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Old 02-10-2013, 06:27 AM   #31
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does a household circuit breaker have thermal memory?


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I don't think Square D panels have any protection from installing tandems. Every Square D panel I have been in could physically fit tandem breakers even if the panel wasn't listed to.
They definitely do. More than one type too. The newer one have a huge hook where the outboard "snap" is.

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Old 02-10-2013, 07:25 AM   #32
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does a household circuit breaker have thermal memory?


I didn't know that, but then again, I don't try in install a tandem without the space being rated for it.
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Old 02-10-2013, 07:57 AM   #33
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does a household circuit breaker have thermal memory?


When I buy a Square D tandem they the picture below. That one is some generic replacement that may or may not be listed for the panel. I would verify that the circuit is 12 gauge wire and replace the breaker with a 20 amp single pole breaker.

Keep the trunk slammers out of your panel and hire a reputable electrician. That guy was just around to make a quick buck. Just used something he had laying around. I actually found a breaker that looks like the one he used they sell for 20. He could have installed a single square d breaker for 10.
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Old 02-10-2013, 11:13 AM   #34
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does a household circuit breaker have thermal memory?


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When I buy a Square D tandem they the picture below. That one is some generic replacement that may or may not be listed for the panel. I would verify that the circuit is 12 gauge wire and replace the breaker with a 20 amp single pole breaker.

Keep the trunk slammers out of your panel and hire a reputable electrician. That guy was just around to make a quick buck. Just used something he had laying around. I actually found a breaker that looks like the one he used they sell for 20. He could have installed a single square d breaker for 10.
I agree with the caution about trunk slammers, but it's not certain that that breaker is a generic or counterfeit. QO breakers don't necessarily have the logo on the front - the SquareD on-line catalog shows a QOT that looks just like the one in the poster's photo. Reading about QO counterfeiters on-line, the logo on front or absence of it, isn't conclusive. Whether the logo and other info is stamped on the side is conclusive. I checked into this a while back when I was working on a QO panel with some breakers with logos and some without. It appeared to me that the breakers that came from the big box store didn't have the printed logo on front, and the ones from the local electrical supply did.
Whether it's a counterfeit or not, it should be replaced with a single, sized correctly for the circuit.
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Old 02-10-2013, 11:29 AM   #35
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does a household circuit breaker have thermal memory?


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I agree with the caution about trunk slammers, but it's not certain that that breaker is a generic or counterfeit. QO breakers don't necessarily have the logo on the front - the SquareD on-line catalog shows a QOT that looks just like the one in the poster's photo. Reading about QO counterfeiters on-line, the logo on front or absence of it, isn't conclusive. Whether the logo and other info is stamped on the side is conclusive. I checked into this a while back when I was working on a QO panel with some breakers with logos and some without. It appeared to me that the breakers that came from the big box store didn't have the printed logo on front, and the ones from the local electrical supply did.
Whether it's a counterfeit or not, it should be replaced with a single, sized correctly for the circuit.
The clue if any that it's a counterfeit is that the amp rating on the handle isn't painted white. After 2003, all QO breakers have the rating painted white. So it's either counterfeit, or older. I suspect that it's an older, possibly used, breaker that was kicking around in the guy's truck.
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Old 02-10-2013, 02:41 PM   #36
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does a household circuit breaker have thermal memory?


Update: I decided to replace the breaker myself this morning. I replaced it with a 20A single pole. Everything went well. Here are some photos of the breaker that the "handyman" installed. It was obviously used. To help answer my original question I disassembled the breaker. Photos posted.

Thanks for all the comments.
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does a household circuit breaker have thermal memory?-img_0154.jpg   does a household circuit breaker have thermal memory?-img_0159.jpg   does a household circuit breaker have thermal memory?-img_0161.jpg   does a household circuit breaker have thermal memory?-img_0165.jpg  
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Old 02-10-2013, 02:46 PM   #37
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Can someone confirm if this breaker has a thermal/electomagnetic design? I see the electromagnet but I am not sure if there is a bi-metallic element in this design.
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Old 02-10-2013, 02:59 PM   #38
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Yep it does see red arrow in diagram ...
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Old 02-10-2013, 05:33 PM   #39
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does a household circuit breaker have thermal memory?


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Can someone confirm if this breaker has a thermal/electomagnetic design? I see the electromagnet but I am not sure if there is a bi-metallic element in this design.
Pretty much ALL "modern" breakers have both thermal and magnetic trip.
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Old 02-10-2013, 06:53 PM   #40
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does a household circuit breaker have thermal memory?


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The clue if any that it's a counterfeit is that the amp rating on the handle isn't painted white. After 2003, all QO breakers have the rating painted white. So it's either counterfeit, or older. I suspect that it's an older, possibly used, breaker that was kicking around in the guy's truck.
My house was built in 2006. Out of 30 someodd Square D breakers, only the AFCI, GFCI, and 240v breakers are white. The rest are black.
I doubt the contractor had 3 year old stock, and I hope he didn't use counterfit.

Interestingly, there are two Siemens breakers; I didn't know they made them to fit Square D.
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Old 02-10-2013, 06:59 PM   #41
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does a household circuit breaker have thermal memory?


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They definitely do. More than one type too. The newer one have a huge hook where the outboard "snap" is.
Are you saying the older tandems don't have the hook?

In the unlikely case I was able to locate an old one, what would the harm be in using a tandem in a box not intended for it?

In a post a few months ago (maybe not here, I don't remember) I said that I was short on space and my box wouldn't take tandems. One reply was that he just cut the hook off and all was well; but that just doesn't seem like a great idea.

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