Breaker Question: AC Unit and split breakers

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  #1  
Old 11-23-12, 07:46 PM
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Breaker Question: AC Unit and split breakers

Gentlemen...

Here is a pic of my main panel that I am replacing. I have a sub panel in the basement and another on the second floor.

imgur: the simple image sharer

I have been trying to map out my breakers in all three panels to help in balancing the legs of my generator, and found two things that were interesting. First, I have a 30 amp double breaker for my AC compressor unit. I also have a 15 amp double breaker for my air handler.

So here goes my question: Why are the breakers for my AC and Handler in two different panels? Is this normal?

Also, take a look at the picture. On the left side are two single space double breakers. They are arranged like this:

______
20 Amp
--------
30 Amp
______
30 Amp
--------
20 Amp
______

And the 30's are connected together, but on different breakers. Is this a normal use of these types of breakers? Or is something fishy going on here?

I get that they wanted to get 220 out of it, but the use of the double breakers with the two middles tied together seems off.

Thanks.
 
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  #2  
Old 11-23-12, 08:49 PM
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Yes....that's normal. It's called a tandem breaker. That supplies 240 volts to something. You use tandem breakers when you are out of breaker spaces.

As far as your A/C system. It's ok to get power from two different panels. They probably connected to the nearest panels as it was the easiest and probably the shortest cable runs.
 
  #3  
Old 11-24-12, 05:07 AM
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To expand on PJ's comment on the tandems. What you actually have is sometimes called a quad as it is two 240 or two pole tandems together. They need to be arranged like this so both legs can be turned off at the same time while on the different legs of the panel.
 
  #4  
Old 11-24-12, 08:48 PM
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Thank you very much. I appreciate the responses; that explains its quite well.
 
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