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Is it possible to overload a panel with too many duplex breakers?

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2010-03-11 03:18:44
2010-03-11 03:18:44
YES.

By duplex breaker, you mean 'tandem breaker', a special breaker designed to allow you to get more circuits into a panel that is full or almost full.

You most likely have a 'CTL' type panel in your home.

You MUST use 'CTL' breakers, or CTL tandem breakers in that panel. By design, if you look at the bus bars that your breakers snap onto, the upper 60 percent or so is different than the lower 40 percent.

The lower bus bars are designed differently so that you cannot install tandem breakers in a certain number of spaces. This prevents you from overloading the panel.

Most people at Lowe's and Home Depot do not know this and will give you anything to put into your panel. DON'T! If the CTL tandem doesn't fit, it's not supposed to. Do NOT go back to the store to get a different breaker because that one didn't fit.Call an electrician to install a larger service and panel with more capacity. Installing non-CTL breakers to cirvumvent the safety feature can cause your house to burn down.

It costs more to rebuild your home due to electrical fire, than it would have cost to have the job done right by a professional electrician.

The above answer is correct, but I would like to add there are some States that do not allow tandem breakers.

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Related Questions


Yes, but only use them if absolutely necessary and I would never install more than one set of min-breakers in a service panel. Otherwise you can overload the panel.

An electrical panel is a metal box that traditionally contain fuses or circuit breakers to prevent overload of current.

ACDB stands for alternating current distribution board. A distribution board or panel is part of an electricity supply system. The panel splits the power up into circuits. At the same time, it uses fuses or circuit breakers to provide protection from electrical overload.

As long as the breakers are made to fit the box, there shouldn't be a problem. you can only use breakers listed for the panel, there should be a label on the panel door. It will list all of the breakers approved for use in that panel. If you don't see the breaker by manufacturer name listed, then it should not be used. Lots of brands will interchange, but they have to be listed to be approved.

No, they will not work. Use only Murray breakers for safety.

The provisioning of the breakers in a panel has a physical limitation regarding how many breakers will fit and a load calculation based on what devices the panel has to support. Your question really applies to both types of breakers. There are rules of thumb for sizing and populating the panel. This information is in the National Electric Code. If you have an existing panel and a new application requiring additional breakers for 220 Volt applications, the current draw in panel can be measured by an electrician and you will know what additional load you can support. If breakers fit physically in the panel, but connected devices exceed the total current capacity you will trip the main panel breaker. At this point you would need to get an electrician involved.

A 20 circuit panel, rated at 100 amp could contain 20 -20 amp breakers. Load determines ampacity not the number of breakers.

To my knowledge Zinsco/Sylvania breakers are the only breakers that will fit in a Zinsco panel. My recommendation as a journeyman electrician is to have your panel changed out. Those panels are old and outdated, not to mention replacement breakers are expensive. Most newer panels, and breakers are the cost of about 2 replacements.

First you need to determine if addition of the new breakers will exceed the 200A service under normal operating conditions. If so you will need to go to power company and increase service and put in a larger main panel. If you have the capacity for the extra current you can add a sub-panel and add the breakers there as well as the breakers you will remove from main panel to accommodate the sub-panel breaker. Another way depends on what breakers are in current panel. There are some breakers that can be duplexed in the same space as a single breaker.

Breakers do not need routine maintenance. If the distribution panel is in an environment that allows dust or dirt to build up on the breaker faces, wipe the breakers with a dry cloth. If the distribution panel has a door on the panel face keep it closed.

My Westinghouse panel lists Bryant only as a replacement for the Westinghouse breakers.

Your circuit box should have a label on the door listing compatable breakers. For instance, my American Switch 200 amp panel lists what American Switch breakers are usable on that particular panel, and then it goes on to list other manufacturers whose breakers will work in the panel. Mine can use Frank Adam Type A, FA-D, QP & QPH, Bryant Type BR-D and BD breakers as well as Westinghouse Type QP and Q. I am not sure that I would go with the adage that if it fits use it. Check your Panel Box for the tag listing compatible breakers.

the features of mcc panel are it protect the motor stater wiring when current is overload

As many as needed; panel capacities are different from each other in amps and space. there should be a sticker on the door of the panel that tells of how many breakers can be installed in that panel. regarding the amps, a load calculation can be made to determine the full load used on such a panel.

Breakers are build to snap onto a buss bar in a breaker panel. If they look the same on the back end then they will likely work. If not do not try to force a fit. To add a little more to this: 1st of all it depends on what kind of Square D you are talking about. Square D Homline breakers will fit in a GE panel but GE breakers will not fit into a Homeline panel in my experience. Square D QO is not compatible with either.

The key to breaker compatibility is if it fits correctly into the buss bars in the electric panel.

There is no formula used to fill a distribution panel. The panel is loaded according to the circuits that are to be connected to it. After you have determining what breakers are needed always buy a distribution panel that has more slots than you need. The extra cost of buying a panel with more slots in it will pay for itself in the future if additional circuits need to be added.

There are many ways one can install ge circuit breakers. One can install ge circuit breakers by turning off the power supply, removing the panel cover, testing it for power, and installing it by alining the breaker with the unused panel space.

circuit breakers and ground connection as far as my knowledge

Most of the breakers in a panel will be 120 VAC. Double height breakers are 240 VAC. A triple height breaker probably indicates you have 3-phase power in the panel.

Yes.Additional InformationBreakers and fuses protect the wires to prevent fire. The 100 Amp breaker in the meter base (main) protects the wire from the meter base to the breaker panel. The 50 Amp breaker in the breaker panel protects the wire from the breaker panel to the outlet. Sometimes the 100 amp main breaker is located in the panel.If you are asking "Can you use two 50 amp breakers for the main breakers with a 100 amp service, then yes you can. The National Electrical Code allows you to use up to 6 breakers as the main overcurrent protection.

New breakers can be purchased separately, and simply snapped into place in the modern breaker panels. Turn power off to panel before removing breaker panel plate. If you do not know what you're doing, save your life and hire an electrician to do it.

Sizing what goes into a 200 amp panel whether it be split breakers or normal size breakers is based on the amperage values expected under normal use of the devices connected to the panel. For example if you could look at a continuous curve of usage you would see it vary throughout the day. This is because under normal living conditions you use you lights and appliances at different time. If you started to trip the main 200 amp breaker and the other breakers weren't tripping then you would need to increase your service from power company and add a new main panel. So giving you a count isn't possible. You could call in an electrician to measure your usage or just add the breakers you need and see if the main breaker trips.

Passenger side of the panel next to the door


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