What are my wiring options ?

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  #1  
Old 01-25-16, 12:35 PM
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What are my wiring options ?

I just acquired a few power tools. One is 240/120 V configurable. All tools require 20A when on 120V unfortunately I have only one 15A circuit in the garage, to which also a bunch of other equipment is connected such as a fridge and a door opener. Also the solar company came recently and made some modifications in my panel leaving me with only one vacant space in the left upper corner and all breakers doubled. So can I?
1. Add two 20A circuits using a thin doble 120V 2*20A breaker ?
Or
2. Still add a 220V somehow using a thin double 220V breaker ?
Or
3. Add a subpanel next to the main panel ( main is outside I can put sub inside the garage on the same wall). I probably would have to move one of 2x15A circuits to the subpanel. I am trying to insert a photo of the panel here. All double breakers on the left are 15A, right 20A.

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  #2  
Old 01-25-16, 01:01 PM
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In order to get a 240 (not 220) volt circuit you will have to add a sub-panel and move at least one circuit to the sub-panel to get the space for the two-pole circuit breaker that will feed the sub-panel.
 
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Old 01-25-16, 01:07 PM
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So not no thin 240V breakers that would fit into one space ?
 
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Old 01-25-16, 01:38 PM
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No, that is not possible based on how panels are designed. There are quad breakers that provide two 240V breakers in two spaces, or one 240V breaker and two 120V breakers in two spaces.

 
  #5  
Old 01-25-16, 02:07 PM
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Thanks ibpooks! That is helpful.
What about the option of adding 2 20A circuits with a double thin breaker. Is it possible ?
 
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Old 01-25-16, 02:57 PM
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I would do as Furd suggested and use the upper left double breaker spot and replace it with a 50 amp breaker and install a subpanel, where you could reinstall that upper left double breaker and a host of breakers to accommodate your needs.
 
  #7  
Old 01-25-16, 03:03 PM
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What about the option of adding 2 20A circuits with a double thin breaker. Is it possible ?
Yes. You can add 20A Square D tandem breaker to remaining slot.
You also can remove existing double pole breaker (240) and replace with appropriate quad circuit breaker that ibpooks mentioned. I see that you already have one for circuit marked AC.
If you replace 2 of double pole breakers with quad circuit breakers and move some single breakers to them.
Then you can use regular double pole breaker for 240V circuit.

Other option would be replacing 1 double and 2 tandem breakers with 2 quad circuit breakers.

Quad circuit breakers are more expensive and may not be in stock in local stores.
 
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Old 01-26-16, 10:04 AM
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Panels need to be listed for use with tandem and quad breakers. Not all panels allow their use. The model number of the panel needs to be checked.
 
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Old 01-26-16, 04:11 PM
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Panels need to be listed for use with tandem and quad breakers. Not all panels allow their use. The model number of the panel needs to be checked.
Since Op's panel already has tandem and quad breakers, I'm pretty sure he will be fine.
 
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Old 01-26-16, 05:49 PM
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And unknowing people install things improperly all the time. The presence of tandems does not mean listed or allowed.
 
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Old 01-26-16, 06:54 PM
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My guess that this is a 200 amp 20-40 panel that will accept tandem breakers in all positions, but this isn't something you can guess at. We need the catalog number of the panel.
 
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