right corner up freeing up that area for more THQP breakers.

I think I asked this earlier and I think one of you might have touched on it earlier is if I counted up all the poles, the 15 and 20 amp full sized circuits are most likely single pole and the double breakers are 2 pole as long as I don't over 40 poles I'm should be OK?
 
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Old 07-13-10, 09:06 PM
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CasualJoe - On the breaker panel drawing 1 - 20 are the same and 21 through 40 are the same I just drew the first few breaker rows. The 11th and 12th pots on the left are THQP breakers. That's what I was trying to verify was that THQP breakers could be used in the 21 thru 40 range.
I thought that at first too, but then I realized that would make the panel capable of a total of 60 poles. Assuming this panel was a few years old, that would be very unusual and probably a code violation when it was installed. The GE panels I am familiar with that take type THQP thin breakers are typically called 30-40 or 20-40 panels indicating the total number of poles that can be installed using all THQL breakers or total number of poles if all THQP slots do in fact have THQP breakers in them with the rest being THQL breakers. Regardless, the total number of poes was 40.

Perhaps I should directly ask, how old is this panel? Prior to the 2008 NEC, the total number of poles was restricted to a maximum of 42. I am not extremely familiar with the 2008 NEC, but I remember the 42 pole restriction has been relaxed. Maybe what you have is a panel that was manufactured for use in Canada where there is no restriction on the number of poles.
 
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Old 07-14-10, 09:35 AM
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Originally Posted by weezer View Post
The 50 amp breaker is for the hot water heater and tank. That is the original breaker installed for that unit.
It is probable that one should be a 30A, so you might want to investigate that after you get the other issue sorted out.

The HVAC breakers sound appropriate for an AC/heat pump/aux heat system.
 
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Old 07-14-10, 04:59 PM
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GE Load Center and GE half-sized breakers

CasualJoe - The breaker panel I assume is as old as the house which was built in the early 70's. I don't know if it's been changed out.
I'm not sure how your getting 42 poles. I count 40. On the upper left side odd numbers 1-19 I count ten. On the upper right even numbers 2-20 I count ten. On the lower left odd numbers 21-39 are ten and the lower right 22 -40 I count ten. Am I missing something?

I'll check the hot water breaker when I get a chance.

Thanks for all your input guys. It's been a big help.
 
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Old 07-14-10, 05:16 PM
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Perhaps I have been over analyzing and not looking at the panel schedule. Backing up a bit, if you filled the panel with all full sized breakers, how many poles would you have? Looking at your panel schedule for a minute and forgetting the bus illustration, I count 30. Now, if you filled the lower portion with thin breakers in all the spaces they will fit and leave the full sized breakers above, how many total poles would you have? Now I count 40. I apologize for the confusion, what you have is a 30-40 panel. You can have a total of 30 maximum poles by using all type THQL full sized breakers or a total of 40 maximum poles by utilizing the thin type THQP breakers in the lower area. GI2

Now, your original question. Yes, you could add 6 or 7 additional single pole circuits by changing some full sized breakers in the lower section to the thin THQP style breakers
 
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Old 07-15-10, 04:12 PM
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GE Load Center and GE THQP half size breakers

No Problem. Thanks again for the help.
 
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