Replacing full size breaker with tandem breakers

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Old 06-21-18, 03:51 PM
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Replacing full size breaker with tandem breakers

My electrical panel is full. It is a 150 amp two pole panel. On the right bottom side of the panel I presently have 2 full size 20 amp breakers. I am installing 4 baseboard heaters and originally considered a sub panel but if I am able to put in two tandem breakers in the place of those two full size breakers I should be good to go. So, if I remove the two full sized 20 amp breakers and put in two 20 amp tandem breakers (4 breakers) how should I set it up. I understand that distributing power equally between poles is good practice and since a tandem breaker would be on one pole (I think) should I connect 2 baseboard heaters to one breaker and then skip over a breaker to attach the other two, therefore distributing them to the two poles? Am I understanding this correctly?
 
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Old 06-21-18, 04:12 PM
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First you need to determine if the panel is listed for use with tandems . The other issue is that baseboard heaters are normally 240 volts so a tandem will not work. You would need a quad that are only for a few panels.
 
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Old 06-21-18, 06:12 PM
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Do you think going with a subpanel would be the best (or only) way to go?
 
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Old 06-21-18, 08:51 PM
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Post pictures of your panel's label. It is usually inside of the panel.
This will show you if you can install tandem breakers and if it can where it is allowed.

Depending on the size of the baseboard heater, it may be 240V as pcboss mentioned. You can use quadplex breaker in this case assuming your panel allows tandem breakers.
However, quadplex breakers are rather expensive and if there is enough space to install a subpanel next to your main panel, that will be a better choice. If your panel is GE and allows THQP (thin breaker), then you can use THQP 1 pole and 2 pole breakers and still be fairly cheap.
If your baseboard heaters are 120V and your panel allows tandem breakers, then it will cheaper to install tandem breakers.

since a tandem breaker would be on one pole (I think) should I connect 2 baseboard heaters to one breaker and then skip over a breaker to attach the other two,
Yes each tandem breaker will be on one pole. Usually next space down is another pole, so don't skip over a breaker. If you skip over, then they will be on the same pole. You will figure it out by looking at the bus bar of the panel.
 
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Old 06-21-18, 11:16 PM
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Thanks. I will digest this all tomorrow and also take a look at the panel.
 
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Old 06-22-18, 02:17 PM
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No diagram in the panel. I installed a 240V heater in my daughter's basement two years ago and of course, it is as you said. I used a 20amp double pole breaker and it would take a quad to accommodate what I want to do here. I think what got me on the wrong track this time is misunderstanding advice from another question I had asked on another post. Plain and simple, I don't have the room so it will have to be a subpanel. So, a question. The breaker that is put in to give power to the subpanel is a double pole breaker. Does that mean that all power pulled from the subpanel is equally distributed to the two poles in the main panel?
 
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Old 06-22-18, 06:37 PM
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A two pole pulls equally from both legs.
 
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