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Old 04-22-2008, 10:51 PM   #1
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GE Breaker Questions


What are the limitations on using GE THQP 1/2 size breakers? For what applications are they not advisable? I need two 20 amp circuits for outlets and two 15 amp circuits for lighting and the panel has 5 full size slots left open.

Does the above answer change if I also want to use a 240 volt double pole in 1/2 size for electric heat?

Thanks!

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Old 04-22-2008, 11:12 PM   #2
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As far as limitations go your bus stab rating will limit the size of over current protection you can put on one terminal. If you are sticking with 15 or 20 A it should not be a problem. Don't take my word for it, look on your panel. It should tell you this information somewhere.

As for 240 Volt heat, you need to have opposite phases and both need to be disconnected simultaneously. I think they make a breaker like this, but I have to imagine they'd be hard to track down and grossly overpriced.

I don't have a picture or anything but try to imagine four slots. Slots 1 and 2 are one phase, and 3 and four are phase 2. Normal 2 pole breakers straddle phase 1 and 2, but because you are putting FOUR breakers in their place they won't. Now picture a breaker with a handle that goes from slot 1 to 4 and another that goes from 2 to 3. That is the breaker you are looking for. Again, i have no idea of their availability or price.

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Old 04-22-2008, 11:16 PM   #3
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In my experience, they work just fine for basic receptacles and lighting. The 2 pole ones are ok for baseboard heaters, dryers, and water heaters. I've seen a few of the 40's and 50's burn up that were connected to A/C units though.

Rob
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Old 04-23-2008, 12:13 PM   #4
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The thqp is a single pole breaker. Thqp's are also handle tied to facilitate 240 volts. But I don't believe they are common trip. You can use them for 240 volts but not in the same one inch space. If you look at this image of a ge panel the thqp's clip on the little tabs on the side of the buss stab. Notice there are two tabs per bus stab. Those are on the same leg as Goose is explaining in his post. To get 240 volts for 240 baseboard heat you need to place one 1/2 " breaker on one buss tab and another on the next buss tab.
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Old 04-23-2008, 02:15 PM   #5
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Stubbie,

If I read your explanation right, I need to use two full size slots on the same side of the panel. In those I put a size single pole, then the size double pole and then another size single pole to get 2 ea 120 V circuits and the 240 V circuit. Check or hold?

Thanks!
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Old 04-23-2008, 02:24 PM   #6
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Yes you have it right....If you look at the image the top left space will take a 1/2" thqp at the top position, below it if you install two handle tied thqp's you will catch the bottom tab of that same buss and then the top tap of the next bus below it....240 volts. Then the next tab will take a single thqp or you could do another handle tied arrangemnt to give you another 230 volt circuit. So your description it correct.

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Old 04-23-2008, 02:30 PM   #7
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Great; Thanks again.

While you're out there... Can I run 12 gauge wire off a 20 A double pole to a J-Box that splits out to 2 electric heaters each rated at 2000 W?
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Old 04-23-2008, 03:16 PM   #8
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Yes that would be fine. That would be 16.6 amps at 240 volts. 8.3 amps for each heater.
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Old 04-23-2008, 07:31 PM   #9
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Just a short addition to the 240 volt circuit. A 12/2 is perfectly fine to run 240 in. Black goes on one breaker pole, white on the other. This is one of the few times it's permissible to use white for a hot. When I do this, I always put some red tape on the white wire in the panel, and at every box. That way, there's no question that it's hot, and not a neutral.

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Old 04-23-2008, 09:01 PM   #10
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I've also seen some use of black spray paint to do the same on a house I used to own. (prior to stripping the wire, of course...)

But the tape seems neater especially if I have to re-cut the wire or work in a tight space.

Red or black; Does it matter?

Thanks again for the help!
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Old 04-24-2008, 12:51 AM   #11
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It really doesn't matter what color it is, as long as its identified as something other than a neutral. I use red because there's already a black wire, and it looks more professional.

Rob

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