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Discussion Starter #1
I was talking picking up some new double breakers today when I learned something. Certain Panels aren't made to allow the double breakers...some panels might be 30/40, 12/24, or like mine, 30/30. Which today I learned means a maximum of 30 circuits, as opposed to the 30/40 which has 30 standard circuits, but can be expanded to 40 with the use of double breakers.


Therefore, I don't know what this means for me now. I need about 35 circuits in a panel that is only made for 30...is it bad to add the double breakers? Do I need to change the Panel? Or Do I simply need to expand the Panel by adding a 2nd box? Whic honestly wouldnt be horriuble because then the entire basement would be in the new panel.


I just dont know what to do and how to go about this because I never knew there were different types of panels like this. I just want to make sure it is right so I dont burn the house down...


Thanks.


-Sandor
 

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I'm tackling this same issue, and decided to add the second panel. If nothing else, it makes a "cleaner" setup to have the basement all in one box. I also like the idea of keeping a few available in the main box in case anything happens on the main floor in the future.
 

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I think that we are writing about dual breakers as opposed to double pole breakers. Dual breakers are two independent 1/2 size breakers in one full size package. Double pole breakers are two linked breakers in a full size or double size package. Double pole breakers are used to control both hot lines in a 240 volt circuit. !/2 size breakers do not have a good reputation.
 

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Discussion Starter #5

Quote:
Originally Posted by Speedskater /forum/post/14329192


I think that we are writing about dual breakers as opposed to double pole breakers. Dual breakers are two independent 1/2 size breakers in one full size package. Double pole breakers are two linked breakers in a full size or double size package. Double pole breakers are used to control both hot lines in a 240 volt circuit. !/2 size breakers do not have a good reputation.

Yes you are right, half sized breakers is what I mean. Why do they not have a good reputation?
 

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We could probably debate at length about the reliability of tandem breakers. I happen to think they work just fine.


However, you already answered your own question ... your panel is only rated for 30 circuits. Squeezing five more circuits in using tandem breakers is not advised.


Changing the panel is expensive. You'll need to turn off the power at the street. Well, you won't. An electrician will.


Adding a subpanel is straight forward, relatively simple, and definitely the way to go. You can do that one yourself.
 

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Does each bedroom have its own circuit? You could combine some of those circuits under one breaker and then youll have room for the extra circuits you want to add. Just make sure you only combine 15A circuits together. I wouldnt do that to any 20A unless it supplied multiple GFCI bathroom receptacles only. Then you would gain the extra 5 breakers you need. You must have a decent size house for 30+ breakers.
 

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Discussion Starter #8

Quote:
Originally Posted by MetalMike /forum/post/14340218


Does each bedroom have its own circuit? You could combine some of those circuits under one breaker and then youll have room for the extra circuits you want to add. Just make sure you only combine 15A circuits together. I wouldnt do that to any 20A unless it supplied multiple GFCI bathroom receptacles only. Then you would gain the extra 5 breakers you need. You must have a decent size house for 30+ breakers.

everything is already a 20A...decent size, 2300SQ. ft.
 

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you could still do it with the bedroom/living room circuits. These rooms typically dont have large loads like a bathroom, kitchen or garage. Normally BR are 15A. 20A is overkill for a BR circuit.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sands_at_Pier147 /forum/post/14339854


... your panel is only rated for 30 circuits. Squeezing five more circuits in using tandem breakers is not advised.


Changing the panel is expensive. You'll need to turn off the power at the street. Well, you won't. An electrician will.


Adding a subpanel is straight forward, relatively simple, and definitely the way to go. You can do that one yourself.

Dennis and Brian answered it perfectly. Adding a second panel is really your only option here, and it's really not that big of a deal.


Frank
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Can I put a subpanel on a 2 sided wall, or does it always have to be on an exterior wall to eliminate the possibility of drilling into it from the back side? If it has to be on an exterior wall, can it be secured directly to the cinderblock, or does it have to have some kind of wood backing?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
hmm, easy place would be to the right of the equipments rack then on the unfinished side of the basement. there aren't rules for distance from the main panel are there? My biggest concern with it on an interior wall is what is I want to put something on the wall, a picture of what have you, if the panel takes up the whole opening to the drywall on the finished side I cant got there because i would hit the back of the panel...I know, is it silly and I am nit picking, but I still need to think about it. Easiest would be to the right of the panel now,



The only thing then Is again I have to plan to cover it...the panel now is going to get a movie poster which covers the opening. But now that I think about it, that might look a bit out of place in a room with jerseys hanging on the wall and a bunch of sports stuff. Maybe when I get my jersey matted and framed, I have to get a frame large enough to cover it, to keep it from looking extremely silly. Just another one of the road blocks that need dealt with. Or I just secure to the cinder block on the unfinished side...
 

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Something else to think about is wire length and cost and installation effort. There will be an optimal spot to where to place the panel to reduce the wire cost to the minimum. Example: Main panel is on one side of house, and all circuits from subpanel (say 5 circuits) are 100' away on other side of house. If you place the sub-panel right next to the main panel, you need 100' x 5 circuits, but if you put the sub-panel on the other side of the house where the circuits are terminated, you only need one feeder cable 100' long. Also, in the first scenario (sub-panel near main panel) in addition to the cost of the 5x wires, there is also just the hassle of running that large of a bundle (or 5 individual runs) and properly supporting it per code. Depending on your layout and where you can place the sub-panel and how far away your main panel is, it might be a non-issue if we are talking about short distances.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Yeah, it looks like the best option will be to slide over 6 feet, which puts me in the unfinished section of the basement, nail a piece of plywoould to the cinderblock and attach the sub-panel. Is there any special rules for pulling the 6-3, can I pull it through the grommets in my studs next to some 12/2 romex, or do I have to take it to the cailing and bring it through the joist, or is either method good?
 
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