Sub box is full. I need to install a 220 breaker

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Old 04-06-15, 12:30 PM
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Sub box is full. I need to install a 220 breaker

I brought a Cadet Energy Plus In-Wall Heater which uses 240 volts. I looked in my sub panel and there are no empty breaker spaces. What can i do to add another breaker? I have a 220 breaker that i use for my AC. Would my option be to connect the heater to that breaker being that I only use the AC for the summer and the heater for the winter and they both won't be on at the same time.
 
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Old 04-06-15, 03:44 PM
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What is a "220" breaker? Do you mean a two-pole circuit breaker for use on 240 volts? What size is the circuit breaker for the air conditioning? What is the rating of the new electric heater? Who is the manufacturer of the electrical panel and what is the model number? This last you might find from the label inside the door or on a sticker inside the enclosure itself.
 
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Old 04-07-15, 04:09 PM
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What is a "220" breaker? Do you mean a two-pole circuit breaker for use on 240 volts?
Yes i mean a two-pole circuit breaker.

What size is the circuit breaker for the air conditioning?
The circuit breaker for the AC is 40 amps. 20 amps per pole

What is the rating of the new electric heater?
240 volts, 6.7 amps

Who is the manufacturer of the electrical panel and what is the model number?
General Electric load center. Not sure of the model number. There are 2 numbers: 0672 P-150
 
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Old 04-07-15, 04:14 PM
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The circuit breaker for the AC is 40 amps. 20 amps per pole
Nope, 40 amps per leg if it is marked 40 amps. If it is marked 20 amps, it is 20 amps total. Is it marked 20 or 40? What size wiring comes from the breaker?

Do you have any tandem breakers installed on any 120 volt circuits? You may gain enough space if you move circuits to tandems. Then install the proper wiring and breaker for your heater. To answer your question, you won't be able to connect both your AC and heater to the same breaker.
 
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Old 04-07-15, 04:48 PM
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Chandler's idea of using tandem CBs (if allowed on your panel) is a good one. As for:
To answer your question, you won't be able to connect both your AC and heater to the same breaker.
it needs a bit of clarification. No, you cannot attach two wires to the circuit breaker connections but you could "pigtail" the wires from the heater and the A/C with a third wire run to the CB. Ideally, the heater should be on a 15 ampere circuit but with all #12 conductors you will be okay.

Chandler, this is one instance where two different appliances may be connected to the same CB. It is certainly not a preferred method but it is allowable.
 
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Old 04-07-15, 05:51 PM
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Yeah, I was referring to double tapping, which you clarified just fine. Thanks.
 
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Old 04-07-15, 06:32 PM
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Nope, 40 amps per leg if it is marked 40 amps. If it is marked 20 amps, it is 20 amps total.
It is marked 20 amps.

Do you have any tandem breakers installed on any 120 volt circuits?

No I don't think there are any tandem breakers installed.
I would be interested in moving circuits to tandem breakers. Do you think tandem breakers are allowed on my sub-panel?
 
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Old 04-07-15, 06:41 PM
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The cover panel will tell you if and where tandem breakers may be used. That will free up good space that you can use for your double breaker, which, BTW, is only 20 amps, which is good for your AC load. Any overcurrent condition that exists that approaches the trip load of 20 amps on either conductor will trip the breaker...both legs.
 
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Old 04-07-15, 08:31 PM
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The cover panel will tell you if and where tandem breakers may be used
Wait!! This is a GE loadcenter, GE hasn't made a tandem breaker in over 40 years. They do, however, make a thin style breaker, Type THQP, that can be used in some panels and usually just in some spaces. These breakers don''t attach to the typical bus stabs so the bus must be designed for them.
 
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Old 04-07-15, 08:50 PM
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The panel say I can use the following GE breakers: TQP,TQL,TQL-AC,TQAL-AC,THQL-AC,TXQL
Would anyone of those type breakers help me?
 
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Old 04-07-15, 11:48 PM
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I don't think so, I am not all that familiar with the small GE panels but I suspect that ONLY the THQP would give you more circuits and since it is not on the list of approved Circuit breakers it cannot be used in your panel.

Back to the original idea of feeding both the heater and A/C from the same CB as I described.

OR you could add a sub-panel by moving a two-pole circuit (or two single pole circuits) to the new sub-panel.
 
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Old 04-08-15, 04:20 AM
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Okay it's looking like my dinosaur GE panel won't fit the THQP breakers.
How hard of a job would it be for DIY to replace the old sub panel with a new panel with more breaker spaces? I am thinking it should be easier being that there is a existing sub panel in place.

Furd idea of feeding both heater and A/C from the same circuit breaker seems like a easier job although not the preferred choice but if I went with this choice for now I need help in clarifying what has to be done to achieve this? I would take take both common wires from A/C and heater and wire nut them together with one single wire and do the same for the 2 hot wires then connect the 2 single wires to the breaker and connect the ground wire?
 
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Old 04-08-15, 04:25 AM
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If your panel does not list the THQP as an approved breaker, then the thin breakers will not work. I do like the idea of a subpanel using the existing double slot to run from the main panel to power two separate breakers, one for the AC and one for the heat.

Our posts crossed paths.

I was under the impression this was a main panel, not a sub panel. Sure, you can install a new sub panel with more breaker space. How is it being fed presently? Is it surface mounted, or indented into the wall space?
 
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Old 04-08-15, 05:50 AM
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Straight 240 things like A/C do not have a common wire. They have two hots.
 
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Old 04-08-15, 06:51 AM
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Straight 240 things like A/C do not have a common wire. They have two hots.
Yes you are correct. My mistake in wording.


I was under the impression this was a main panel, not a sub panel. Sure, you can install a new sub panel with more breaker space. How is it being fed presently? Is it surface mounted, or indented into the wall space?
Yes this is a sub panel already installed on the 2nd floor of my home. The main panel is in the basement. The heater would be installed just about 7 feet away from the sub panel making it kinda convenient to run the wires to the panel.
It is indented into the wall space. To do this would it be simply as removing the old wiring from the old sub panel and connecting it to the new panel?
 
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Old 04-10-15, 08:53 AM
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To replace the existing sub panel with a new one would it be as simply as removing the old wiring from the old sub panel and connecting it to the new panel?
 
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Old 04-10-15, 09:04 AM
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To replace the existing sub panel with a new one would it be as simply as removing the old wiring from the old sub panel and connecting it to the new panel?
Short answer is yes. Most panels are made to fit between studs so the width of the current opening is probably fine, but you may have to extend the length of the opening to accommodate a larger panel with more circuits.
 
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Old 04-10-15, 11:23 AM
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Or just put another subpanel in the stud space next to it.
 
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Old 04-10-15, 02:58 PM
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Or just put another subpanel in the stud space next to it.
Mum that's something to consider.
I have to see being that the old box must be like 40 years old and I really only need one breaker space and maybe 1 or 2 in the future(I think)
 
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